published Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

Neighborhood balks at apartment colors, so developer considers toning down facade

This rendering shows a revised color scheme for the Hamilton Lofts, an apartment complex at N. 600 Market Street.
This rendering shows a revised color scheme for the Hamilton Lofts, an apartment complex at N. 600 Market Street.
Many on the North Shore dislike the rainbow colors used to paint the newly constructed apartments in the 600 block of North Market Street.
Many on the North Shore dislike the rainbow colors used to paint the newly constructed apartments in the 600 block of North Market Street.
Photo by Tim Barber.
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When North Shore resident Lee Anne Chesnutt saw the bright blues, pinks and yellows painted on the new apartment complex at 600 N. Market St., she took to Facebook.

"I hope this is John Wise's sense of humor and not really the way it's going to end up," she said. Painters doused the four-story, $4 million apartment building in a rainbow of bright colors this week -- colors that neighbors said don't fit the area.

"I think they're awful," Chesnutt said. "It doesn't go with the brick, it doesn't fit in with the landscape at all."

Faced with a storm of negative feedback, developer John Wise is backing away from his initial plan to create a colorful row of San Francisco-style apartments and is asking for public input on a new color palette this week.

"The neighbors got all corralled and decided they didn't like the colors so I sent them all over to the architect who's handling it and said, 'Why don't you come up with a compromise of what you want to see?'" Wise said.

A group of neighborhood leaders met with Elemi Architects Thursday and created a new color scheme for the complex. It's full of neutral browns, golds, greens and grays.

Wise plans to paint sections of the walls with the new colors today, so that area residents can see a sample of what the new paint will look like. Neighbors can pass on feedback to Elemi Architects during the next few days, Wise said.

"You never know what it looks like until you get it up there," he said. "I wanted something that was more modern. And when you try things you don't always get a warm reception, but you've got to try -- like my dad said, 'Go big or go home.'"

He expects to spend an extra $8,000 if he decides to repaint the complex with the neutral color scheme.

"I'm willing to listen to the people in the area and I'm willing to reach some kind of consensus," he said, adding that the feedback he's gotten from Facebook has been about 75 percent positive.

Hill City Neighborhood Association co-president Jason Havron was at the Thursday meeting and said he's glad Wise is willing to work with the neighborhood.

"He doesn't have to change the colors at all," he said. "He can leave it just how he wants to. There's no rule or law that he has to come up with a color that's suitable to the neighborhood. I think most of the people are happy that Mr. Wise is going the extra mile to try to please the neighborhood."

Nearby resident Robert Dickerson said the bright hues surprised him, but that it's not really his business what colors are used.

"I guess it's all right," he said. "At least people will know which one they live in."

Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at sbradbury@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6525.

about Shelly Bradbury...

Shelly Bradbury covers police and crime in Chattanooga and Hamilton County for the Times Free Press. She's been with the paper since 2012, working first as an intern and then as a business reporter. She is from Houghton, New York, and graduated from Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minor in management. Before moving to Tennessee, Shelly previously interned with The Goshen News, The Sandusky Register and The Mint ...

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