There's a lot of people wanting to live downtown but not willing to downsize.
A Chattanooga developer is planning to build high-end townhomes in a $5 million project in the center of the Southside to meet what he says is a demand for downtown living.
Ethan Collier, president of Collier Construction, said he expects to start work at 1400 Williams St. late this year or early 2018 on five townhomes having a starting price of about $850,000 each.
They'll have about 3,000 square feet of space apiece with three bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths, said Collier, who won a variance for the project from the Chattanooga Form-Based Code Committee on Thursday.
"There's a lot of people wanting to live downtown but not willing to downsize," he said, adding they may be moving off one of the mountains around Chattanooga.
Architect Heidi Hefferlin, a committee member, said the project met the needs of the panel and noted the city is trying to increase density downtown.
She also asked about how a neighborhood meeting about the project went. Collier said the people who attended didn't have a problem with the lot width variance, but they wanted to know more about the design of the townhomes.
"It's just neighborhoods ... are really frustrated it's not a design proposal," he said.
Collier said the three-level units with elevators also will have garage parking. In addition, plans are to create a parking lot behind the townhomes. The units will go up adjacent to the Evergreen Consulting office and have access to its parking on nights and weekends, the developer said.
He said a big feature will be rooftop decks for the townhomes with offerings such as wet bars and entertainment systems. Collier said the rooftops will offer views into the Southside and rest of downtown.
The Southside is seeing an array of new housing, mostly apartments. For example, just a few streets over near the Chattanooga Choo Choo, work has started on a $45 million, 283-unit apartment complex called Bluebird Row.
On the other side of the Southside, developers have three sizable apartment complexes under construction.
Collier said Williams Street has some housing already. His company built the house next door to his new development, he said.
"Williams Street is perfect for this product," Collier said.
Contact Mike Pare at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6318.