Collier Construction is working on a $20 million development on St. Elmo Avenue behind the Southern Saddlery building.
"There’s a void of any kind of development [in that area]," CEO Ethan Collier said. "This is an opportunity to do something in an area of town that for three or four decades hasn't seen investment."
The project—which will be called One Hundred at South Broad—is slated to go before City Council next month. It will have 29 single-family homes and 20 three-story townhouses, as well as commercial space.
Leaders will provide updates about the development here, where there is a place to sign up for alerts about progress.
The commercial space will have room for offices but also possibilities for businesses like a gym, hair salon or coffee shop, CEO Ethan Collier said.
There will be parking for the commercial space, as well.
"And at the end of the day we hope this can become a destination in and of itself," Collier said.
Homes will range in cost from about $225,000 to $350,000, depending on the style of the units. And the developers are hoping to attract everyone from young families to baby boomers who are looking to downsize and live closer to downtown.
Some of the homes will have garages, driveways and yards. And because it's zoned as an "urban general commercial zone," people can have storefronts in part of their homes.
"On the ground floor there's going to be a garage and another space that you could front an office out of," Gabe Thomas, development manager at Collier, said.
There will be a lot of green space on the 7-acre development, including a pocket park modeled after the Main Terrain Art Park on the Southside.
"We are going to make substantial improvements to St. Elmo Avenue," Collier said. "We are adding sidewalks and street parking and street lights—all those sorts of things all the way down St. Elmo Avenue and through the development."
The development will be about 300 feet from where the River Walk extension will be, which was a big draw for Collier Construction.
"Our biggest interest in this piece of property centered around the proximity to the Riverwalk," Collier said.
The development will help bridge St. Elmo's town center and downtown Chattanooga, and the proximity to downtown is a big selling point, he said.
There's great potential to create more biking and walking opportunities in the entire area, the developers said.
"It's already kind of designed that way and the way the city is pushing bike traffic—our goal would be to capture that and add to it," Collier said.
Crews are aiming to break ground on the infrastructure work in June or July and break ground on the houses in September or October.
The developers hope to have the first homes available by this time next year, they said.
"There's cheaper land and there's easier land but we wanted to build a community that is a good place to live and attracts a lot of different types of people," Thomas said.
Updated @ 1:05 p.m. to correct an editing error.