CORRECTION: A previous headline and sentence in this story incorrectly referred to Project Jump as being a Fort Oglethorpe project. It inside the city limits of Ringgold, Georgia.
The Costco warehouse store, the Cabela's outdoor megastore and a Hobby Lobby craft store-anchored shopping center in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., were joint projects between developer Larry Armour and the Catoosa County Economic Development Authority.
Now, that private-public partnership has announced its latest project has its first tenant: The Center for Sports Medicine and Orthopaedics, a Chattanooga-based medical practice with offices in Chattanooga, Cleveland, Hixson and Sequatchie County.
The Center for Sports Medicine will open its newest, 13,000-square-foot facility in what was code-named "Project Jump." It's a 20-acre commercial development that Armour, the county and the city of Ringgold are developing on Battlefield Parkway across from Battlefield Imaging about two miles west of Interstate 75.
"This is a good start for us," said Armour, owner of Armour Commercial Real Estate. "If you ever talk to anybody who's had knee surgery, they are the people to do it. They also do therapy. Break an ankle? They're the guys. Break a wrist? They're the guys."
Armour will construct the building and lease it to the Center for Sports Medicine and Orthopaedics, which will offer what it calls an "extensive" physical therapy department, digital imaging and a clinical area with room for four physicians. The center will offer same-day appointments for orthopedic-related injuries and needs.
"We do have a lot of existing patients in the North Georgia area now," said Becky Farmer, CEO for Center for Sports Medicine and Orthopaedics. The new Ringgold office will bring services closer to those clients.
"We are the largest orthopedic group of physicians in the Chattanooga region," Farmer said of the medical group that employs 22 physicians and more than 300 other employees. "If it's something related to your bones, we can take care of it."
The 20-acre Project Jump site also has seen a lot of interest from major healthcare facilities, Armour said.
The Catoosa County Economic Development Authority spent about $2.55 million for the land on which the sports medicine clinic and other medical and retail uses are slated, according to tax assessor records. The authority in December bought two parcels just east of Pine Grove Road on the north side of Battlefield Parkway: a 9.88-acre property east of Pine Grove Road formerly owned by the Ringgold Church of Christ for $850,000 and a 9.47-acre parcel next to it owned by formerly Brice L. Holland Trustee in Sarasota, Fla., for $1.7 million, assessors' records indicate.
Catoosa County and the city of Ringgold also will pay for traffic signals and improvements to the entrance of Armour's development.
"We are providing some incentives," said county development authority Chairman Randall Peters.
The exact details and costs haven't yet been released, he said. But Peters said it would be structured like other joint deals with Armour, who has signed letters of credit in the past guaranteeing that his developments would cover the county's costs through new sales and property taxes.
"He's guaranteeing what we're [spending] with future tax revenue," Peters said. "We are very happy with all the work we've done in the past with Larry Armour and his company. It's all worked out well for Catoosa County."
The new orthopedic facility is scheduled to break ground in a few weeks and open in early fall 2017.
The Center for Sports Medicine and Orthopaedics's real estate broker is Parker Wamack, of NAI Realty, who made the introduction to Armour. The site design used Miller McCoy, Inc., civil engineers and the facility's architect is Artech Design Group.
Armour said he's in talks with other potential tenants, but he wouldn't say who those may be.
"We're going to do medical, and there'll be a fairly large retail component," he said.
Trader Joe's is one retailer that people would love to have, Armour said, but that's not in the works.
"Listen, you won't believe how many people — I've had dozens and dozens — ask to get a Trader Joe's," Armour said. "I've never had that conversation with [Trader Joe's officials]."