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VOL. 133 | NO. 8 | Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Madison Hotel Owners Seeking Grant to Renovate Ground Floor Commercial Space

By Patrick Lantrip

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Aparium Hotel Group, the owners of the Madison Hotel, are requesting an improvement grant from the Downtown Memphis Commission to overhaul an adjacent commercial building it owns at the corner of Main Street and Madison Avenue.

The 3-story, 70-plus-year-old building is currently occupied by Sam’s Hamburgers & More and a Check into Cash, however the owners have indicated that existing tenants will be replaced with new commercial concepts as a part of the Madison Hotel’s larger renovation plans.

“Existing restaurant will be replaced with new full-service restaurant serving Americana Cuisine,” Aparium vice president of acquisitions and development Michael Kitchen said in his company’s application. “Single hung windows will replace the existing storefront to serve customers from Main Street. Existing Check into Cash will be replaced with a small barbershop at front of space and a speakeasy in the rear of the space. Frost-proof glazed tile will be installed below new retractable awnings.”

Since the upper floor is currently being used as residential space, the upgrades will be limited to the basement and ground floor.

Aparium estimates that the entire renovation project will cost approximately $250,000 and is seeking a $100,000 Exterior Renovation Grant from the Center City Development Corp.

“Staff is supportive of approving an Exterior Improvement Grant for this project given its prominent location inside the Downtown Core and on Madison Avenue, a strategic east-west connector that links key points of interest including University of Memphis Law School, Madison Hotel, Madison Park, First Tennessee Building, Hotel Napoleon Visible Music College, and AutoZone Park,” CCDC staff report read. “This project closely aligns with the DMC’s Main Street Strategy and focus on the Downtown Core.”

If Aparium’s EIG request is approved, it will mark the seventh grant along this section of Main Street and Madison Avenue within the past eight months.

Additionally, since all projects that are awarded financial incentives from the DMC are required to spend at least 20 percent of construction costs with women and/or minority owned businesses (MWBEs), Aparium would have to spend more than $50,000 accordingly to be in compliance.

If the terms of the DMC’s Equal Business Opportunity Program are not met, the CCDC is allowed to cancel the incentives.

“I understand that complying with the EBO program is a requirement of for receiving the EIG and I will coordinate with Jay Goff at the DMC to ensure the project is in compliance,” Kitchen also said in his application.

The CCDC will review Aparium’s EIG application during its Jan. 17 meeting.

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