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Staff Photo by Robin Rudd/ AT&T Field, the home of the Chattanooga Lookouts, sets upon Hawk Hill in this view from a parking garage between Chestnut and Broad Streets. In the foreground stands the Residence Inn by Marriott. RiverCity Co. is hiring consultants to help study ways to energize the riverfront from Fourth Street to the River, including Hawk Hill. The area was photographed on December 5, 2019.

This story was updated Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, at 8:15 p.m. with more information.

A company affiliated with the owner of downtown Chattanooga's Residence Inn has bought the parking lot behind the hotel with an eye on a future project.

The buyer, which is associated with McKibbon Hospitality, paid $1.5 million for the lot to seller River City Co. Amy Donahue, the downtown nonprofit redevelopment group's director marketing and communications, said the property is located at 201 Power Alley between the rear of the Residence Inn and AT&T Field.

Donahue said McKibbon is participating in the current visioning plan for the waterfront area called One Riverfront Chattanooga, and the company wants to see what comes out of that effort.

While there probably will be parking in some form on the property, the hospitality company could do a lot of different things with the site, she said.

One Riverfront Chattanooga is seeking to become a road map to re-energize Chattanooga's downtown waterfront area and spur more activity.

AT&T Field, the current home of the Chattanooga Lookouts, is expected to be a key part of the new waterfront plan, with River City calling the minor league baseball park "potentially the most impactful site in the study by sheer size."

The future of Riverfront Parkway, the Tennessee Aquarium's connection to the river, and ways to make Fourth, Broad and Market streets more people and business friendly, also will undergo study.

The plan is expected to be ready this summer.

Last month at a public meeting attended by about 200 people, an array of ideas was offered up for the area.

The ideas offered including trying to develop more retail, curbing traffic on Riverfront Parkway, somehow bridging the barrier of Fourth Street, and making parking easier — or even free.

"It has an awful lot of trucks," said Jim Wildeman of Chattanooga about Riverfront Parkway, adding he's not sure if there are alternatives for the traffic that would make the road more pedestrian friendly.

Michael Brady, who lives in the district, said he'd like to see retailers such as Mast General Store or a small grocery store.

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

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