Perhaps no sites in Chattanooga better convey the coexistence of past, present and future than the two Lamp Post Properties projects at Patten Square and Somerville Avenue.
They're called the Tomorrow Buildings — the name explicitly evoking the company's forward-thinking concept for the properties, which are designed as live-work spaces, a growing trend in urban living. Both developments have transformed bygone buildings into modern designs meant to attract "remote workers, contract workers, entrepreneurs, short-term stays and people looking for easy, hassle-free living," according to the developments' website.
The past decade has been an accelerator for the rise of mixed-use buildings, known as live-work and live-work-play developments, according to a June 2022 blog by CoworkingCafe, an online resource for booking co-working spaces.
They often serve as "vertical villages," the blog said, "due to their ability to foster actual communities under one roof" and giving residents and workers everything they need at hand — from residential to office spaces, as well as retail and entertainment options.
For the Tomorrow Buildings, Lamp Post Properties coordinated with the Society of Work, Chattanooga's first co-working concept, founded in 2013.
The first Tomorrow Building opened in 2017 at downtown's Patten Square, formerly Patten Parkway. Built in 1888, the building had been known as The Delmonico Hotel and The Ross Hotel in its early years and more recently was home to the nightclubs Yesterday's and Midtown Music Hall. The Yesterday's name was emblazoned on the side of the building long after that venue closed.
Somer Station, on the North Shore, opened earlier this year. The $17 million development occupies 2.5 acres between Cherokee Boulevard and Somerville Avenue. The apartment units are included in a three-story, wraparound addition that connects to the newly renovated former home of Chattanooga Printing & Engraving.
To learn more, Chatter Magazine spoke with Tiffanie Robinson, president and CEO of Lamp Post Properties. Here are five takeaways from the conversation, edited for brevity and clarity.
Chatter Magazine: The name outside the Patten Square building literally changed from Yesterday's to Tomorrow, but that's coincidence?
Tiffanie Robinson: It is total happenstance. "Tomorrow" was from the thought process of what the future of multifamily living could look like. When we came up with the name and brand for the Tomorrow Building, the idea was that this would be for tomorrow's living. We really think that we are the future of multifamily living — a fully furnished, all-inclusive product that's flexible, unique and hyperfocused on connecting neighbors to one another.
Chatter: What changes were made to advance the Somer Station property, compared to Patten Square?
Robinson: We made the units bigger and increased the ceiling heights to make it feel bigger and more spacious. There's more window light. The kitchens are bigger. Every unit has a patio. The Patten Parkway project has been open six years, so we had six years of feedback from tenants.
Chatter: Was there anything you wanted to do that you didn't do?
Robinson: I think on this project, I had hoped to add more shared spaces — like a pool and other amenity spaces — that we just weren't able to fit onto the site.
Chatter: Is there any significance to the bold blue color scheme at Somer Station?
Robinson: I wouldn't correlate it to anything symbolic. We just liked the color blue. We do plan to put a mural on the wall, something abstract (by local artist Seven), to make it even more unique and stand out. We think it will be the Instagram picture place for all of Chattanooga.
Chatter: What's next for Lamp Post Properties?
Robinson: We've been working on developing Tomorrow Buildings in outside markets, outside of Chattanooga, the last few years. We're finally seeing one of those projects come to life in Memphis that we'll be announcing soon.