published Saturday, February 1st, 2014

Law offices to open on North Shore

The rundown building located along Cherokee Boulevard is seen on Friday. The building is being turned into law offices.
The rundown building located along Cherokee Boulevard is seen on Friday. The building is being turned into law offices.
Photo by C. B. Schmelter.

A onetime grocery store on Chattanooga's trendy North Shore is undergoing an extreme makeover into law offices and commercial space in a project valued at upwards of $2 million.

The Cherokee Boulevard site of a former supermarket run by the Pruett family will turn into the only satellite office of a Winchester, Tenn., law firm that's entering the Chattanooga market, said Floyd Davis, founder of the firm Davis Kessler and Davis.

"We hope to bring a different kind of law practice," Davis said. "We deal in a country way of doing business."

Work already has begun to revamp the nearly 15,000-square-foot brick building that has sat empty for the last couple of years. But the project shows the ongoing interest by developers in the North Shore.

Robert Davis, son of the firm's founder and a partner, said plans are for the building to hold three or four lawyers with others rotating in depending on need. He said the firm will occupy about 4,500 to 5,000 square feet and lease the remainder. The firm practices bankruptcy, personal injury and other law, he said.

"It's promising for offices or a restaurant or retail," Davis said.

Both Davises cited the on-site parking, which was estimated at about 100 spaces.

"That will be enough to take care of us and several businesses," Floyd Davis said.

He said he wouldn't mind renting the space the law office doesn't use to one tenant, though it could be fairly easily to have several taking up more than 1,000 square feet.

The elder Davis said the site is being purchased from Paul Pruett, who is a contractor and helping do some of the work.

"We'll have the most unique office in Chattanooga," he said, noting it will be built out with barn wood. "I've always had an affinity for wood."

Davis estimated the project at between $1.3 million and $1.9 million, including the purchase price.

He cited the continuing development on the North Shore, including the Publix supermarket which is going up nearby on North Market Street.

In addition, three new buildings, developments roughly valued at more than $4 million, are proposed for North Market, which are expected to bring more retail, offices and living space to the area.

The Pruett family once operated a string of grocery stores in the Chattanooga area by the same name. Now, only the Pruett store on Signal Mountain remains.

In addition, Chuck Pruett opened Greenlife Grocery, a health and organic specialty store, on the North Shore more than a decade ago. That store was later sold to Whole Foods.

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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