Mountain Creek Road may get $28 million apartment complex

Contributed rendering / Planned new apartment complex on Mountain Creek Road would hold about 250 units, according to the developer. Company is seeking rezoning of the tract across from Red Bank Elementary School.

More new apartments may be headed for Chattanooga, with an Alabama developer planning to build a 250-unit complex on Mountain Creek Road.

Watercress Cos. of Huntsville, Ala., is eyeing a 15-acre site across from Red Bank Elementary School on which to put the project, which is estimated to cost up to $28 million, said company principal Bo Bailey.

"We like Chattanooga," he said. "We've been looking for the last couple of years. We saw that property and it was time to pull the trigger."

Hamilton County is seeing a flurry of new apartment complexes. While much of the activity is downtown - more than 2,000 apartments are planned, underway or recently completed in the central city area - suburban units are going up, too.

Bill Raines of The Raines Group, which listed the Mountain Creek Road site, said the mostly vacant tract is close to downtown and will be convenient for people who work in the central city. The parcel also is near to not just the elementary school but Red Bank Middle and High schools, he said.

While Mountain Creek Road already has several apartment complexes, they are mostly older, Raines said.

"This will be newer with a lot of amenities," he said.

Raines said the property owner is the estate of the mother of Chattanooga City Court Judge Russell Bean.

Plans are to seek a rezoning of the site from R-1 to R-3 multi-unit development. That case is slated to be heard by the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission on July 11 at 1 p.m. at the Hamilton County Courthouse.

If approved, Bailey said work would start at the beginning of 2017 and take about a year to complete.

A site plan calls for more than a dozen buildings in the complex, with some of them three or four stories tall. The complex also would have 467 parking spaces, plans show.

Bailey said a traffic study has been commissioned for the project. At this point, he said, he didn't see a problem with the project's proximity to the elementary school.

He said the complex will have two points of exit and one primary entrance.

"That's normal for an apartment project that size," Bailey said. He said rental rates were not immediately available.

A Knoxville developer earlier this year announced plans to build 220 new apartments near Erlanger hospital in one of the largest downtown Chattanooga rental projects to date.

A 210-unit apartment building also is slated for 1400 Chestnut St. downtown and pegged at costing $26.4 million. In addition, the former Loft restaurant site on the North Shore is to hold 185 apartments in a $37 million development.

Outside of downtown, a development group wants to put 396 units on Champion Road on 21.8 acres off Highway 58.

Contact Mike Pare at or 423-757-6318.