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Aaron SanMiguel (CQ) of Stolpmann Plumbing digs out for a new plumbing line at the new offices of Massey and Associates on Lee Highway on Wednesday, Apr. 6, 2016, in Chattanooga, Tenn. Massey hopes to move from his current location at the corner of Central Avenue and M. L. King Boulevard to his new location near Highway 153 in June.
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David White of Pyramid Acoustic cuts a wall support at the new offices of Massey and Associates on Lee Highway on Wednesday, Apr. 6, 2016, in Chattanooga, Tenn. Massey hopes to move from his current location at the corner of Central Avenue and M. L. King Boulevard to his new location near Highway 153 in June.

Chattanooga attorney Gary Massey is buying an office park in East Brainerd and expanding his practice as he shifts from his longtime location off M.L. King Boulevard.

Massey said he has bought a 19,200-square-foot building at the 6400 Lee Highway site near Highway 153. That location will better serve Massey and Associates' client base, he said.

"We want to be closer to clients," Massey said, adding that an analysis found that most of them live and do business in the East Brainerd and Hixson areas.

He said he's investing about $1.4 million to buy the office park and renovate the building, which he purchased from Ridgedale Baptist Church.

The church had been using part of the site for youth ministry and leasing some of it to a couple of medical offices, Massey said.

Massey and Associates plans to take a portion of the building for its 15 or so employees and rent the space that's not leased, he said. Plans are to have up to 20 people working at the practice in a year or so, Massey said.

Jeff Jennings of NAI Charter Real Estate Corp., who represents Massey, said the Lee Highway site is convenient, there's free parking and onsite ownership and property management. He said that office suites ranging from 1,600 square feet to 3,200 square feet are available.

Massey said he's selling his current office building at M.L. King and Central Avenue, where the practice has operated since 2002.

"We've outgrown the space we have now in terms of parking and so forth," he said. "It's attractive to anybody who needs general office space."

Jennings said the site, which is near the landmark Lamar's Restaurant, also could hold apartments, retail or serve as flex space.

He said that new development is spreading out from the central city and down M.L. King Boulevard.

"Without question, it has been going down MLK for quite some time," Jennings said, adding that "there's a lot of money" going into that corridor.

UTC and the area around it are experiencing a building boomlet in new construction, including a variety of apartments which are adding more than 1,300 beds with more on the drawing board. More than $220 million in building projects are either recently completed, ongoing or on track for funding both on and just off campus.

One of the biggest is Douglas Heights near M.L. King and Douglas Street, which is slated to add 691 new beds. The $40 million project is the first phase of two proposed for the area.

Nearby and also already underway at Vine and Houston streets is an $80 million development to add 600 more beds at the university along with a new 700-space parking garage.

Massey & Associates represents consumers mostly in personal injury matters, though it also does some work in employment and financial matters.

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

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