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Staff File Photo / Builders work on construction of a new apartment building on Cherokee Boulevard in this file photo. More apartments are planned nearby on Manufacturers Road.

An Atlanta group is proposing a new 300-unit apartment complex on a vacant waterfront tract off Manufacturers Road and adjacent to downtown Chattanooga's burgeoning North Shore.

The 7.2-acre parcel sits just west of the Olgiati Bridge in an area that's mostly manufacturing but within walking distance to the popular 2 North Shore and Knitting Mill shopping and office centers.

The close proximity to the North Shore is something the development group likes, said Peter Trelenberg of the Novare Group, which is putting the project at between $30 million and $40 million.

"The area, although industrial right now, we believe that it will turn into a more mixed-use area depending on how the city wants to push that," said Trelenberg.

The group is seeking a zoning change for the 702 Manufacturers Road parcel from manufacturing to Urban General Commercial on Monday from the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission.

The Regional Planning Agency staff, however, has expressed reservations about the zoning change, saying it would introduce new multi-family uses in an established industrial area.

Trelenberg said the main draws to the site are the views to the Tennessee River and into downtown.

Also, he said, there are discussions about a trail going from the North Shore, passing under the Olgiati Bridge, across the planned apartment site and to the proposed entry into the Moccasin Bend National Archaeological District not far away.

The developer said Novare "would love to incorporate that" onto the apartment location.

A site plan includes four buildings on the Manufacturers Road parcel, but Trelenberg said that could change in the future.

He said the development group likes Chattanooga's growth, adding the North Shore is "really fantastic and people need housing." In approved, work could start on the apartments likely in 2022, Trelenberg said.

The proposed project would be much larger than any other such complex on the North Shore. The biggest existing apartment building is the 190-unit 5 Points Northshore on Cherokee Boulevard.

The North Shore is seeing several new developments recently open or planned. Chattanooga developer Matt McGauley of Fidelity Trust Co. said last month that he plans to move ahead with a $17 million mixed-use project at 306 Cherokee Blvd. and 110 Somerville Ave.

"North Chattanooga is one of the hot spots in town," McGauley said. "People want to be urban, in walking distance to a lot of places to shop and eat and to have the outdoors and parks."

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

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