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Chattanooga City Councilman Chris Anderson

The approval process for a proposed seven-story apartment complex on Cowart Street took another step forward Tuesday night at the Chattanooga City Council meeting.

A motion to approve the seven-story complex, which was proposed by Councilman Chris Anderson, passed unanimously.

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The final vote will occur Dec. 1. This allows Belle Investment Group, who's behind the complex, and Tennessee Valley Public Power Association to work out some disagreements.

"Today's a day where almost everybody is happy," Anderson said after the meeting.

The resolution passed even though the Regional Planning Agency recommended against approval. Anderson said the council goes against the Regional Planning Agency between 10 and 20 percent of the time.

There was opposition Tuesday, too.

Thomas Johnson, who owns several buildings in the 1200 block of Cowart Street, went before the council and said the 140-unit complex goes against everything he's worked to bring to downtown Chattanooga.

"This project is a seven-story parking deck," he said. "The project is going to destroy everything we've done for the past 25 years."

Mike Price, representing Belle Investment Group, disagreed. He said the new complex will have a modern feel but it doesn't fit Johnson's idea of what the area should look like.

"Thomas Johnson's a great architect," Price said. "But the great thing about Chattanooga is we have a blended and diverse area. There is room for projects such as this, that are compatible with what he has there."

Contact staff writer Evan Hoopfer at ehoopfer@timesfreepress.com or @EvanHoopfer on Twitter or 423-757-6731.

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