They’re new neighbors with a twist!
A Chattanooga venture incubator has recently opened a new co-living space downtown in an effort to help young professionals and others find their footing in Chattanooga. But it’s not just business or tech types that occupy the Tomorrow Building—you might be a good fit too, according to Tomorrow Building manager Stephanie Hays.
“Anyone interested in this type of living is welcome in our building,” said Hays last week. “The more diverse our tenants, the more successful we’ll be. Right now we have creatives, a startup founder, startup employees, a researcher, and a retiree… so it really varies.”
The Tomorrow Building—located in the middle of Chattanooga’s Innovation District—is a new co-living concept created by Lamp Post Properties with help from the River City Company. The 39 micro-unit apartments are housed in a historic cast-iron building that dates back to the late 19th century.
Each unit is furnished and decorated, and comes complete with a kitchenette and bathroom. Several units feature private balconies overlooking Patton Parkway. The residents share common space in the core of the building—a living room, two full-size kitchens with dining tables, a laundry/utility room, and a lounge/work space.
Rent for the 33 studio units ranges from $895 to $1,100 per month, while the 6 one-bedroom units cost $1,200 per month. Rent includes high-speed internet, utilities, events and special programs, and bicycle storage, but does not cover parking. Renters have 3-, 6-, and 12-month lease options.
Lamp Post Properties, the real estate arm of local venture incubator Lamp Post Group, began work on the $8 million project two years ago. Their team chose the Georgia Avenue location as part of their vision of “turning historic buildings into vibrant spaces.” Built in 1888, the building operated as two different hotels until 1979 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Tomorrow Building’s location and history are what drew one current resident. “The building is so historic. I love the exposed brick and the downtown location,” said retiree Gina Owensby. “It’s a great place to live because now it’s filled with youth and good ideas.”
In addition to socializing in the building’s common spaces, residents can take part in planned events such as group dinners, movie nights, workshops, and game nights. Hays plans many of the activities — but tenants initiate some themselves. “This week we have a bi-weekly check in, as well as dinner on Thursday cooked by Weekly Fig, a local private membership association for local, sustainable foods,” she said.
Although only 15 of the 39 units are occupied, Hays said she expects the remaining 24 to be filled by late spring. Lamp Post properties puts potential tenants through an application process: “We're on a mission to bring like-minded starters from diverse backgrounds together in a living environment where they can thrive. We're being intentional by creating an application process that helps us better create that culture,” says the website for the Tomorrow Building.
The Tomorrow Building is the first of its kind for Chattanooga, since most co-living buildings are located in large cities like San Francisco or London. But Hays points out that co-living has been around for a while. “Co-living has been around in various forms throughout history,” she said.