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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, October 21, 2016

Six areas for potential real estate growth


REALTOR Association President's Message



Over the last several months, the Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors (GCAR) has collaborated with the Regional Planning Agency (RPA), the Homebuilder’s Association of Greater Chattanooga, the Association of General Contractors, and the American Institute of Architects Chattanooga Chapter on a study of Chattanooga and the surrounding area. The goal of the study was to see where growth is happening and expected to continue.

National studies show that people want to live in walkable communities near the town center. Developments that are mixed-use, meaning they are comprised of both commercial and residential use, allow for such communities. The RPA study highlighted six areas that have the most potential for mixed-use development in Greater Chattanooga.

Downtown Chattanooga around UTC, the Tennessee Aquarium, and spreading toward South Chickamauga Street, off South Broad Street: The recent growth in these areas is easy to see. The prospect of growth and development moving down South Broad Street is exciting. That is a probable reality with the new Riverwalk terminating next to the South Chickamauga Creek.

North Shore: Growth and development has been taking place in North Chattanooga for several years, so this is no surprise to me. The North Shore is limited by the amount of available land left to develop. The commercial properties going up Cherokee Blvd are likely to continue to be developed more and more.

South Chattanooga, spreading up Main Street, McCallie, and Baily Avenues toward the base of Missionary Ridge and into St. Elmo: To quote the RPA study, “Pockets of neighborhood areas have grown especially for home buyers looking for authentic historic homes and proximity to downtown.” That trend should continue in the South Chattanooga areas. The growth of UTC is another factor that has pushed people into these areas.

Collegedale/Ooltewah: This is the brightest area for growth. In 2015, Ooltewah had a 15 percent rise in closed home sales for the year according GCAR’s Multiple Listing Service. The RPA predicts growth to take place on Apison Pike from Interstate 75 and into Collegedale. Also, growth is expected on Ooltewah Ringgold Road from Collegedale into Ooltewah, as on Gunbarrel Road by Hamilton Place Mall. It is anticipated that Ooltewah will continue to be the area of the greatest suburban growth, as it has been for the past ten years.

Highway 153 around Northgate Mall and on Highway 153, close to where State Highway 27 meets Highway 153: Stores like Academy Sports have popped up on the northern end of Highway 153, and development does seem to keep pushing toward Highway 27. For the past several years, we’ve also witnessed development around Northgate Mall, especially as CBL is now making improvements to the mall.

Brainerd along Brainerd Road from the tunnels to Belvoir Avenue: I hope this area really takes off – it would be great for Brainerd to have a revival along Brainerd Road.

Realtors see areas with good schools and/or walkability as the two most popular factors when choosing where to live. And affordability always plays a role. For example, buyers have to choose whether to live in the Ooltewah suburbs or the walkable Southside. Soddy Daisy also had booming sales in 2015 that are linked to the affordability and the beauty of the area. Harrison also was mentioned as a growth area by the RPA for its proximity to VW and other manufacturing growth. With the affordability of the nearby North Georgia counties, it’s likely that home sales will continue to be strong, like they were in 2015.

I hope this overview of the RPA study helps paint an exciting picture of how Chattanooga is growing in many different directions. Contact a Realtor today to find out what area of town might be best for you.

The Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors is The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga. The Association is a regional organization with more than 1,700 members, and is one of more than 1,400 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. The Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors services Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee, and Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties in northwest Georgia.

For more information, visit www.gcar.net.