Century-old Craftworks Building in Chattanooga's Southside sells for $11.2 million

Staff photo by Mike Pare / The Craftworks Building on downtown Chattanooga's Southside was built in 1907, according to buyer Walk2Town Holdings

One of the anchors in the revival of Main Street in downtown Chattanooga's Southside has changed hands.

The century-old Craftworks Building at 201 W. Main St. was sold by a group led by former Chattanooga Mayor Jon Kinsey to Walk2Town Holdings for $11.2 million, said Roe Elam of South Carolina-based W2T.

"We're strong believers in the Southside," said Elam.

W2T already is invested in the flourishing part of downtown with the revamp of the old Southside YMCA Building nearby off East Main.

W2T bought that building in late 2018 for $2.75 million. Late this year, the 91-year-old landmark at 1517 Mitchell Ave. is to open into a social club called Common House Chattanooga. W2T and affiliate Walk2Campus have redone a number of structures near the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and turned those into housing since 2012.

Elam said the three-story, 60,000-square-foot Craftworks Building is fully leased.

photo Staff photo by Mike Pare / The Craftworks Building on West Main Street holds both office and retail tenants.

"It's got a great tenant base," he said.

CraftWorks Holdings, the operator of Big River Grille and Old Chicago Pizza, had its headquarters there, but it shifted those operations to Nashville last year. It still has some operations in the building, Elam said.

Other tenants include Grain Craft, which calls itself the largest independent flour miller in the nation, and eatery Feed Table & Tavern. The Lupton Foundation owns an office condominium in the building that was not part of the deal, Elam said.

Kinsey, whose group in 2012 renovated the 113-year-old building that had long served as a storage facility for Chattanooga Feed Co., said his group wasn't marketing the building. But, they were seeing interest from national investors and he mentioned to Chattanooga real estate investor Kevin Boehm that the group may be interested in selling.

"Kevin came to me a few days later with an offer from Walk2Town," Kinsey said. After meeting with principals Elam and Matt King, "I knew they were a quality organization we could sell to," he said.

King, W2T's chief executive, said the Craftworks Building is close to a growing number of residences in the Southside.

"We believe in pedestrian-oriented communities," he said. "The Southside is increasingly the No. 1 area where people want to live, work and play."

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