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memphismike

Downtown Westin (Memphis)

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I was downtown for a Grizz game on Friday night and noticed they've finally started to do some work on the site for the future Westin Hotel / Lee's Landing project.

The project calls for a 10-12 story Westin Hotel, parking garage and restaurants/clubs, including Morgan Freeman's restaurant and a "nationally-known upscale steakhouse," perhaps a Morton's or Smith & Wollensky?

Anyway, good to see it underway...it should be a great addition to downtown Memphis!

There's an image of the project at www.downtownmemphis.com.

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Great news Memphis,

Maybe Nashville will be next on their list.

I forgot Morgan Freeman was from Memphis. Maybe he will venture to Nashville as well.

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Great news Memphis,

Maybe Nashville will be next on their list.

I forgot Morgan Freeman was from Memphis. Maybe he will venture to Nashville as well.

I think Freeman's actually from Clarksdale, MS. That's where Madidi, his first restaurant, is located. But his connections with Memphis are numerous, particularly in his support of the local performing arts scene. It's an awesome fit for Freeman to open up his next project in Memphis.

I think aside from those two restaurants mentioned above, I remember something about a new Sleep Out Louie's opening up at the Westin, b/c I remember a project that made me wonder whether the current location at the Memphis Business Journal building was going to close.

Anyway, lots of growth continuing in downtown Memphis. Recently, news that King Biscuit was heading to Beale. I also have heard of reports that a Blues Hall of Fame was being developed/proposed (*edit: explored) (by the Blues Foundation, hq'd in Memphis), and that the Rock and Roll HOF was going to put a satellite at the Gibson. IF (and that's a big if) all proposed projects come to fruition, that will just add to the density of attractions Memphis, and particularly dt Memphis, have to offer.

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They made reference to the Rock and Roll HOF this morning on the radio when they were talking about the inductees and how they'd be a part of the "rockin' place known as Cleveland." I think Memphis was burned in that deal.

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If Memphis doesn't get the Blues Museum than IMO than that museum will not be credible. I mean if it was in Clarksdale or some other deserving smaller delta town, yeah it would be okay, but if it goes to St. Louis or somewhere that isn't going to be proper IMO. You associate the Blues with Memphis and the Delta.

I agree the Rock and Roll Hall and Fame would have been a better fit in Memphis, I mean Cleveland....Cleveland!?! Now its great they landed it and I don't begrudge them for going after it and obtaining it, but come on, Memphis is the birthplace and origin of the music genre that all other rock variations come from for the most part.

Well this post was full of local bias on my part. :D LOL

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Apparently, some disc jockey in Cleveland first coined the term "Rock and Roll"...but a pretty lame reason for them to put the Hall of Fame there in my opinion. Oh well, apparently it's not doing too well up there. Go figure. Perhaps Memphis, which already receives a good deal of tourism for rock and roll related attractions, would have in fact been the better option. Maybe that's why they are crawling back to put a satellite campus here. :rolleyes:

Oh, and before I get flamed, Cleveland is a great city--I just think the Hall of Fame would have been better suited to Memphis.

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How did Cleveland end up getting that HOF anyways? I don't seem to recall hearing about it.

I think they realize now that Memphis was obviously a better fit, thats why they want to be affiliated with the city with the satellite Hall of Fame.

On the topic of the hotel, I think the building renderings look great. It'll fit right in with its surroundings. IMO, less glass should be used so that the Beale Street feel won't be lost as soon as you turn the corner onto Third Street. The office building thats connected with the FedEx Forum is a perfect fit. It looks like an old building thats been remodeled (reminds me of Toyota Center in front of Autozone Park).

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About the rock n roll HOF----

I remember when Cleveland got that. It must have been 15 or so years ago and I was living in New Orleans. Anyway, the New Orleans Times-Picayune published an article from the L.A. Times which said beyond any doubt whatsoever, the one city that should have gotten the HOF was Memphis.

Putting it in Cleveland as opposed to Memphis is akin to putting the country music Hall of Fame in Anaheim because Gene Autry lived there rather than putting it in Nashville.

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About the rock n roll HOF----

I remember when Cleveland got that. It must have been 15 or so years ago and I was living in New Orleans. Anyway, the New Orleans Times-Picayune published an article from the L.A. Times which said beyond any doubt whatsoever, the one city that should have gotten the HOF was Memphis.

Putting it in Cleveland as opposed to Memphis is akin to putting the country music Hall of Fame in Anaheim because Gene Autry lived there rather than putting it in Nashville.

There's no doubt that Memphis would have been a far better choice for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame than Cleveland. They were definitely burned. Even so, I would have to say that Memphis would probably have to be an even clearer choice for the Blues Hall of Fame. I really hope Memphis gets it. Is there a better location anywhere than on or near Beale Street for a Blues Hall of Fame?

