Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, September 15, 2023

Gateway townhomes hit the market

By David Laprad

Chattanooga Red Wolves owner Robert Martino has tapped the Kellerhals Team of Keller Williams Realty to list the townhomes that are a part of his $125 million investment in East Ridge and Chattanooga.

Jake Kellerhals and his team listed four of a planned 144-unit development at The Townhomes at the Gateway last week and is already taking phone calls from investors who are expressing interest in possibly adding a slice of Martino’s pie to their portfolio.

The Townhomes at the Gateway is anchored to CHI Memorial Stadium, a 5,500-seat soccer stadium that serves as home for the Chattanooga Red Wolves, as well as the Lady Red Wolves and the Dalton Red Wolves.

The units are also a key element of a larger mixed-use development that will include additional housing, retail, restaurants, a hotel and greenspaces.

“I’m laying out a vision for a community-focused soccer and entertainment destination for our region,” Martino said in 2019 as he announced the project, which he’s building on a 100-acre property that’s expected to generate between $6 and $7 million in annual tax revenue.

“The Chattanooga Red Wolves Soccer Club was founded with the goal of strengthening our community through soccer, and this investment doubles down on my commitment to the region, our players and the soccer community. People will be able to live, dine and play here, and experiencing professional soccer in a unique setting is at the heart of this development.”

With only 10 of the planned 144 townhomes completed, Kellerhals has a clear view of the stadium, as well as Interstate 75, as he stands outside the model unit. His team has staged the three-story residence to showcase its amenities, which include three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, a spacious kitchen and a one-car garage.

The townhomes also come short-term vacation rental approved, Kellerhals notes.

“Given everything that’s taking place at the stadium and at (nearby) Camp Jordan, that’s a big plus. If three couples are coming to spend time together in the city, then they can rent a townhome together instead of paying for three hotel rooms.”

Kellerhals has listed the townhomes to move, with end units selling for $450,000 and interior residences going for $430,000. HOA fees come in at $129 per month.

The Kellerhals team lead says the unit prices could increase as the development matures and demand increases, so he’s advising interested parties to buy in early.

“No one wants to be first,” Kellerhals concedes. “The roads aren’t in, the restaurants haven’t been built, there’s no pool and there’s all of this construction going on. But once we start to build more units, demand will increase and the prices will go up. It takes vision to come in when your front window offers a view of dirt.”

Kellerhals says Martino will build more townhomes as the initial units sell and the market dictates.

“If the market goes crazy and interest rates shoot up, we’re going to hold off. But we might also eventually presell if we have more people looking than we have units built. Then buyers can pick out their paint, flooring and countertops.”

From where Kellerhals is standing, residents will eventually have an unobstructed view of the pool and clubhouse. Also, East Ridge City Council recently voted to widen North Mack Smith Road, which will serve as the primary access lane, so the planned infrastructure for the Gateway will soon be taking shape.

The ongoing development will give Kellerhals and his crew plenty to do, but with the KW-based team consisting of more than 20 Realtors, an in-house marketing director and an in-house operations director, Kellerhals says they’re well-equipped to keep boots on the ground at the Gateway and continue to serve their other clients.

“We have a team of hungry people who love to be busy,” Kellerhals says. “When the phone rings, we go to work. That’s our mantra.”

Kellerhals, who lives six minutes by vehicle from the stadium and the surrounding development, says he has high hopes for Martino’s venture, as he expects it will help to not only transform the landscape of East Ridge but also enhance the city’s economic vitality.

“When you’re selling something, it helps to believe in it and to be invested in it. And I do want to see this development do well. It represents more than a commission check; it’s going to be a part of the city my family and I call home.”