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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, September 22, 2017

Market City Center celebrates grand opening




Kim White, left, president and CEO of River City Company, speaking during the grand opening celebration. - Photograph by David Laprad

River City Company and Atlanta-based real estate investment firm The Simpson Organization held a grand opening Sept. 14 to celebrate the newly completed Market City Center. The complex includes 125 apartments, 22,000 square feet of commercial space and approximately 18,000 square feet designated for retail.

In 2000, River City Company purchased the 700 block on Market Street with the goal of bringing residential opportunities to the area.

Although River City Company received offers to sell the site (including an unsuccessful project in 2006 for the development of condominiums), the site stayed vacant until the company issued requests for proposals in 2014.

The Simpson Organization purchased the site from River City Company in May 2015 to create the largest residential and retail development in central Chattanooga since the 1970s.

Kim White, president and chief executive officer of River City Company, and Boyd Simpson, chief executive of The Simpson Organization, spoke during the event.

“Downtown development can be a challenge. But our patience and persistence paid off. The Simpson Organization presented us with the perfect project at the right time,” said White. “Thank you, Boyd, for believing in us and investing in our city.”

“This is a ‘We did it,’” Simpson said. “Without the assistance of the City of Chattanooga and Hamilton County, we’d have no project. Without River City Company, we’d have no project. Without (general contractor) EMJ, who delivered this building on time and on budget, we’d have no project.

“So, the message here is that by working together as opposed to focusing on the negatives – by finding all the positives and putting them together – we can accomplish things greater than any of us could do individually.”

Simpson also thanked Ron Stang and Laura Morton, the architects from Stevens & Wilkinson who helped The Simpson Organization design Market City Center, and Synovus for handling the financing.

Market City Center includes retail boutiques, restaurants, office space and apartment living. The development is a stone’s throw away from the Tennessee River Park and minutes away from many dining and entertainment establishments, including Tivoli Theatre.

Market City Center’s first retail tenant, Bantam + Biddy, a southern diner operated by renowned Atlanta chef Shaun Doty, will open in the fall. In addition, about 130 people are on the waiting list for the apartments.

“By the end of this year, this building will likely be full from a residential perspective,” Simpson said.

In addition to Market City Center, The Simpson Organization has invested locally in the SunTrust Bank Building and Warehouse Row. Simpson said the SunTrust structure will see “significant changes in the next 18 months.”

“If I have my way, I’m going to find another project for Boyd before he gets on a plane tonight,” White said.

During the grand opening celebration, White also announced that The Simpson Organization has donated $150,000 to the renovation of Miller Park.

Information: www.marketcitycenter.com.

Source: River City Company