published Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Chattanooga planners approve $9 million mixed-use project in East Brainerd

Chattanooga planners on Monday OK'ed zoning for a $9 million mixed-use project off East Brainerd Road that promises to bring more office, commercial and residential space to the busy corridor.

Plans are to put about 23,000 square feet of new office space on the site, said Mike Price of MAP Engineers, who represented owner-developer James D. Lee of Harrison.

Also, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission approved zoning for plans to develop some of the 9-acre site into commercial shops. A site plan included a 12,000-square-foot commercial building, but Price said he could break that up into two 5,000-square-foot structures.

Some of the commercial uses Price envisioned were a barber shop, salons and a pizza restaurant and "anything that's just a neighborhood-type commercial uses."

Currently, the property holds a rock landscaping business and has held a building used in the past as a flower shop, Price said.

Commission member Jack Benson said he hadn't heard of any objections to the proposal, though he had concerns about the development of a commercial parcel. The city councilman suggested development not include such businesses as payday lending or pawn shops.

"I have no problem," Price said. "If you want to restrict high-lending institutions ... I have no problem with that."

Also, panel member Don Moon suggested that commercial use on the same parcel be limited to businesses closing no later than 9 p.m.

The property also includes some space that could be developed into several single-family residences. Planners said the proposal includes three lots of 16,000 square feet each.

Price said the next step is to request approval from the City Council. He said the developer doesn't have any tenants signed up, but will start that effort.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6318.

about Mike Pare...

Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...

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