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The Southern Saddlery Building on Broad Street

What’s next?

The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission is expected to hear a proposal to put up some $30 million in new residential and commercial space off South Broad Street next Monday at 1 p.m. at the Hamilton County Courthouse.

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A cyclist rides along Broad Street past the Pilgrim's Pride plant Friday, Oct. 23, 2015, in Chattanooga, Tenn. The South Broad Street corridor has been targeted by developers for new apartments and businesses.
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One of the biggest proposed residential and commercial projects in decades in Chattanooga's South Broad Street area could bring an array of new apartments, townhouses and single-family homes the area.

The proposal's first phase is slated to put up $30 million in new residential and retail development in the area off South Broad near Interstate-24, and it could be followed up by two more stages, officials said.

"It would be one of the biggest [developments] for a long time," said Mike Price, owner of MAP Engineers, which is working on the project for a Chattanooga and Knoxville development group. "This particular stretch, there hasn't been a lot of activity taking place. It would be a catalyst."

South Broad LLC and DEW LLC are seeking rezoning changes to the 7.5-acre parcel taking up parts of a three-square-block tract between South Broad and Long streets and West 26th and 27th streets.

Some 60 apartment units, about 40 single-family homes and roughly 10 townhouses are proposed for the site, though the numbers could vary, according to Price and Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency documents. Also, about 12,200-square-feet of retail and commercial space is planned for South Broad and West 26th streets.

Becky English, a Chattanooga real estate broker working with the developers, said the proposal offers a diverse selection of housing.

"It's housing and price points across all generations," she said.

English said preliminary proposals for the apartments show units located above first-floor retail and restaurants that front South Broad. There's interest from local restaurants, but those plans won't be formalized until zoning is approved, she said.

Housing would be priced from the low to mid $200,000 up to $400,000 for each of the single-family houses, English said.

She said the developers are looking at housing options which are smaller, averaging 1,200 square feet to 1,400 square feet in size.

"This allows for more entry-level homeowners to live urban," English said.

Ann Weeks, a longtime property owner in the area, said she welcomes the proposed project, which she said is what South Broad activists have been working toward for two decades.

"Now we're here," she said. "We've worked 20 years to get to this point."

Parts of the three-block parcel are vacant. Other lots hold mostly older housing stock.

English said the development group is looking at acquiring more property and future phases of work.

If the rezoning proposal receives approval from the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission next Monday, it could go before the City Council for final approval next month, said Price.

Work could start in October at the earliest, he said. The first single-family homes could be ready to sell in less than a year, Price said.

Weeks said the project would help the entire South Broad neighborhood.

"They're bringing exactly what we want down here," she said.

Weeks said the work could help spur even more development south to St. Elmo.

"This is also a big catalyst for them," she said.

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

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