'Big 9' part of M.L. King in downtown Chattanooga to see new 3-story building, mural

Rendering by River Street Architecture / A planned new three-story, $2 million building is planned for 401 E. M.L. King Blvd. The structure is to hold office space and a restaurant.

A new three-story building on part of downtown Chattanooga's M.L. King Boulevard that for many years was known as "The Big 9" will hold office space, an eatery and a mural tracing its roots.

The 12,000-square-foot building will go at East M.L. King and Mabel Street near the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, which recalls the area's ties to rhythm and blues, jazz and soul music.

Justin Dumsday, a partner at River Street Architecture, said one side of the building is to feature a mural that he hopes will link the $2 million structure to M.L. King, its history as a center of Black culture and the Bessie Smith Center.

"Hopefully, it will have something to do with jazz or MLK, or something with some of the roots in the neighborhood," he said.

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