UPDATE: On Tuesday, our friends at NewsChannel9 reported receiving this e-mail from Topgolf:
“We are excited to share that Topgolf will soon be breaking ground in Chattanooga. This location is very important to us and we are excited to “tee off” our latest and greatest plans in this community. We are not ready to spill all of the details just yet but will be sure to share our progress along the way. Stay tuned!”
On Tuesday, East Ridge officials said that Topgolf applied for and was granted a building permit for a $4.86 million project inside Jordan Crossing on August 28.
The story below was filed on July 12.
The idea of a Topgolf coming to East Ridge is more than just a rumor, as architectural plans for the wildly popular global sports/entertainment concern have been filed with East Ridge city officials.
Three pages of plans listing the architect, general contractor, engineer, civil engineer, landscape architect, structural engineer, and lighting consultant were filed on June 6, 2019, according to the documents.
On Friday, East Ridge City Manager Chris Dorsey was quick to point out that the documents were simply on file with the city. “No permits have been applied for or issued,” he said.
Unlike the situation in which the City of East Ridge courted Champy’s to come to East Ridge, Dorsey said this deal is strictly between officials from Topgolf and the developers of Jordan Crossing.
Sources in the development world tell East Ridge News Online that it is commonplace for large businesses like Topgolf, Bass Pro Shops and Starbucks to insist on confidentiality agreements with both private and public entities when locations are being considered for development.
One reason for secrecy is the fact that another developer could swoop in to Topgolf officials and give them a better deal. That is, if no contract has been inked. Also, the contract may have contingencies, i.e., if the plans are not approved by the city the deal is down the drain.
On the other side of the equation, a competing business could approach the developer and convince the developer that their business is better and will make a better deal.
And lastly, our development source said, keeping it all under wraps gives less opportunity for people who may oppose the project to organize a movement to stop it.
Officials from Topgolf did not return phone calls seeking comment on the prospect of one of its units being built in East Ridge. In late September, a press official at Topgolf told East Ridge News in an email that any press releases would be posted on their “news” Website. That link is below: http://press.topgolf.com/press-releases
But it appears to be clear from the site plans filed with the city that the area on Camp Jordan Parkway just north of Bass Pro is undergoing a transformation. On Friday, large land-moving equipment was on site and had graded much of the area.
The plans call for a single story covered building of 4,630 square feet that has a fully conditioned environment. An additional 17,870 square-feet of covered area that is open to the environment is in the drawings.
The plans filed with the City of East Ridge also show several patio areas, a playground and an exterior vestibule open to a lawn area.
Topgolf was founded in 2000 and has 55 locations across the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. Prominent Topgolf facilities in the Southeast include Atlanta, Alpharetta, Nashville, Birmingham and Huntsville.
Here’s a link to TopGolf’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/topgolf/