VOL. 132 | NO. 164 | Friday, August 18, 2017
Wonder Bread Garage Gets OK From Parking Authority
By Patrick Lantrip
The Downtown Parking Authority has given its approval to the 481-space parking garage connected to the $73 million Wonder Bread redevelopment, paving the way for developers PGK Properties to seek final approval from the Memphis City Council and Shelby County Commission.
The parking authority, an affiliate board of the Downtown Memphis Commission, approved the Medical District-area garage at its Wednesday, Aug. 16, meeting.
Last week, the developers received a 20-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes incentive from the Center City Revenue Finance Corp., another DMC affiliate board, to help offset the construction costs of the mixed-use development, which will include 286 apartment units and 150,000 square feet of office and retail space in addition to the garage.
PGK Properties, the ownership group that includes Development Services Group, Worthington Hyde Partners and SWH Partners, is seeking a public-private partnership with the DMC for the garage.
(Development Services Group)
“What excites us about the Edge District is that it’s a connecting neighborhood,” Ethan Knight, director of project management for Development Services Group, told the parking authority. “This area really is key for the future growth of Downtown Memphis.”
According to a DPA staff report, construction on the garage would be financed using up to $6 million from the PILOT Extension Fund, while the developers would put up just under $3 million.
“The PILOT Extension Fund is a finite resource, but if we look at our cash flow and commitments right now, we can certainly OK this project without hurting us or hindering us in any way,” DMC interim president Jennifer Oswalt said.
Now that the deal is has been approved by the DPA, it must be vetted by the city council, county commission, and both mayors.
At that point, the city and the developers would enter a 45-year agreement to operate the garage as a public parking facility. Under the agreement, the CCRFC would own the garage and lease it to the DPA, which in turn would enter into a capital lease with PGK Properties.
This method provides the developers with the option to purchase the garage from the CCRFC in the future.
“DMC staff agrees with the applicant that a new public parking garage in the neighborhood is needed to help unlock the development potential of vacant and underutilized buildings in the Edge District,” the report reads in part.
Earlier Wednesday, the DMC-affiliated Center City Development Corp. approved a partnership with The South End Improvement Alliance to reactivate the underpass on G.E. Patterson Avenue near the new Central Station redevelopment.
To help achieve this, the DMC and SEA plan on pressure-washing the underpass and patching the cracks along retaining wall, adding pedestrian-oriented lighting above the sidewalk, painting a public art mural on the northern wall, and installing high-quality signage to reinforce the neighborhood’s identity.
The project is expected to carry a $74,721 price tag, with the SEA putting up $27,274 and the CCDC covering the remaining amount.
Additionally, Central Station developer Henry Turley Co. has agreed to contribute developmental services for the project, which will include an analysis of the existing conditions, project scoping and design, project management, outreach, and securing all required approvals.
Previously, the SEA and DMC partnered on a similar project to install public art murals and enhanced pedestrian lighting at two other South End underpasses that carried a $120,282 price tag.