Planned Trader Joe's site cleared in Chattanooga with construction to start soon

A Trader Joe's store in Riverside, California, is shown in this file photo. Late last year, Trader Joe's had 503 stores nationwide in 42 states and Washington, D.C. / Photographer: Francis Specker/Bloomberg News

An old building is down, the site is nearly cleared, and a Chattanooga construction permit application identifies a Trader Joe's grocery store as the occupant of a planned new structure on Gunbarrel Road.

Trader Joe's Public Relations Manager Kenya Friend-Daniel said Friday in an email that "we are excited to be bringing a store to Chattanooga."

Friend-Daniel said she had no information about a timeline on the planned store long sought by Chattanoogans.

But the permit application calls for work to start April 7 and offers July 23 as a proposed finish date. The document said that interior fit-out will be done under a separate permit.

An earlier permit listed the project cost at $1.95 million.

Demolition is done at the 2111 Gunbarrel Road location, where AAA Chattanooga operated for many years just outside Hamilton Place Mall.