Ooltewah is center stage for the New South’s automotive manufacturing world. With Volkswagen’s 3,200 employees, the addition of 400 positions at Amazon, and Tier 1 Supplier Plastic Omnium filling 300 jobs, this community which was named by the Cherokees as “resting place by the water” is now operating at high speed. Along with restaurants, life style centers, and planned senior living neighborhoods, professional offices are also moving to the area to support blossoming industries and their employees.
With such significant growth in a short amount of time, one might think that this community would be challenged in keeping its small town identity and values; however, Ooltewah is not only welcoming new neighbors, it is embracing its place as a community of choice. The community boasts some of the region’s best schools with East Hamilton High School listed as one of the Hamilton County’s best. Showing the strength of their athletic program, outstanding athletes like Jacques Smith of the Atlanta Falcons and Sammy Seamster of the Miami Dolphins can be counted among Ooltewah High School’s alumni.
The median household income in Ooltewah is one of the highest in Hamilton County and the community enjoys being ranked as one of the best places to live in Tennessee. With the influx of additional family-wage positions, this trend is certain to continue well into the future.
Great care is being taken to ensure that neighborhoods are being constructed in a thoughtful manner. Developers now regularly host community meetings to gain insight and input from fellow citizens in the Ooltewah area. They know that being a good neighbor starts with active communication. Plans developed through the public involvement process not only assist with the planning of such developments but also provide an opportunity to market the project to the greater community.
Elected officials for the area are quick to bring together such meetings for the greater good of the community. Hamilton County Commissioner Sabrena Smedley worked with residents before she was elected last summer, and was actively involved in reaching consensus with the developer of The Enclave at East Hamilton, a neighborhood that will feature a village-style retail development. Most recently, Smedley was once again involved in consensus-building on another re-zoning issue for a proposed neighborhood.
The growing corridor along Ooltewah-Ringgold Road features large established neighborhoods as well three new developments that recently received approval for re-zoning which will allow them to begin construction. Each development caters to the diverse needs of the growing community of Ooltewah. From neighborhood grocery stores to gated communities, there’s something for everyone considering the Ooltewah lifestyle.
Growing families are attracted to neighborhoods that feature Mission-style designs with common areas for gatherings while executives coming to the area for short periods of time are drawn to some of Ooltewah’s more sophisticated housing options that include property maintenance. Somewhere in-between are plenty of options for those seeking to live quietly among rolling hills and family farms that have been in the same hands for generations.
Ooltewah might be changing to meet the needs of her newest neighbors; however, the values and beauty of the area that first attracted many of us to call it home still resonate. These are the values that matter equally to all of us and are part of the Ooltewah lifestyle that make this a special place to call home.
Gina Sakich is the owner broker of Signature Brokers. Located in Suite 111 at 5559 Little Debbie Parkway in Ooltewah, Tenn., the boutique real estate firm is geographically positioned in one the fastest growing regions in the Southeast. For more information about Signature Brokers, visit www.TheSignatureFirm.com, call them at (423) 521-3476, like them on Facebook (Signature Brokers, LLC), or follow them on Twitter (@SigFirm). Sakich has been a resident of the Ooltewah community for over 20 years.