Ooltewah mixed-use development Cambridge Square is picking up momentum, and officials are planning their first major community event, which is also a chance for business leaders with Food Works and Heaven and Ale to test the market there.
"Our goal all along was to have the larger community out there really take ownership in some regard," Jim Cheney, marketing director for developer Barrier Properties, said.
In January 2012, leaders with The Lupton Company started sending out letters to area business owners and entrepreneurs in an effort to attract them to Cambridge Square, according to Nooga.com archives.
The idea was to bring local vendors to the Ooltewah area and add some of the vibrance that is found downtown to that area.
The development—which is located at the intersection of Lee Highway and Ooltewah-Georgetown Road—is pedestrian-friendly and only has locally owned stores, not chains or franchises, Cheney said.
Lupi's Pizza, Southern Burger Company, Independent Healthcare Properties' corporate headquarters and BeYoga are some of the businesses that have already signed on to locate there. And every business in the development has exclusivity, meaning that there is only one pizza place or one yoga studio, Cheney said.
The total project has the potential to be about 230,000 square feet, and officials are currently negotiating or building on about 45,000 square feet, he said.
The upcoming event is in the style of Oktoberfest, and there will be craft beer, local food and live music. It will take place in the public square, which is always available for public use.
Developers are working hard to create more activity in the square, which helps support the tenants.
"We are finally starting to round the corner on people recognizing that it is truly a public space," he also said. "They can utilize it anytime they want to."
About the event
Octoberfest in Ooltewah will be Oct. 26 from 4 to 11 p.m., and Cheney stressed that it's a family-friendly event.
Admission is free, and food and beverage prices will be set by the participating vendors, which include Lupi's Pizza, Southern Burger Company, Heaven and Ale, Food Works, Famous Nater's food truck and The Missing Link sausage cart.
At dusk, live music will begin with Cleveland, Tenn.’s Bad Tattoo, which will perform rock 'n' roll covers.
Crowds will also be able to watch football on two large outdoor screens, and Chattanooga startup Iron Gaming is providing a chance for visitors to test their new sports-themed video games.
"This will be our first large-scale festival event," Cheney said. "We are really excited to have such a fantastic local lineup, and we think people are really going to get the flavor of what a big activation on the square looks and feels like. We hope it will be a communitywide experience and encourage everyone to come out, have fun and support your local businesses."
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