CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — The price of living in downtown Chattanooga has gone up dramatically. So has the number of apartment buildings. While the recent influx of transplants have filled the new apartments, Chattanooga residents aren’t pleased with the rise in rent.
“Oh my God. So ridiculous,” Tonya Jones said.
“It’s been crazy,” Brandon Spurling said.
“We can’t afford it,” Vincent Jones said.
Sticker shock. That’s how Chattanoogans feel about the continuously increasing rental rates across the city.
“Not only has there been a thousand new apartments built, but there’s also been about, gosh, I don’t even want to say how much it’s increased in price over the last few years,” Spurling said. “It’s become crazy. Most of the people that I know, they’ve got to have two, three jobs just to afford an apartment by themselves.”
If you want to live in downtown Chattanooga, prepare to pay for it. The average cost near City Center is over $1,100 a month.
“I just walked by and I said, ‘Oh my God, really? I bet them things is an arm and a leg. And these people will pay for that. That’s ridiculous,” Tonya Jones said.
“That’s crazy. No. I pay $800 for a three bedroom house. That’s a bit much,” Kelly Vaughn said. “I think if they’re wanting to do that they need to do something to help get better paying jobs around here if they’re going to be charging that much.”
As rent prices soar, so do the number of apartment complexes in downtown Chattanooga. The last two years have seen massive growth, especially in the Southside district.
However, here on Manufacturers Road in the North Shore, the Regional Planning Agency is recommending to deny rezoning the seven acres of industrial land behind me.
The RPA agrees — vacant lots like these need redevelopment. However, they’re not ready to commit to multi-family apartments. The agency says the space wouldn’t mix with the surrounding area — which includes strong smelling factories with heavy machinery and truck traffic.
RPA is also unwilling to change the North Shore’s existing industrial plan
However, the people I talked to don’t want another high priced apartment complex.
“It’s overcrowded right now, and we don’t need them,” Vincent Jones said. “Like you say, we can’t fill them. Nobody’s making that kind of money, to live in a 12-18 hundred dollar apartment.”
“If they’re just going to be building more $1,300, $1,400 one bedroom apartments, good luck trying to get people to move over there to that side. I’m not moving there,” Spurling said.
The Planning Commission will make its final decision on Monday.