Megasite in Chattanooga brings growth and changes

12:24 AM, Jan 11, 2013   |    comments
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More than 6,000 people work on a megasite in Chattanooga.

A new megasite in Jefferson County could bring thousands of jobs to East Tennessee.

On the heels of the proposal, we looked into how a megasite in Chattanooga has affected the community.

It has been more than four years since Volkswagen began construction on the megasite. According to J. Ed. Marston with Chattanooga Area Chamber, it has created more than 6,000 jobs.

"It's been a very powerful tool for us from an economic perspective," Marston said.

Volkswagen employs 3,300 people while Amazon.com employs 1,250.

City leaders started planning for the megasite in 1992 but waited until they could attract a major user, like Volkswagen.

"It has been a positive for Chattanooga but the thing that's important to understand is that it was a very long-term investment," Marston said.

When the megasite was built, an exit was created off of Interstate 75.

While the traffic helped businesses, it made neighborhoods less rural.

Carolyn Collier lives just two miles from the megasite.

"Yeah it's hard because you can't sleep. You hear all the trucks and the traffic is really loud on my end," Collier said.

She has the option to sell her home of 20 years to make way for hotels, office buildings and condominiums.

"If they give me a good price for it I will, otherwise I'm not," she said.

Collier said she expects to receive an offer within the next year.

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