VOL. 131 | NO. 22 | Monday, February 1, 2016
Nashville Developer Submits Plans for Downtown Memphis Housing
By Madeline Faber
Two plans recently filed with the Memphis-Shelby County Office of Planning and Development will turn empty lots into housing for disadvantaged Memphians.
Nashville developer Elmington Capital Group submitted plans for gated multifamily housing in Downtown's South End.
The application for Patterson Flats includes 175 units across four three-story buildings totaling 206,845 square feet. On-site parking includes 125 units between the buildings and 35 spaces on the north side of Butler in a separate lot. Security fences and at least four gates are planned for the development.
The application is going before the Board of Adjustment because it seeks a density variance. The South Downtown residential zone allows 135 units, or 40 units per acre, in the proposed lot. Patterson Flats calls for 52 units per acre.
The intended lot is bordered by G.E. Patterson Avenue to the south, Butler Avenue to the north and Hernando and Abel streets to the east and west. The development cobbles together many parcels but most of the development would be built on land owned by Mt. Olivet Baptist Church and St. Andrew AME Church, with the board of trustees co-chair of St. Andrew signing as property owner of record. Both churches have been involved in developing affordable housing across the city.
Hunter Nelson, principal of Elmington Capital, is listed as the applicant. According to Elmington’s website, Hunter leads the company’s affordable housing portfolio, which is 4 percent bond financed and 9 percent financed with low-income tax credits. Nelson is responsible for sourcing new construction and leading strategic direction related to affordable housing.
Local firm Shapiro and Company Architects Inc. and engineering, architecture and consulting firm Fisher Arnold Inc. also are working on the development.
In another plan, further details have come out about the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center’s plans for a shipping container park to house the area’s homeless LGBTQ youth. The site is in Orange Mound near the corner of Park Avenue and Semmes Street. Last year, MGLCC purchased the vacant land, which once was a five-lot subdivision, from the Shelby County Land Bank. When complete, the shipping containers will face inwards and form their own cul-de-sac around an existing private driveway.
The MGLCC is before the BOA because the development lacks the required amount of street frontage along Hoskins Road. The development will be in-step with the area’s existing single-family zoning because each parcel will only house four people.
In December, MGLCC president Will Batts said that the first phase of construction would include two shipping containers and an administrative area.
Each 40-foot shipping container would be bisected into two efficiency apartments with a bed, desk and personal bathroom.
In Stephanie Reyes’ application letter, the MGLCC youth coordinator states that homeless shelters are unsafe for LGBTQ youth aged 18 to 25.
“Our project will be a safe haven for young adults who are trying to improve their lives and move forward to a more stable place of their own,” the letter states.
The area would have 24-hour staff and camera supervision as well as a gate and large fence.
Dell Livingston is listed as the engineer and surveyor and LLW Architects Inc. is designing the project.
Both projects will be reviewed Feb. 24 at 2 p.m. in the Memphis City Council Chambers.