Nearly 700 state employees will move out of downtown Chattanooga next year and relocate to the Eastgate Town Center or offices at 1301 Riverfront Parkway under leases approved today by a panel of the State Building Commission.

The state plans to vacate the Chattanooga State Office Building on McCallie Avenue and the James R. Mapp Building on M.L. King Boulevard in early 2014. The 670 state employees now housed in those state facilities will move into portions of Eastgate and Riverfront Parkway offices in March. The affected workers are employed in state's Department of Children's Services, the Department of Human Services, and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

The building commission today approved leases for state workers in Chattanooga, Memphis and Nashville to help save up to $74 million over the next decade, state officials said today. A study done of the existing state offices in Chattanooga determined it would be too expensive to repair and renovate the facilities to meet today's building standards.

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