Building drawings for a possible Topgolf entertainment complex filed in East Ridge

Building drawings for a possible Topgolf entertainment complex filed in East Ridge

July 15th, 2019 by Mike Pare in Business Around the Region

The Topgolf location in Birmingham, Alabama. Photo contributed by Topgolf.

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Architectural drawings for a possible Topgolf entertainment complex have been filed in East Ridge, but the city says it doesn't have an application for its construction.

The drawings for the company that operates more than 50 such venues across the country show a complex sitting next to the Bass Pro Shops retail store at Exit 1 on Interstate 75.

East Ridge City Manager Chris Dorsey said such plans are presented to the city so that if the building of the project proceeds, it's ready to receive a permit.

"No permit has been issued by the city," he said. "There's no applicant."

He said that typically a development group would be working with Topgolf.

Developer John Healy of Exit One LLC had no comment about Topgolf, though earth work is going on at the site shown in the drawings.

"We're not prepared to comment at this time," he said, adding that he's "more enthusiastic than ever about Exit One. We're working with a lot of people and expect to make major announcements soon."

Earthmovers push dirt around a site next to Bass Pro Shops in East Ridge. Drawings filed with the city show the site as a possible location for a Topgolf entertainment complex. / Staff photo by Mike Pare

Earthmovers push dirt around a site next to...

Photo by Mike Pare /Times Free Press.

A spokeswoman for Topgolf said the privately held company is eyeing expansion in Tennessee.

"All I can share right now is that we are currently exploring potential expansion in Tennessee for another local Topgolf experience," she said.

The architect's drawings were submitted around June 7, Dorsey said. They show such a development would take up about 16.9 acres next to the Bass Pro.

Also, the entertainment complex estimates having 23,886 square feet of building space, occupancy for 102 people and about 150 parking spaces.

Dorsey said he's excited about the prospects that Topgolf could be coming.

"We hope it comes," he said. "It would be a great asset to East Ridge."

Topgolf calls itself a golf and party venue and a sports bar and restaurant.

Last month, the business opened its 55th location near Washington, D.C., at National Harbor.

"As Topgolf continues to expand throughout the country, we are thrilled to strengthen our presence in the nation's capital," said Topgolf Chief Operations Officer Craig Kessler in a statement. "This exciting new venue allows us to continue connecting with the local community and creating moments that matter with guests while showcasing some of Topgolf's innovations, including Toptracer, which is the same technology seen on TV that tracks the flight path of the golf ball."

Golfers and non-golfers play using point-scoring games with microchipped balls that instantly show performance data, including accuracy and distance, on a TV screen in a bay.

Also, the venue features food and drinks, big screen TVs, private event spaces and music in climate-controlled hitting bays.

Across I-75 from the Bass Pro, the owner of the Red Wolves soccer team recently broke ground on a new East Ridge stadium and what is pegged as the biggest-ever development in that city.

Bob Martino, the owner of Star Community Builders in Park City, Utah, and owner of the USL One soccer team in Chattanooga, said he plans to eventually build or attract up to $125 million of entertainment, housing and hotel projects on the roughly 100 acres he has bought along I-75 and I-24.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6318. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.


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