Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chattanooga Featured Neighborhood: Jefferson Heights

New construction with historically-inspired architecture
Jefferson Heights is an amazing pocket neighborhood recently established in Chattanooga's hot Southside district. It's one of the few places in Chattanooga you can find truly modern architecture, as well as new construction inspired by turn of the century craftsmans but with all the modern conveniences and layout favorites, like great rooms. The area also has far more amenities than most downtown neighborhoods. It's within walking distance of some of the hippest stores, galleries, and restaurants in town. It's also about to be within walking and biking distance of Enzo's Market, an independent grocery with an emphasis on local food that is opening winter of 2012. Until Enzo's opens and even after, Jefferson Heights is directly across Main Street from the popular Main Street Farmers Market, and a short distance from the huge Chattanooga Market loaded with produce, meat, food trucks, crafts, artwork, beer, and live shows every Sunday. Not only

Contemporary architecture
 in Jefferson Heights
The area is, like many urban neighborhoods, densely configured around several small parks and playgrounds. The streets are quiet with low traffic and wide sidewalks. Just off Main Street and also connected to the Cowart Place neighborhood through side streets, it is convenient to the major city center thoroughfares of Market and Broad Street. The close lots, walkability, and enthusiasm for the Southside's businesses combine to create a very close knit, involved neighborhood. Jefferson Heights and the other Southside pocket communities join together for events like the Southside NeighborGood Mixer. The mixer was not only a way for neighbors to get together and celebrate the place they love, but was also a fundraiser for Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprises to help them reinvest in neighborhoods like those in the Southside. That kind of civic-minded involvement is palpable throughout Jefferson Heights, especially during this election season, with many an Obama sign planted firmly in front yards and verges.

Within walking distance of Battle Academy, a highly regarded magnet school, this neighborhood is filled with young families. Strollers are parked on porches and small bikes outside garages. Nearby businesses like Mean Mug Coffee frequently see groups of young moms with babies and toddlers in tow getting together for a latte or afternoon snack. Excitement for events like the Battle Banzai, a Southside-wide festival that raises money for Battle's fine arts programs, can be sensed from the big banners throughout the Southside.

Jefferson Heights, Southside Chattanooga
With a mix of well-to-do families and young professionals just starting out, this is a little neighborhood filled with big energy, optimism, and enthusiasm. Everyone feels excitement of a young community rapidly gaining ground, and has pride knowing that their participation as residents and local consumers is what has made the Southside and Jefferson Heights such a success story. Whether you are looking for a historic home or something more contemporary, whether you are single or married, with kids or without, there is something for everyone in this pocket community. Most of all, there is a sense of urban cool and community usually discussed in the context of established affluent liberal neighborhoods like Capitol Hill in Seattle. Jefferson Heights is proving that big cities don't have a copyright on awesome downtown neighborhoods.