Chattanooga's biggest potential riverfront development downtown since the 21st Century Waterfront Project was completed more than a decade ago is moving ahead in 2020, officials say.
The redevelopment of the former Alstom manufacturing site off Riverfront Parkway is part of an array of new housing and mixed-use projects helping to transform downtown and the Chattanooga area.
City Council member Darrin Ledford calls the plans of Chattanooga developers Jimmy White and Hiren Desai at the 115-acre Alstom tract "a fresh, new proposal this city has never seen."
"This is amazing and far-reaching," Ledford says.
Last March, after a lengthy planning effort, West End Property LLC revealed possibilities for the tract including housing, hotels, offices, a canal, a food hall, music venue, child care center and more. Some manufacturing is slated to remain on the site.
White says some major manufacturers, in addition to potentially operating at the tract, have expressed interest in office space. New zoning would permit multiple high-rise structures on the property, including a possible 20-story landmark tower in the middle of the site.
"It would be like a corporate headquarters," says White, president of West End Property.
White has said the proposed redevelopment could bring $2 billion to $3 billion in investments, add over $11 million in tax revenue annually for the city and Hamilton County and spur about 5,000 jobs.
Meanwhile, in East Ridge, the Chattanooga Red Wolves soccer team continues to aim for the upcoming season to open its new stadium on a parcel that's slated to hold a slew of related development, according to team owner Bob Martino. The season for the USL League One club is to start in late March.
The new stadium is part of a complex expected to include restaurants, apartments, hotels, condominiums and stores in an estimated $150 million project built out over the next three to five years, Martino says.
The site is expected to generate between $6 and $7 million in tax revenue each year once the stadium and the nearby restaurants, shops, hotels and housing projects are built, officials have said. When complete, developers say the complex will include not only commercial and residential facilities but community and event spaces, green areas and walking trails.
"We are in contact with several hospitality groups that are interested in being part of our soccer community," says Martino.
When not in use by the Chattanooga Red Wolves, Dalton Red Wolves, Lady Red Wolves or Academy teams, the stadium will act as a venue for specialty sporting events and other events such as concerts and festivals, according to officials.
In downtown Chattanooga, a Charleston, South Carolina, developer of condos, apartments and retail stores across the South is bringing one of the biggest new mixed-use projects to the riverfront district.
On a former Unum surface parking lot just a couple of blocks from the Walnut Street Bridge, the Beach Company has started construction on a 3.5-acre complex of 151 apartments, a dozen condominiums and 16,000 square feet of commercial space built around a 300-space parking facility just north of Unum's corporate headquarters.
"We've invested all across the Southeast, but not in Chattanooga until now and we're really excited to be here," says John Darby, the third generation CEO of Beach.