Downtown Chattanooga property continues to be unused months after building collapse

Pate Demolition tears down the building that used to house Cheeburger Cheeburger and takes extra precaution against asbestos.jpg

It's been nearly five months since the building housing Cheeburger Cheeburger and other businesses collapsed in downtown Chattanooga.

Bits of brick and rubble are all that remain of the restaurant. But since the building was torn down, it's turned into an eyesore in the heart of downtown Chattanooga.

It first collapsed in March. Crews tore down the rest of the building in April after a judge called it a danger to the public.

Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the whole ordeal was particularly hard on one business owner.

Amy Petulla runs Chattanooga Ghost Tours. She had to find a new place to set up shop, and nearly lost her sign in the process.

“We had to find a new spot - something we could afford - because we had a really tiny spot. There's not a lot of really small spots around town. Then, we had to move and redecorate the new shop,” Petulla said.

The building owners and the owners of Cheeburger Cheeburger have each filed lawsuits, claiming the other is responsible for the collapse.

But, while the case is tied up in litigation, nothing is being done with the property at the corner of Market Street and East Aquarium Way.

Chattanooga resident Shannon Wells said that's a shame.

“It's a great piece of property. It's a great location. It deserves to have something done with it,” Wells said.

She even had a recommendation of what could be done with the prime piece of real estate.

“We already have a lot of apartments around downtown, especially a lot of new apartments, and a ton of bars and grills that are really great, but I think like a new family attraction would be a nice addition,” Wells said.

NewsChannel 9 reached out to the city attorney and communications coordinator for Chattanooga, but have not heard back.

A reporter spoke to the owner of Cheeburger Cheeburger and their lawyers. They say they can't comment on pending litigation.

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