‘Boutique market’ planned for Emerge Building and WLOK Building Upgrades – CCDC to Review

Courtesy of the Commercial Appeal.

A new “boutique market store” is planned for the Emerge Building in the South Main Arts District.

The 2,000 square-foot shop “will house food, groceries, drinks, and coffee,” according to a grant application submitted to a Downtown Memphis Commission board.

The applicants, Nick Barbian and Ryan Morris of UrbanARCH Associates, are seeking a $60,000 grant from the Center City Development Corporation to help fund exterior improvements to the building at 516 Tennessee St. The total cost of the exterior renovations is estimated to be about $122,000.

The improvements include “construction of a new concrete patio, stair and main entrance to the building, new double door storefront, handrails, and exterior signage,” according to the application. “Existing conditions will require some rework of the existing sidewalk, signs, and building exhaust.”

Big River Market will be housed inside the Emerge Building, a business incubator that offers rental spaces ranging from 150- to 5,000-square-feet.

A separate grocery store planned for the area was announced by a separate development team Tuesday.

WLOK building upgrades

The WLOK radio building at 363 Second St. could also get some exterior upgrades

WLOK submitted a grant application to the CCDC seeking $50,000 to repaint the door and window frames, tint the windows, add exterior landscaping, update the lighting in the WLOK sign and other changes to make the building look more attractive.

Renderings show a blue and yellow paint scheme.

Total project cost is estimated to be about $65,000.

WLOK became the first Black-owned radio station in Memphis when it was bought by Gillam Communications in 1977 and has been designated a Tennessee Historical Landmark by the state historical commission.

The CCDC will consider both grant applications during a virtual meeting on April 21.

Corinne Kennedy covers economic development, soccer and COVID-19’s impact on hospitals for the Commercial Appeal. She can be reached via email at Corinne.Kennedy@CommercialAppeal.com or at 901-297-3245. 

Hyatt Centric: Your Sneak Peek at Memphis’ Newest Hotel

Legendary Beale Street is three neon-lit blocks of nonstop entertainment. Strolling along the pedestrian-only thoroughfare, you can shop, eat, drink and enjoy the music that makes the area famous. Theater buffs love visiting the beautiful Orpheum Theatre, while sports fans and concertgoers appreciate the state-of-the-art FedEx Forum. In fact, the only thing that has been missing from this iconic destination is a great place to stay – until now.

Today, Beale Street welcomes Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis, an upscale hotel experience with a resort-style pool, full-service restaurant, and rooftop bar. We are excited to explore everything that awaits us; from event spaces to accommodations to dining options, here’s a look at what we can expect!

Daytime rendering of new Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis

Hyatt Centric has revitalized and repurposed the William C. Ellis and Sons Ironworks and Machine Shop located on Front Street.

Event & Community Spaces

Downtown has seen businesses come and go, with some lovely historic properties remaining vacant over the years. Hyatt Centric has revitalized and repurposed one such property, the William C. Ellis and Sons Ironworks and Machine Shop located on Front Street. The former family-owned manufacturing business will be home to approximately 9,000 square feet of event and meeting space. Designed to be flexible, the space can accommodate up to 450 meeting attendees and up to 500 social event guests. (These numbers may be less for now due to the pandemic.)

The history of the building is reflected in the event space, which includes original brick walls and large windows. In the lobby, guests will be greeted at check-in pods that were locally created using original Ironworks parts and materials. The fresh, modern décor was inspired by all things Memphis and pays homage to its rich music history. Distinct touches include hallway carpets with patterns that mimic sound waves and light fixtures that resemble treble clef notes.

Making excellent use of the view, the event area incorporates an event lawn overlooking the mighty Mississippi River and the pool. This is not your typical hotel pool, however! Hyatt Centric Beale Street has pulled out all the stops for the only resort-style pool experience Downtown, including private poolside cabanas, an expansive sun deck, food, and entertainment.

