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The mayors of Chattanooga and Hamilton County today showed off renderings of what the city's waterfront could become if M.L. King Boulevard is extended to the Tennessee River.

Checking out the site at the Riverwalk trailhead near the Cameron Harbor development downtown, Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke and County Mayor Jim Coppinger said the proposed M.L. King extension would provide people more access to the riverfront.

"It will create an amazing view," Berke said.

Coppinger said officials know that part of downtown is growing and he's "excited about the opportunity to partner with the city."

Berke defended the proposal to offer the Cameron Harbor developer tax incentives related to the road's extension and plans for 180 new apartments with 20 percent of those set aside as "affordable" units.

While the affordable units will go for between $800 and $850 a month in rent, Berke said that's about $300 less than what those apartments would typically get.

One of the hardest things is to find housing where the jobs are downtown, he said. 

Evergreen Real Estate, seeking $4 million in tax-increment financing from the city and county to build the new road and its amenities, would raise the apartments as part of its Cameron Harbor project going up off Riverfront Parkway.

Aaron White, a principal for the Nashville developer, said the tax-increment financing, or TIFs, it has done in Nashville typically require 20 percent of the housing units be reserved for those earning 80 percent of average median income.

See more in Wednesday's Times Free Press.

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