Rivercity Company President Kim White said her group is working to have 10 percent of downtown Chattanooga workers as downtown residents.
She said just 3.2 percent of the 46,000 downtown workers now live near their job, but the rate is growing since Chattanooga was "a commuter town."
Ms. White told the North Chattanooga Council of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce that a town like Charleston is at 10 percent of its workforce living downtown.
She said a move back to downtown living would help with "the daily 8 and 5 traffic swells."
The speaker said developers are accommodating the movement by building a host of apartments. She said 3,100 are going up downtown in a four-year period through the end of next year.
One of the latest is 200 apartments at 1400 Chestnut, and she said townhouses and apartments at bustling Cameron Harbor on the back side of Cameron Hill "are being occupied as soon as they are built. It's just amazing."
Ms. White said some developers are mixing ni some new downtown trends that are proving popular.
She said the former long-vacant Ross Hotel is being operated as the Tomorrow Building after an $8 million make-over. It includes short-term leases, small sleeping spaces, and communal kitchen and living areas on each floor. She said, "It has been full since it opened."
The new Hotel Moxie on King Street will have a similar set up with smaller sleeper areas and larger communal space that "appeal to Millennials."
She said the Maclellan Building that is being converted to residential space has no parking, but that is no problem to many Millennials.
Ms. White said Rivercity helped revive MLK Boulevard with $1 million in small business grants. She said that has led to a couple of micro breweries and other development catering to the nearby large student population.
She told the group there has been $90 million in development on the North Shore in just the last year and a half.
She said, "You have a retail mix with some unique homes and more and more people want to live here."
Ms. White indicated that an announcement is forthcoming about a major development of the former Allen Casey property off Manufacturers Road across the river from Ross's Landing.