Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / A sign stands at the site of a new Food City in East Ridge on Wednesday, September 29, 2021. The new store, at 3636 Ringgold Road, will be about 30% larger, feature a cafe, a Starbucks, sushi, a pizza oven, expanded produce and more.

These are businesses that opened, closed, reopened, expanded or announced plans to open in the Chattanooga area in the month of September.



Food City broke ground on a new $12 million supermarket in East Ridge that also will draw shoppers from nearby Brainerd, East Lake and North Georgia. At 54,000 square feet in size, the new store at 3626 Ringgold Road will be a third larger than the existing unit when it opens in late spring or early summer in 2022.

Ford Motor Co. and Korean battery maker SK Innovation announced plans for the biggest new business investment ever in Tennessee and the largest manufacturing investment in Ford's 118-year history — a $5.6 billion assembly plant and battery production facility at the West Tennessee megasite. Ford will make electric-powered F-series trucks at the Haywood County site where more than 5,700 workers will be employed.

Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. will relocate its headquarters and other major operations to Maryville, Tennessee, from Massachusetts and create 750 jobs. The firearms manufacturer will shift its distribution, assembly, and plastic injection molding operations to Tennessee and invest about $125 million in the move. Smith & Wesson joins more than 20 small arms and ammunition manufacturers located in Tennessee, which ranks No. 1 in the nation for employment in the production of personal guns and ammunition.

Agave & Rye, a tequila and bourbon hall that features a diverse menu of freshly made epic tacos, appetizers and desserts, is opening across Chestnut Street from the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga's downtown waterfront district. The new bar and eatery is locating in the former Blue Plate restaurant and ROBAR cocktail bar, which closed in February.

The Chattanooga area's first meadery, Flora de Mel, opened in Rossville, Georgia along with kitchen-in-residence Calliope. Chattanooga developer Jay Martin and his wife Stephanie, a ceramic artist and sculptor, have worked the past two years to open the meadery, which is considered the oldest alcoholic beverage and is made from fermented honey.

Developer Kevin Boehm is planning 81 townhomes and 18 apartment units off of East Main Street near Montague Park. The sites on Fagan and East 16th Streets for the residential development should be built and finished in 2022.

Confluent Medical began production at its medical tubing plant in Chattanooga's Riverport industrial park. The medical device manufacturer, which took over the former Mahindra Tractor plant, plans to have 80 employees in Chattanooga within four years.



After 47 years of starts and stops, the Tennessee Valley Authority is giving up its construction permit for a nuclear reactor at the Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant in Hollywood, Alabama. TVA abandoned the regulatory permit after a proposed sale of the nuclear plant to developer Franklin L. Haney was scrapped. TVA invested over $5 billion in the twin-reactor complex before determining it couldn't be cost-effectively finished.

F3: The Future of Freight Festival planned as a major logistics convention and event was scrapped in person, although most of the events will continue online. Freightwaves CEO Craig Fuller had hoped to bring thousands of industry leaders to Chattanooga in November for the national logistics convention, but the rise in COVID-19 cases led to the cancellation of the in-person events.



The Atlanta-based restaurant company that bought the Chattanooga Burger King franchise at the end of 2020 is planning to add seven more Burger King units in the Chattanooga region within the next five years. GPS Hospitality said it will locate one of its new units at the former Shoney's restaurant in Kimball, Tennessee.

Devnet, a technology company that offers land records management and appraisal services for local government, is relocating its headquarters to Chattanooga from Sycamore, Illinois. By 2022, Devnet will have 20 employees in the James building.

Vision Hospitality, the Chattanooga-based hotel development and management company that owns 43 of its own hotels, has created a management subsidiary called Humanist Hospitality to operate hotels for clients across the country.

Bob Martino, the Utah developer who owns the Chattanooga Red Wolves, is beginning work on $200 million of residential and commercial development around the Red Wolves stadium in East Ridge. The planned development was announced as Martino said he has finished adding new sky boxes and an executive area in the Red Wolves stadium.

Crystal Air, which currently operates a flight school at the Chattanooga airport, is opening another flight school at the Collegedale Municipal Airport to meet the increased demand for pilot training.

Scooter's Coffee opened its second location in the Chattanooga area as a drive-through unit at 4631 Highway 58. The coffee retailer plans to ultimately have 10 such kiosk units across the Chattanooga area.



A 10-story office building and 972-space parking garage is planned for the former Alstom site on the Westside, which developer Jimmy White has billed "The Bend." Work on the project is slated to begin next year on the south end of the 121-acre parcel off West 19th Street.

Chattanooga developer John Wise is proposing to put 16 apartments on a vacant tract in the 200 and 300 blocks of Tremont Street in North Chattanooga. Despite concerns by neighbors about building on the hilly terrain, Wise is proposing to erect three retaining walls for the three-level, $2.5 million complex, which will be comprised of one-bedroom, one-bath rental units.

Contact Dave Flessner at or at 423-757-6340.