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May. 10, 2013

$24M Chisca Hotel Redevelopment Has Official Groundbreaking

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

The dilapidated Chisca hotel on busy South Main Street is officially in full redevelopment mode and has a strong new partner to boast as well. According to The Memphis Daily News, The Carlisle Corporation, a specialty hospitality company, has joined developer Main Street Apartments L.L.C. in one of the most anticipated projects for the city of Memphis. The project is now expected to cost $24 million. Estimated to take 14 months, construction will transform the eight-story hotel into 165 residential units comprising 115 one-bedroom and 50 two-bedroom apartments. Ten townhouses will also be constructed at the location, which will also include a “motor plaza” – a commercial segment that will feature a restaurant, among others. Rents at the property will range between $700 and $1,500 per month.

As previously reported on this page, the century-old building on Main Street has sat empty since the late nineties, when previous owner Church of God in Christ moved its headquarters from the property. Several redevelopment projects were proposed for the property, some projects would even involve tearing down the eyesore, but along with the ‘08 market crash all plans were scrapped until 2011, when Main Street Apartments proposed to flip the historic hotel property into a residential project. According to the Memphis Business Journal’s coverage of the initiative, Main Street Apartments managed to acquire the asset from Church of God in Christ in 2012 for $900,000. Main Street also picked up an adjacent parking structure. After securing a bevy of tax incentives and credits, such as a 20-year PILOT from the Downtown Memphis Commission, historic tax credits and asbestos and lead paint abatements as well as the approval of The Downtown Memphis Commission’s Design Review Board, work has now officially commenced on the property. The building’s frontage will not be changed due to historic tax credits, nor will the Chisca sign be taken down from the top – in fact, it will probably be incorporated into the name of the future residential property: “Chisca House” and “Chisca Lofts” are some of the possible names being considered. Additions at property will include access doors to basement parking, a ground-floor plaza with an outdoor sundeck atop and a glass enclosure atop the hotel.

Memphis-based Bounds and Gillespie Architects, PLLC is handling the projects challenging architecture and design. The architecture firm specializes in hospitality projects, as well as religious and civic structures.

Photo courtesy of Sean Davis via Flickr.com

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