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 She said the successful vendor rescinded his offer and the city determined that it wants to retain ownership.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.

Parental Accountability Court To Launch In Walker County

Superior Court Judge Kristina Cook Graham has secured funding through the Georgia Department of Human Services to create the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit’s first Parental Accountability Court (PAC).  The PAC is designed to provide chronic nonpayers of child support access to community resources as an alternative to incarceration. Community resources include volunteer ... (click for more)

Latest Bradley County Arrest Report

Click  here  for the latest Bradley County arrest report. (click for more)

Keep The Gifted Program In The Hamilton County Schools - And Response (2)

I currently have a daughter in fourth grade at Lookout Valley Elementary and a daughter in the eighth grade at Lookout Valley Middle High School. Both of my daughters are very good students, as well as being very good people. I am writing today with a concern. I was made aware that the Hamilton County Department of Education is considering cutting the gifted program ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A True Tennessean

“Last week I told some Republican friends who have held high office, traditional and true Republicans, who like you are both conservative and compassionate, Christians in their personal faith and public service,” the email began. “These are Tennessee Republicans that I have known for decades, and whom I'd trust with my life and my wife … I told them that my views and values make ... (click for more)

Cagle's One-Hitter Leads South Pittsburg Win

SOUTH PITTSBURG, Tenn. – South Pittsburg pitcher EJ Cagle is starting to refine his one-hitters.   For the second game in a row, the right-hander twirled a complete-game one-hitter, limiting visiting Lookout Valley to a bloop hit in the Pirates’ 10-0 shutout of the Jackets in a matchup of regular-season champions  Wednesday  night.   In ... (click for more)

Bradley Rides Bunch's 3-Hitter To 5-0 Win And 5-3A Baseball Title

Bradley Central’s opening 9-3 loss to Soddy-Daisy in a double-header to decide the District 5-3A regular-season champion on Wednesday, meant second-game starter Andy Bunch, a senior right-hander, needed to turn in a Herculean effort for the Bears. Bunch came through with flying colors at Tom Higgins Field. The hard-throwing Bunch fired a three-hit shutout at the Trojans ... (click for more)