VOL. 116 | NO. 226 | Thursday, November 21, 2002
CCDC moves forward with Main Street and Rhodes Jennings projects
CCDC moves forward with renewal plans
By SUE KIRSTEIN
The Daily News
Two blighted sections of Downtown Memphis took another step
toward renewal Wednesday as a Center City Commission board approved
The Center City Development Corp. approved two development
proposals for the Main Street Demonstration Block, between Gayoso and Adams
avenues. The board also approved a development agreement for the Rhodes
Jennings building at the corner of Main and Jefferson Avenue.
In May, CCDC signed ownership options on various properties
in the Main Street Development Block to attract developers to purchase and
develop the properties through requests for proposals.
Wednesday, the board approved a developers proposal to
revitalize the property at 94 S. Main known as the Family Dollar building, and
another developers proposal for 85-89 S. Main, a building often referred to as
the Perez building because of former tenant Perez Cigar and Coffee Co.
The two approved projects are the latest move from CCDC in
its Main Street plan.
I think you can understand, from the action we took today,
we are taking substantial steps to rehabilitate Main Street, said Jeff
Sanford, CCC president.
The board approved a development proposal sent in by Ramesh
and Manju Gupta, who propose to turn the Family Dollar building into apartments
The developers proposed to purchase the property for
$400,000, which the Main Street RFP committee found acceptable, Sanford said.
The CCDC holds an option to purchase the property for
$456,390, so the boards subsidy on the building equals $56,390.
The board unanimously approved the proposal, while board
member Christine Munson recused herself.
The Gupta partnership beat out a second proposal sent in by
Performa Entertainment Real Estate Inc., which is headed by CCC board member
Performa proposed to rehabilitate the first floor for
potential tenant MacArthurs Chop and Crab house; use the second floor for
office space for Isaac Hayes; and use the third floor for Performa offices.
The CCDC board also approved acceptance of a proposal from
developer Bob Williams to redevelop the Perez building.
Williams will spend $118,000 to demolish the building, which
has been deemed structurally unsound by a structural engineer.
Williams plans to rebuild on the property. The new building
would have commercial space on the first floor and residential co-ops on upper
The plan was debated in the subcommittee, Sanford said,
because the board previously asked Williams to pay the difference between the
demolition price and the boards option price of $225,000, as well as pay for
However, the CCDC board voted to approve the project without
forcing the developer to pay the price difference.
The subcommittee also looked at how much it would be willing
to spend to subsidize Main Street properties, but felt an arbitrary price
shouldnt be attached to demonstration block projects; instead, each project
should be looked at individually.
We should not look at the net percentage for subsidies, but
at the properties building by building, property by property to determine
the subsidy needed to effect revitalization, Munson said.
The board also approved a development agreement for the
Rhodes Jennings project.
CGI & Partners Court Square Center Inc. intends to
redevelop the building into a commercial and residential property, but first,
the board had to approve the projects concept. Board members specifically
discussed the need to stabilize the building.
In other business, the board approved refinancing the Crump
building, where the CCC conducts business. The new loan will assist the CCC in
stabilizing the top five floors of the building, which currently are vacant.