After years of being unoccupied and dilapidated, the former Pruett's grocery store on Cherokee Boulevard has new life.
Tennessee law firm Davis, Kessler & Davis has expanded to Chattanooga and taken over the building in a $1.2 million project that revamped a 5,000-square-foot space.
"After searching high and low throughout the Chattanooga area for two years for the perfect location, there was something special about that old building that spoke to me," Davis said in a prepared statement. "And the more I thought about bringing it to life, the more I wondered about how some old barn wood might improve its inner and outer self—maybe give it a more natural personality and fit with the North Shore community."
Davis, a former Baylor School boarding student, and his family, friends and colleagues searched the small towns of Tennessee for barn wood that owners didn't need.
Once they gathered the wood, law firm leaders enlisted the help of building contractor Robert Roberts, Matt Sears from Sears Haskel, and River Street Architecture to bring the vision for the new office together.
The warped barn wood had to be cut, straightened and double-coated with a flame-retardant coat to make it structurally usable, while also maintaining its character and beauty.
"They really made a commitment as far as time and money," Roberts said of the new building owners. "It was far more expensive to do that barn wood interior than hang drywall and paint it."
Planners kept the natural wood influence on the outside of the building as well.
And Roberts said they made an effort to respect the North Shore's personality with their designs.
"As we planned and progressed through the renovation, we remained very cognizant of how the renovation would not only impact the North Shore’s personality, but also how it would enhance the connectivity for pedestrians," he said.
There is still a space of about 10,000 square feet available at 433 Cherokee Blvd.