City Will Turn Tubman Homes Property into Industrial Park

Reported by: Bill Mitchell

Edited by: Harrison Pirtle
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Updated: 3/11/2014 6:47 pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) - After re-negotiating an earlier offer, the Chattanooga Housing Authority this morning voted to accept the City of Chattanooga's bid for the Harriet Tubman property.
The city will pay 2.6 million dollars in cash for what will become an industrial site.
The CHA board vote was unanimous.

After several false-starts, the Chattanooga Housing Authority now has the deal they wanted.
A called board meeting Tuesday morning quickly produced a positive vote for the 2-point-6 million dollar cash offer for the former Harriett Tubman homes on Roanoke Avenue.
The board did not want anything to do with the Poss Homes property the city first offered.

EDDIE HOLMES,BOARD CHAIRMAN, CHATTANOOGA HOUSING AUTHORITY "No that was one of the stipulations last time..when they first made an offer, the offered a million dollars in cash and the Poss property..that property was already encumbered ..And so we changed our direction, we didn't want to get involved in the encumbrance of that property".

Mayor Andy Berke and key members of his administration quickly called a news conference in front of the abandoned public housing area.

MAYOR ANDY BERKE, CHATTANOOGA "When we really think about what's going to drive this neighborhood forward, and make a difference for our city as a whole ......It's bringing jobs to this area."

The city stresses that jobs---not more housing.

DONNA WILLIAMS,ADMINISTRATOR,ECONOMIC & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT "Just thinking through our opportunities and what might be the we will begin immediately after we close on the property to assemble a team of folks that can help us think through exactly how we need to proceed."

PAUL GREEN, EXEC.DIR., HOPE FOR THE INNER CITY "It is a joy to know that at the end of the rainbow folks can get a job...and use the job to move them this is good news."

Mayor Berke says it will take about 2-million dollars to clear the 36 acre tract. He says that's ideal because the area is close to a rail line and to Amnicola Highway.

Lakewood Development of Chicago, the other major bidder at the meeting, had planned to develop new housing on the Tubman site.

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