VOL. 115 | NO. 157 | Thursday, August 16, 2001
CCDC approves Pat OBriens loan
CCDC approves Pat OBriens loan
By SUE PEASE
The Daily News
The Center City Development Corp. Wednesday approved a $62,000 development loan application to the owners of a business planning to build a Pat OBriens bar on Beale Street.
The owners, D. Curtis Wegener and Kevin Kelly of 310 Beale Street Properties LLC and Hurricane Memphis LLC, expect the bar to open to the public April 15.
The owners applied for a $125,000 loan. However, they qualified for $62,000, according to CCC staff evaluation.
The board unanimously approved the loan, with board member John Elkington recusing himself from the discussion and vote.
The project is expected to cost $5.5 million and will cover the construction of a 17,500-square-foot building at the northeast corner of Beale Street and Rufus Thomas Boulevard in the historic Beale Street district.
The building will be similar in size and character to the bar in New Orleans French Quarter, the executive summary supplied by the owners stated.
The deal to build a Pat OBriens bar has been under negotiation for years, said Jeff Sanford, CCC president.
Wegener said there were many obstacles to overcome to bring the project to this point.
"This deal has had more than a little hair on it," Wegener said.
There had been financing challenges along with problems in gaining title to the land, which was debated by the operator of the Legends club at 326 Beale, who said he had a lease on the property.
Since then, a title insurance policy from First American Title Insurance Co. was committed to the 310 Beale and Hurricane group.
The board asked about the number of minority owners who have taken part in the project.
Wegener and Kelly responded that at first, 50 percent of the investors were from minority-owned businesses, but since reports of the title problem surfaced along with a downturn in the economy, the number of investors declined.
Flintco Inc. will be the general contractor for the project. J. Wise Smith and Associates is the architectural firm for the project.
In other business, the board approved a loan reconsideration for the Memphis Incubator Systems Inc., a non-profit organization, which received a $90,000 development loan last year.
The loan was for the renovation of the building at 516 Tennessee St., which will be turned into the Incubators new office.
At todays Center City Revenue Finance Corp., MISI will be requesting an 18-year payment-in-lieu-of-tax assessment program from the board.
The staff will ask the board to approve the request despite its policy to approve a PILOT for a maximum of 10 years if the applicant received a loan from the CCDC.
The staff will ask the CCRFC board make to make an exception for the lengthy PILOT, if it gets the nod from the CCDC.
The CCDC gave unanimous approval of the reconsideration.
MISI did not ask for a PILOT last year, because the group was originally told by federal funding officials there would be complications with the lease on the building if a local PILOT was approved in addition to federal funding.
Upon further discussions, MISI president Michael Terry was told both CCRFC and the federal agency could share the building lease.
The board also approved a $5,000 bonus to Patrick Reilly, marketing specialist for CB Richard Ellis for securing tenant Cochran, Cherry, Givens, Smith & Bolton LLP to a Downtown office.
The firms principal is Johnnie L. Cochran, a defense attorney in the O.J. Simpson murder trial.
Cochran announced plans in March to expand into the Memphis by merging with the Julian T. Bolton firm.
Bolton is also a Shelby County commissioner.
The firm will occupy 6,025 square feet with an option to expand to 14,000 square feet at One Commerce Square.
The firm will have 28 employees in the office.
The Broker Bonus Program was developed by the CCDC as an incentive to the brokerage community to bring retailers to the Central Business Improvement District. This is the second bonus approved this year.