Historic Fleetwood Coffee Building Opens New Apartments, Commercial Space

Thursday, May 12, 2016 - by Jessica Kramer

The historic Fleetwood Building is now open for residential and commercial rental in downtown Chattanooga.

The Fleetwood Coffee Building held a private tour for media to view the recent renovations at 232 East 11th Street on Wednesday. Representative Gerald McCormick, owner of Stone Fort Properties, and Hodgen Mainda, Vice President of Noon Development, led the tour.

Located between City Hall and the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the building was originally erected in 1903. One end of the block housed the Shubert Theater, which was where Woodrow Wilson spoke in 1910 before becoming president. Later, the building was owned by the Bennet-Hubbard Candy Company, where products such as chocolate-covered marshmallows and peanut butter were made.

The other end of the block is known for the Fleetwood Coffee Company, where coffee was roasted, packaged, and distributed in the facility. Much of the old coffee making equipment was still in the building when renovations began. Some items had to be taken out by crane.

As local downtown residents may know, the building was previously boarded up and empty. Reconstruction began about a year ago, resulting in an investment in excess of $10 million.

The first two floors of the building now house commercial space, while the top three floors are filled with apartments. The design attempts to maintain the historic feel of the old building, keeping its large windows, exposed brick walls, and original columns and beams.

There is approximately 15,600 square feet of leasable, commercial area and 31 rental apartments. The apartments, all ready for EPB hookup, consist of studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom options with varying floor plans.

Each apartment is unique and ranges in size from 442-1,132 square feet. Monthly rent ranges from $750-$1,925. Pets are allowed.

Ceilings are high, reaching 16 feet on the first floor, and the large windows offer majestic views of Lookout Mountain. Residents don’t even have to leave the building to eat, since Japanese restaurant Sekisui is located on the first floor.

Representative McCormick said the demographic of renters is probably mid-20s to mid-30s, and likely includes people who work downtown, riding bikes or walking to their appointments. He said the apartments are “competitive with other apartments downtown” and that both commercial and residential space is going fast.

“We’re filling it up just as fast as we can build it out,” he said.

Though the building only opened about a month ago, he estimated about half of the apartments and half of the office space were already leased.

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