Under Construction: North Shore apartment complex developer seeks stamp of approval

Under Construction: North Shore apartment complex developer seeks stamp of approval

May 26th, 2013 by Shelly Bradbury in Business Diary

Illustration by Laura McNutt /Times Free Press.


What: North Shore Design Review Committee

When: Thursday, 5:30 p.m.

Where: Development Resource Center, 1250 Market St., room 1A

A Chattanooga developer is making plans to build a new apartment building on the North Shore, but he needs the city's stamp of approval before he can move forward.

John Wise has already knocked down the old River City Bicycles building at 112 Tremont Street to make room for a $3.5 million apartment building. His revised plans for the lot will go before the North Shore Design Review Committee on Thursday.

The committee denied Wise's initial plan for a four-story building at the spot and approved a three-story plan instead. But Wise is hoping to strike a compromise with a smaller fourth-floor penthouse, Wise Properties' Amanda Leming said.

"I don't know what they're going to settle on," she said. "There's still so many things up in the air on the project. But a building will be built there, so they're going ahead and starting to level and get it prepared for the building."

The building will include mostly one-bedroom apartments, as well as a few mini-apartments and two-bedroom units, Leming said. The apartments will feature granite counter tops, energy-efficient appliances and new heating and air units, she said.

Rents could start at $700 and include basic cable and Internet service, she said. Apartment-dwellers might be able to park in the parking garage across the street, she added. Once the project gets underway, it should take around six months to complete.

But when it gets underway depends on Thursday's meeting. And some neighbors would be happier if the apartments never went in.

"I think there is enough high-end housing on the North Shore," said neighbor Ed Stone. "They should put in something affordable."

Another area resident, Patrick Ryan, said he understands why the committee nixed Wise's initial plan for a four-story building.

"If you put something that is four stories right there, it's going to break up the flow of the street," he said. "There's got to be some kind of gradient from commercial to residential."

Members of the North Shore Design Review Committee can't talk about a project before they've voted on it, but the area's guidelines state the buildings should be between 30 and 66 feet tall, depending on the area. The general guideline is 30 feet.

Robert Kelch, who owns Mia Cucina, a gourmet kitchen shop across the street from the proposed apartment complex, said he's not worried about the height of the building.

"I'm not concerned about it at that location," he said. "Across the street, I wouldn't want a four-story building going up. But on the north side of the street, I don't think it matters."

He added that he thinks adding another apartment complex to the North Shore would be a positive change that would increase his customer base by bringing more residents to the neighborhood.

The North Shore Design Review Committee will consider the plans for the site Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in the Development Resource Center on Market Street.

Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at sbradbury@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6525.