You’ll also find a 24-hour market in the lobby, a first-class fitness center, valet parking, and concierge services in this pet-friendly hotel.

Rendering of meeting space in new Memphis hotel

The history of the building is reflected in the event space, which includes original brick walls and large windows.

RELATED: 5 Luxurious & Unusual Southern Airbnbs

Accommodations

Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis offers 227 guest rooms, including 12 suites. The soothing colors in the rooms set off cool vintage wall graphics and leather headboards. Continuing the Memphis theme, shower walls are etched with sights and names beloved of the Bluff City, and oversized windows give panoramic views of Downtown or the river. Visitors can select a room with one king bed or two queens, and ADA rooms are also available. Upscale amenities add to the comfort: rainfall showers, jersey-knit bathrobes, Keurig coffee makers, 55-inch HDTVs, and more. You might be tempted to not leave your room!

King room in Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis

Shower walls are etched with beloved sights and names familiar to locals, and oversized windows give panoramic views of Downtown or the river

Details of new Memphis hotel

Upscale amenities and comfortable touches are found everywhere!

Dining Options

Latin American-inspired cuisine awaits you at CIMAS. Open from 7 a.m. to midnight, the full-service restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner accompanied by views of the majestic Mississippi River from the outdoor patio or through the floor-to-ceiling windows inside. The menu features local Southern ingredients in delicious and exciting Latin American dishes.

“For breakfast, we’re particularly excited about the classic shrimp and Anson Mills grits dish, as well as chilaquiles Verde,” says Chef de Cuisine Garron Sanchez. For a great example of Southern food filtered through a Latin American lens, he recommends the blackened shrimp Caesar salad along with a catfish Milanese po’boy for lunch. You’ll be spoiled for choice at dinner, with sure-to-please options like the vegan Bluff City mushroom chorizo tostadas, dry-aged New York strip, and scallops with creamy elotes (street corn), chorizo, and okra on the menu. The restaurant is complemented by CIMAS Lobby Lounge, a lively and welcoming place to sip curated cocktails before or after dinner.

Eight stories up, guests are in for a truly delightful experience at Beck & Call Rooftop Lounge, which opens in a few weeks. Just the words “rooftop lounge” conjure up a romantic image of enjoying sophisticated cocktails at sunset or under starlit skies. The whiskey-themed rooftop bar offers a sweeping vista that takes in Beale Street, the Memphis skyline, and of course, Old Man River.

“Going with a whiskey theme for Beck & Call was a no-brainer,” says Troy Dixon, Beck & Call’s Director of Operations. “With Memphis near some of the country’s best distilleries, we wanted our menus to reflect the rich history and craft of America’s bourbon and whiskey legends.” The beverage menu will offer other tasty treats, including spirits from Old Dominick Distillery and a selection of craft beers from Wiseacre Brewing Co. Delicious dishes with a distinct seasonal Southern influence will add the finishing touch.

RELATED: Hole in the Wall Restaurants, Dive Bars & Other Memphis Gems

Location, Location, Location

The location at the corner of Beale and Front streets is ideal – very close to thriving downtown Memphis and only a 15-minute drive from Memphis International Airport. As a part of the new One Beale mixed-use development currently underway, the first full-service Hyatt in the city will be a great base for visitors to explore all that Downtown has to offer.

For more information and to book your stay at Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis, visit hyatt.com. All renderings courtesy of Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis.

South of Beale moved down the street. Here’s what to expect at the new restaurant.

Courtesy of the Commercial Appeal. 

South of Beale just made a big move just a few short steps away from its original location.

The popular downtown eatery opened Monday in its new address at 345 S. Main St. Located in the newly renovated historic building that was once the Ambassador Hotel, the new South of Beale (known as SOB by most) is the next chapter for this Downtown eatery that opened just over 11 years ago.

“This is more of an upscale casual restaurant than a bar,” said Ed Cabigao, who owns the restaurant with his wife Brittany. “When we first opened, it had more of a bar gastropub feel. As the business grew, we had a better understanding of who our customer was. The new restaurant is the iteration of this.”

