City Will Not Sell King Street Parking Lot To Developer After All

Thursday, January 4, 2018
The Chattanooga Downtown Redevelopment Corporation (CDRC) voted on Thursday to withdraw the Request for Proposal to sell the city-owned parking lot on King Street to Seaford Investments. 

Board Chair Daisy Madison gave two reasons. She said the successful vendor rescinded his offer and the city determined that it wants to retain ownership.
The narrow lot is used for city employee and fleet parking for the Development Resources Center nearby across the street.
 
Developer Hiren Desai, who is renovating a former warehouse nearby and building a Moxie Hotel near King and South Market, earlier said he needed the lot for parking. 

The board deferred action on a resolution that would transfer parking lot ownership from the CDRC to the Industrial Development Board (IDB) until city staff completes a review. Accountability for Taxpayer Money (ATM), a public interest advocacy group, has questioned why the property would be transferred to the IDB since that board only holds title to land for companies under PILOT (tax break) agreements. Both the CDRC and the IDB are tax exempt as city entities.

A number of questions were raised about the parking lot since the City Council declared it surplus in 2016. The city bought the lot in 2007 as parking for city employees. In 2017 the CDRC issued an RFP to sell the parcel. Two corporations responded to the RFP. The CDRC was prepared to sell to Seaford Investments at a price much less than the city had paid for it in 2007 and well below its current market value. After questions were raised, an appraisal was done, and the price more than doubled. 

ATM founder Helen Burns Sharp said after the meeting that she was "delighted" that the parking lot would remain in city hands and that the CDRC seems committed to doing more research on property negotiations.

In other business, the board authorized the drafting of an RFP for the management of certain major events (excluding Riverbend) on parcels owned by the CDRC in the Waterfront District.
 
CARTA staff also gave a report on their management of surface parking lots owned by the CDRC, including Renaissance Park. 

Members of the board are Ms. Madison, City Finance Officer; Stacy Richardson, Mayor Berke's Chief of Staff; Jerry Mitchell, City Council Chair, and developers David Dalton and Julian Bell, III.


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ARNOLD, JOSEPH LEGRANDE  HOMELESS CHATTANOOGA, 37404  Age at Arrest: 56 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga PUBLIC INTOXICATION --- AUSTIN, DERRICK RICHARD  3011 WILCOX BLVD CHATTANOOGA, 37406  Age at Arrest: 20 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DISORDERLY CONDUCT ... (click for more)

City Council Approves Agreement For Road Leading From Main Street To Edge Of Choo Choo

The City Council on Tuesday approved an agreement for development of Passenger Street as a connection between Main Street and the edge of the Chattanooga Choo Choo property. Passenger Street goes north by Main Street Meats and The Flying Squirrel bar. Under the agreement, LIV Development of Birmingham, Ala., will provide engineering plans for the reconstruction of one section ... (click for more)

Dismal Educator Teaching At UTC - And Response

Roy Exum,  People are talking about the inability of UTC to turn out high quality teachers. Well, should any university be expected to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse? We all know how our school system students fail miserably on national scholastic aptitude tests as a whole.  Forget Tcap tests, those are teacher tests not meant for measuring student progress, but ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Man’s Need To ‘Jaw’

On the first day of every month, I’ve gotten into the habit of taking a stroll in “my garden.” I mix up the “orchids” (good stuff) and “onions” (bad stuff) that has idled in my brain from the month before and most people seem to like it. I know I do. One of the “onions” for this January read like this: “AN ONION to the disappointing realization Chattanooga no longer has Bill Kilbride ... (click for more)

Without Suspended Coach, Canes Slip Past Bradley, 60-52

East Hamilton boys’ basketball coach Rodney English has been suspended from his coaching duties and did not accompany the team to Cleveland for Tuesday night's District 5-3A game against Bradley Central at Jim Smiddy Arena. Assistant coach Zach Roddenberry, who has two years of head coaching experience at Boyd-Buchanan and a half a season as interim coach at Midland High School ... (click for more)

Faires Win Leads Trojan Matmen Past Bradley, 27-21

It’s been a whirlwind week so far for Soddy Daisy wrestling coach Jim Higgins and it’s only Tuesday. He and his wife put their house on the market Monday and it sold less than 24 hours later.  Add to that Soddy Daisy’s 27-21 win over defending state champ Bradley at the Soddy Daisy Wrestling Arena Tuesday night and you can see that a lot of good things have happened in a ... (click for more)