Condos headed to Chattanooga's Southside in $3.2 million project

A new 17-unit condominium complex is planned for downtown's Southside at Long and West 16th streets. / Rendering by Elemi Architects

A 17-unit condominium complex is slated to start going up soon in downtown Chattanooga's Southside as a developer tries to fill a need in the for-sale market.

Fletcher Bright Co. expects the three-story project to begin in April on a vacant lot at Long and West 16th streets, behind the former Grocery Bar building, said company Vice President Cardon Smith.

"We've been poking around the Southside for years now and this came up. We think it's an exciting, vibrant community," he said about the $3.2 million project.

All of the units will hold one bedroom and average about 720 square feet in size, Smith said.

Price points are expected to range from $225,000 to $250,000 each, he said.

Parking will be on site, with each unit having one space, Smith said.

"It's a tight site," he said. "We want each purchaser to have a parking space." Smith said parking will be private and secure and not seen from the road.

"We did quite a few site studies," said Smith, the executive for the Chattanooga- based developer.

An array of new apartments have gone up in the Southside and more are slated to come on the market this year. Developers have said they're meeting a desire for more people who want to live in or around downtown.

But experts said the apartment market in the central city is expected to slow to accommodate the new units.

John Clark, another Chattanooga developer, said Tuesday during an Urban Land Institute seminar in the city that more apartments are being built than the city can absorb.

He expects the building of new apartments and other housing units in and around downtown will likely fall by half in the next five years.

Smith said Fletcher Bright isn't getting into apartments at this time.

"We feel there's a need for a condo product on the Southside," he said. "There's not much on the market, which hopefully is a good thing."

Smith said the company is developing a higher-end product. Units will have 10-foot ceilings and higher-end finishes in the kitchens and bathrooms than what's typically seen in the market, he said. Each unit will have its own balcony, Smith said.

"We've been looking to do something on the Southside for a while," he said. "We're excited to do this project."

Smith expected the condos to be complete about nine months after construction begins.

Pre-selling is expected to begin soon, though one unit has already been sold, he said.

Contact Mike Pare at or 423-757-6318. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.