South of Beale's new South Main location provides guests with an excellent view of the street, Monday, April 12, 2021, in Memphis, Tenn.

The Cabigaos bought the building at 345 S. Main in late 2019.  At the time, the building was an empty shell, with all three floors being down to the studs.  The building has now been transformed into a full-service restaurant with ten apartments on the upper floors.

A new look and larger space

The restaurant is now 5,000 square feet versus the 1,700 square feet at the original SOB and features a gathering lounge area for those waiting on a table, a large private dining room and patio.

The new restaurant has a more modern atmosphere than the SOB original location.

Tables are set and ready for customers inside South of Beale's new location, Monday, April 12, 2021, in Memphis, Tenn.

Ed Cabigao describes the space as having a more contemporary design but points out they added retro touches to honor the historic building.

When you enter the space, the first thing you notice is the stunning bar that runs the length of the dining room.  The bar front is covered in silver tin tiles as a nod to the building’s history.  Moody dark blue walls are accented by pops of yellow.  Exposed plaster walls sit behind a lounge space with hip sofa seating. 1950’s diner-style light fixtures hang over cozy banquette seating.

A revamped menu offering classics with a twist

The menu has been slightly revamped as well. Cabigao said it is larger than the original Downtown SOB menu.  He added that the menus at both the Downtown and East Memphis location (opened in September 2020 at 5040 Sanderlin Ave.) will be the same.

The patio space at South of Beale's new location provides an outdoor dining option for customers, Monday, April 12, 2021, in Memphis, TN.

Corporate chef Anthony Fenech has worked with the Cabigaos to develop dishes with an adventurous twist.

“Dishes like our Soul Bowl are a good example of our twist on fried chicken,” said Cabigao.  This signature fusion item features Korean fried chicken with a drizzle of honey over a bed of kimchi collard greens.

A New York Strip is also a new addition to the menu. “This cut is a little more upscale,” said Cabigao. The strip comes with a side of Gouda mac ‘n cheese and an herb compound butter.

Popular items like the Duck Fried Rice, General Tso’s Cauliflower and Zaka Bowl have permanent spots on the menu.  The spiced popcorn regulars know and love will be served as well along with several vegetarian and gluten-free items.

The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner daily, with brunch on Sundays only to start.

Brunch will feature a variety of items, including a Colorado-inspired breakfast burrito with green chili and braised pork and SOB’s “Loco Moco” (a Hawaiian / Filipino inspired rice and beef patty dish).

The cocktail and wine list have both been expanded. “We will have more cocktails and even a reserve wine list, and a little less beer,” Cabigao said of the changes.  A Smoked Old Fashioned that is presented to the table in a cloud of smoke is a drink he predicts will be a popular order at the Downtown location due to its success in East Memphis.

South of Beale's new location features a chic, well-stocked bar, Monday, April 12, 2021, in Memphis, Tenn.

The Cabigaos have leased the ten apartments upstairs to an Airbnb operator.  Cabigao predicts they will be a popular destination for those wanting to visit downtown. “Since the street has gotten so busy, the apartments are meant for an Airbnb or a hotel.”

The building at 361 S. Main St. has been leased to Good Fortune Company.  The dumpling and ramen restaurant is expected to open in late summer.

Jennifer Chandler is the Food & Dining Reporter at The Commercial Appeal. She can be reached at jennifer.chandler@commercialappeal.com and you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @cookwjennifer.

At a glance

South of Beale

Where: 345 S. Beale St.

Hours: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sunday – Thursday and 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Online: southofbeale.com

Phone: (901) 526-0388

Reservations: Resy

South Point Grocery Store Headed to South Main

Fresh foods will be the focal point of a new grocery store planned for Downtown Memphis.

Castle Retail Group, parent company of Cash Saver and High Point Grocery stores, will bring a new store to South Main at 136 Webster sometime this year. The store, to be called South Point Grocery, is sandwiched between Central Station on the west and the U.S. Postal Service facility on the east.

