Hotel Indigo planned for downtown Chattanooga apartment building

The 300 apartment building in downtown Chattanooga is to become a boutique hotel.

A second downtown Chattanooga apartment building in the emerging West Village area is slated to go from rental units to a boutique hotel.

Plans are to convert The 300 apartment building at Pine and Sixth streets into a Hotel Indigo, said Vic Desai, a partner in ViaNova Development.

Fast fact

The 300 building at Pine and Sixth streets for many years was the St. Barnabas Apartments for senior citizens.

"It fits in the West End," he said. "It goes hand in hand."

Desai said the new Westin hotel a couple of blocks away is "a go-to, corporate-type hotel."

"We'll be more appealing to the customer who wants a local vibe - the local feel of where they're actually staying," he said.

Desai said The 300 will continue to operate as a 112-unit apartment complex until all the details of the boutique hotel are worked out. He said no leases will be renewed, nor will any new ones be signed.

Desai didn't have a timetable on when the conversion of the building to the 117-room hotel will start or a cost estimate for the project.

The Chattanooga-based development group recently finalized the purchase of the property at 300 W. Sixth St. for $6 million, real estate records show. An adjacent parcel at 302 W. Sixth was acquired for $2 million.

In addition to the 10-story apartment building, the acquisition included another building that's used for commercial space. Desai said that structure, to be updated in keeping with the future hotel, will stay commercial.

Just last month, the owner of The Clemons Lofts a few blocks away at Eighth and Chestnut streets unveiled plans to transform that apartment building into a boutique hotel.

Philip Bates, managing partner of Irvine, Calf.-based TMC Group, said it was highly likely the company would put 80 to 100 hotel rooms in the six-story, brick building that was turned into apartments by ViaNova Development just two years ago.

Desai said ViaNova also is reusing older buildings to put up two other boutique hotels - one in St. Louis and another in Omaha, Neb.

"Design-wise, they take the character of the local area," he said.

Desai said that residents of The 300 could find new lodging in a recently renovated apartment complex on the side of Missionary Ridge called The View at Mission. It was known as the King's Lodge for many years.

He said 49 apartments are in place now and 140 will make up that entire project.

However, not all of The 300 tenants are happy over the planned conversion.

Hayley Doss, who has lived there for about three years, said there has been talk of extra charges to tenants, such as for parking.

"This is our home," she said.

The 300 building for many years was the St. Barnabas Apartments for senior citizens.

Chattanoogans Bob McKenzie, John Clark and David Hudson bought the building for $1.4 million in 2012 and renovated it into 112 so-called New York-style apartments that range in size from 375 to 750 square feet.

From a relative few boutique hotel rooms in the city, Chattanooga is adding up to 400 more hotel rooms in specialty and independent hotels. Nearly 200 rooms are planned at The Edwin hotel being built near the river and the Moxy Hotel taking shape on King Street. Three other boutique hotels are being planned that could add nearly as many more hotel rooms.

Contact Mike Pare at or 423-757-6318.