Multi-million dollar living, retail spaces coming to downtown Ch - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Multi-million dollar living, retail spaces coming to downtown Chattanooga

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Developers are looking to revitalize some prime pieces of property in the City of Chattanooga by turning them into livable spaces. Local leaders say as the city draws in more professionals and entrepreneurs, the need for 'workforce' housing is on the rise.

The president of the River City Company says there are plenty of new, exciting developments just around the corner.

"I have developers in this office in and out every single week," says Kim White.

Kim White is president and CEO of River City Company, which works to bring more development to downtown.

"We've done such a good job as a city trying to attract younger people into the city. Now, they want to live downtown, which is great. We want to make sure there's lots of options for them to do so," says White.

White says that was not the case just a few years ago.

"We really have been in a drought for the past eight years on new construction," she says.

White is excited to spread the news of new mixed-used developments coming to the city. The first is a proposed $40 million, multi-phase development off Riverfront Parkway. The 11-acre site would house 70 cottage style homes and 200 apartments. It would also add on a new section to the riverfront walkway.

"So many younger people really do want to rent. And we're attracting people that can live anywhere in the country. They're entrepreneurs and they don't want to buy a house. So I think that's really important that we have most of our workforce in the heart of our city," says White.

Also on the table,  is a new $7 to 9 million retail and living space at the corner of Market and Main Streets, that will have 60 apartments.

"I think it will be bigger than the Northshore in the next 5 years, personally," says John Wise.

John Wise, of Wise Properties will develop the Main Street site. He says in the 20 years he has owned land in the Southside, the last 10 he has seen a real push for cleaning it up. He thinks only brighter days are ahead for people who want to live, work and play downtown.

"I just think it's a centerpiece to the Southside. I think it will catapult the Southside into the next economic boom for the little area," he says.

"I think it's exciting for our city and I think it shows that things are really on an up-tick," says White.

The developer for the Riverfront Parkway project, Aaron White, is set to go before the Hamilton County Commission next month for zoning approval. As for the project on Market and Main, construction is set to begin at the beginning of next year.

If you want to provide input on the development of Chattanooga's 'City Center,' you will get your chance. On October 7th, from 5:30 to 8p.m., the community is invited to discuss their ideas for proposed development. The event will be held at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center. A draft plan will be presented, and the community is encouraged to offer their recommendations.

READ MORE| Chattanooga residents could change and shape City Center's future

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