"Spectacular" Housing, Retail Development Lined Up For Long-Empty Market Street 700 Block

Monday, August 4, 2014
Empty hole has long been at 700 Market St.
Empty hole has long been at 700 Market St.
- photo by Wes Schultz

River City Company President Kim White said Monday that a "spectacular" development has been lined up for the long-empty 700 block of Market Street.

She said details of the project will be released in 30-60 days.

It will include both retail and residential.

River City had asked developers to come up with proposals for the site that once was slated for a condo development that never got underway. Ms. White told the Chattanooga Engineers Club that River City was locked up in a lawsuit with that developer for several years. It has been three years since the suit was settled.

She said a similar announcement is coming soon for the Ross Hotel by Patten Parkway on Georgia Avenue. It will also include residential and retail.

Ms. White said the Benwood Foundation helped River City acquire the long-vacant Ross Hotel, but she said both downtown projects will be fully funded by the developers.

The speaker said there are also plans to level Miller Park so it will have connection with Miller Plaza across MLK Boulevard. She said it is recommended that a building with residential units and a ground-floor restaurant be on the south end of Miller Park. 

She noted that when River City planned an apartment project along the riverfront years ago it had to do the project itself because no developer wanted anything to do with downtown Chattanooga.

Now, she said, there is no shortage of those wanting to do downtown projects.

Ms. White said Chattanooga has had $3.8 billion in new development since the Aquarium was built in 1992.

She said River City Company was started with $12 million in seed money. It acquired 34 acres downtown when property was cheap.

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