Hixson Representatives React to Business Closings
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- Last week News 12 brought you a story about some businesses that have recently closed or about to close in Hixson.
This has led some in the community to question the direction the community is heading towards economically.
State Senator Bo Watson and State Representative Greg Martin have represented the Hixson area in some capacity for several years, as Senator Watson has held his seat since 2004 and Representative Martin was previously on the Hamilton County Commission before starting first full term in Nashville.
They both say despite these current issues, there are new opportunities for Hixson to grow.
Senator Watson said, “I think right now Hixson is in that sort of transitional moment which all economies go through.”
Nick: This transition that the Hixson community is going through includes seeing stores such as Best Buy, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and Cici’s Pizza all close their doors.
Both Watson and Martin attribute these closings to several factors.
Senator Watson said, “Most of these stores have been in the Hixson area for a pretty long time. They’re either renegotiating leases or the value of their property has reached a point to where they have to decide whether they want to reinvest or not. And they make the business decision to go elsewhere.”
Representative Martin said, “I think the workforce is a real challenge too. A lot of places have closed because they have a hard time finding workers in these low end places.”
Despite these closings, there are also some new businesses that have opened in recent months in Hixson, which might be a sign of potential growth in future.
Representative Martin said, “I think the economy in Hixson is really a mixed bag, because you have a lot of businesses that are opening in Hixson, that have built new buildings. I think about Miller’s Ale House, Mcalister’s Deli.”
Nick: The changing nature of the Chattanooga metro might be an influence of the future of the community.
Senator Watson said, “A lot of the city core is becoming more residential, and less business, and some of that business sector will push out into the suburban or outer core of the city. I think communities like Hixson will see some benefit of that.”
Work is ongoing to bring more businesses to Hixson.
Senator Watson said, “Organizations like Friends of Hixson and the Hixson Chamber of Commerce Council are working on strategies to try and help draw and attract business into Hixson which has been largely been a residential community and now turning into a commercial space.”
Senator Watson also mentioned that the rise of population calls for the need for improved infrastructure to promote more economic growth.
Representative Martin added that the real estate market in the Hixson area is very competitive which is leading to higher rent prices, but also opens the door for new businesses to settle in the area.