“There's nothing like that around Chattanooga.”
A proposal could bring a new Marriott brand hotel complete with a 25,000-square-foot indoor water park to East Ridge in a more than $7.5 million project.
"There's nothing like that around Chattanooga," said East Ridge City Manager Scott Miller.
Miller said a developer is looking at a vacant parcel in the city off Ringgold Road east of Interstate-75 for the hotel that would have about 100 rooms.
He wouldn't name the Marriott product or the exact location, but said it would sit within the area of the Border Region District Retail Tourism Act. That 940-acre district around Exit One and Ringgold Road is designed to encourage commercial development.
Miller also said that a dealership, which he would not identify, is looking at going to a site off Ringgold Road east of I-75. That project would be a multimillion-dollar one as well, he said.
John Healy of the development group Exit One LLC, which helped woo Bass Pro Shops and a soon-to-come Hampton Inn to a tract at Ringgold Road and I-75, said the hotel/water park and dealership are not proposed for his site.
"It's not part of our project," he said.
Healy said ground has been broker for small-shop space in his development. That space is expected to hold restaurants and retailers, he said.
Miller said the hotel/water park project could "go public" as early as next week. Such a project is expected to benefit from its proximity to Camp Jordan ands its array of ballfields drawing players and their families.
In addition to East Ridge, Bristol and Kingsport are the only other two Tennessee cities with such border region districts, which are designed to help the Tennessee side of towns near a state line.
Within the district, there are special rules which apply to sales taxes collected from businesses operating there that allow a certain portion to be returned and used for development.
Most recently, East Ridge officials acted to permit the Birmingham, Alabama-based restaurant chain Jack's Family Restaurant to take advantage of a district business incentive if it opens a new eatery at 4209 Ringgold Road.
The incentive awarded by East Ridge would provide the restaurant company up to $600,000 over 20 years based on the sales and property taxes the restaurant expects to generate, said Jim Avery, director of development for the company.
Avery said the business is doing due diligence on the parcel that it has under an option to buy with hopes of starting work by Dec. 1.
Contact Mike Pare at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6318. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.