Tesla opening showroom, service facility in Chattanooga

Staff Photo by Dave Flessner / Workers continue to build the new showroom and service station Wednesday that will be leased to Tesla for its Chattanooga store, which is expected to open later this year.

Tesla is preparing to open its fourth location in Tennessee with a new showroom and service facility off Interstate 75 in East Brainerd.

A Lutz, Florida-based developer bought more than 4.1 acres in the 2400 block of Elam Lane in the Waterside development north of Shallowford and Gunbarrel roads near Hamilton Place mall in September and is building a 26,730-square-foot showroom and service center to be leased to Tesla, according to city building permits and Hamilton County property filings.

Tesla, which operates stores in Knoxville, Brentwood and Memphis in Tennessee and at seven sites in Georgia, is planning to open its Chattanooga location later this year.

Tesla opened a showroom and service center in Knoxville in 2021 and is preparing to open one of the largest Tesla Motors Flagship stores in Franklin by this summer.

Dunphy Properties, which began site clearance for the new Tesla location in Chattanooga in October, is under a nondisclosure agreement. The company's senior vice president of development, George McBee, declined to talk about the development.

But according to real estate sales brochures, the building will be leased to Tesla. The property is listed for sale under a 12-year leaseback agreement with Tesla for $13.3 million.

The sales brochure indicates the building will be completed for Tesla to prepare for its opening later during the second quarter of 2023.

The property is being marketed by Colliers International in Houston, where agent Todd Moore also declined comment because he is under a nondisclosure agreement with the developer.

The new Tesla showroom and service facility is one of two facilities in the area being built for luxury car brand dealers.

Along Highway 153 at the former Economy Honda, Lexus of Chattanooga is developing a Lexis showroom and service center that will be more than twice the size of the current Lexus dealership on Lee Highway.

"We'll have more square footage, a larger service facility and easier access than at our current site here next to Capital Toyota," Ed Emerson, general manager for Lexus of Chattanooga, said in a telephone interview Wednesday. "With the growth and volume of both the Toyota and Lexus brands, we're looking forward to opening this new dealership site later this year."

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6340.

  photo  Staff Photo by Dave Flessner / A 26,730-square-foot building to house a Tesla showroom is taking shape at 2415 Elam Lane in East Brainerd. The building was photographed Wednesday.