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VOL. 132 | NO. 202 | Wednesday, October 11, 2017

New Apartments, Offices Headed for Cooper-Young

By Michael Waddell

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Two new development projects will get underway later this year along Cooper Street in Midtown, following their approval for 11-year PILOTs on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

Both projects received the payment-in-lieu-of-taxes incentives by the Downtown Memphis Commission’s Center City Revenue Finance Corp. board.

“We’re very excited to have infill projects to add to the density in that neighborhood because we feel that Midtown feeds Downtown, and that a strong Midtown helps Downtown,” said Jennifer Oswalt, interim president and CEO of the DMC. “Both projects are unique in different ways. They have special components adding to grading, and one has a minority developer. So we’re very excited about those things.”

Filament LLC, the development arm of design firm archimania partners Todd Walker and Barry Yoakam, received an 11-year PILOT for its mixed-use project at 663 and 673 Cooper St. involving the adaptive reuse of two existing vacant buildings.

Archimania plans to relocate its headquarters and 26 employees to the renovated building at 663 Cooper, formerly the Sheet Metal Workers Union office. The firm currently rents office space Downtown at 356 South Main.

“We’ve been in one location for the past 22 years, and we’ve seen and helped in a big way South Main evolve to the next level,” Walker said. “What we see for Cooper is another innovation district, with the idea that it can be the next main urban connector, connecting not just Overton Square with Cooper-Young, but also Overton Park with Stax, for example. We want to help it become more urban and less strip-oriented.”

The $2.87 million project will include about 11,000 square feet of office space, shared amenities like a courtyard, and on-site parking. Six studio apartments will be constructed on the rear of the site.

The new building at 673 Cooper St., formerly an insurance office, will be renovated for use by a potential office tenant. Located to the rear of the office space will be the six newly built rental apartments ranging from 425 to 590 square feet, along with 38 parking spaces.

A trellis with a solar canopy will connect the two buildings. Filament is attempting to achieve Net Zero Certification, which would be the first CCRFC project to do so in Memphis. The Net Zero designation signifies a residential or commercial building that produces all the energy that is consumed on an annual basis within the certified building.

Filament intends to start construction in late December, and construction should be finished in spring or summer next year. Grinder Taber & Grinder will be the general contractor.

An artist’s rendering of Focal Point Investments’ proposed 25-unit studio apartment complex on a vacant lot at 999 S. Cooper in Midtown. (Submitted)

Minority-owned and Olive Branch, Miss.-based Focal Point Investments LLC gained approval for an 11-year PILOT for its $3.2 million multifamily development at 999 S. Cooper St., which will feature 25 loft-style apartments, each with about 550 square feet of space, built on a vacant lot. The projects is located about a block south of the Cooper Street-Young Avenue intersection.

“When we saw this property we saw a tremendous opportunity to do something for the city of Memphis as well as the Cooper-Young area,” said Focal Point owner Marion Threatt.

“We really put a lot of thought, time and effort into the project to make sure it was conforming with the surrounding area.”

The portion of the building facing Cooper will feature nine apartments on three floors, and the remaining 16 apartments will occupy four floors behind those. Three ground-floor apartments facing Cooper will be flexible spaces that can be used for retail, office, or live-work space.

Each unit will feature modern, open-floor plans, and most will have 10-foot loft ceilings.

LRK Architects drew up the designs, and a general contractor is still to be selected.

The site plan includes 19 parking spaces on the south and west sides of the property, as well as four bike racks.

Current property taxes on the vacant parcel are approximately $2,300 per year, and that will rise to more than $18,000 annually once the project is completed. Taxes received over the 11-year PILOT term will total more than $180,000.

Focal Point plans to start construction in November, and Threatt hopes to be finished in the second quarter of next year.

PROPERTY SALES 0 291 21,272
MORTGAGES 0 160 16,194
BUILDING PERMITS 258 692 41,920
BANKRUPTCIES 1 117 6,579