25 condos set for former Nikki's site on Chattanooga's North Shore

Rendering by Elemi Architects / New condominiums are slated to go up on Chattanooga's North Shore in a $4 million project.

More new condominiums are set for Chattanooga's North Shore as a developer plans to build 25 units on the site of the former Nikki's Drive-Inn restaurant.

Chattanooga-based Fletcher Bright Co. plans to start construction later this year on a three-story condo complex at the Cherokee Boulevard and West Bell Avenue site, said Cardon Smith, a vice president for the company.

"It's the accessibility to everything," he said about the location of the $4 million project. "It's the closeness to downtown."

Smith said all the units will be 528 square feet in size and offer one bedroom and one bath.

The price points will range from $225,000 to $265,000 each, he said. However, all but two of the units are pre-sold, Smith said.

"It fills a void," he said. "It's an affordable product on the North Shore."

Smith said every unit will have a balcony. He said the structure will offer two rooftop community areas. Also, the building will have a pool and workout facilities, Smith said.

He said the old Nikki's building itself will be demolished soon.

photo Rendering by Elemi Architects / A planned condo complex on the former Nikki's Drive-Inn site on the North Shore will hold 25 units, officials said.

Nikki's was an 80-year-old restaurant icon in the Chattanooga area, known for its jumbo fried shrimp and onion rings, when it closed in March 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the eatery never reopened and Fletcher Bright Co. bought the property.

On an adjacent lot, the company is building a 10-unit townhouse project. That project started after Fletcher Bright revised a plan to build a 52-unit housing complex on the Nikki's site.

The North Shore continues to see interest by developers.

Earlier this year, Chattanooga developer Matt McGauley unveiled plans for a $17 million, mixed-used project in the area.

A new 15,794-square-foot, two-story building is to go up at 306 Cherokee Blvd. McGauley said the bottom floor of the planned building near Chattanooga's business incubator will hold medical offices while the top level will house a half dozen apartments.

The new building will join a revamp of the former long-time Chattanooga Printing and Engraving Building, which sits nearby at 110 Somerville Ave. That structure will have office space and a three-level addition with 21 apartments, said McGauley.

"This site is centrally located and there's a lot to do in the area," he said. "It's where the action is."

Smith said work on the new condo complex will likely take a year to 14 months to build after starting. Most of the buyers of the pre-sold units are local, he said.

By contrast, a recently completed 26 condo building nearby, Fairpoint Condos, drew a majority of out-of-town buyers, Smith said.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6318.