More than 100 new East Brainerd townhouses, homes planned

Staff photo by Mike Pare / A vacant 28-acre tract at East Brainerd and Fuller roads, shown Wednesday, is to hold more than 100 townhouses and single-family residences.
Staff photo by Mike Pare / A vacant 28-acre tract at East Brainerd and Fuller roads, shown Wednesday, is to hold more than 100 townhouses and single-family residences.

A developer has plans to grow the East Brainerd area's housing stock to meet surging demand with construction of more than 100 new townhouses and single-family residences.

Jeff Sikes, executive vice president of the consulting firm ASA Engineering, said the proposed project will provide much-needed housing options for people who work in and around the site and that the development fits the growing area.

Sikes said in a rezoning request for the 28-acre tract at East Brainerd and Fuller roads that the townhomes, expected to number about 100, will be three- and four-bedroom units and go atop a hill on the now-vacant property. About seven single-family homes would front Fuller Road, he said.

Sikes said access to the site is proposed for East Brainerd Road. The rezoning is slated to go before the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission in February.

Chattanooga commercial real estate broker Joe Pleva said the development will offer a clubhouse and swimming pool.

"It will have a lot of real nice amenities," he said in a telephone interview.

Pleva said the location hasn't been on the market in more than 100 years before now. While a lot of different people looked at the site, the current proposal "seems to be the best use," he said.

David Douglas of the planned development group Bridge Tower Homes declined comment Wednesday.

East Hamilton County is seeing a lot of home-building as people fill jobs from companies such as Volkswagen, McKee Foods Corp. and others.

Late last year, one of the biggest undeveloped sites in East Brainerd was eyed for new apartments, homes and another Hamilton County public school following a $24.7 million sale of a 95-acre tract.

Health insurer Cigna sold its property on Goodwin Road to an Atlanta real estate partnership formed by Empire Communities. After buying the entire parcel, Empire's investment group, EA Home LP, then sold the former 98,000-square-foot office and surrounding parking lot with nearly 19 acres to the Hamilton County school system for $7.9 million.

The investment group also sold another parcel for $9 million to an investment group known as Mrep-East Brainerd LLC, which plans to build up to 351 apartment units and 200 senior living units.

For its part, Empire Communities has obtained a zoning change to allow the development firm to build 230 single-family houses on the undeveloped property.

In nearby Ooltewah, planners in December approved 211 new houses and townhomes, but not before neighbors raised traffic and other issues.

That 55-acre site at Ooltewah-Georgetown and McDade roads is expected to see new single-family homes start at $450,000 each, with townhomes at $300,000 apiece, said Derek Blackwood of MAP Engineers, which represented Turner Homes.

"We understand traffic is a concern," he earlier told the Planning Commission, which approved the project.

In nearby Collegedale, a panel voted in October to rezone land off Edgmon Road, approving a proposed development that will hold up to 500 homes despite opposition from some residents.

Part of the 400-acre property, which was rezoned from agriculture to low-density single family, houses Hidden Hills Farm and Saddle Club.

Contact Mike Pare at or 423-757-6318.

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