VOL. 130 | NO. 135 | Tuesday, July 14, 2015
One Beale Nabs 20-Year Tax Freeze
By Amos Maki
The developers behind One Beale have earned key pieces of the public-private partnership they say is necessary to pursue the twin tower project overlooking the Mississippi River.
Memphis-based Carlisle Corp. on Tuesday, July 14, received a 20-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes incentive and a $10 million contribution toward a public parking garage from the Center City Revenue Finance Corp.
A Downtown board on Tuesday, July 14, approved a 20-year tax freeze and $10 million contribution toward a public parking garage for One Beale, a twin skyscraper project overlooking the Mississippi River.
(Rendering: Hnedak Bobo Group)
Obtaining the public sector support is a crucial step in moving forward with plans for the $160 million, skyline-changing project at the foot of historic Beale Street, according to Downtown officials and company representatives.
“It’s very difficult as a developer to spend the type of money we’re talking about spending without some sort of level of certainty, or comfort, that we have the support of the city,” said Chase Carlisle, director of real estate and development with family-owned Carlisle Corp.
The PILOT will save the company $48.3 million while generating $11.7 million in new tax revenue for the city and county, according to Downtown Memphis Commission staff. DMC staff said that according to a detailed analysis, One Beale – and the economic benefits that would come with it - would not be possible without the public support.
“Based on the numbers, the project simply doesn’t work without the PILOT and the parking garage,” said Jaske Goffe, vice president of planning and development at the DMC.
The 18-story south tower will include a full-service, four-star hotel with 255 rooms and 22,000 square feet of meeting space and convention space.
During a question and answer segment with CCRFC board members, Carlisle mentioned Hyatt as a hotel partner but said later that Hyatt was just one of several hotel “flags” that could eventually fly over One Beale.
The 30-story story north tower will include 280 apartment homes and roughly 13,200 square feet of commercial space. The project no longer features an office component.
One Beale, planned for the southwest corner of Beale and Wagner Place, is one of the most ambitious developments in Memphis in years and the first major alteration to the city skyline in around three decades. In addition to the apartments, hotel rooms and meeting space, it will house the 544-space public parking garage.
The CCRFC is providing $10 million toward the construction of the garage to the Downtown Parking Authority. Carlisle Corp. will be responsible for operating the garage and would be allowed to purchase the structure.
DMC president Paul Morris described One Beale as “the largest economic project” the Downtown development agency has tackled since he came onboard in 2010, saying it would create jobs, increase revenues to the city and county, help the tourism and hospitality industry, and provide more residential spaces for the high-demand Downtown market.
“It creates jobs, it drives local revenue and it’s about people, it drives people to live Downtown,” Morris said. “It brings in more visitors, more conferences, more outside dollars, which helps drive jobs and the economy here.”
In June, Carlisle Corp. got a tentative green light from the city-county Land Use Control Board to move forward with One Beale, convincing board members that the twin skyscraper development would be a game-changer for Memphis.
The developer still must gain approval from the Memphis City Council and the DMC’s Design and Review Board before making another appearance at LUCB. The board voted to see the final site plan after some neighbors voiced concerns over its density, blocked views and potential traffic problems and noise resulting from the new development.
“I know there are some people who are unhappy with it for various reasons that generally pertain to them, whether it’s view restriction or traffic issues or the concern that we’re wanting to get one over on the city,” said Carlisle. “This was never about wanting to do something for us. It’s was about us wanting to do something for the city and the region that we believe is fundamentally beneficial, not only aesthetically but economically.”
Shelby County commissioner Steve Basar, the only member of the public to speak at the meeting, urged board members to approve the One Beale incentives, saying the project’s benefits, including increasing the density of Downtown, outweigh any potential concerns.
“We need stuff like this to happen in Memphis,” said Basar. “Despite the NIMBYs, we need a project like this Downtown.”