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Oh I agree with all of you about it being a better fit in Memphis as opposed to Cleveland. I appreciate all the replies to my question. It just helps me understand better.

Hopefully the satellite HOF will raise a few eyebrows and help draw its own niche in the market.

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The Rock HOF being in Cleveland is the result of one thing: Incentives. Memphis didn't pony up at the time. Cleveland did. Memphis didn't have the political backing to give attention to its musical heritage. I think losing it really gave Memphis a gut check, and the achievements in terms of music appreciation is amazing.

Re the Blues HOF, I think it would be great to place it either near No 1 Beale or in the parking lot between Gayoso and the Orpheum. But money will be the issue. There probably isn't enough support (financially) for a multi-million dollar IM Pei-designed wonder. But you gotta start somewhere. And the artists deserve the exposure, perhaps more than any other because of what most of them have gone through.

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This is good news. I recall reading about this project last year and haven't heard anything in a long time. Glad to see upscale brands Westin and Daily Grill are coming to town. Personally, I wish the Westin were bigger (400-500 rooms) and perhaps paired with a Morton's or Palm, but 1) filling up 200 rooms will not be a problem and 2) the Daily Grill is no slouch in upscale dining. Memphis probably has enough upscale steakhouses for a market of our size anyway: Ruth's Chris, Folk's Folly, Capriccio, and the new Fleming's out east.

I'll definitely check it out when it opens and I hope it will be run in a manner that gives strong competition to the Peabody. I'm a Peabody fan, but competition always makes the product/service better.

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This is good news. I recall reading about this project last year and haven't heard anything in a long time. Glad to see upscale brands Westin and Daily Grill are coming to town. Personally, I wish the Westin were bigger (400-500 rooms) and perhaps paired with a Morton's or Palm, but 1) filling up 200 rooms will not be a problem and 2) the Daily Grill is no slouch in upscale dining. Memphis probably has enough upscale steakhouses for a market of our size anyway: Ruth's Chris, Folk's Folly, Capriccio, and the new Fleming's out east.

I'll definitely check it out when it opens and I hope it will be run in a manner that gives strong competition to the Peabody. I'm a Peabody fan, but competition always makes the product/service better.

Well, welcome to the forum. I've not seen you here before. I'm a "Memphis poster" who doesn't live there, so if you ever take any pics of the city, I'd appreciate seeing them.

I'm sure the Westin will do well. Imho---what downtown Memphis needs most is to fill up those vacant lots south of the FedEx forum with residential.

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I think the size of the Westin is a good fit personally. Downtown Memphis is not the Business Hub that it used to be so having a 400-500 room hotel might not make the best sense financially. Memphis has an okay convention market but its not stellar. I really see the Westin becoming a business traveler/special event hotel vs. having a huge convention business. There just isn't a concentration of headquarters in that area today and thats why the hotel will be that size. Of course we can hope that more businesses move back to our cbd and then we'll see more hotel development take place. I'm just happy to get the Westin brand here.

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The NBA added the Tunica hotels into the mix and the result was that metro Memphis has enough hotel capacity required for such an event. But David Stern suggested that the city add more hotel rooms in the CBD in order to land the coveted All-Star game. Thats why we missed out on the 2007 bid. I think the new Westin and the COGIC hotel renovation are a huge step in the right direction!

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I had been hoping that the Riverbend Crossing development would include a Westin. I suppose that's off now....:( Perhaps Hyatt or Fairmont will build something there. Still, I do think the new Westin will be a good addition to downtown Memphis. Has anyone got another picture link? I can't seem to get the link above to load properly.

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I had been hoping that the Riverbend Crossing development would include a Westin. I suppose that's off now....:( Perhaps Hyatt or Fairmont will build something there. Still, I do think the new Westin will be a good addition to downtown Memphis. Has anyone got another picture link? I can't seem to get the link above to load properly.

You can go to downtownmemphis.com, go to "current projects" on the "develop" link. Under the question "what stage of development do you wish to see?" click on "designing/planning" and you can see a rendering of the hotel there.

In the paper, it says its 9 stories. The rendering looks like 11 or 12 stories by my count.

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Thanks for the link advice. It worked nicely. The building is a little boxy, but should work quite well. I'm also glad to see that something is being done with the old Chisca (Plaza) Hotel.

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I had been hoping that the Riverbend Crossing development would include a Westin. I suppose that's off now....:( Perhaps Hyatt or Fairmont will build something there. Still, I do think the new Westin will be a good addition to downtown Memphis. Has anyone got another picture link? I can't seem to get the link above to load properly.

Which development is Riverbend? I'm almost embarrassed to ask . . . :blush:

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