Slim & Husky's pizzeria to anchor new MLK project in downtown Chattanooga

Rendering by River Street Architecture / A three-story, 12,000-square-foot building is slated to go up at 401 E. M.L. King Blvd. A Slim & Husky's pizzeria will anchor the project, which also will hold office space.

A Slim & Husky's pizzeria will anchor a new M.L. King Boulevard project in downtown Chattanooga, with one of the restaurant chain's owners saying they want to help fire up the area's growth.

"We focus on areas at the beginning of gentrification, on up-and-coming areas that need a spark," said E.J. Reed, the Nashville eatery's co-owner on Wednesday as officials marked the start of work on a three-story retail and office complex at MLK and Mabel Street.

The pizza restaurant expects to open in the heart of MLK district early next year, Reed said.

He put the fast-growing company's investment at between $500,000 and $1 million in the eatery that will hold from 60 to 80 patrons and employ about 50 people.

Chattanooga businesswoman Tiffanie Robinson, who unveiled the new $2 million building last month, said the second and third floors of the 12,000-square-foot structure will hold office space.

She