Chattanooga planning board backs zoning change to rebuild, reopen Lamar's hotel and restaurant and more business news

Staff photo by Mike Pare / Lamar's restaurant and hotel, which nearly burned down earlier this year, is shown on Thursday, August 4, 2022. The site may be renovated and restored.

Planners back zoning to build back Lamar's

The advisory planning board for the city of Chattanooga voted Monday to support zoning changes sought to rebuild and reopen Lamar's hotel and restaurant on M.L. King Boulevard.

The Chattanooga/Hamilton County Regional Commission voted to support requests for both the hotel site and a nearby parking lot to be rezoned to allow the former hotel to be rebuilt.

During a public hearing Monday, Raeme Pritchett, who owns a house at 1010 E. 10th Street, objected to plans to have a parking lot directly across from her house to serve Lamar's customers. But architect Scott Smith said the developers will work to maintain a landscape buffer on the lot, which has previously been used for parking for Lamar's and other businesses.

Lamar's, which originally opened in 1970 and offered overnight housing and meals in the segregated 9th Street area for years, closed in 2017.