The project engineers presented a proposed high-end grocery store to St. Elmo community members.

Gravel fills the empty lot on Board Street where a new business could be placed.

Weeks ago people who live in the St. Elmo area were notified the land could be rezoned for a high-end grocery store.

“We feel that the site is going to meet a real need in the community and be a real asset as a good neighbor,” said Derek Blackwood, Engineer.

Community members heard the plan for the second time. It was compared to other stores like Publix, Trader Joes, and Whole Foods stores across the south.

Some are fine with the current plans to bring in a grocery store, parking lot and green space.

“The opposition is always outspoken, and those who are in support don't have the motivation to express their support. There's lots of support,” said Jason Lehn.

Bert Kuyrkendall says the idea of adding a small park and sidewalks isn't enough for what could be done with space.

“The feeling of a nice green space but really it's a parking lot,” said Bert Kuyrkendall. “The biggest problem is that it creates dead space.”

Others agree.

They say their voices were not heard from the last meeting, and they are disappointed.

“From a month ago, you haven't changed the plan at all? You're not even working to implement our input," said Community Member.

“We've got comparisons. We get you want an urban feel, and we are trying to give you that within the realm of what we can do,” said Blackwood

Some community members want the area to be similar to the Publix in North Chattanooga.

Lauren Dunn, an architect, says she knows a way space could be better used.

“Have just a few little shops on Broad Street. That increases intensity, actually provided more jobs and increases the tax revenue for this site,” said Lauren Dunn.
The plan is set to go before the planning commission Monday afternoon at 1:00.