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Staff photo by Olivia Ross / The proposed site for a new Chattanooga Lookouts stadium is seen from Point Park on Lookout Mountain on July 6, 2022.

This story was updated at 6:36 p.m.

A representative for Core Development told Hamilton County commissioners on Wednesday that the company would be open to committing to invest approximately $160 million in the development of 11 acres near a proposed baseball stadium in Chattanooga's South Broad District.

That project would get city and county officials roughly halfway to a goal of $350 million of private investment needed to meet a public financing plan outlined for a new stadium proposed for the Chattanooga Lookouts.

Core Development has been looking at building 400 to 500 residential units and up to 20,000 square feet of neighborhood-scale commercial space on a parcel on the former Wheland Foundry site, adjacent to the location of the planned stadium.

The company hopes to break ground on phase one of the project by the end of the year, which would encompass 28 condominiums, 3,000 square feet of commercial retail and 38 single- family townhomes.

Andrew Beaird, the company's chief development officer, confirmed when asked by Commissioner Ken Smith, R-Hixson, that Core executives would be receptive to an agreement that would stipulate that the company complete all phases of their project if the stadium goes through.

Beaird also confirmed to Smith that, although the company is committed to the first phase of the project, the remaining phases would be dependent on the decision city and county leaders make about the proposed stadium.

"This is the first market that we've endeavored to participate in outside of Nashville," Beaird told county commissioners earlier in their meeting on Wednesday. "We love the city of Chattanooga. We love it for what it is, and we're excited also about what it can be."

A new sports authority created by the city of Chattanooga and Hamilton County government would borrow the money needed to construct the $79.5 million stadium.

Assuming developers invest at least $350 million in a designated tax district surrounding the site, most of the project's cost — approximately 58% — would be covered by new property tax revenue generated on adjacent land, according to city staff.

The rest of the funding would come from a $1 million annual lease from the Lookouts, state and local sales tax revenue generated in the stadium, parking revenues and roughly $1.4 million apiece from the city and the county.

Proponents have said they expect the project could actually generate up to $1 billion in surrounding development.

Charles Wood, the vice president of economic development for the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, told commissioners that iFixit, a California-based company that recently announced plans to expand into a 70,000-square-foot facility on East 12th Street in Onion Bottom Station, had initially looked at a facility on the former Wheland Foundry site.

"That facility is actually already under contract by another user and so that's part of the reason they ended up at Onion Bottom," Wood said.

City officials have outlined a prospective schedule for the public approvals the stadium project must receive before it can proceed. Those dates are:

July 21: Public hearing before the Hamilton County Industrial Development Board.

Aug. 1: Public hearing before the City of Chattanooga Industrial Development Board.

Aug. 3: Hamilton County Commission tax district vote and creation of a new joint sports authority.

Aug. 9: Chattanooga City Council tax district vote and creation of a new joint sports authority.

On Wednesday afternoon, Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger announced that he would be calling a special meeting of the county commission so members could consider the project at 9:30 a.m. on July 27. He later rescinded that request.

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