Planners back $2.5 million project on East Main Street

Planners back $2.5 million project on East Main Street

June 13th, 2017 by Mike Pare in Business Diary
Colin Underhill rides on his grandfather pat Stone's shoulders during the Mainx24 Festival on Main Street on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, in Chattanooga, Tenn. The annual 24-hour neighborhood festival celebrates Main Street and included a pancake breakfast at the fire station, music, arts, and caroling.

Colin Underhill rides on his grandfather pat Stone's...

Photo by Doug Strickland /Times Free Press.

The revival of the East Main Street area in Chattanooga is receiving another push with a planned two- story mixed-use project that won the approval of planners Monday.

Developer Ben Peppers said he's aiming at building a $2.5 million, two-story structure on the 900 block of East Main after receiving an endorsement from the Chattanooga- Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission.

"We're right in a hot bed," he said.

Peppers said he's looking at putting residences on the top floor and commercial space at ground level on the vacant parcel.

However, a nearby resident who said his family has lived in the area for five decades said that while growth on Main Street is inevitable, he'd like more information about what's going on.

"No one is talking to people who live there," said Gary Rudolph.

He said he could support growth in the area — if he knew what was happening, adding he's getting phone calls from people interested in buying his nearby property.

Planning Commission member Donna Williams said he and others in the area may want to start a neighborhood association.

"You don't have to go anywhere," she said. "No one is displaced in this project."

City Councilman Darrin Ledford, another panel member, urged Rudolph to reach out to his neighbors, even if it means going door to door.

Rudolph said the new development creates more neighbors and traffic.

"Change impacts a lot of people," he said.

Hamilton County Commissioner Joe Graham, also on the panel, told Rudolph that if he decides to sell, then he should "sell high."

The planned East Main project still needs City Council approval.

Late last year, a Chattanooga developer said he's planning nearly two dozen new residential units, along with work space, at 1155 E. Main St. Several other commercial projects have been announced in the area as well.

Contact Mike Pare at or 423-757-6318.