Causeway, The Enterprise Center, and the YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga announce that Bingo’s Market will be reopening in Patten Towers in the Spring of 2019, thanks to the cooperation and support of the building’s new owner, Elmington Property Management.
Bingo’s Market is a small market on the ground floor of Patten Towers that makes "healthy and affordable food" accessible to the residents of the building, as well as those who live or work in the Innovation District. Originally opened in the fall of 2017 as a pilot initiative, Bingo's showed early success but had to be temporarily closed for the past several months as the building underwent a change in ownership.
“During the pilot period, Bingo’s became a valuable resource to those in Patten Towers and in the neighborhood,” said Bill Rush, executive director for the J.A.
Henry Community YMCA. “We couldn’t be happier about the market reopening.”
The original idea surfaced when the Edney Building, the anchor of the Innovation District, opened across the street from Patten Towers in 2015. Several organizations in the Innovation District started playing bingo with the residents of Patten Towers, and through relationships built there, learned that the residents were struggling with a lack of access to healthy, affordable food.
Patten Towers sold to Nashville-based Elmington Property Management earlier this year, and they have announced a $9 million renovation. The building will remain subsidized, low-income housing for the elderly and disabled.
“We were thrilled to see all of the community investment in this building,” said John Shepard, VP of Elmington. “We hope that the renovation of the ground floor will enhance the customer experience for Bingo’s Market and improve the quality of life for the residents.”
Bingo’s Market is on target to reopen in March of 2019, and Elmington Property Management has agreed to let them use the space rent-free for three years. Bingo’s Market will be owned and operated by the YMCA, with marketing, outreach and planning support from Causeway and The Enterprise Center. The market will continue to accept SNAP Benefits, ensuring that the food is accessible for the low-income population who lives in the building. Additionally, anyone using SNAP Benefits will receive an additional 10 percent off. The collaborating organizations are brainstorming about more creative solutions to make the food even more affordable for the residents.
Causeway’s executive director Abby Garrison says, “Throughout the past several months of Bingo’s closing, we all remained committed to reopening the market. Given sales history and excellent management by the YMCA, we know it can be a sustainable enterprise. Bingo’s Market illustrates Chattanooga’s unique commitment to partnering across sectors to solve tough challenges in our city, like access to healthy, affordable food. We are thrilled that Elmington has willingly joined in on that spirit of civic collaboration.”