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Downtown Memphis News & Developments (CBD, South Main, Riverfront, Medical District, The Edge, Uptown)


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With respect, do you realize just how FAR Memphis TN is behind other southern cities with this kind of *stuff* ? this is no great shakes, but maybe it's that way for the remaining locals, but crowing about well overdue progress and development in now 2015 seems weird at this late point in time.


I think this is the exact kind of attitude that is holding Memphis back.


Late progress is better than no progress.


Memphis is behind? So should they give up or play catch up?


We've seen signs that Birmingham has started to turn the corner as far as new urban development (and perhaps a change in perception along with it). I think that bodes well for Memphis.


I see no reason why Memphis should not hold itself to a higher standard. Instead of complaining about the past, turn over a new leaf. 

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Developers Request to Amend Downtown Hotel Project



Memphis City Council members will consider an amendment Tuesday, Feb. 7, to plans for a 150-room hotel on the northwest corner of Madison Avenue and B.B. King Boulevard.

The change by Wessman Holdings LLC for the Leader Federal Bank building and the two-story building next to it on the corner would add a new nine-story building past the corner on the B.B. King side.

The existing two-story building on the corner now runs north-south to Bates Alley next to a surface parking lot. The plan by Wessman and its architect, Chris Pardo, would keep half of the two story building at the corner but demolish the northern half running to the alley for the nine-story building.

Not bad!

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This should be great for Downtown:

Wiseacre plans larger brewery Downtown




Wiseacre Brewing plans to build a second, larger brewery Downtown. Abel Parcels LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Wiseacre, is seeking a Board of Adjustment variance to build on 2.5 acres at the southeast edge of Downtown. B.B. King Boulevard, East Butler and Vance avenues and Abel Street border the site.

It's the second brewery in two weeks announced to be built on the more economically distressed edges of surging Downtown Memphis. Grind City Brewing Co. plans to build an $11.3 million brewery just north of Downtown, between North Second Street and the Wolf River Harbor.

Wiseacre is not vacating its five-year-old brewery at 2783 Broad, but will convert that Binghampton site to a smaller, specialty brewhouse, the letter of intent to the Board of Adjustment states.



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$14M building permit filed for former Benchmark Hotel site




After an up-and-down 2018, the site of the former Benchmark Hotel appears to be heading into the new year on a high note.

A $14 million building permit application for “foundation and structural” work was filed Friday, Dec. 21, as the last remnants of the long-blighted hotel in the heart of Downtown Memphis come down. 

Magna Hospitality Group was listed as both the tenant and owner on the permit, while Montgomery Martin was listed as the contractor.

In June, the Rhode Island-based hospitality group was awarded a 15-year tax incentive from the Downtown Memphis Commission to build a $43 million, four-star hotel at 164 Union Ave.

The five-story, full-service Hilton Canopy will feature 170 rooms, along with a restaurant and bar on the ground floor and basement, and on-site parking, according to the submitted plans.



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Memphis has to have a record number of adaptive reuse projects underway....right?

More Airbnbs en route to South Main, with redevelopment of historic building







A group of Nashville investors is preparing to renovate a 1910s building on South Main, which was once home to the Ambassador Hotel.

GEM Investments LLC, led by Matthew Pierce, wants to build-out 10 apartments and a restaurant in the dilapidated, three-story building, which is located at 345 S. Main St.

Half or more of the apartments would be rented-out through a short-term rental service such as Airbnb or HomeAway, according to documentation the group submitted to the Center City Development Corp. (CCDC).

"The market currently is lacking in short-term rental units," the document said. "The project will meet that demand by master-leasing the top two floors to an international short-term rental manager."

GEM has already signed a lease with a "well-known" restaurant operator for the first-floor space. The document did not list the name of the restaurant or restaurateur.

GEM is asking the CCDC for a $200,000 loan and $60,000 grant. First Commercial Bank is set to finance the project with a $2 million loan, leaving a smaller than $400,000 initial investment from the developers.

