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Chattanooga’s downtown adds some Moxy with new metal-clad hotel

If you know Chattanooga, Tenn., only for its namesake choo-choo, you might be missing out on one of the hippest commercial development stories of the past decade. Boasting the fastest broadband network in the nation – yes, really – along with reasonable real estate prices, the city is quickly becoming a tech hub. This interest is driving redevelopment of older properties, along with new construction.

In 2010, Chattanooga’s municipal electric utility took on the local cable provider and won, by installing fiber optic cable to every home and business in the city. Offering internet speeds up to 1 gigabit per second, that network has helped turn around the once left-behind city. A downtown that had been filled with empty storefronts, is now repopulated. In just the past few years, this growth has led to the addition of a number of new hotels, as well.

Among the latest additions is the Moxy Hotel, a new Marriott-developed brand aimed toward the millennial market. Mimicking a warehouse from the turn of the last century, the building adds industrial appeal by highlighting metal wall panels against classic brick.

The Moxy is well-branded for Chattanooga’s growing young-professional population. Though it’s a new construction project, the design, by Boca Raton, Fla.-based Base 4 Architecture, incorporates a recycled-brick exterior that blends well with surrounding structures. Its midrise presence gets a visual punch with the addition of 14,000 sq. ft. of 22-gauge steel Highline C-2 metal panels from Petersen’s PAC-CLAD line. The Charcoal Gray-finished panels are installed with a vertical orientation that contrasts with the brickwork’s horizontal lines. This helps emphasize the shifting elevations that play out across the building’s upper floors.

The local firm Commercial Roofing Specialties installed the metal panels, with Grace Construction – also Chattanooga-based – serving as general contractor.