VOL. 8 | NO. 14 | Saturday, March 28, 2015
Plans Revealed for $55 Million Central Station Project
By Bill Dries
Conceptual plans were revealed Friday for the widely anticipated redevelopment of Central Station.
A Memphis Area Transit Authority rendering shows the north side of the proposed Central Station project, including a movie theater in the renovated power house building.
(Memphis Area Transit Authority)
Archie Willis of Community Capital and developer Henry Turley outlined the $55 million plan for the finance committee of the Memphis Area Transit Authority.
The proposal for Central Station includes replacing existing apartments in the train station building with a boutique hotel being developed by the Kemmons Wilson Cos.; building a five-screen Malco movie theater onto the power house building; and possibly adding a new Downtown grocery store run by the Canale family.
The full MATA board is scheduled to vote on the development plan and agreement at its April 27 meeting.
The plan presented Friday is the first confirmation of the speculated details.
Willis said the grocery store portion is the most tentative and began just this week with no specific site on the train station property.
But talks on the hotel and movie theater are so far along that Willis said Malco executives are “ready to go” with a target for construction to begin in the first quarter of 2016 with a fourth quarter 2016 opening.
Memphis Daily News first reported Monday, March 23, that Malco was considering a Downtown site. Malco executive vice president Jimmy Tashie confirmed the theater company was in discussions on a Downtown theater similar to its Studio on the Square and Ridgeway Cinema Grill.
A proposed $55 million redevelopment of the Central Station property would include a boutique hotel, five-screen Malco movie theater, grocery store and relocated Memphis Farmers Market.
(Daily News File/Andrew J. Breig)
The Malco would be built onto the power house building up to the corner of Front Street and G.E. Patterson Avenue as a freestanding structure.
The target date for the hotel opening is August 2017.
Of the $55 million, $52 million would be private investment. The remaining $3 million would be anticipated federal transportation grants. A required $600,000 local match from the city could include capital funding and donated or philanthropic grants.
The property would include a market plaza with a relocated Farmers Market along Front Street. When the Farmers Market is not being held, the space would be used for additional parking.
An annex building to the train station that currently houses apartments would remain apartments in the plan.