Officials say riverfront site near Tennessee Aquarium could hold condos, townhouses

Officials say riverfront site near Tennessee Aquarium could hold condos, townhouses

April 22nd, 2019 by Mike Pare in Business Diary

Downtown Chattanooga nonprofit River City Co. is trying to sell an undeveloped tract just a block from the Tennessee Aquarium, which officials say is a fit for new condominiums or townhouses.

Three parties are interested in buying the parcel at First and Cherry streets, though no group has been selected and River City continues to take inquiries, said Amy Donahue, the nonprofit's director of marketing and communication.


Just a couple of blocks away from the First and Cherry streets site, work has started on 11 new million-dollar townhomes at Walnut Street and Aquarium Way.

"It's not a project River City would develop," she said. But the group would help in terms of a review of the design by the chosen developer, the River City official said.

Donahue said the lot, at about 6,500 square feet in size, likely could hold about eight condos or townhouses. She said there's no listed asking price for the tract.

The parcel, which sits between townhomes at First and Market and the Museum Bluff condos, has been vacant for years.

Donahue said the property had multiple parties involved with the site and River City gained the tract outright so it could better control what occurred there.

Just a couple of blocks away, at Walnut and Aquarium Way, work has started on 11 new million-dollar townhomes by Tower Construction Co.

Priced at about $1.1 million each, the townhomes will finish up a development called Walnut Hill Townhomes started more than a decade ago by Urban Renaissance Group. That company, which built 22 similar units on Cherry and Third streets, last year sold a 1-acre parking lot to Tower for $3.2 million that will hold the new housing.

"We feel this is the best location in downtown," said Calvin Ball, vice president of Tower Construction, citing the area's proximity to restaurants and attractions along with its walkability.

Just across Third Street on Cherry, a developer is planning one of the biggest apartment and commercial projects ever in Chattanooga's riverfront area.

Work on the mix of new apartments, townhouses, commercial space and a parking garage on two Unum parking lots is due to start sometime this year, said Alan McMahon of The Beach Company of Charleston, South Carolina.

Donahue said River City won't just walk away from the First and Cherry site once it's sold.

She said River City will "still be thoughtful about the parcel on what can be developed and cannot be."

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