Project: PopUp Wraps Up For The Shoppes At CitiPark

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The retail incubator program, Project: PopUp, is coming to a close at the end of February. Along with partners, Berry & Hunt and Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, River City Company launched this program in the spring of 2012 with the goal of allowing five budding business owners to test out their concept for six months rent free in the hopes of signing a long term lease at the program’s end. Along with $95,000 in rent assistance, business owners received facade grants, $20,000 in creative marketing for the program duration, $25,000 of general support as well as 15 hours per business in professional development classes led by successful local entrepreneurs and businesses.

With the official grand opening in September 2012, the 800 Block of Chestnut Street has seen a retail resurgence from the five tenants: Tasty Daylight Donuts, O. C. Buckels & Co., Sewn to the Sky, Iron Labs and Go Bagel. Four of the five are staying in their Chestnut Street locations after the program’s official end, and the program has produced approximately 30 jobs/internships.

“As a participant in Project: PopUp, we are delighted to have a downtown location which would not be possible at this time without the assistance from the program,” as stated by Tony McInnis, owner of Tasty Daylight Donuts.

Steve Hunt, managing partner at Berry & Hunt, said, “Project: PopUp provided an opportunity for revitalizing a great block in our downtown core and allowed some exceptional locals to try their hand at owning a business. This is a great compliment to the long-established businesses in that same block.”

Blair Waddell, retail recruiter for River City Company, said, “Consistent with our overall strategy of recruiting retail to City Center, Project: PopUp has given Chattanooga several new retail and eating destinations and has sparked promising interest in this part of downtown. We are excited about prospects, from new to existing retailers, to move into City Center and be a part of the creative energy stemming from this program.”

Project: PopUp was also a draw for the move of Elea Blake Cosmetics from their Frazier Avenue location to The Shoppes at CitiPark between O.C. Buckels & Co and Sewn to the Sky. Also, parking improvements have been made to the attached garage to make parking and validation convenient for tenants, shoppers and visitors.

“Project: PopUp further highlights the strong entrepreneurial and small business movement thriving in Chattanooga and provided another example of the great relationship between existing Chattanooga businesses and the Chattanooga community as a whole,” said Dana Perry, managing shareholder at Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel.

With the success of Project: PopUp, River City Company hopes to conduct another round of this retail incubator in the future in a different area of downtown that could use a retail infusion.



GeorgiaBEST Implemented At Georgia Northwestern

State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler announced that Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) in Rome has become the first institution of higher learning in Georgia to offer GeorgiaBEST, the Georgia Department of Labor’s (GDOL) initiative that teaches workplace soft skills. “I commend President Pete McDonald for recognizing the need to incorporate soft skills training ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Business Calendar Oct. 25 - Nov. 1

MO/27 Get a Job -- Tyner High School 10:17 a.m. to 3:55 p.m. Tyner High School: 6836 Tyner Rd. Get A Job instructs 10th graders on the finer points of interviewing skills, completing job applications, dressing for success and other topics of importance for the 21st century workforce.  Community volunteers are needed to assist with this event.  Please contact ... (click for more)

Man Shot At Apartments On Tunnel Boulevard Wednesday Afternoon, Then 2 Juveniles Shot At Rec Center On Oakwood Drive With Suspects In Custody

Chattanooga police officers responded to the apartment buildings at 404 Tunnel Blvd. Wednesday at 1:21 p.m., where residents say they heard multiple shots fired.  Witnesses said they saw multiple suspects fleeing the scene on foot behind the complex.  The male victim was taken to a local hospital for life threatening gunshot wounds.  Later Wednesday, ... (click for more)

Several Arrested Outside Erlanger Hospital When Crowd Gathers After Woodlawn Shooting

Several people were arrested Monday night outside Erlanger Hospital after a crowd gathered and clashed with police. The crowd included family and friends of 20-year-old Apprentice Berry, who was shot multiple times and killed earlier Monday night at the Woodlawn Apartments on Wilson Street. Erlanger officials said the group gathered at the emergency room, but were later moved ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill - And Response

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Policeman’s Prayer

Every year, when the Law Enforcement Foundation of Greater Chattanooga holds its annual luncheon, it is one of the most heartening displays of what America really believes, down deep inside. The most prominent and influential leaders in the community – well over 1,000 -- gather to pay tribute and pledge their support to our heroes in blue who are unfaltering in their devotion, service ... (click for more)