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Convenience, custom design draws young professional to Southside development

When Braxton Reese began the search for his first home, he was looking for something new that had the charm of an older home, similar to those the recent University of Tennessee at Chattanooga grad had leased on the North Shore while still a student. He found what he was looking for at the new Collier Construction development, 100 at South Broad, where he purchased a two-story townhome last May.

The area has changed significantly since Reese was a student at Signal Mountain High School, when the limited area he was allowed to go to downtown spanned from the Tennessee Aquarium to M. L. King Boulevard. He only passed the industrial area off Broad that he now calls home when playing sports at Chattanooga Christian School or going for pizza with friends at Mr. T's.

Initially interested in the townhome a few doors down, when he found out it had already sold, he sprung for his place — then just a few pieces of wood and dirt.

"I liked the fact that I was able to design everything," Reese says of the three-bedroom, 1,900-square-foot townhome he currently shares with two roommates.

Since they were starting basically from scratch, he was able to choose everything from the flooring to the countertops to the light fixtures to which side of the sink he wanted his garbage disposal. He was also able to customize the space, such as adding storage under the stairs and resizing the kitchen cabinetry to fit his unusually sized refrigerator. "I literally picked out every single thing you see in the house," says Reese.

Interior designer Lindsey Frost created a feel Reese describes as "modern and also very homey."

"Lindsey did a great job of making the features futuresque. It looks like something you'd see in a magazine, but it can also be really cozy as well, " he says.

The shades of brown and black give the furnishings a masculine feel and cohesive look. The sleek, modern design is softened by comforting elements such as throw blankets scattered throughout. The home's great natural light brightens the space nicely, or he can shut the blinds and enjoy a cozy cocoon.

The accountant says he likes being downtown, especially since the South Broad area is seeing more development, such as a soon-to-be-built Publix and future additions including a new Lookouts stadium accompanied by what Reese describes as "a mini Warehouse Row." Neighborhood amenities such as a field where he takes his puppy for exercise and a homeowners' association that takes care of the outdoor space are also perks, he says.

Reese plans to stay in the townhome until he outgrows it, though even then he says he'll probably keep it to rent out or use as an Airbnb.