The Sexiest Vacant Commercial Spaces at Market & Main

Everyone knows that Southside is the hippest and sexiest destination neighborhood in Chattanooga.  And no single intersection is hipper or sexier than Market & Main!  But somewhat paradoxically, it’s also the intersection with the most vacant commercial buildings.  In the old days, the term ‘urban blight’ was used to describe buildings that were abandoned due to poverty.  But in 2017, urban blight can also refer to buildings that have been abandoned due to prosperity.  As post-gentrification rents rise, local businesses are forced to flee.  Meanwhile, landlords are content to leave their buildings vacant in hopes of locking top-dollar corporate tenants into long-term leases once the neighborhood’s prices have peaked.  But as supply begins to outpace demand, it’s hard for prices to reach those lofty goals of real estate speculators, and we somehow end up back where we started… with a neighborhood full of empty buildings.

Located at 1401 Market Street, this gorgeous building was home to Chattanooga’s beloved English Rose Tea Room for 20 years.  Now it’s empty and ready to be rented again!
This crown jewel of normcore architecture was gifted to the city by real estate tycoon John Wise.  I heard this space was going for $6,000 a month, but that was a year ago.  I’m sure the price has only gone up since then!
The same John Wise property also boasts this smaller but equally vacant retail space just next door.
This charming space with garden views of the Choo Choo used to offer a breakfast buffet that was popular with senior citizens and economically challenged families.  It would make an ideal location for a pet-friendly yoga studio.
After two upscale grocery stores opened and closed in a few short years, this expansive vacant property at 100 W. Main Street is now the top choice for homeless people seeking a secluded sidewalk on which to sleep.
I think this place is vacant.  The storefront space has been stripped bare and nobody answers the phone.  SocMe hasn’t been active for months.  WTF?
This place is empty too.   And not just stylishly empty.  But empty empty.  Apparently they moved further east on Main Street?
Sandwiched between the Revelry Room and Refinery423 in the heart of the revitalized Choo Choo is this prime commercial space.  Rumors of an upscale sports bar never came to fruition, so now it’s used for storage.
After 27 years at their 27 Main Street location, beloved gay bar Chucks II recently closed.  The windows now feature advertisements for a hotel development coming soon… to a different Southside address.
Mere steps from the intersection of Market & Main, this breezy semi-outdoor commercial space in the Clarke Centre boasts two entire floors of tantalizingly vacant potential.
During it’s nearly 30 years at 1251 Market Street, Porker’s BBQ served everyone from blue collar Joes to Presidents.  It recently closed because the rents shot up and the owner was unwilling to embrace the foodie trend of grossly overcharging for simple food.  Next!!
Oh wait.  Porker’s was actually such a successful restaurant that it eventually spread to occupy two separate buildings.  So now there are two vacant spaces just waiting to be filled.  Oh, and the office upstairs too!
This utterly charming brick box at 1255 Market Street may be too small for a La Croix bar, but it would be perfect edible flower shop.  Somebody rent it now!
Mere steps from the intersection of Market & Main, this breezy semi-outdoor commercial space in the Clarke Centre boasts two entire floors of tantalizingly vacant potential.  Did I already say that?  Oh yeah. There are actually two two-story commercial spaces available in the Clarke Center.
This delightful little shop greets visitors as they enter the newly renovated Chattanooga Choo Choo megaplex.  It used to be a souvenir shop.  Now it is empty, awaiting an artisanal kombucha stand.
Obviously, this vintage property between Main Street’s first raw juice bar and its first nail salon could use some TLC.  But the location is perfect for any number of shops or restaurants that could temporarily bring more high paying service jobs to our local economy.
Neighboring the Comedy Catch and the Backstage Bar, this unique space once housed a candy shop and an arcade.  Now it’s defaulted back to convention space for the hotel and is empty at most times.  But with the right team of investors, it could one day be a placenta restaurant.
“Rock Solid” is the ideal way to describe this inconspicuous brick building that neighbors the aforementioned “sexiest lofts on the Southside.” For a meager two million, this comparably unattractive building could be yours!
Here’s yet another empty brick building at Market & Main.  I’m sure there’s an interesting story here, but we all have lives of our own to live.