"The Block" Behind Schedule, But Developers Say Worth The Wait

Reported by: Webb Wright
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Updated: 10/10/2013 6:37 pm
        CHATTANOOGA (WDEF)--It's called the Block.  The 30 thousand square foot development in the old Bijou Theater was supposed to be completed for the River Rocks Block Party on Saturday.
        Developers are now pushing back the time frame for the finished product, but say the project will be worth the wait.
        Featuring interchangeable climbing walls and state of the art facilities, "The Block plans to showcase a one of a kind rock climbing venue.
        "Announcing the project just last year and trying to open in one year, including all of the design work and construction was aggressive. We are happy where we are,we wish we could have opened with everything in October but it looks like it will be early November before we are completely done," said Jim Williamson, Vice President of Planning and Development for River City Company.
        "We don't see ourselves being off schedule. We see ourselves as making a commitment to design, making a commitment to make a structure that Chattanoogans can love and be proud of. And be another sort of iconic piece to our city. So in reality, kind of having a month variance for us, in the grand scheme of things is sort of drops of water in the bucket for us," said Amy Donahue, Communications Specialist with the River City Company.
         The venue was supposed to be completed in time for this weekend's downtown block party, coinciding with the end of RiverRocks festival, but some parts of the project will be open to the public.
         "We are definitely having a preview of the project this weekend of a portion of the project which will be the high point climbing and fitness gym. There will be tours of the interior of the project. The outside portions of the climbing area outside will be availible for some qualified groups that are coming in that will be more demonstration not open to the public yet," said Williamson.
         When completed in November, developers hope the six million dollar project will become an a staple of the Scenic City Skyline for years to come.
         "You know that that development is bringing in revenue for your city, it is creating jobs for your neighbor and it is something you can look at and say wow that's a beautiful development as well. Just like Chattanoogans see the peaks of the Aquarium as art, we want them to see the wall as art as well," said Donahue.
         Rock Creek will open its doors to the public at the facility this weekend.
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