Great article today in the New York Times (“Fast Internet is Chattanooga’s New Locomotive”) on the power of “The Gig”, a city-owned high-speed fiber optic connection that is helping to transform downtown Chattanooga into a destination for high-tech firms. More than anything, it speaks to the power of economic development planning. When stimulus money was available in 2009, the City already had a plan in place with elements that needed funding. The impact of the investment on downtown was felt fairly quickly. “Since the fiber-optic network switched on four years ago, the signs of growth in Chattanooga are unmistakable. Former factory buildings on Main Street and Warehouse Row on Market Street have been converted to loft apartments, open-space offices, restaurants and shops. The city has welcomed a new population of computer programmers, entrepreneurs and investors. Lengthy sideburns and scruffy hipster beards — not the norm in eastern Tennessee — are de rigueur for the under-30 set.”
|The River City Company, Chattanooga’s economic development agency,
has also commissioned marketing material to help attract retailers downtown.
This piece was developed by Stevaker, a Chattanooga based graphic design firm.