The recent growth of Chattanooga during the pandemic could mean that a billion-dollar project is completed sooner than expected.
“More restaurants, more bars on the waterfront, hotels, things like that. Maybe a boardwalk," said The Bend developer Jimmy Whitte.
Whitte is helping recreate the former Alstom Plant in Chattanooga and said this $3.5 billion project will begin to show changes.
“I think if you drive by there today, you will have seen changes that happened in the last few months," said Whitte.
The timeline for completion is dependent on Chattanooga's growth.
“I think if we’re really, really aggressive on our timeline I think 7-10 years," said Whitte. "Based on current absorption, 15 [years].”
Whitte said the recent growth in business and people helped speed up the plan to increase tourism.
“Part of the Bend that I’m excited about is the tourism," said Whitte. "The music venue, the canal district, tying that into the existing district we have with the Aquarium and Lookout Mountain.”
The timeline will depend on how aggressive developers are with this five to eight-million-square-foot project. But one thing that will remain strong is the benefits from the building process.
“We had some existing buildings, existing structures we wanted to fill with jobs," said Whitte. "We think we’ve been successful. We at least and or sold every existing building we have on-site and created 700+ jobs.”
Whitte said the next part of the project will take place over the next 18 months.
That part will use an additional $300 million.