Staff photo by Mike Pare / The 555 Walnut building will become home to Patten and Patten's new offices.

One of Chattanooga's oldest and best-known investment advisory firms is moving to a new downtown address after decades at its existing offices.

Patten and Patten is shifting to the 555 Walnut building, where owner Unum Group is leasing space after relocating operations to its Home Office East tower next door.

Patten and Patten will occupy 16,400 square feet in the North suite on the second floor of 555 Walnut, said David DeVaney, president of NAI Charter Real Estate Corp.

"It's one of the more premier and prestigious firms," said DeVaney.

Raymond V. Ryan, Patten and Patten's president and chief executive, said he knew he had to act when he learned disability insurer Unum was leasing space in one of its buildings.

"I think their remodel will result in one of the best office spaces in downtown Chattanooga," said Ryan. "It was the right time for Patten and Patten to make this move."

For decades, Patten and Patten has had its offices nearby at 520 Lookout St. Founded in 1976, the firm intends to sell the Lookout Street building, Ryan said.

He said the firm was running out of room in the structure and the 555 Walnut space enables its offices to be on one floor.

"The common area amenities and covered parking are additional features of the building that I was excited to offer our employees," Ryan said.

Plans are for the move to take place before Christmas, he said.

Richard Meadows, Unum's vice president of corporate real estate, said the insurer's efforts are paying off to make smarter use of its workspace.

"We have additional space that can be used for local companies which adds vibrant energy on our campus," he said.

Meadows said the building was rebranded 555 Walnut to have its own identity, especially as it's marketed to prospective tenants outside the Chattanooga area.

Earlier this year, fast-growing Chattanooga commercial insurer Reliance Partners moved its headquarters and became the first tenant at 555 Walnut.

"We were looking for a growth opportunity and space to expand," said Laura Ann Howell, Reliance Partners' chief operating officer.

Reliance, one of the nation's biggest insurance agencies serving the trucking and logistics industries, is leasing 28,000 square feet in the building.

DeVaney said Unum is trying to lease a total of 115,940 square feet of office space in the building. The largest continuous space on one floor is roughly 30,000 square feet, he said.

"The building has ample parking both in a 1,424-space parking deck and a surface lot for visitors," DeVaney said. "Also, there is a fitness facility, indoor and outdoor walking track and a full-service cafeteria."

Over the past few years, Unum instituted new flexible workspace efforts, permitting its employees to shift from the former West building to its East tower, according to the company.

Chattanooga-based Unum, which has about 2,800 employees in the city, spent upwards of $40 million in the city and $100 million in its offices companywide to create a more open environment.

Patten and Patten is currently owned by five principals: W.A. Bryan Patten, who is chairman; Ryan, Mark C. Fleck, William F. A. Decosimo, and Stephanie Graham.

In 2014, Bryan Patten and twin brother Cartter, who both founded Patten and Patten, signed an agreement to go their separate ways in what they called a friendly separation within the family.

Cartter Patten joined with his daughter Ashlee to start the Patten Group Inc.

Contact Mike Pare at or 423-757-6318.