Downtown to see almost $1 billion of investment in next 3 years

Authored By chloe.morrison

River City Co. President Kim White gave an update about downtown-area development on Thursday. 

Over the next three years, leaders project nearly $1 billion in private investment in projects that are scattered from the North Shore to the Southside, White said. 

“A billion worth of development is a big deal,” she said.

Currently, there’s $518 million in private investment contributing to the development of apartments, student housing, hotel rooms and commercial space. 

City Center 
In 2013, leaders went through a planning process to reimagine the area between Sixth and 12th streets. 

They identified 22 properties that needed development, and 15 of those are currently undergoing construction, White said. 

Projects that are underway are:

  • 213 rooms in the Gold Building, which will become a Westin
  • Six condos in the Gilman Building
  • Retail redevelopment in the CitiPark garage
  • Redevelopment of the Read House
  • 50 housing units in the Clemons Building
  • 90 housing units in the Maclellan Building
  • 122 rooms for a hotel in the Chattanooga Bank Building
  • 125 housing units in the 700 block of Market Street
  • Commercial redevelopment of the Mayfield Building
  • 39 housing units in the Tomorrow Building
  • Commercial redevelopment projects on Cherry Street
  • 80 housing units in the First Tennessee Building 

Surrounding the City Center 
Also in the works is a plan to revamp Miller Plaza/Park. Part of that involves creating a better flow between the two areas that are now divided by Martin Luther King Boulevard. 

Leaders are also working to redesign Patten Parkway so that it connects better to UTC.

Investment is also ongoing in the MLK area. New student housing, a brewery and other commercial developments are in the works. 

White also discussed development around UTC, including Vue on 5th, located at 500 Lindsay St., with 64 units; and construction on Vine and Houston, which will add 600 beds and 600 parking spaces. 

“UTC has almost 12,000 students,” White said. “What a lot of people don’t realize is 66 percent come from outside Hamilton County.”

White also mentioned the new hotel that’s in the works at the end of the Walnut Street Bridge, as well as the redevelopment of the Chattanooga Choo-Choo on the Southside. 

The changes at the Choo-Choo are part of larger growth in that area. There are 68 new units at the corner of Main and Market streets. And more housing, offices and condos are planned for the 1400 block of Chestnut Street, she said. 

“The Southside is on fire,” she said. “It seems like it happened overnight, but there’s been a lot of work.”

White also noted that some people have asked if downtown needs all the new housing that’s in the works. And her answer to that question is yes.

She said that 55,000 people work downtown, but only 3 percent of those people live in the area. 

“We want people that work downtown to have an opportunity to live downtown, and we know the market is there,” she said.