New Chattanooga shopping center planned by Texas developer for Highway 153

A Texas developer is looking at building out the empty tracts at a Hixson shopping center by adding retail, office and restaurant space, according to a document submitted to Chattanooga planners.

More than 56,000 square feet of space is eyed for The Fountains on Highway 153, which currently holds Academy Sports + Outdoors and Kohl’s, a site plan filed with the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency shows.

Aventine Development Service Corp. of Allen, Texas, is proposing 5,000 square feet of office space next to Kohl’s, along with four adjacent retail shops totaling about 48,000 square feet.

Also, the site plan shows a 3,500-square-foot restaurant, cafe and more retail on parcels nearer to Highway 153. No names of businesses were identified.

The company is asking the Regional Planning Commission in January to approve the lifting of some zoning conditions that exist on the property. The site was zoned commercial in 2006.

Andrew Jehle of Aventine declined to comment. Signs up on the vacant part of the site said that locations at The Shops at the Fountains are available. Buddy Fogo of Fogo Realty also declined to comment.

According to the developer’s submittal to the Regional Planning Agency, there were nine conditions tied to the development in an earlier site plan.

The developer said in a document that the earlier plan isn’t relevant to the proposed new one. The company said it’s not standard practice to attach a site plan as a condition for future development.

Aventine wants to lift a condition of no outparcel access to Highway 153 except a lower parcel near Grubb Road.

In addition, an earlier condition called for a commitment to a full build-out of the center with any major deviation of the site plan going back to the planning agency, the developer said, adding it wants to lift that condition, too.

Academy Sports was the first retailer to go up at the center in 2010, while Kohl’s department store opened about a year later.

In 2012, the property that houses Academy and Kohl’s was sold, though the seller kept the rights to the adjacent land. Cole Real Estate Investments of Phoenix bought the property then for $10.7 million. That deal involved the 131,000 square feet of building space developed so far to that date, an official said at the time.

The seller then was a group headed by Cleveland, Tennessee, businesswoman Brenda Lawson. Documents filed for the most recent zoning request with the planning agency list her as the owner.

Earlier this year, Weigel’s opened its first convenience store in the Chattanooga market in Hixson next to the Academy Sports.

Bill Weigel, chief executive of the East Tennessee convenience store chain, said by phone that the store holds about 6,000 square feet of space along with gasoline pumps. Weigel said he likes Chattanooga’s growth.

“It’s a progressive town,” he said. “We think it’s a good place to be.”

Contact Mike Pare at [email protected] or 423-757-6318. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.