A project to tear down all 440 apartments at Chattanooga's former Harriet Tubman public housing site to make way for a new industrial site is set to begin in September.

On Thursday, city officials unsealed three contractor bids that ranged from nearly $4.3 million to $7 million. Mayor Andy Berke's office budgeted $4 million this year for the work.

Nick Wilkinson, deputy director of the economic and community development department, said the city hopes to offset some of the costs through state and federal grants. He said officials are considering whether to apply to the EPA revolving loan fund, which would be interest free.

Because of recent changes to the city's purchasing manual, officials aren't required to go with the lowest bidder. City spokeswoman Lacie Stone said the bids will be evaluated and the city's choice presented to the City Council by July 31.

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