Camp House moving to Chattanooga's new Onion Bottom Station

The Camp House was founded in 2010 by Mission Chattanooga and is a coffee shop and restaurant that doubles as an event space.
The Camp House was founded in 2010 by Mission Chattanooga and is a coffee shop and restaurant that doubles as an event space.

Continuing in its tradition as a "catalyst" for development in downtown, The Camp House has announced it has purchased 24,000 square feet of space in the old Dixie Savings warehouse on 12th Street and new Onion Bottom Station complex that it will move into next year.

The coffee shop and restaurant, which doubles as a venue space for community events, is currently located on M.L. King Boulevard downtown and before that was on Williams Street. The Camp House and Mission Chattanooga, the church which owns and created The Camp House in 2010, have been looking for a new, permanent space for the past six months, according to an announcement about the relocation.

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More information about the new Onion Bottom Station is available at

"During this process it was very important to us to remain downtown and continue to serve our city and neighbors as a business and as a church community in the way we have for the past eight years by creating and cultivating culture and community," said Matt Busby, director of The Camp House and a pastor at Mission Chattanooga.

Busby said in a statement that the new location will offer a level of stability The Camp House has not seen in its eight years of operation. It's current home is in the Volunteer Life Building downtown.

With their current lease ending in the next year, Busby said the search committee for a new spot had to grapple with the question of growth. He said the Onion Bottom complex was the only space they looked at that would allow them to continue to grow and even bring Highland Chapel, currently located in Highland Park, back into the same space as Mission Chattanooga.

While they have purchased 24,000 square feet of space, they will only need about 18,000 of it and plan to lease out the rest.

photo The Camp House, at 149 E. M.L. King Blvd. downtown in the Volunteer Life Building, will move to the new Onion Bottom Station complex by November 2019.

"We are really excited to be able to have a long-term commitment to a neighborhood really in a way that we haven't in the past," Busby told the Times Free Press. "It really does put our community-building skills to the test."

The redeveloped warehouse named Onion Bottom Station includes 90,000 square feet of multi-use space at the west end of downtown. The Camp House will be the anchor tenant with plans to move into the space in November 2019, and they will keep current operations in the Volunteer building until then.

According to Onion Bottom Station's website, the district's history dates back to the early 1900s when it was a hub for importing and exporting produce on the rail lines, supplying large cities with fruits and vegetables grown in the South. Infill Communities, a commercial development and management company in Chattanooga focused on developing under-utilized urban spaces, is developing the complex. A representative could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.

Onion Bottom is divided into two "stations" or buildings with four of the six suites in the north building, or station one, already leased, according to their website. The north building is for businesses that need "flexible, creative" space and for food and beverage vendors. The south building, or station two, will be available in summer 2019 and will include six more suites for office users.

Contact staff writer Allison Shirk Collins at, @AllisonSCollins or 423-757-6651.

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