Local real-estate development firm Rise Partners recently purchased one of downtown Chattanooga’s last undeveloped blocks for $2.18 million, a surface parking lot formerly operated by Republic Systems.
Over the last two decades, multiple discussions have been held about the development possibilities for the former site of the Civic Forum building, located directly across from the downtown public library and situated in between EPB and TVA offices. Previous ideas included construction of a new federal courthouse, as well as plans submitted as part of a design challenge initiated by River City Co.
The location was known as a 19th Century railroad hub, while in the early 20th century it was home to well-loved local restaurant, Harry’s Place. After the restaurant shuddered its doors and was demolished, the Civic Forum building was constructed there. The Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce was located inside the Civic Forum Building for 25 years, prior to moving to its current location on Broad Street. Other tenants included the Chattanooga Manufacturers Association, the Industrial Committee of 100, the Chattanooga Safety Council, and the Chattanooga Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. After the Civic Forum building was razed in 2003, the site has since been used for surface parking.
Last year, Rise Partners announced plans to revitalize the old DuPont plant. On this more recent purchase, Matt Phillips, President of Rise Partners, said, “We’re working closely with our Chairman, former U. S. Senator Bob Corker, on this site. Conceptual studies are underway, and we want to ensure anything we might do would fundamentally enhance the central business district of our downtown.”
Check out TREND‘s 2022 coverage of Rise Partners’ significant investment in the former DuPont site, envisioned as North River Commerce Park, here.