Tom Archer, owner and president of Archer Custom Builders, bought the building in 2017 with visions to bring a grocery store to Downtown Memphis. The store will be small — with a sales floor of about 8,000 square feet — compared to other stores. Its size and the neighborhood pushed the focus on fresh foods, said Rick James, owner and CEO of Castle Retail Group.

“We know in a space of this size, we’re not going to have 48-roll toilet paper; it just won’t work,” James said. “But we can handle high-end, fresh produce, deli, bakery, and a butcher shop. Quality and freshness would be two of the key words.”

We can handle high-end, fresh produce, deli, bakery, and a butcher shop. Quality and freshness would be two of the key words.

Rick James, owner and CEO Castle Retail Group

Another grocery store has been on the Downtown to-do list for more than a decade, as some have said Miss Cordelia’s feels far away and disconnected from Downtown’s Central Business District. For years, Downtowners have have told surveyors that another grocery store is a missing gap for the neighborhood. James said many now drive five miles to Midtown stores, like Cash Saver or Kroger, to stores in West Memphis, Arkansas, or to big-box stores like Costco on Germantown Parkway.

James and Archer said South Point Grocery makes sense now with Downtown’s new population density. Nearly 26,000 people lived Downtown last year, according to the latest numbers from the Downtown Memphis Commission (DMC), up slightly from the nearly 25,000 people who lived there in 2010.  DMC data says nearly 88,000 occupy Downtown during the day.

“We’ve been down here all these years and South Main has been kind of on the edge of busting wide open,” said Archer, whose company is headquartered on South Main. “We wanted to get ahead of that but it beat us. It’s been crazy down here the last couple of years. So, this is perfect timing.”

South Point Grocery was, in part, inspired by Castle’s success at High Point Grocery. James said before buying the beloved community grocery store, his company had not really done a small-format store. Without it, “we wouldn’t have had the confidence that we can” run a smaller store Downtown. Archer said he’d been looking for a partner for his Downtown grocery building, saw James talking about High Point Grocery on the news, and walked away impressed when he went to see it for himself.

The building features a parking deck on the east side with plenty of public parking available on Webster. A covered patio with ceiling fans front the street, which James said will be used for dining and, perhaps, live music.

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Memphis Downtown development, The Walk, files permit to start construction on Union Avenue

Courtesy of the Commercial Appeal

Developer Kevin Adams has filed a building permit for construction on the first phase of his massive planned Downtown development known as “The Walk.”

Adams filed a permit April 8 for new construction of a seven-story mixed-use building with 414 apartment units and 20,000 square feet of retail space as well as a parking garage at 341 Union Ave.

The permit was filed the day after the Downtown Memphis Commission’s Design Review Board approved exterior plans for the first phase of the development, known as Building G. The plans were done by LRK Architects.

Developers of The Walk on Union released new renderings on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, for the development that had been called Union Row. This is a view of the Central Courtyard.

Board members praised the plans, which were unanimously approved, and said it was designed with pedestrians, not just residents and tenants, in mind.

The project formerly known as Union Row was renamed The Walk on Union and later The Walk as a nod to the developer’s intent to have it be walkable and enhance the Downtown pedestrian experience.

Building G will be bounded by Union on the north, Danny Thomas on the east, Gayoso on the south, and a new street to the west (referred to as Fifth Street) and will have a bus rapid transit stop on the side of the building fronting Union.

Rendering of The Walk's building at Fifth and Union in Downtown Memphis

The new parking garage will front Danny Thomas. The retail spaces will front Fifth while a two-story restaurant space at the northwest corner of the building will face Union.

Landscaping and streetscaping include street trees and planters along public streets, public seating and bike racks. The project also has three outdoor spaces in the first phase, intended to be used by residents and pedestrians.

