Legal battle over downtown building collapse continues; lot sits empty
It's been six months since Cheeburger Cheeburger restaurant collapsed. The space where it once stood is now just an empty lot and many are wondering what will be built in its place.
It’s been six months since the Cheeburger Cheeburger restaurant in downtown Chattanooga came crumbling to the ground. The space on Market Street where it once stood is now just an empty lot and many are wondering what, if anything, will be built there.
Amy Petulla is one of those people. She has been running Chattanooga Ghost Tours for the past decade. She thought she’d found the perfect space for her business inside of the historic building but after years of operating there it collapsed in March, leaving her scrambling to find a new home.
“It was coming up on spring break which is a really busy time for us and we had to get something going very quickly,” Petulla told Channel 3.
In April, crews tore down the 140-year-old building that was home to Cheeburger Cheeburger, Chattanooga Ghost Tours and the V on Market wedding venue.
City leaders said the building had to be demolished because it was a public safety issue.
A legal battle between the building owner and the restaurant owner continues over who is responsible for the collapse.
Channel 3 contacted Hamilton County Circuit Court on Tuesday and confirmed no settlement has been reached in the case.
It took a couple of months but Petulla eventually found a new home on East 5th Street.
She and many others are now waiting to see what happens with the property where the building once stood.
“It's just an empty lot. It looks like someone's smile with a tooth missing,” said Petulla.
Halloween is just a few weeks away and October is one of Chattanooga Ghost Tours’ busiest months. Petulla wants people to know she’s still open for tours but her business is now located in a different place.
“We don't have the foot traffic, visibility or the last minute customers like we used to,” said Petulla.
Petulla said she did not have a lease at the time of the building collapse and was renting the space month-to-month.
No one was hurt in the incident.
The owner has not said what he plans to do with the land.
Channel 3 tried contacting the business owner and the restaurant owner and is still waiting to hear back.