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Photo by Dave Flessner / A shopper enters one of the retail stores in the Issa Crossing shopping center in Hixson, which was sold last week to an Ontario, Canada investor for $10.75 million. Photo taken July 1, 2022.

The Issa Crossing shopping center on Highway 153, which developer Bassam Issa redeveloped after the former Hixson Kmart closed in 2016, was sold to an Ontario investment group last week for $10.75 million.

The 117,000-square-foot retail center is home to a Gabe's discount store, Ollie's Bargain Outlet and Barton's Home Outlet and also includes a separately owned outparcel that houses a Texas Roadhouse restaurant that opened in 2018 near Northpoint Boulevard.

The new owner of the shopping center is a real estate partnership known as 18th Paulina Limited Partnership, which plans to continue to maintain the current tenants in the retail complex.

Issa said he acquired the property four years ago, a couple of years after Kmart shut down what was the retain chain's last remaining store in the Chattanooga area. In a telephone interview Friday, Issa said he spent more than $4 million to renovate and upgrade the storefronts and parking lots for the new tenants and to sell the outparcel for the Texas Roadhouse.

"We were able to redevelop the site and attract new retailers to Hixson, but we had to do a lot of work on the buildings to upgrade the overall development," Issa said. "We usually keep most of our developments, but we do sell some properties, especially when the price is right, to help raise capital for our other projects."

Issa plans to begin building work next month on an even bigger 32-acre shopping center anchored by a Publix Supermarket at East Brainerd Road and Ooltewah-Ringgold Road. Issa is also working to redevelop the former Sears and J.C. Penney's store locations at Northgate Mall in Hixson.

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Photo by Dave Flessner / Sign along Highway 153 displays the tenants in Issa Crossing, which was bought last week for $10.75 million by an Ontario investor. Photos taken July 1, 2022

The sale of Issa Crossing is the second Hixson shopping center to be sold by a local developer to outside investors in as many months.

In May, the biggest real estate sale in Hamilton County came from a Las Vegas real estate investment company that paid $16.7 million to buy the Towne Center North shopping center, also on Highway 153 in Hixson. That 11-acre shopping center was originally developed in 2006 by the Chattanooga-based Wolford Development Co. and is anchored by a Best Buy and Bed, Bath and Beyond an a PetSmart store, which are next door to a separately owned Target store.

The new owner of Towne Center North is Dino F. Crescentini in Las Vegas, who said in a phone interview last month that was attracted to Chattanooga by the recent population and business growth in the region coming out of the pandemic.

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6340. Follow him on Twitter at @dlfessner1.

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