Corinne S Kennedy covers economic development, soccer and COVID-19’s impact on hospitals for the Commercial Appeal. She can be reached via email at Corinne.Kennedy@CommercialAppeal.com or at 901-297-3245. 

Hyatt Announces Plans for Caption by Hyatt Development in Memphis

Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) announced that a Hyatt affiliate has entered into a joint venture (JV) agreement with Carlisle LLC for a Caption by Hyatt hotel in Memphis, Tenn. The Caption by Hyatt brand is grounded in a commitment to caring for people and place and creating connections between them.

“We’re excited to bring the Caption by Hyatt brand to Memphis, a brand that is truly committed to embracing the evolving needs of today’s traveler. We are confident this hotel will deliver on creating a welcoming space where both travelers and locals can hang out, be themselves, and feel connected to the community,” said Crystal Vinisse Thomas, Hyatt’s global brand leader, lifestyle and luxury brands. “Hyatt is committed to growing in places that matter most to our guests, World of Hyatt members and owners, and with the Caption by Hyatt brand, we have the opportunity to expand our footprint in a way that reflects the brand’s commitment to being truly of the community – not just in it. At Caption by Hyatt hotels, the people make the place, and we’re excited to see that come to life in Memphis.”

Located at One Beale Street and adjacent Hyatt Centric Memphis Beale Street, which is set to open on April 15, Caption by Hyatt Memphis is expected to debut in 2022 and will be integrated into the historic main building of Wm. C Ellis & Sons Ironworks and Machine Shop, one of the earliest and longest running businesses in Memphis. The historic building will house the hotel’s ground and second floors, and a new 136-guestroom tower will rise above offering guests spectacular views of the Mississippi River and city skyline.

The Caption by Hyatt brand’s signature marquee will adorn the hotel’s dual entrances, leading avid travelers and locals into the all-day, multi-functional lounge space, Talk Shop. The double height lounge will be enveloped by the historic building’s original heavy timber framing, decorative brick walls, archways, and clerestory windows. At Caption by Hyatt Memphis, Talk Shop will include an expansive patio and double height beer garden that will be incorporated into the building’s historic, decorative façade on Front Street – with locally driven tap beer offerings that will showcase the best beverages of the region, open fire-pits, exposed brick, and existing metal work, Caption by Hyatt Memphis will have an unmistakable neighborhood feel. Caption by Hyatt Memphis will work with Memphis-area purveyors and suppliers, making every effort to support local and minority-owned businesses whenever possible.

“Carlisle is deeply rooted in the local Memphis community, and our properties reflect those roots. Just like our soon to open Hyatt Centric Memphis Beale Street, the Caption by Hyatt brand is aligned with our vision to truly make Memphis a world class destination for business and leisure travelers, as well as residents,” said Senior Vice President of Development & Asset Management Stephen Kallaher, Carlisle LLC. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to collaborate again with Hyatt to introduce the Caption by Hyatt brand to Downtown Memphis and we look forward to providing guests and locals with authentic, fresh experiences and new opportunities for meaningful connections.

With additional projects underway around the world, including Shanghai, Caption by Hyatt hotels will combine the design and comfort of an upscale, lifestyle-forward hotel with the self-guided options of a select-service property. Further, the brand can flex and adapt to suit the needs of different locations and markets, offering a more sustainable approach to design and operations. Destined for urban and downtown markets and lifestyle mixed-use developments, the Caption by Hyatt brand is redefining hospitality by embracing the evolving needs of people and places and allowing them to make Caption by Hyatt hotels their own. Offering dynamic, welcoming spaces for those who seek meaningful conversations, Caption by Hyatt hotels will encourage guests and locals to embrace self-expression in a space that delivers on experience and connection. The Caption by Hyatt brand is committed to hiring diverse talent, vendors, artisans, and suppliers in the community, giving each Caption by Hyatt hotel its own authentic expression of place.