Construction could begin as early as March and last 12-18 months, the application said.



New York developer plans to build hotel on top of Downtown Memphis furniture store





The Royal Furniture building on South Main Street near Gayoso Avenue has been sold for $3.5 million to make way for what will eventually become a mixed-use building.

For now, Royal Furniture, which had owned the building at 122 S. Main St. since 1982, will remain in the building. It was purchased by New York developer Tom Intrator, who has worked on seven apartment developments in Memphis since 2013.

“This Royal Furniture space is particularly compelling for ground-floor retail and either hospitality, residential, or office space above," Intrator said in an emailed statement. “The property sits on the trolley line in the core of Main Street and is blocks from historic Beale Street and Orpheum Theatre and the reimagined riverfront. We’re exploring all options and view this as a great opportunity for the continued revitalization of Downtown Memphis.”

Royal Furniture has a retail store and its corporate office in the building. The company negotiated a one-year lease with the sale of the building, said Richard Faber, whose family owns Royal Furniture.

"They're looking for a dynamic retailer and we're looking for a new location," Faber said, adding that the furniture store hopes to stay Downtown with a single building for its corporate office and retail store but is open to splitting between two buildings.

Intrator purchased another building at 18 S. Main St. about a quarter-mile away last summer.

He hired a Los Angeles-based retail firm to help find tenants for the building. That building sold for $710,000 and was approved for a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes incentive by the Downtown Memphis Commission. That incentive will save the company 75 percent of its property tax obligation.



Sneak Peak: Wonder Bread development flies forward




It's been almost a year and a half since Memphis-based Development Services Group (DSG) first announced its monumental redevelopment of the Wonder Bread bakery building and the surrounding land. And, it's been half a year since a pair of building permits, totaling $26 million, were pulled for the project.

In the time since, significant work has been completed at the Edge District site. For an updated aerial view, watch the drone footage below, courtesy of Montgomery Martin Contractors.

Orion Federal Credit Union's new headquarters — which will be located in the remaining part of the bakery building and the adjacent former Cadillac dealership — should be ready by the beginning of this summer, Montgomery Martin spokesman Brandon Herrington said.

The project's roughly 290 apartments should all be completed by May 2020, Herrington said, and the precast garage was erected from mid-September to early December of last year.

The Memphis Business Journal recently reported that Memphis Made Brewing could be opening a second location near the bakery, in the former glass factory at 435 Madison Ave. It would be part a $5.7 million park project DSG is calling "The Ravine."



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City breaks ground on Convention Center project

Image result for memphis convention center expansion




Memphis officially broke ground on the long-awaited, and occasionally delayed, Memphis Cook Convention Center renovations — a milestone that officials hope is a harbinger of brighter days for the city's tourism industry.
"Nearly 40 million people drive over that bridge every single year and they see a building that looks dated. Well, soon, they will see a building that is modern, sleek, and a welcoming building to everyone coming in here," Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said at the event. "The interior will be more functional and allow for a better overall experience. This renovation is emblematic of everything that is happening in the City of Memphis right now. Memphis has momentum."

Strickland noted that the $200 million project will not be paid for with general fund dollars but will be funded through a mixture of Tourism Development Zone (TDZ) money and hotel/motel taxes.



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More adaptive reuse in Downtown Memphis!

Historic U.S. Marine Hospital will soon be renovated for apartments




Lauren Crews this week applied for a construction permit to preserve and convert the historic U.S. Marine Hospital into apartments after 16 years of starts and stops, recession, recovery and plan changes.

If all goes according to schedule, the gutting of the three buildings on the river bluff at 360 Metal Museum Drive will start in March, renovation will begin in April or May and renters can start moving into the 71 units about a year later.

The property on 3.2 acres is expected to soon be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The exterior appearance will be preserved.

LRK Architects designed the renovation and Montgomery Martin Contracts will do the construction.



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