published Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

Paul Huff Parkway sees increasing development in Cleveland, Tenn.

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    A Holiday Inn Express under construction at the intersection of Paul Huff Parkway and I-75 at Exit 27 is one of three current job sites along the parkway. The interstate is on the opposite side of the hill.
    Photo by Randall Higgins.
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CLEVELAND, Tenn. — The next city elementary school may be built in north Cleveland, a reflection of continued commercial and residential growth in the area, according to city officials.

Three construction sites now anchor both ends and the middle of Paul Huff Parkway. It’s the largest amount of simultaneous commercial construction on Paul Huff since the Cleveland Town Center opened three years ago, anchored by Target.

“This is good news for Cleveland,” Mayor Tom Rowland said. “It is good for sales tax revenue. It gives our folks more opportunities to shop at home and offers more brands.”

The Paul Huff area has become an active commercial district in just a few years, said City Councilman Avery Johnson. Electronics Express recently opened in the space left vacant with the demise of Circuit City, he said.

At the Exit 27 interchange, a Holiday Inn Express is coming soon. At the intersection with U.S. Highway 11/North Lee Highway, an Olive Garden is under way. And between them, work continues on Mouse Creek Crossing, the future home of at least two fast-food restaurants, with room for other stores.

“[Paul Huff] has developed into a business hub for Cleveland,” said Dale Hughes, who owns the Holiday Inn. Hughes also owns the Mountain View Inn and is a city councilman.

Hughes has owned the Holiday Inn property for eight years.

“We had not planned on opening a motel back then,” he said. “We are a blessed community, economically. We are faring so much better than most cities across the nation.”

Rowland said another major hotel chain will announce plans soon to locate at Exit 27.

Next year, plans call for a residential development on Hardwick Farm, facing Stuart Road. On Aug. 22, the City Council approved annexing a 39-acre area along the roadway, after Paul Huff crosses U.S. 11 and becomes Stuart Road.

The site has been rezoned to allow for houses, townhouses, condominiums and apartments.

But developers asked the city to hold off on any further action for six months while plans are settled.

Commercial and residential growth in north Cleveland is one reason why the city school board is considering building its next elementary school in the area.

Director of Schools Martin Ringstaff has said he is looking at growth numbers in north Cleveland to show why the next elementary school should be there.

The board’s site committee, meeting Aug. 31, agreed to recommend the school system negotiate for land on U.S. 11, just north of the Paul Huff and Stuart intersection.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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