Former McMahan law firm building in downtown Chattanooga sells for $1.25 million and other business news

Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn.
·4 min read

Apr. 22—Former law firm site sells for $1.25 million

The former offices of a well known Chattanooga law firm have been sold for $1.25 million.

The 7,172-square-foot building at 323 High St., which for many years held the McMahan law firm, was brought by High Street Property Partners LLC, according to Hamilton County records.

Jeff Jennings of NAI Charter Real Estate, who represented the McMahan family in the sale, said he didn't know the future use of the property. Andy Barrett of Square One, a representative for the buyer, declined to comment.

The McMahan firm has remodeled and added nearly 2,000 square feet to an 11,834-square-foot office building at 701 Cherokee Blvd.

Panera Bread opens new Northgate unit

Five days after closing the previous Panera Bread restaurant at Northgate Mall, a new Panera Bread with drive-through pickup service opened Thursday on another outparcel at Northgate only a quarter mile away.

The newest version of the Hixson Panera Bread, which is owned by CSC Investments in Cleveland, Tennessee, opened in a 4,000-square-foot commercial space leased from developer Bassam Issa. The new restaurant is located near the Outback Steakhouse and next to a new Buddy's bar-b-q that is in the same complex build by Issa.

Unlike the previous 4,478-square-foot Panera Bread site built in 2001, the new restaurant includes a drive-through window for pickup service, which has grown steadily during the pandemic. The new Panera Bread will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p..m Monday through Friday and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Panera Bread Co., operates more than 2,000 company-owned and franchised bakery-café restaurants in the United States and Canada, including area stores in downtown Chattanooga, Hixson and Cleveland, Tennessee and in Fort Oglethorpe, Dalton and Rome, Georgia.

Survey finds growing interest in buying EVs

A new survey by Volkswagen of America shows that almost half of SUV owners and nearly six in 10 shoppers of the vehicles say they are likely to buy an EV the next time they purchase.

To gauge interest in EVs, the new survey polled 1,000 SUV owners and 500 SUV shoppers in the United States. It found that among those looking to purchase a vehicle in the next six months, more than 70% had never had the chance to drive an EV. Yet, 65% of owners and 76% of shoppers are more interested in EVs than they were a year ago, the survey showed.

"The findings from this survey affirm that our strategy at Volkswagen of bringing affordable, approachable electric vehicles to the U.S. aligns with what Americans are looking for," said Dustin Krause, Director of e-Mobility at Volkswagen of America, Inc. "Our all-new ID.4 addresses many of the hesitations prospective shoppers have with EVs, such as range anxiety, cost and more."

More than eight in 10 owners (81%) and shoppers (85%) agree it would be good for the environment if there were more zero-direct emission EVs on the roads, the survey found.

Mortgage rate decline for 3rd straight week

Mortgage rates fell for the third straight week, dipping below 3% for the first time in two months.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the benchmark 30-year home-loan rate declined to 2.97% this week from 3.04% last week. At this time last year, the long-term rate was 3.33%.

The rate for a 15-year loan, popular among those looking to refinance, dipped to 2.29% from 2.35% the week before.

Experts have expected home-loan rates to increase modestly in the short term, while remaining at low levels in light of the Federal Reserve's goal of keeping its principal borrowing rate near zero until the economy recovers from the pandemic.

Ace Hardware stores selling Inman coffee

On Saturday, the Elder's Ace Hardware stores on Broad Street, Dayton Boulevard or East Brainerd Road will be offering free coffee samples for the Inman coffee that the hardware stores began selling recently to benefit the Salvation Army.

All proceeds from bags of Inman coffee purchased at Elder's benefit The Salvation Army and its ministries. A similar event at Cleveland's Elder's Ace Hardware is planned in the near future.