VOL. 114 | NO. 36 | Wednesday, February 23, 2000
three project loans
By KATHLEEN BURT
The Daily News
Development loans for three small but significant projects were approved by the Center City Development Corp. Tuesday.
The board unanimously approved a total of $81,500 for three development loans and received updates on the Riverfront Development Corp.s efforts to improve the parks along the Mississippi River and the Main Street redevelopment plan.
A $20,000 loan was approved for the Station Square project at 526 S. Main St. to continue improvements around the Pullman Hotel. Project developers Mark Grawemeyer and Leslie Smith have been improving buildings between 522 S. Main and 530 S. Main, and 106 E. Calhoun Ave. The developers have a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes freeze, which has been in place for several years, said Michael Stevens, Center City Commission vice president of development.
A $41,500 loan was approved for new construction at 275 Jefferson Ave. for the law offices of Rice, Smith, Bursi, Amundsen, Jewell & Armstrong.
Groundbreaking for the three-story wood frame and brick structure also took place Tuesday.
The neoclassical-style building, designed by architect Ben Baggett, will house law offices on the first two floors, with the third floor reserved for two studio apartments and additional office space.
The project was approved for a 7-year PILOT, but developers Larry Rice and Amy Amundsen plan to return to the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. to ask for an additional year after a public art component was added to the project, Stevens said.
A $20,000 loan was approved for a custom furniture shop and showroom at 413 Monroe Ave. William McGown, an artist and furniture manufacturer, plans to open a workshop in the 8,800-square-foot location as well as sublease two other portions of the building.
In other business, CCDC chairman John Stokes told the board that the Memphis City Council had the first reading of the ordinance to move responsibility of development of the parks along the river from the parks commission to the Riverfront Development Corp. Stokes said the corporation got a boost recently when the Plough Foundation pledged $750,000 over a three-year period to assist in riverfront development.
``It was a landmark for us, because it was the first private funding weve gone after, Stokes said.
In addition, Public Works director Benny Lendermon has accepted the post to head up the corporation. He will officially take the office in March, Stokes said.
The board was updated on the Main Street Redevelopment Plan. Recent workshops focused on six aspects of the program, which resulted in the formulation of several proposals, to be presented at a wrap-up meeting at 6 p.m. March 9.
Two projects proposed along Main Street include the creation of a ``new urban village around Court Square, and development of residential, hotel and office space between Gayoso and Union avenues are designed to jumpstart redevelopment of the Mid-America Mall.
Plans could be ready for approval by the Center City Commission, the City Council and Shelby County Commission in April.
``This is not the first Main Street plan weve had. But this Main Street vision is one that can actually be implemented, CCC president Jeff Sanford said.