VOL. 133 | NO. 33 | Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Long-Time Blue Monkey Employee Opening Deli Downtown
By Patrick Lantrip
A new mixed-use development slated for South Main will be headlined by a long-time Blue Monkey employee.
Michael Johnson of Blue Monkey Enterprises told the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. on Tuesday, Feb. 13, that 18-year employee Brandon Moss will be running a deli on the bottom floor of a new three-story, 7,500-square-foot building that will be located at 529 S. Front St.
“Brandon is one of the most capable people I’ve ever met in my life,” Johnson said. “He’s honest, he’s a smart guy, and he makes good decisions. We think we have the right man for the job.”
While the new venture doesn’t have an official moniker yet, Johnson said they have been kicking around some ideas and should have more details in the coming months.
Johnson was at Tuesday’s CCRFC meeting seeking a nine-year PILOT (payment-in-lieu-of-taxes) incentive on behalf of his partnership group, 529 S. Front Street LLC, which also consists of Rebecca Johnson, Chris Jameson, George Hampton, Larry Clark, George Bogy, Vernon Delashmit and Carl Jordan.
Michael Johnson of Blue Monkey Enterprises, told the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. on Tuesday Feb. 13 that 18-year employee Brandon Moss will be running a deli on the bottom floor of a new three-story, 7,500-square-foot building.
The $1.6 million project could begin construction as soon as this summer. Approximately $1.4 million in funding from Landmark Bank has also been secured pending the CCRFC’s approval.
“Staff is in full support of this project,” Downtown Memphis Commission staffer Brett Roler said. “It’s an appropriate mixed-use infill development at a key commercial corridor, and we believe that it will help bring new vibrancy to this neighborhood.”
The site was once the original location for the Downtown Blue Monkey before it burned down in 2005. It was eventually reconstructed nearby at 513 S. Front St., where it still operates today. The original Blue Monkey is located at 2012 Madison Ave. in Midtown just west of Overton Square.
Currently, the 0.63-acre vacant lot generates $1,433 in city and county taxes annually. DMC staff estimates that during the nine-year PILOT, taxes would rise 537 percent to $9,130 annually, or $69,278 in total.
Also at the CCRFC meeting was PMT Investment LLC, which was seeking an 11-year tax abatement to construct an 11,000-square-foot building with 16 market-rate apartments and on-site parking just west of Overton Square.
PMT is a recently formed partnership between Aaron Petree of Loeb Properties, Cliff McLemore of CBI Construction and Ed Thomas III with Colliers International.
The development, which will be known as The Flats at Overton Square, will have four “live/work” units on the bottom floor and 12 traditional housing units upstairs ranging from 500 to 915 square feet.
“We have gotten rave reviews from people in the area that this a product they want to see,” Petree told the board. “Where they can have their studio or law office or whatever actually in the same unit they live in.”
In addition to Petree, McLemore and Thomas, the design team consists of architect Arch Inc., engineers McCaskill & Associates, Fowler Engineering and Innovative Engineering Services, and general contractor CBI Construction Co.
Since PMT is not affiliated with Loeb Properties, it was given special permission to use the Overton Square brand, which is owned by Loeb.
The estimated $1.9 million project has secured $1.4 million in funding from Community Bank pending PILOT approval.
Currently, the property generates $1,824 in annual property taxes. The DMC staff estimates that taxes would increase to $10,601 annually during the life of the 11-year PILOT.
“We also have a goal as an organization and as a city to add new density to the core of Memphis,” Roler said. “And this project does that.”