Correction: The Miller Park grand opening is September 14, not this Friday.
One of Chattanooga's most well-known, historic buildings in the downtown Innovation District is getting a makeover.
TransCard, a Chattanooga-based software company, is moving its headquarters from Riverfront Parkway into the former Southern Express Building at 1010 Market St., which is currently home to Pickle Barrel restaurant and bar, a popular spot for both locals and visitors to Chattanooga's downtown scene. A Nashville taco and beer joint will also open on the first floor of the flatiron building.
TransCard is investing $3 million in renovations for their offices, which will also include a kitchen, gym and outdoor patio for employees. Born out of the long-haul trucking and logistics industry, TransCard was started in 2012 and provides a third-party payment account software for companies and corporations to pay employees and hand out customer rebates and disbursements.
With 60 employees and about 1,800 clients now, TransCard needs more room. The company hopes to add another 30 or 40 employees by next spring.
Company President Chris Fuller said they plan to move into their new 24,000-square-feet space on the second, third and fourth floors of the building by April. He said TransCard was considering a move to New York City because that is home to many of their financial and insurance clients, but the building at 1010 Market St. became available at the right time.
"That building came to us and we immediately became enamored with it," Fuller said. "They've done a great job at Miller Park and Miller Plaza and it's right there in the center of Innovation District. We always thought we belonged there."
After about a year of renovations, Miller Park's grand reopening celebration is Sept. 14. The $10.6-million project is a public-private endeavor between the city of Chattanooga and numerous partners.
The Southern Express flatiron building has been around since the late 1800s. It was originally built to house Southern Express Company but has become the home of several local businesses over the years. The historic structure will be renamed as the TransCard Building.
Pickle Barrel will stay in its current space and San Antonio Taco Company, a taco and beer eatery, will take over the first floor of the north end of the building closest to the newly renovated Miller Park. Referred to as "SATCO," the restaurant markets itself as "Nashville's Best Tex-Mex" with made-from-scratch Mexican food daily, homemade tortillas, chicken wings and beer.
"They are a staple beer and taco joint in Nashville, and we are delighted to have them in Chattanooga and building next to the park," said Kevin Boehm, a member of 1010 Market GP — the partnership that owns the building.
Boehm said the historic building was in need of some repairs when they bought it in 2016. It's currently being gutted and renovated by Dillard Construction to meet national historic structure standards.
"We wanted to bring life back into the building," Boehm said. "We are doing this because we believe in historic properties and love the neighborhood."
Contact staff writer Allison Shirk at firstname.lastname@example.org, @Allison_Shirk or 423-757-6651.