TVA Strikes Deal to Keep Offices in East Tennessee City

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- The Tennessee Valley Authority has reached a deal that could keep more than 2,000 employees in Chattanooga.

The agency announced plans earlier this year to relocate the Market Street offices because of high rent prices, but TVA President Tom Kilgore said the tide has turned.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported yesterday the tentative deal, which has to get TVA board approval, would allow the agency to buy back the office complex for about $22 million.

U.S. Senator Bob Corker, the former mayor of Chattanooga, helped bring the building's owners and TVA officials together last month to arrange the deal.

The 1-million-square-foot office complex houses 2,200 TVA employees and 800 employees of Cigna Healthcare, which subleases from TVA.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)