More high-priced condominiums are planned for downtown Chattanooga, but a preservation group isn't happy that a vintage Frazier Avenue building was torn down for the project.
The condos, expected to be priced from less than $500,000 to $1.2 million, are slated for a new three-story building to go up at 16 Frazier Ave. near North Market Street, said Claudio Rondon, a partner in the development group and general contractor.
He said the ground floor is seen as holding retail, while the upper two levels will house a half dozen condos. Two-bedroom units would go for less than $500,000 while the three-bedrooms and penthouse are to be priced at upwards of $1.2 million, Rondon said.
"They're going to be kind of modern, high-end," he said.
The building for many years housed the MudPie Coffee House and later Hill City Pizza. Rondon said the rear was partially removed many months ago. There was a delay as the development group dealt with neighbors and worked with the city on parking, he said.
Ultimately, Rondon said, the city condemned the building and the structure was torn down.
But, Arch Willingham, president of the Chattanooga historic preservation group Cornerstones, said it's "unfortunate" that the brick building was demolished.
He said the group would like to see an ordinance that calls for a public comment period before a building is torn down. The notice could be similar to a rezoning request, Willingham said.
"That's a requirement in some cities," he said. "Can you imagine tearing down a building in Charleston [South Carolina]? I'm sure it's not an easy process."
Willingham, who is president of T.U. Parks Construction Co. in Chattanooga, said Cornerstones is sensitive to private property rights.
But, he said, creation of such an ordinance is "a viable thing to talk about."
The original, two-story building dated to 1945, according to the Hamilton County Assessor of Property. It sat among a line of older structures on Frazier from the Nautilus Building at North Market to the Walnut Street Bridge.
Rondon said the new building will be constructed using a mix of finishing materials such as brick and stucco. Work is expected to start as soon as plans are approved by the city with completion in late 2020 or early 2021, he said.
Rondon said the developers tried to work out a deal with the city for dedicated parking for tenants, but that's not an option. He said a parking garage across Frazier is an option or spaces just behind the building.
"We'd love to have a basement, but it's not feasible," Rondon said.
The Fairpoint, featuring three levels holding 26 condos ranging from the high $200,000s to mid-$400,000s each, is going up at 411 Fair Point St. in a Fletcher Bright Co. project.
Under construction are six high-end townhomes on Woodland Avenue near Frazier Avenue from developers Matt McGauley and Bill Hall. Also, developer John Wise is planning 14 new townhomes on Tremont and Tucker streets.
Contact Mike Pare at email@example.com or 423-757-6318. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.