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Staff file photo / Workers at a Cameron Harbor development are shown off Riverfront Parkway with Lookout Mountain in the background in this 2019 file photo.

More downtown Chattanooga waterfront housing is coming with 40 proposed townhouses or condominiums in the Cameron Harbor area.

A planning panel on Monday endorsed the Waterview project, which Chattanooga developer Hiren Desai plans to build if the city agrees to rezone the site. The buildings will include three-level units at Riverfront Parkway and Molly Lane at the site of an existing office building and parking lot.

The Cameron Harbor development is already home to hundreds of apartments, townhouses and condos which have gone up over the past decade on former manufacturing tracts along the Tennessee River.

Joseph Parks of the Chattanooga engineering firm March Adams said the location has become a popular riverfront residential address.

"It's convenient to downtown," he said.

Plans are to start work next spring or summer with construction taking about a year, Parks said after new zoning for the proposed residences was approved by the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission. The development still needs to go before the City Council for its OK.

Each unit is to be three levels high and have garage parking, Parks said. He said he didn't know pricing for the units, some of which would go on Riverfront Parkway, or how much the entire development would cost.

Most of the units would be two bedrooms and three baths with a den or studio and about 2,378 square feet in size, plans show. A few units would be two bedrooms and two baths with the den/studio and some 1,692 square feet.

One 1,940-square-foot site would hold commercial space such as a coffee shop, Parks said.

The Waterview project would be near the SpringHill Suites hotel, which was opened in 2012 by Desai's 3H Group Hotels. That $16 million, 116-room property next to the city's marina off Riverfront Parkway was the first hotel to open on Chattanooga's waterfront.

"Chattanooga is known for its river," said Desai at the time. The 3H Group's headquarters is located in the office building where the Waterview project will go.

In 2014, Chattanooga developer Eugene "Buck" Schimpf's Cameron Harbor LLC and Nashville-based Evergreen Real Estate separately built new housing at the site, which has exceeded an estimated $150 million.

Evergreen also was involved in a recent tax-increment financing deal with the city which saw an extension of M.L. King Boulevard from Riverfront Parkway to the Riverwalk. In connection with the extension, 200 more apartments were built by Evergreen.

Desai also is involved in the redevelopment of the former Alstom manufacturing site just south of M.L. King Boulevard, a 112-acre tract along the river which he and business partner Jimmy White are turning into a mixed-use destination.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.

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