To welcome five new downtown retailers at CitiPark, River City Company will enliven the 800 block of Chestnut with a block party on Friday, from 4-9 p.m. The new stores are part of Project: PopUp, the Chattanooga retail incubator meant to attract and support new opportunities in downtown’s City Center district.
Block party festivities will begin with the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting at 4 p.m. Live music will be on-site throughout the event, along with giveaways, discounts and specials from the new and veteran tenants of CitiPark. The new retail businesses include Go Bagel, Iron Labs, Sewn to the Sky, O.C. Buckels & Co. and Tasty Daylight. In conjunction with the end of the party, Susan G. Komen for the Cure will host the organization’s City In Pink ceremony, where downtown Chattanooga’s buildings and famous landmarks will be lit in pink.
“Project: PopUp is cultivating continued growth and revitalization downtown,” said Kim White, president and CEO of River City Company. “By providing these retailers with the tools to develop their business ideas into realities, they will in turn help to strengthen and diversify the local economy. It’s a trade-off where everyone wins, including Chattanooga residents and visitors.”
River City Company focuses on retail recruitment as a critical component of a healthy downtown. The nonprofit partnered with Berry & Hunt and Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C. to create Project: PopUp. Retail 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 vacant CitiPark retail spaces.
Project: PopUp’s mission is to allow the five new retailers to test out their concepts for six months rent free, with the goal of signing a long term lease afterward. To aid in their success, River City Company has provided facade grants, creative marketing, mentors and professional development classes to each tenant.
“Project: PopUp gives opportunities to people who were in the thought stages of opening a retail store but hadn’t been able to realistically pursue it,” said Carrie Pendergrass, owner of Sewn to the Sky. “The program put everything into motion and really gave me an advantage by teaching me all the things I needed to know to get started. It’s exciting to be a part of the turnaround of an area of downtown that hasn’t had much going on in the past couple of years.”
For more information, visit www.popupchattanooga.com.