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VOL. 130 | NO. 122 | Wednesday, June 24, 2015

100 N. Main Keeps Power On for Another Month

By Amos Maki

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The head of the Downtown Memphis Commission says the skyscraper at 100 N. Main St. suffers from “weak” ownership and that the building would probably be better off with a new, deep-pocketed owner.

“100 N. Main seems to be suffering from weak ownership following years of apathetic ownership,” said Paul Morris, president of the Downtown Memphis Commission.

MLGW will not cut off electrical service to 100 North Main for around a month because three local hospitals have critical communications equipment atop the skyscraper, according to a utility spokesperson.

(Daily News File/Andrew J. Breig)

“For decades the owner of 100 N. Main refused to invest in it or sell it,” Morris said. “Now that it has been sold, it seems the owner doesn't have the viability to pay the bills. 100 N. Main apparently needs a new owner who can execute on a redevelopment plan.”

Yitzchok “Isaac” Thomas and One Hundred North Main LLC acquired the 37-story office tower at the southeast corner of Main Street and Adams Avenue near Civic Center Plaza in August 2013 on a seller-financed note from the Zimmerman Revocable Trust. Thomas proposed a redevelopment plan that would include a hotel, residences and commercial space, but there have been few signs of progress.

“When the new owner first entered the picture, the DMC worked with him to bring positive attention to the building and his plans, as well as discussing potential private-public partnership arrangements,” said Morris, whose office sits across Adams from the mammoth structure. “But private-public partnerships only work when the private side can bring lots of money to the table as well as development acumen.”

Morris’ comments came as Thomas missed another deadline to pay the delinquent balance on his Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division bill.

While the June 23 deadline came and went without Thomas making a payment, MLGW will not cut off electrical service for about one month because three local hospitals have critical communications equipment atop the skyscraper, according to a utility spokesperson.

"Disconnecting power at 100 N. Main would disrupt some paging services with potential life and death consequences," said MLGW director of communications Gale Jones Carson in an email. "Therefore, MLGW has worked with the hospitals to arrange for the electrical disconnection to be delayed for a month if the current utility bill was paid."

Baptist Hospital, Methodist Hospital and Regional One Health paid MLGW $7,470 for current usage at the property and told MLGW they are in the process of moving the equipment, which supports the hospitals' paging systems.

"MLGW understands that the hospital paging equipment, as well as other communication equipment, is being relocated from 100 N. Main to other sites," Jones Carson stated. "When that is complete MLGW will require the full payment of any delinquent balance in order to keep utility services on."

In late May and early June, Thomas told MLGW that he and a partner were close to obtaining financing for the project and pleaded for more time to pay the $86,400 delinquent utility bill. MLGW gave Thomas a Tuesday, June 23, deadline.

Bill Bullock, manager of commercial and industrial properties at MLGW, said Thomas asked in a June 22 email to meet with Bullock in East Memphis. Bullock responded by saying he could not attend a meeting, but he was available to speak with Thomas by phone.

“We did not get a response after that,” Bullock said.

PROPERTY SALES 36 154 6,546
MORTGAGES 34 94 4,129
BUILDING PERMITS 201 554 15,915
BANKRUPTCIES 43 126 3,396