Chattanooga Lookouts owner: New stadium could be catalyst for growth

At the Calvary Chapel, more than 150 people take part in one of two meetings last week for the South Broad district. A new Lookouts stadium is one of many ideas under study by planners.

A Chattanooga Lookouts owner says a new minor league ballpark on an old South Broad Street foundry site, coupled with other investments, could be "a game-changer" for that part of the city.

But Lookouts operating partner Jason Freier said the ownership group is waiting for the outcome of a visioning effort for the 141-acre former Wheland/U.S. Pipe foundry property and an adjacent 10-square-block area.

"We'll stand by and respect their process," he said about the planning initiative for the South Broad district, which is bounded by the foundry site, Interstate 24, The Howard School and Chattanooga Creek.

Two meetings held last week drew a large number of people with ideas for the district, and planners are to report back Sept. 11 with a framework to guide the area's future.

Freier, a Lookouts managing partner along with John Woods for the past three years, said they've already shown the foundry landowners two examples of how new minor league ballparks have served as catalysts for redevelopment in Fort Wayne, Ind.,