“We are focused on expanding the Caption by Hyatt brand footprint globally with the hope of building our business in key urban and downtown locations, including emerging neighborhoods and mixed-use lifestyle centers, where we can best extend care while also making a positive impact on our guests and communities,” said Jim Chu, Hyatt’s executive vice president of global franchising and development. “There’s incredible excitement surrounding the Caption by Hyatt brand, and we look forward to collaborating with new and existing owners and operators to bring managed and franchised Caption by Hyatt projects to fruition. As a fellow owner, Hyatt is deeply committed to helping owners and operators fully tap the power of the Caption by Hyatt brand in an effort to achieve operating excellence and ultimately drive revenue.”

With a signature marquee sign above each hotel’s main entrance, Caption by Hyatt hotels will be distinct and at the same time have an unmistakable neighborhood feel. Anchored by an eclectic contemporary-meets-urban industrial style, each property will feature a playful layering of colors, textures, and hand-drawn graphic art. At Caption by Hyatt hotels, animated social and food-and-beverage spaces with tech-forward features – like digital check-in, digital keys, and mobile-order food service – unite for a seamless and efficient guest experience.

At the heart of the Caption by Hyatt brand experience will be the brand’s food and beverage concept, Talk Shop, that will serve as a lively welcome area, all-day lounge and workspace, coffee shop, eatery, grab-and-go artisanal market and cocktail bar. Menus will feature locally inspired all-day items and regional favorites with locally sourced ingredients in a spirited and upbeat setting.

What’s happening with some of Downtown Memphis’ most prominent blighted buildings?

Courtesy of the Commercial Appeal.

As the pandemic begins to wane and people look toward the return of normal life and an economic rebound, some long-vacant properties in Downtown Memphis could see action for the first time in a long time.

Over the past year, work has stalled on some projects around the city while others, like the redevelopment of the Joseph Oliver Building on Front Street, have plowed ahead.

Some of the buildings below were previously identified by the Downtown Memphis Commission as “game changers” — buildings whose redevelopment could make a big impact on the future of Downtown as a whole.

Here’s the current status of some of those properties.

107 South Main Street Memphis, TN 38103

107 S. Main St.

Preliminary internal cleanout and selective internal demolition have begun inside the building and crews could break ground at the site within the next 30 to 45 days, said Brett Roler, DMC vice president of development.

Architectural drawings are complete. The project is in permit review with Shelby County, Roler said Wednesday.

New York developer Tom Intrator previously said he wanted to turn the 30,000-square-foot building into ground-floor retail with office space on the upper floors. He received a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes incentive in 2019 to redevelop the 107 S. Main St. building, along with several other Downtown properties he owns.

The total project cost, when Intrator first brought the project to the DMC, was estimated at about $7 million. The developer received a 15-year PILOT incentive to help fund the project.

18 South Main Street, Memphis, TN 38103

18 S. Main St.

Also owned by Intrator, the 23,500-square-foot property at 18 S. Main is another that could see some action soon.

Roler said the architect for the project, Designshop, was working on final construction documents for the refurbishment of the building.

Intrator received a $200,000 grant and a 13.5-year PILOT incentive from the Downtown Memphis Commission to help pay for the renovation of the vacant building into a mixed-use building with ground-floor and basement commercial space and office space on the upper floors.

The overhaul is expected to be a total investment of about $4.7 million.

Joseph Oliver Building

The $23.3 million redevelopment of two connected buildings at 99 and 105 Front St. remains ongoing and could be finished by the end of 2021 or early 2022, Roler said.

A former cold storage warehouse, developer Billy Orgel is turning the site into an apartment building with more than 100 apartments and an underground parking garage.

The long-deserted, 162,000-plus square-foot facility was falling apart when Orgel bought it, and the previous owner had considered tearing it down. There were localized areas of collapse inside, the roof was leaking and bricks were falling off the exterior, necessitating the scaffolding that remains around the site.

Since then, the building structure has been stabilized and blight remediation work has finished. Construction crews at the site are actively working on the internal framing of the building.

