John Shearer: Checking Out The New - And News-Making - Places In Hixson And Red Bank

Saturday, January 23, 2021 - by John Shearer

As one who frequents the Hixson and Red Bank areas more than other parts of town, I have followed the new construction and new businesses just by being in my car.


And because of an inner pull to document places for historical purposes, I decided amid Saturday’s sunny blue skies to take pictures of some of the completed sites. I did that, even though under-construction photos are the more interesting to look at as time goes by!


I did not take pictures of every new business or development, as I think some residential developments are underway off the side roads near South Dayton Boulevard.

And I know plenty of other residential construction is taking place in Hixson off streets like Cassandra Smith Road.


The ones I went by were mainly places seen from Hixson Pike and Dayton Boulevard.


I started Saturday morning by going past the Webb Family Orthodontics building at Hixson Pike by Williams Road. It was probably completed about a year ago, and I had been meaning to get a picture of it. It is nice and stands out among some older and lower-quality, metal-siding buildings on that stretch of the street, although there are other good-looking buildings, including even some fast-food structures.


Speaking of fast food, I then went by the Jack’s in Red Bank by Ashland Terrace and Dayton Boulevard, which has been open only a few weeks.


It seems to be well received in its few weeks of operating.


I then stopped again at the large lawn/meadow amid suburbia that is uniquely the old Red Bank Middle/High School site a little farther south on Dayton Boulevard. Proposals are being sought for mixed-use development there – including park space. Red Bank and other entities will likely get going on some kind of plans soon, even though some people have hoped it would all become park space.


It still has the old New Deal-era constructed wall and steps along Dayton Boulevard.


I next took a picture of the old Shoney’s a little farther south and across the street, which is slowly being remodeled into a future Mojo Burrito. Pre-pandemic plans called for opening this restaurant and using the current one near the intersection with Signal Mountain Road as a catering kitchen.


For the record, I love their ground beef burritos!


While I was there, I also took a picture of the convenience store across Dayton Boulevard that has been selling Union 76 or 76 gas for several months. Since I had not seen an orange “76” ball for a number of years, the view of the business has been a nostalgic trip down memory lane.


What next, the old Red Bank Lion and Texaco stations will reappear farther north on Dayton Boulevard, and the convenience store on Ashland Terrace across from the Coulter Chapel of Lane Funeral Home will start selling DX gasoline as an ode to the late John Brown’s station?


Keeping in mind when the sun was illuminating the front of many of these new places, I then drove over to Northpoint Boulevard and Executive Drive to see the outside of the new Everlan by Dominion independent living community for those 55 and older.


Although it sits at an unspectacular location near Northgate Mall, the numerous medically focused office buildings and some railroad tracks, hats off to the architect and builder. It looks a little like a Western lodge or vintage Wyoming hotel or at least a classic Eastern golf and country club clubhouse. Views of pretty Signal Mountain in the distance can be seen from the slightly elevated location as well.


I then took a picture of the nicely constructed building on the outside of Northgate Mall that now houses Buddy’s BBQ and Buff City Soap.


After a nice lunch and, yes, a brief nap, I broke away from the seemingly dozens of college basketball games on TV at mid-afternoon to finish my tour. I first went to see the Chicken Salad Chick restaurant that has opened in recent weeks in the old Karl’s Family Restaurant building.


In my opinion, they did a great job of reusing an old building and giving it an eye-catching, modern and refurbished look. Hopefully business will continue to be good for them.


I then stopped in the Publix shopping center parking lot farther out Hixson Pike and took a picture of Jack’s across Hixson Pike in between countless cars zooming by. Both Jack’s have a nice architectural look for a fast-food restaurant.


I also realized that you will probably not hear anytime soon many residents of Hixson or Red Bank say that they wish they had a Jack’s closer to them.


I concluded my tour by stopping at the Valleybrook Presbyterian Church parking lot and taking pictures again across Hixson Pike at the new Lullwater at Big Ridge apartment complex. And yes, I once again tried to click my shutter in between passing automobiles.


More of a typically modern Chattanooga suburban apartment complex, it is not quite as eye catching as the Everlan complex to me. But it still had an appealing look, with balconies, a good-sized clubhouse and a runoff retention pond that should add a nice aesthetic for residents.


After I headed south on Hixson Pike and back home, I started thinking that it would sure be nice for the old Earth Fare store north of Northgate Mall and the railroad tracks to be converted into a Fresh Market or Trader Joe’s grocery. After all, does every really popular chain business have to be built only on Gunbarrel Road?


And while you are at it, could we have a Krispy-Kreme doughnut shop a little closer than Brainerd Road?


If that occurred, it would certainly be sweet music to my ears – and taste buds!


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