On Thursday, the East Ridge City Council voted unanimously to rezone 60 acres adjacent to Spring Creek Road allowing the construction of a soccer stadium for the Red Wolves surrounded by a mixed-use development.
Bob Martino, the owner of the Red Wolves soccer club, intends to invest $125 million to build a 5,500 seat stadium, 400 apartment/condominium units, a hotel, and 475,000 square feet of commercial space on the low-lying property near where Interstate 24 and Interstate 75 converge.
The project would become the largest in the almost 100-year history of East Ridge, officials said.
During a required public hearing of the issue during the council meeting, citizens expressed concerns over the project. including the potential for increased flooding, traffic issues, and destruction of wetlands.
Jeff Sikes, whose company ASA was hired as engineers for the project, said the project creates challenges.
Martino said development will proceed within the guidelines set forth by the Tennessee Department of Conservation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Groundbreaking on the project could happen within the next 30 to 60 days.
The council approved the fiscal 2019-20 budget on second reading. The general revenue budget of nearly $13.9 million is about $2 million less than last year’s budget. Officials said the reduction is due to overestimating revenues in 2019 and unforeseen expense items over the course of the year. The budget keeps the current property tax rate and gives all employees a three percent raise.
Click on the link below for video of the council meeting;