VOL. 114 | NO. 49 | Monday, March 13, 2000
By SUZANNE THOMPSON
Loft apartment project
begins on South Main
By SUZANNE THOMPSON
The Daily News
For developer Gary Garland, tranforming the old Hot Line Building at 421 S. Main St. into loft apartments is the right thing to do.
The design of the building, with its wood floors and high ceilings, lends itself to the type of mixed-use development that has become popular in many older metropolitan areas, he said.
A building permit issued by the Shelby County Office of Construction Code Enforcement lists the construction value of the project at $1.4 million. The general contractor for the project is Naylor Wright Construction Co.
Built in 1912, the building at 421 S. Main is known as the Hot Line Building, so Garland is calling the apartments the Hot Line Lofts.
The size of the units ranges from 766 square feet to 1,400 square feet. Smaller units will rent for $1,000, and rental rates will increase depending on the size of the unit, said Sherry Sims, director of marketing and finance for The Garland Co.
The Hot Line Lofts building features 100-year-old heart-of-pine wood flooring and has ceiling heights of 14 feet. "We are restoring it to its original glory," Sims said.
Garland said he is a firm believer in rehabilitating with preservation in mind, and not destroying the buildings original design.
"The open lofts are taking advantage of whats already there. These are beautiful, heavy timbered buildings with exposed beams, exposed columns, and bricks that are exposed. If you over-improve one, youve sort of taken away from the glamour of it," he said.
There is plenty of parking available adjacent to the building, an important consideration for Downtown development, Garland said.
The apartments are on the first, second and third floors of the building. About half the first floor also will be occupied by Shurgard, a storage company. The company is expected to open its offices there April 15.
The development company for development of the Hot Line Lofts project, Mid-South Renaissance, is a separate entity owned by Garland.
Mid-South Renaissance also developed the Puck Building at 409 S. Main, where artist Jay Etkin is opening a 10,000-square-foot gallery.
The developments are part of Garlands master plan to turn the area into a mecca for local artists, and loft apartments are part of the plan, he said.
"These are old, historic buildings, and one of the hottest design trends in the country right now is doing mixed-use buildings in these old industrial-type buildings where man has never lived before," Garland said.
He said the big factory windows in the building bring in lots of light and make the space ideal for use as loft apartments.
"Its the right thing to do to an old building like that," he said.