Chattanooga Planning Commission sides with developers for 12-story buildings at The Bend
Old industrial site on Chattanooga's Riverfront will transformed into The Bend. (Image: WTVC){ }{p}{/p}

A multi-million dollar development on Chattanooga's Riverfront is one step closer to becoming a reality.

Chattanooga's Planning Commission is siding with the developer's vision for 12-story buildings at "The Bend"  which goes against one agency's recommendations.

It's hard to envision now, but there are big plans to transform the Alstom old industrial site into a neighborhood with restaurants, a marina and more. 

"It incorporates attributes in zoning we have not seen or had developers bring forward in this city ever," said Councilman Darrin Ledford who is Chattanooga's Planning and Zoning Chairman.

Councilman Ledford's interest in the Bend extends beyond his job title. He's been pushing for this river access for years. 

"I've been on that river for 20 years and that river had not been accessible to the people and finally, we have a plan that animates it," said Councilman Ledford. 

Developers are asking to put up 12-story buildings, which the staff of the Regional Planning Agency has recommended to deny.

They say buildings in this area should be no taller than six stories.

"If you're standing on the riverfront or you're standing down there, how is the view blocked from six buildings versus 12," said Councilman Ledford. 

In it's recommendation, the planning agencies outlines a few issues with the big building.

That includes concerns it will block views of the Tennessee River, set a precedent for projects of this scale and hurt the density and economic viability of the downtown core.

But the planning commission went ahead any, approving the taller buildings.

"Staff came back with almost a tremendous amount of denies for their request, but what you have to understand is that's their job, because there's nothing to measure it against except the base code in which this context lives," said Ledford. 

The final decision is up to city council.

They plan to discuss this next month.


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