Cambridge Square Kicks Off 2023 With 2 New Commercial Starts

  • Wednesday, January 18, 2023

The development office at Cambridge Square has announced two new commercial building projects to kick off the new year, bringing the total number of commercial structures in this mixed-use community to 16. Cambridge Square is located in Ooltewah, less than a quarter mile east of I-75 off exit 11. The project officially broke ground a little more than a decade ago.

BP Construction has provided all development and contracting services at Cambridge Square, and all the buildings were designed by River Street Architecture.

The two new construction starts include a 14,000 square foot building, now underway, on the central square and a 7,000 square foot building one block off the central square. Construction on the 7,000 square foot building is expected to begin late first quarter of 2023.

The bottom floor of the 14,000 square foot building will be occupied by two existing Cambridge Square retail concepts (Barn Door Boutique and Sweet E’s Children’s Boutique) whose businesses have grown to the extent that they require additional space. The second floor has been designed for flex office, targeting small business owners who have a need for professional space on a smaller scale. The building is scheduled for delivery in the fall of this year.

The 7,000 square foot building is fully occupied prior to groundbreaking with two local concepts expanding their Chattanooga presence.

Local restaurant owner Adriana Sanchez will expand her well-established Molcajete Mexican concept with a 2,500 square foot indoor/outdoor space. Ms. Sanchez opened her first Molcajete restaurant on Perimeter Drive in Chattanooga in 2014. Her plans for Cambridge include a casual lunch menu and a more upscale culinary experience in the evenings.

A top-rated nail salon will occupy 3,000 square feet with an official announcement scheduled for later this year.

At present, Cambridge Square is fully occupied with a total of 174,095 square feet of leased/occupied commercial space. Tenants include local restaurants, retailers, professional office, and healthcare providers. The tenant roster has grown organically over the last decade with local brands being courted to expand their market presence into Ooltewah.

“The success of Cambridge Square lies primarily with the tenants and the chance that many of them took with our development team,” said Jim Cheney who oversees marketing for Cambridge Square. “Our earliest conversations with some of the city’s biggest brands were almost hypothetical based on the actual status of the development activity, and they took a chance that we would deliver on the vision we were pitching. I’m proud to say that it has worked out well, but it took a lot of work on everyone’s behalf to get here. We are immensely grateful for our tenant relationships.

“In addition to the tenants, I think an enormous amount of credit goes to the larger community who stepped up and supported these new ventures from the very beginning. It’s been amazing to see the appreciative nature and sustained loyalty for Cambridge Square. In a lot of ways, the project’s evolution has been a shared effort between the developer and the people who frequent the businesses within the development. Their patronage has played a defining role in our long-term growth and the staying power of our concepts.”

At this stage, 75 percent of Cambridge Square’s commercial district is complete or under construction. (The community also includes a residential district which will grow to more than 50 residences in 2023 with new construction starting at an estimated $325 a square foot.)

“There are four remaining commercial pads,” said Mr. Cheney. “Initially we anticipated these being office buildings, but the changes in the work environment over the last couple years have us rethinking that direction. There may be an opportunity for some of those pads to be absorbed into the residential district, but we have not made any final decisions on that front. We are keeping all our options open.”

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