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VOL. 130 | NO. 87 | Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Larger Hotel Overton To Replace French Quarter Inn

By Bill Dries

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The idea of an Overton Square hotel has long been a part of plans for the Midtown entertainment district, which marks the 45th anniversary of its founding this month.

(Solomito Land Planning)

Seven years after the district’s first hotel, the French Quarter Inn, closed its doors for good, there are plans for a new five-story, 134-suite Hotel Overton on the same northeast corner of Madison Avenue and North Cooper Street.

NCD Realty and Capital Group LLC, the Irvine, Calif., group that bought the French Quarter Inn in December for $1.9 million, filed an amended plan May 1 with the Memphis and Shelby County Office of Planning and Development that signals the end of the latest effort to possibly renovate the four-story, 37-suite hotel built in 1984.

In a letter to OPD officials last week, Brenda Solomito Basar of Solomito Land Planning wrote that “because of the poor condition and the outdated functionality of the site and building, the owners decided to start over.”

(Solomito Land Planning)

The application says Hotel Overton will be locally owned and will be managed by Artesano Hotel Group of Seacrest Beach, Fla.

The amended plans call for a restaurant with a bar, a ballroom, meeting rooms and a conference center, a rooftop bar and a parking structure with 140 spaces.

The new building would be five stories instead of the four stories of the existing French Quarter Inn. The eastern portion of the hotel would be closer to Madison Avenue than the current building, with the new parking structure to be on the east end of the lot.

Artesano’s website says the hotel will have a pool area with cabanas as well as a bakery and gourmet coffee shop.

Artesano sets the opening of the new hotel for the fall of 2016, pending approval from the city-county Land Use Control Board and the Memphis City Council.

That corner is the site of the old Solomon Alfred nightclub, which held its last show the night before demolition began. Before that, the corner was the site of the East Memphis Motor Co. service station.

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