Orgel received a $650,406 grant and a 20-year PILOT incentive to help fund the restoration.

46 North B.B. King Blvd. Memphis, TN, 38103

Dermon Building

Prior to the pandemic, owner Amit Patel had signaled his interest in converting the 10-story office building at 46 N. B.B. King Blvd. into a hotel. Roler said some internal demolition had been done and lead paint and asbestos had been removed from the site, but COVID-19 stopped work on the building.

Built in 1925 for the Dave Dermon Co., the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 and has been vacant for about a decade. The lower floors of the building remain boarded up, and some of the upper-floor windows are broken.

However, the building is in a good location near other properties that have been redeveloped for hospitality uses, Roler said. Hotel Indigo sits on the other side of Court Avenue.

“It’s in that emerging corridor where you have some nice boutique hotels,” he said.

November 9, 2016 - Sterick Building.

Sterick Building

Just south of the Dermon Building, the Sterick Building at 8 N. Third St. has been the subject of many development rumors over the years, but as of now, property owners have not put forward any plans for redevelopment.

Roler said the DMC’s anti-blight lawyers were actively working with the building owners and tenants on possible ways forward for one of Downtown’s most iconic buildings, which has been vacant since the 1980s.

He said he was bullish there could be a future for the property, but it depended on how it is marketed to potential future developers.

The 351,000-square-foot building’s distinctive architecture makes it one of the most recognizable buildings in Memphis, something Roler said would be an advantage in marketing it.

“Different is a competitive advantage. We don’t look like ‘anyplace USA,’” he said. “We don’t look like Toledo or Nashville. We don’t look like Chicago.”

100 North Main has long been vacant.

100 North Main St.

The long-vacant Downtown skyscraper could be getting a new life soon. A Downtown Memphis Commission body will likely soon own Memphis’ tallest building and be marketing it to local and national developers trying to entice someone to redevelop a whole city block in the heart of Downtown.

The Downtown Mobility Authority will buy the property bounded by Adams Avenue, Second Street, Jefferson Avenue and Main Street. It includes a four-story garage, a surface parking lot and a small dog park, in addition to the 37-story tower.

The DMA will own the property and will put out a request for proposals. Ultimately, the ownership of the building will be transferred to a developer — if someone chooses to redevelop the site — but the DMA will retain ownership of any future parking developed on the site.

147 Jefferson Ave. in Downtown Memphis

147 Jefferson Ave.

The Jefferson Plaza building sold to a Texas-based company for $2.8 million in March. City Center Services Inc. sold the building to Houston company Trident Capital of America LLC.

The more than 100,000-square-foot building at the corner of Jefferson and Second Street was built in the 1950s and has been vacant for more than a decade. There were plans to redevelop the property in 2012 and an adjacent parking garage was demolished. However, the redevelopment plans later stalled.

Trident has not indicated any future plans for the site since the purchase went through.

Nylon Net building

Demolition of the long-vacant building at 7 Vance began in March. However, the development and architectural team have some more work to do before construction can begin.

At a meeting on Wednesday, members of the Design Review Board said they were unimpressed with the exterior design of the building, saying it would fit in in Cordova, but not in Downtown Memphis. The board decided to table the application and asked the architect to make some changes to the building design.

Co-developers Chance Carlisle and James Maclin are looking to rebuild on the site, paying homage to the former building on the outside, including the smokestack, and creating luxury apartments inside. They plan to use some brick reclaimed from the old site in the exterior of the new building.

Developers are preparing to tear down the historic Nylon Net building at 7 Vance Avenue downtown to build an apartment complex. However, preservationists have said the building is part of the fabric of downtown and it should be renovated, not razed.

Current plans call for more than 200 apartment units, about 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and a 246-space parking garage below the apartments. Construction will begin by the summer and is expected to last 22 to 25 months, developers have said.

The total project cost is expected to be about $52 million.

