Cameron Harbor on Chattanooga's waterfront could double to $200 million project

Former Newton Chevrolet property sale planned

Staff Photo by Tim Barber In this file photo, Newton Chevrolet sale representative Dwayne Pruitt, center, shows Nola and Frank Rogers the emergency truck release on a 2006 Chevrolet Malibu.
photo Staff photo by John Rawlston Matt and Laura Patterson walk on the Riverwalk with their dog Larry adjacent to their home in Cameron Harbor in this file photo.

Cameron Harbor, one of the biggest residential and commercial projects to go up on Chattanooga's waterfront in decades, could double in size and add another $80 million to $100 million in new development.

Nashville developer Evergreen Real Estate and Chattanooga-based Lamp Post Properties plan to buy the adjacent former Newton Chevrolet property off Riverfront Parkway.

"There's already a vibrant group of residents who call [Cameron Harbor] home," said Aaron White, a principal at Evergreen. "We're excited to keep enhancing that neighborhood."

Evergreen plans to buy about eight acres from landowner Grant Law, who for many years ran Newton Chevrolet at Riverfront Parkway and M.L. King Boulevard until 2007. He sold the dealership to Mountain View Chevrolet, which moved to East 20th Street in 2009.

Evergreen plans to put a variety of new housing and commercial space on the property it's proposing to buy that straddles both sides of Riverfront Parkway, White said.

Also, the company foresees a hotel going up at Riverfront and M.L. King on the river side of Riverfront Parkway near M.L. King, he said. In addition, a proposed site plan calls for a restaurant just off Riverfront Parkway.

Lamp Post Properties, a subsidiary of venture incubator Lamp Post Group, plans to buy from Law about 3.5 acres, including the building which served as the showroom for the auto dealerships.

Tiffanie Robinson, president of Lamp Post Properties, said Lamp Post is purchasing the site as "a future investment."

"We haven't made final plans yet," she said. "But we do hope to make an announcement about what we're doing with it."

A site plan by Evergreen has the existing buildings designated for "mixed use."

Robinson said Lamp Post likes to invest in downtown areas "which still need life."

"We thought the property at MLK would be a good way to put money and energy downtown, in the next phase of downtown," she said.

White said Evergreen is currently building apartments and cottage homes at Cameron Harbor, which is being jointly developed by the Nashville company and Eugene "Buck" Schimpf of Chattanooga.

Schimpf also has started work on the most high-end offerings - townhouses selling for more than $1 million each.

White said that on the Law property on the downtown side of Riverfront Parkway, he foresees about 100 new apartments or condos on one part of the new site Evergreen is in the process of acquiring.

"It would be very high-end product either way," he said.

Next door, the site plan calls for a four-story structure with commercial development at ground level and housing units above, White said.

Across Riverfront, the site plan calls for more than a half dozen residential or commercial buildings.

"It won't happen overnight," White said, putting all the new development at up to $100 million. "It will be a phased approach coming together over the next five to eight years. We're fortunate to have a great [property] owner like Grant Law."

Evergreen will ask city planners to rezone part of the site from its current manufacturing classification to a residential and commercial zone.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@times or 423-757-6318.