published Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Developers offering scenic lots in Chattanooga area for under $100,000

John "Thunder" Thornton, left, and Dane Bradshaw stand in front of a waterfall that can be seen from one of their bluff view lots at the new 9,000-acre residential development Jasper Highlands. One of the mountains in the Marion County development will be named today  for University of Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt.
John "Thunder" Thornton, left, and Dane Bradshaw stand in front of a waterfall that can be seen from one of their bluff view lots at the new 9,000-acre residential development Jasper Highlands. One of the mountains in the Marion County development will be named today for University of Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt.
Photo by Dan Henry.
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Herman Cain may not have been successful with his presidential campaign last year, but his 9-9-9 slogan continues, at least among some East Tennessee developers of resort property.

Lakefront and mountaintop properties are being pitched today near Kimball and Vonore, Tenn., for no more than $99,999, or only about half of what such properties were selling for before the recent recession.

In both the first phase of Jasper Highlands in Marion County and at the Legacy Shores on Tellico Lake in Loudon County, developers want to sell 99 lots in the next 99 days.

John "Thunder" Thornton's project atop Jasper Mountain is the first phase of a 9,000-acre development he hopes eventually will include up to 3,200 home sites.

One of the mountains in Jasper Highlands is being named for University of Tennessee's legendary women's basketball coach Pat Summitt, who will appear at Jasper Highlands along with former UT Football Coach Phillip Fulmer from noon to 3 p.m. today. The event will aid the Pat Summitt Foundation and is expected to lure hundreds of fans and potential lot buyers today.

"We're getting lots of interest from all types of buyers," said Dane Bradshaw, the president of Thunder Enterprises who is heading the marketing of Jasper Highlands.

Since Thornton began marketing Jasper Highlands in April, Bradshaw said 35 of the 99 initial lots have been reserved, although no sale can be made until a final bond is completed and plats recorded for the expanded roads being added up the mountain from Kimball to the top of Jasper Mountain. Buyers from Chattanooga, Chicago, Miami, Dallas, Nashville and Washington, D.C., have expressed interest in buying one of the lots, Bradshaw said.

In announcing the project last month, Thornton said the $99,999 price "is designed to offer a tremendous value to move the initial lots quickly."

On Tellico Lake, the Vonore, Tenn.-based real estate firm of Tennessee Land & Lakes will begin pitching 99 lots today on and around Tellico Lake "for half their wholesale value," according an announcement from T.J. Selby, the company's principal broker.

"We bought this property from the bank at the right time at a staggering discount and are offering this magnificent property on Saturday, at an incredible price," Selby said in a statement. "With large price adjustments and the ability to purchase this entire property from the bank, this Tennessee waterfront property is being offered at a price that is unlikely to be seen again for a long time."

The prices for the home lots are being discounted in the wake of the failure or stalled development of a half dozen Rarity communities in East Tennessee, Canyon Ridge and the Preserve at Rising Fawn in Northwest Georgia and the Ocoee Mountain Club and Sequatchie Pointe in Southeast Tennessee.

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or at 757-6340.

about Dave Flessner...

Dave Flessner is the business editor for the Times Free Press. A journalist for 35 years, Dave has been business editor and projects editor for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, city editor for The Chattanooga Times, business and county reporter for the Chattanooga Times, correspondent for the Lansing State Journal and Ingham County News in Michigan, staff writer for the Hastings Daily Tribune in Nebraska, and news director for WCBN-FM in Michigan. Dave, a native ...

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