River City Company has announced five new downtown retailers as participants in its Project:PopUp retail incubator program.
By late August 2012, the businesses will animate the retail strip known as CitiPark by filling vacant first floor commercial space and creating a cluster of retail activity, officials said.
Go Bagel: a quick stop for breakfast, a leisurely lunch or a midday break on the run. Whether you crave a bagel, pastry, espresso, soup, or salad: However you go, Go Bagel!·
Iron Labs: an interactive gaming experience in downtown Chattanooga that allows gamers to become immersed through a unique environment, extreme hardware, and an unmatched gaming experience.
Sewn to the Sky: a unique gift and textiles shop featuring an eclectic mix of handmade goods by local and regional artists/crafts persons with an artful selection of modern designer fabrics and vintage décor.·
O.C. Buckels & Co.: an innovative department store concept which includes a selection of finely crafted goods from independent designers across the country, a unique post-consumer art and craft supply market with pay-as-you-wish pricing and a MakerSpace with equipment not often found in the casual craft room. O.C. Buckels & Co. is also home to Chatty Crafty, Chattanooga’s First Handmade and Vintage Market.·
Tasty Daylight Donuts: a corner side bakery creating custom donuts fresh every day.
CitiPark is located at 800 Chestnut St., just blocks away from Miller Plaza and the Chattanooga Convention Center and across the street from the historic Sheraton Read House.
River City Company launched Project:PopUp in partnership with Berry & Hunt, which manages the CitiPark property.
Project:PopUp participants were chosen by a selection committee made up of existing downtown retailers. Each finalist interviewed with panelists before a final decision was made as to who would fill the spaces.
“We received over 20 applications for Project:PopUp and chose the concepts we believed would complement downtown’s current retail mix and help create excitement for downtown as a unique retail destination,” stated Blair Waddell, retail recruiter for River City Company.
“Studies show that city streets are activated by lively retail. This is the very reason retail recruitment is a major focus area for River City Company,” said Kim White, president/CEO of River City Company. “Retail is a critical component of a healthy and vibrant downtown and contributes significantly to economic development.”
A soft opening of the Project:PopUp stores will be early August and a grand opening is scheduled for mid to late August. Winning tenants will receive six months of free rent as well as a façade enhancement grant from River City Company.
The 800 block of Chestnut St will be programmed by River City Company with animation focused programs to liven up the downtown area that has languished during the Great Recession. Tenants will commit to attending business development courses throughout the six month program to encourage continuous professional education, officials said.
“We’re looking forward to partnering with creative groups and coming up with some ideas of our own on how we can transform Chestnut St. The block has so much potential, and we want to see it thrive. Adding the retailers will help, but next, our goal is to get feet on the street,” stated Tiffanie Robinson, director of creative strategies.