VOL. 113 | NO. 3 | Wednesday, January 6, 1999
Renovation plan targets
four Downtown buildings
By KATHLEEN BURT
The Daily News
An $8.5 million plan to renovate four buildings in an area that once was the Wall Street district of Memphis will come before the Design Review Board Thursday.
In it's first meeting of 1999, the DRB has a full slate of items to consider. The meeting begins at 4:30 p.m. in the Crump Building at 114 N. Main St.
The Tennessee Trust building and three surrounding structures are in an area the architect on the project said is an underdeveloped area on Madison that, in its heyday, was the financial district of the city. Plans are to transform the property into a boutique-style hotel and restaurant with retail and residential use.
The building, at 79 Madison Ave., was one of the first high-rise structures built in the city. The 15-story, steel-frame structure was built in 1906.
"The building is in excellent condition," said Laurence Bronson, the architect on the project and a partner in the firm of Jackson, Bronson and Feraci.
The lower and mezzanine floors of the hotel will be reserved for the lobby and a small restaurant.
The upper 14 levels will contain suites. The penthouse will contain an observation deck and a meeting room.
The project will contain a total of three meeting rooms, Bronson said.
"This project will contain 98 rooms in a boutique hotel. We hope to be a small-scale Peabody," he said.
"The Tennessee Trust building is directly behind the old UP building. It has 12 floors, so the observation deck has an unobstructed view of the river and the sunset."
Walter Broadfoot is the property owner. He is working with the Chicago-based firm Neighborhood Development.
A building at 83 Madison Ave. is a contributing structure in the project. Plans for the three-story building include at least one residence, a bar and restaurant, Bronson said.
Depending on factors still under negotiation, the building could be broken into as many as four loft-style apartments.
The buildings at 9 and 11 S. Main St. are considered non-contributing structures in the project. The buildings could be used for residences with retail space on the ground floor, but definite plans are still in the works, Bronson said.
Some demolition may be done in the back of those buildings to make way for a motor court and entryway into the hotel.
"Not a lot has happened in this area of Main Street. I think this project will have a great impact on Downtown," Bronson said.
As part of the $8.5 million project, Bronson said facade renovations done in the 1950s or 1960s will be removed and the building restored to its former opulence.
"We're in the process right now of finding photographs of how the building looked," Bronson said.
Those facade renovations were done poorly, making them incompatible with the project, he said.
In addition to approval by the DRB, Bronson said a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes and a development loan will be sought.
Another application to transform an old building into a boutique hotel also will be on Thursday's agenda.
Gary Garland is requesting approval of plans to renovate the Barton Cotton building at 115 S. Front St. for use as a hotel. David Schuermann of Architecture Inc., is the applicant.
Another Garland project, at 111 and 115 N. Parkway, is on the agenda as well. Plans are to renovate two buildings there.
Preliminary plans for the Echelon at Midtown and a new Downtown school also will be discussed, as will plans submitted by the Hnedak Bobo Group to renovate 110-114 S. Front St. in the Cotton Row Historic District for office space and parking.