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Staff photo by Mike Pare / Workers are finishing up the planned Topgolf entertainment complex in East Ridge, but an opening date hasn't been fixed yet.

Topgolf is pushing to get to the opening tee in East Ridge as construction work on its new entertainment complex is expected to finish "relatively soon," an official says.

Also, a Dairy Queen restaurant will start going up nearby within weeks, said John Healy of Wolftever Development, which is overseeing the Jordan Crossing mixed-use project near Camp Jordan.

Healy said that while construction slowed on the Topgolf site amid the coronavirus pandemic, he doesn't believe work ever stopped.

"It will be fairly soon," he said about the opening.

In February, Topgolf said the complex was on track for debuting in late spring near Bass Pro Shops, though Saturday is the first day of summer.

Kara Berry, the Dallas-based company's head of communications, said on Wednesday there wasn't a firm opening date yet. But, she said, she hoped to share that information soon.

Healy said the Dairy Queen will join the mix of restaurants and other businesses off Camp Jordan Parkway at Exit 1 off Interstate-75

Minnesota-based Fourteen Foods, a company Healy called the biggest Dairy Queen franchisee in the country, will open the restaurant.

"We've done the infrastructure work to prepare for that," he said. "They'll be ready to go vertical."

Work should start by July 6 and take a little more than three months to build, Healy said.

He said businesses in the area are ready for baseball, softball and other sports to take off at Camp Jordan.

"It helps the smaller (businesses)," Healy said. "The bigger guys have done fine."

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

The venue also features food and drinks, big screen TVs, private event spaces and music, according to the company.

Topgolf closed all its locations at the outset of the coronavirus outbreak, but it has begun reopening some of them.

As its units reopen, Topgolf said it has put into place a variety of health measures to help keep players and employees safe. Topgolf bays will be 11 feet tee-to-tee from one another and have eight-foot by five-foot dividers between bays.

Also, golf clubs and game screens will be disinfected after every group, and only six guest are allowed per bay, the company said.

The East Ridge site will be one of the company's first countrywide offering a new single-level, open design rather than the three-story concept, according to the company.

The Topgolf complex will have 36 hitting bays on the one level. Plans are to bring on between 150 and 200 full- and part-time jobs, the company said.

Healy said that Jonathan's Grill, another restaurant already under construction at Jordan Crossing, is to open in September or October.

Healy expects Jordan Crossing will be a $100 million development when it is fully built out. He said it has benefited from the Border Region Retail Development District state sales tax incentive. That allows the city to recapture the growth in sales tax collections within the zone and then plow those funds back into repaying investments in the area.

Last year, East Ridge officials approved incentives related to a Chattanooga Red Wolves soccer stadium just on the other side of I-75.

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

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