Nippon Paint Project Continues in East Chattanooga

By Abdiel Vallejo-Lopez

Japanese manufacturer, Nippon Paint, continues building its $61 million auto paint factory on a nearly 30-acre site in East Chattanooga. Despite construction delays brought on by the pandemic, the project is expected to be operational by next spring and looks to hire an initial 150 new employees to work the factory, starting in the fall or winter.

The site was originally home to the Harriett Tubman housing project from 1953-2012. In its new form, the site will continue serving the community by offering jobs and opportunities to a largely underserved neighborhood. The factory will be responsible for supplying the Mazda-Toyota plant near Huntsville, Alabama, which recently unveiled the first vehicle in their production lineup — the all-new Corolla Cross.

Recently, the city of Chattanooga announced it was lending its Industrial Development Board $4 million to extend Hardy Street as an infrastructure investment toward the Nippon Paint project.

Mayor Andy Berke has coined the area as “East Chattanooga Rising.” City officials say the infrastructure development will range from streets, alleys and sidewalks to lighting, fencing and landscaping. The mayor has previously said he would potentially consider utilizing city property for mixed housing, retail or other commercial use, per Chattanooga Times free press.

Watch a recent Nippon Paint update by Charles Woods, VP, Economic Development, Chattanooga Chamber, and chief economic development officer, Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership, here.