Chattanooga's North Shore to hold new retail, offices, housing

Contributed Rendering by Agape Design / The former Chattanooga Rubber & Gasket Co. building at 547 Cherokee Blvd. is to be repurposed to hold new commercial and residential space as shown in this rendering.

A multimillion-dollar mixed-use project is planned for Chattanooga's busy North Shore that's expected to bring new retail, restaurant and office space along with apartments.

The 547 Cherokee Blvd. site for many years held Chattanooga Rubber & Gasket Co., said Cardon Smith, vice president at locally based developer Fletcher Bright Co.

"What we're trying to do is repurpose the building ... and create a second floor," he said in a telephone interview.

The work, expected to start within 90 days, is at least the third project underway on Cherokee Boulevard between North Market Street and Stringer's Ridge as the North Shore continues as a magnet for new investment.

Smith said his site, just under an acre in size, includes the 12,000-square-foot building. The company paid $1.35 million for the property, he said. The entire project when built out likely will hit about $2.25 million, Smith said.

The tract already is zoned for the future use, Smith said, and he's talking to prospective tenants.

"In the North Shore, there is a lot of demand for the type of product we're going to deliver there," he said. "We like the idea of repurposing an old building. We've had success in the past."

In 2017, Fletcher Bright Co. redeveloped 30,000 square feet of Cherokee Boulevard space that now contains a First Watch restaurant and other businesses in a $6 million project. The company later sold that project.

Meanwhile, the company is building 10 townhouses off Cherokee near the former Nikki's restaurant. Also, plans are to start building more new townhouses on the Nikki's site soon, Smith said. That entire project is to hold 22 units, he said.

"We'll move right into phase two within the next 45 days," the developer said.

In addition, co-living and co-working space is going up nearby under one roof as the Tomorrow Building and Society of Work expand to the North Shore.

The live-work concept is anchoring a $17 million development called Somer Station that's now underway on 2.5 acres between Cherokee Boulevard and Somerville Avenue, said developer Matt McGauley of Chattanooga-based FTC Development earlier in an interview.

Smith said the 547 Cherokee project likely will offer one-bedroom studio apartments.

He said the location has parking, and there are spaces along the street and on nearby Bell Avenue.

The development is expected to open early next year, Smith said.

Contact Mike Pare at [email protected] or 423-757-6318. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.