Chattanooga City Council Approves $100 Million Revitalization Project

The Chattanooga City Council has approved a deal that solidifies a $100 million revitalization project in the city’s South Broad area.

The project is centered around the baseball stadium of the Chattanooga Lookouts, a minor league affiliate of Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Cincinnati Reds.

“For more than two decades, these 140 acres around us have sat vacant as a sad, rusting reminder of our wasted potential,” Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly said in a press conference in June, pitching the revitalization project. “There have been no less than eight studies conducted on this site since 2003, but despite that, our western gateway has remained a blighted brownfield doing absolutely nothing to increase jobs, tourism, or quality of life for our residents.”

Previously, the MLB was considering pulling the Lookouts’ affiliation with the League altogether, due to the stadium being in a state of disrepair.

But now the entire area will be revitalized, turning from an eyesore to a potential economic boon for the city, which intends to use taxes generated by the new site – including office spaces, retail locations, and restaurants – to fund schools and other government-funded projects.

“The City and County leveraged tax increment financing for the project, with each committing just $1.4 million of non-property tax revenues up front toward the $72 million cost of the multi-use stadium,” the Chattanooga Pulse said. “The land for the stadium will be donated by Perimeter Properties, which has also donated approximately 14 acres of  land to allow the Riverwalk to bisect the site.”

Kelly reacted after the vote.

“This is about becoming the best city in the country to live, work, and play,” he reportedly said. “This is about new housing, new commercial space for our small businesses, new living-wage jobs, and new public green spaces and trails. This is about connecting our neighborhoods, bringing us one step closer to One Chattanooga.”

“When we say One Chattanooga, it means shifting the mindset to growing the pie for everyone, not just fighting over the scraps of an old, broken world. It means investing in our future, not trapping ourselves in the past by refusing to believe in the possible. It means looking ahead with hope and courage to what we can and will accomplish together, and overcoming the fear and cynicism that for too long has held us back.”

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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Chattanooga City Council” by Lawson Whitaker Photography. 

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4 Thoughts to “Chattanooga City Council Approves $100 Million Revitalization Project”

  1. Jay

    If Kelly can’t stop the shootings and control the thugs it will be a ghost town. I live here.

    1. 83ragtop50

      Jay – I lived through this as Houston boomed from a nice, quiet southern city into a cesspool all for the glory of unbridled growth. I am afraid that there is little hope for you.

    2. Dave R

      Me, too. He got elected because most didn’t realize how far left that Champagne Socialist really is

  2. 83ragtop50

    This happens all over the country often with the money being wasted. Stick a sports stadium in the armpit of a city and HOPE that it boosts the slum area. Goofy stuff.