Overton Square Hotel Approved for Tax Incentives

By Patrick Lantrip

The Economic Development Growth Engine board has approved Loeb Properties' request for a 15-year tax abatement to build a 100-room boutique hotel near Overton Square.

Despite some concerns from the EDGE board over the definition of blighted property, Loeb Properties and its partners, boutique hotel developer LRC2 Properties and hospitality management company MMI Hotel Group, were approved for the payment-in-lieu-of-taxes incentive Wednesday, Sept. 20, to help offset the construction costs of the $24 million hotel.

Bob Loeb and the projects’ supporters, including representatives from  Playhouse on the Square, Hattiloo Theatre and the Midtown Memphis Development Corp., pitched the project as a necessary piece to grow the budding entertainment district into a regional theatrical destination.

“There are only four free-standing black theaters in our country, and the closest one to Memphis is in Houston,” Ekundayo Bandele, founder and CEO of Hattiloo Theatre told the EDGE board. “Hattiloo is actively working to become the leading and foremost black theater in our country, and a hotel will help with that.”

Plans also call for a rooftop restaurant and structured parking on the 1.3-acre site at the southwest corner of Cooper Street and Trimble Place, south of Madison Avenue.

In the application, Loeb said  the new hotel most likely would be a soft brand under the Hilton or Marriott banner.

Once operational, the hotel plans on employing 65 people, including 35 hotel workers, 25 food and beverage workers, and five management positions.

EDGE staff projected the development would generate $5.4 million in local total tax revenues while saving the developers $6.1 million over the course of the PILOT.