Corinne S Kennedy covers economic development, soccer and COVID-19’s impact on hospitals for the Commercial Appeal. She can be reached via email at Corinne.Kennedy@CommercialAppeal.com or at 901-297-3245.

First look: What we know about one of The Walk’s primary buildings in Downtown Memphis

The Downtown Memphis Commission’s Design Review Board gave approval for design plans for one of the primary buildings at The Walk, formerly Union Row, in Downtown Memphis. The board approved the plans at a virtual meeting Wednesday after a brief discussion.

The application is only for the exterior design of the one building, but it provides details about what the building will eventually house. Plans were done by LRK Architects.

Max Gersh-Memphis Commercial Appeal

Epicenter Relocates Primary Office Space to Downtown Memphis

Epicenter Relocates Primary Office Space to Downtown Memphis
Entrepreneurship hub will sublease innovation space from Terminix

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (March 18, 2021) – Epicenter announced today its primary office location is moving to the former Ground Floor space at 150 Peabody Place, in downtown Memphis.

Terminix Global Holdings, Inc., will sublease the 20,000-square-foot space to Epicenter, the greater Memphis region’s nonprofit entrepreneurship hub. Epicenter’s current offices are located at 902 S. Cooper St., where it has operated since 2017.

“Epicenter’s economic development mission is to foster a culture of inclusive innovation and to grow entrepreneurship in our region. As we plan for returning to, most likely, a hybrid remote/in-person work environment, we strongly believe that accessible, welcoming spaces in which we collaborate and convene our entrepreneurial community will still be essential to economic growth,” said Jessica Taveau, Interim CEO, Epicenter. “The incredible location and additional square footage of Peabody Place allows us to host ecosystem partners, incubate businesses, and convene educational programs and networking events at a larger scale.”

“Terminix has a long history of innovation which dates back to the founding of the termite control industry, and we are honored and proud to offer this unique space to such a great partner in our community,” said David Dart, chief human resources officer of Terminix. “The Ground Floor space was originally designed as a community hub for innovation, collaboration and vitality, so partnering with Epicenter to grow the local entrepreneurial ecosystem fulfills that vision and investment. We are also grateful to Belz Enterprises for their support and partnership as this great space is energized.”

As part of the transition, Epicenter will wind down its traditional coworking program at the Cooper Young location, which provided flexible workspace for entrepreneurs, freelancers, remote workers, and nonprofit organizations. While many of the coworking members have been working from home over the last 12 months, Epicenter kept its space open to members at no charge. Epicenter staff is working with remaining members to find alternative workspaces in the region.

“When we started operating in the space four years ago, we were one of the few coworking locations in the region,” said Taveau. “We’re thrilled to see many coworking spaces launch over time, and we will continue to support this network of spaces as a key part of our entrepreneurship ecosystem.”

While the organization plans a phased return to in-person work, it will announce plans to offer space to partners and companies in the near future. The organization also will continue to partner with neighborhood and community organizations to deliver and distribute accessible entrepreneurial services to citizens across Shelby County.

The terms of the sublease are not disclosed.

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About Epicenter
Epicenter leads the connected and collaborative entrepreneur ecosystem in the Memphis area. Using a systems approach, Epicenter drives strategy and measures impact among a network of economic development, academic, corporate, and government partners to increase support to new and existing tech startups, creative and community-based businesses, student entrepreneurs, and others across industries and stages of growth. Epicenter and its partners connect these entrepreneurs and their innovative ideas to programming, capital, customers, and talent in order to create a just, inclusive, and growing economy that accrues to all Memphians. More information is at epicentermemphis.org.

About Terminix
Terminix Global Holdings (NYSE: TMX) is a leading provider of residential and commercial pest control. The company provides pest management services and protection against termites, mosquitoes, rodents and other pests. Headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., with more than 10,500 teammates and 2.8 million customers in 24 countries and territories, the company visits more than 50,000 homes and businesses every day. To learn more about Terminix, visit Terminix.com or LinkedIn.com/company/terminix.