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Lookouts tab two architecture consultants, local design firm for new Chattanooga ballpark design

Lookouts owner Jason Freier is going with a nontraditional team for his new Chattanooga ballpark, tabbing two architectural consultants–including ballpark vet Mike Sabatini–and a local firm to oversee the design of the 2025 MiLB facility.

Sabatini’s work with Populous ranged from MLB facilities like Citi Field in New York City and TD Ballpark (spring home of the Toronto Blue Jays) to recent MiLB projects for the Amarillo Sod Poodles, Rocket City Trash Pandas, Fayetteville Woodpeckers and Columbia Fireflies, where he worked on Segra Park for owner Freier. We’ve noted the parallels between the new Chattanooga ballpark and Segra Park: The Fireflies ballpark was the centerpiece of the planned redevelopment of the 181-acre Bull Street site formerly housing the South Carolina state hospital for the mentally ill. The ballpark is surrounded by several buildings from the state-hospital usage, including the main Babcock Building, a laundry, a bakery, an electrical plant, a mattress factory, a morgue and more. 

The same general game plan is present in Chattanooga, where older buildings comprising the old Wheland Foundry site will be integrated into the area development and, if the plans work, be integrated directly until the ballpark design.

That’s why the second architectural consultant on board is S9 Architecture in New York City, whose portfolio is filled with the adaptive reuse of older industrial buildings (such as Raleigh Iron Works snd Camp North End in Charlotte, both former industrial sites updated for more contemporary uses) and guided by “modern contextualism,” while inspired by urban narratives.

Rounding out the design team: a local architectural firm, to be selected by the Chattanooga Sports Authority.

The Lookouts and a group of developers had previously announced plans to build at the U.S. Pipe/Wheland Foundry site. The financial plan would create a 470-acre special tax district surrounding the eight-acre ballpark location, in a new South Broad District development. Increased tax revenues–state/local sales and property–generated by the development would be used to partially pay for the $79.4 million ballpark; the Lookouts would also pay $1 million annually in rent. A new entity, the Chattanooga Sports Authority, will own the ballpark and issue bonds for the project, with the Lookouts also committed to $45 million in future maintenance and other operational costs as well as booking events beyond the MiLB season.

Rendering courtesy Chattanooga Lookouts.

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