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Staff photo by Tim Barber / Construction continues on the Moxy Hotel at Market and King streets. Plans are for the boutique hotel to open Nov. 1.
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Staff photo by Tim Barber / Construction continues on one of the hallways at the Moxy Hotel at Market and King streets.

When Chattanooga hotel developer Hiren Desai decided to try to land a new, hip Moxy Hotel for downtown's Southside, the Marriott people behind the brand initially turned him down.

But the chief executive of 3H Group kept trying, even having Marriott officials fly to Chattanooga and showing them the city. Before the officials left, they had signed off on the downtown Moxy, said Dwayne Massengale, the hotel's general manager or "captain" as the post is called within the brand.

"Hiren knew Chattanooga would be the place for it," Massengale said.

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Staff photo by Tim Barber / Kacey Swindell, director of sales, talks about a headboard inside one of the unfinished rooms presently under construction at the Moxy Hotel. The unique hotel is set to open Nov. 1.

With a planned opening date of Nov. 1, the $19 million, 108-room boutique hotel at Market and King streets still has a ways to go before completion.

With only seven of the hotels in the country, all in much larger cities and none of those in the Southeast, the four-story Chattanooga Moxy will offer a different experience, officials said.

The rooms, at about 175 square feet in size, aren't overly spacious though they offer keyless entry. There are no closets in the rooms, but rather pegs on which guest can hang their bags and clothes. Rooms feature sliding barn doors to the bathroom.

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Kacey Swindell, left, director of sales, and Captain Dwayne Massengale, otherwise known as general manager, talk about solar panels on the roof of the Moxy Hotel. (Staff photo by Tim Barber)

Also, rooms don't have individual clothes irons. Instead, there's a communal ironing room on the floor offering "a high-tech steamer," said Massengale.

Room rates will run between $149 to $189 per night, he said.

Parking for the hotel will be by valet, with check-in at the lobby bar where guests receive a welcome cocktail, said Kasey Swindell, the Moxy's director of sales.

Queen beds are in all the rooms, and there are 84 singles and 24 doubles, said Swindell. But, she said, the Moxy has put a lot of money into its public space.

Massengale said the hotel will offer 7,000 square feet of outdoor patio space off the lobby that will be called The Railyard. A portion of the space is rentable, he said.

There are small meetings rooms for business people, and Internet is free throughout the building, officials said.

Massengale said the Moxy is "perfect" for Chattanooga's Southside, acting as a transition point between the Southside and the city's Innovation District nearer downtown's core.

About 25 to 30 "crew members" will work at the hotel, he said, wearing T-shirts and jeans.

Swindell said future employees are not brought in at "a hiring event," but rather "a casting call." The hotel's grand opening will be called "a coming out party," she said.

"The team is encouraged to make friends with the guests," Swindell said. "The whole brand is focused on play. We want to do just that."

Massengale said that food offered at the hotel will be sourced locally.

"We want to infuse local companies as much as they can," he said.

Adjacent to the hotel will be King Street Station, a 105-year-old former warehouse that's undergoing a makeover to house new eateries, a brewery and an office user bringing 120 workers.

It's possible the top floor will hold condominiums, said Jimmy White, the president of locally based real estate firm Urban Story Ventures. White is redeveloping the King Street Station site with Desai.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6318. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.

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