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VOL. 132 | NO. 203 | Thursday, October 12, 2017

Designs for 3 Downtown Redevelopment Projects Approved

By Michael Waddell

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Plans for three prominent Downtown redevelopment projects received the architectural green light Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 11, from the Downtown Memphis Commission’s Design Review Board.

Developer 495 TN Partners, which includes partners William Orgel, Jay Lindy and Adam Slovis, will be able to begin construction on Phase II of the Tennessee Brewery development at the southeast corner of Tennessee Street and Butler Avenue in the South Main Historic Arts District.

The developers will invest an estimated $12.2 million in Phase II, which involves construction of a new four-story building called The Tap Room at The Brewery, located across the street from the Tennessee Brewery on a vacant lot directly north of the new parking garage.

The Tap Room at The Brewery will include 128 apartments, a pool, courtyard and 1,300 square feet of commercial space.  (Shapiro & Company Architects)

The Tap Room at The Brewery will include 128 apartments, a pool, courtyard, and 1,300 square feet of commercial space.

The $28 million first phase included the adaptive reuse of the historic brewery building and construction of the parking garage and 148 new apartment units at two adjacent sites.

“We’re glad that they went on to Phase II, which was grouped into their PILOT,” said Jennifer Oswalt, interim president and CEO of the Downtown Memphis Commission. “They can’t lease the units fast enough, and we’re proud of the way they are doing it in a historic way, mixing the old and the new.”

Materials used in the new construction are consistent with other structures that make up the Tennessee Brewery project, preserving the historic designation of the original building. The main façade will feature brick exterior, with cypress siding, painted hardie board panels and metal windows, according to the plans. Tap Room units on the second, third and fourth floors will have balconies, some covered with a pre-finished metal roof and others open.

“We were pulling our palette of materials off of the historic Tennessee Brewery, so the prominent material is the dark, reddish brick along with a dark mortar to blend in and white-colored brick as accents,” said Brad Shapiro with Shapiro & Company Architects. “On the corner, we wanted to express something architecturally significant, so we’re wrapping the corners with cantilevered balconies.”

Montgomery Martin Contractors is handling the construction.

The Design Review Board also approved exterior renovation plans for the new headquarters of B2B marketing and communications firm Oden & Associates Inc. Oden intends to relocate its headquarters into a currently vacant and blighted 77-year-old warehouse space at 158 Vance Ave. in an area once known as film row in South City. The site is at the corner of Vance and B.B. King Boulevard, two blocks from the FedExForum.

The property consists of two major structures joined by a smaller connecting space. Oden will move its offices into the larger, 17,000-square-foot space, and the smaller 14,000-square-foot building is being converted into a 32-spot parking garage for the company’s employees.

“We love that Oden chose that building and have decided to restore it,” Oswalt said. “They’re going to create what will be an open courtyard, which is one the things we were encouraging them to think about more because it will be so visible as people walk between the National Civil Rights Museum and Beale Street.”

Oden was approved for an eight-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) incentive for the project earlier this year. The total renovation budget is estimated at $3.1 million, and exterior work will include repainting the masonry and stucco exteriors, upgrading the entry door, installing exterior lighting, and adding a landscaped courtyard, new signage and public art on the garage exterior.

“The dressing up of the exterior is an homage to the city to give it a little color and a little life,” said Joey Hagan, project architect with Architecture Inc.

Plans for the proposed signage, architectural lighting and public art are still being discussed and will be formally presented at a future meeting of the Design Review Board.

Oden has operated in Downtown Memphis for nearly 22 years, currently from Pembroke Place across from the Peabody Place Tower. The firm purchased the Vance property, which most recently had been a commercial printing company, for $500,000 a couple of years ago.

Demolition on the interior was recently completed, and Montgomery Martin is the general contractor. Oden expects to move in by early next year.

Also approved Wednesday by the DRB were design plans from developers Austin and Pat Magruder for a mixed-use project with three commercial bays – possibility for outdoor dining – and five apartment units at 676 Marshall Ave. in the Edge neighborhood just east of Downtown.

The Marshall will occupy a currently vacant one-story commercial building at the northeast corner of Marshall Avenue and South Orleans Street. The building was constructed in 1949 and has seen a variety of uses over the years ranging from auto-oriented operations to office space.

“We’re excited about The Marshall because it’s a smaller development, and we’ve really been working to include smaller and new developers,” Oswalt said. “It’s one of the first projects of its kind for that street.”

The property received a $60,000 grant in July to make site enhancements.

The DRB approved facade work for The Marshall, including exterior painting, new storefronts, a wood rain screen, awnings, ADA access, entry doors, exterior lighting, new windows, a trellis and overhead door, and a landing on the east side.

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