Portion of Hixson shopping center Fountains of North Chattanooga sold for $10.7 million

Portion of Hixson shopping center Fountains of North Chattanooga sold for $10.7 million

December 5th, 2012 by Mike Pare in Business Around the Region

The property on Highway 153 in Hixson that houses Academy Sports and Kohl's has been sold, though the seller kept their rights to the land still under development.

Photo by Jake Daniels /Times Free Press.

The owner of a Hixson shopping center has sold a portion of the project for $10.7 million to an Arizona-based real estate firm.

Cole Real Estate Investments of Phoenix bought the Kohl's and Academy Sports + Outdoors stores at the Fountains of North Chattanooga on state Highway 153.

The 131,000 square feet of building space sold last month is the part of the shopping center developed so far. The seller is a group headed by Cleveland, Tenn., businesswoman Brenda McKenzie, said Oscar Brock, the seller's broker.

The deal comes as a nearby proposed $100 million apartment and commercial project on Highway 153 comes up for city approval on Monday.

Local businessman Duane Horton is slated to seek a zoning change before the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission for his project dubbed Chattanooga Village.

Horton also has an interest in the Fountains of North Chattanooga.

Robin Derryberry, a Horton spokeswoman, said he has less than 15 percent of the Fountains. She said his interest is not through two companies with which Horton is affiliated, GenTech Construction or Scenic Land Co., which is involved in Chattanooga Village.

Eric D. Waters, a Cole spokesman, said in an email that its acquisition at the Fountains is appealing because of the quality of the tenants, the long-term leases in place, recent construction and the growing trade area.

"The property has excellent visibility and accessibility to traffic along Highway 153," he said.

Also, Waters said a demographics analysis indicates strong population growth within five miles of the center. Since 2000, the population in the area has grown by 7.9 percent, and is projected to grow another 3 percent by 2017.

Horton's Chattanooga Village is proposing to build up to 280 apartments on a 190-acre site near Boy Scout Road. In addition, he also wants to put up new office and retail space in the proposal that has drawn fire from some environmentalists and nearby residents.

Academy Sports opened at the Fountains in 2010 and Kohl's was added a year later.

Brock said there's still about 70,000 square feet of retail space left to develop on the tract which has already been cleared.

He said there's about three to five outparcels on the site that could undergo development as well as a larger pad.

Brock said the local group continues to try to develop the rest of the shopping center, though he wouldn't talk about any prospects.

"We're still working on the site," he said.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6318.