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Aug. 22, 2012

Sears Crosstown Building to Be Reborn, Uplift Neighborhood

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Crosstown LLC, developer and current owner of the historic Sears Crosstown Building in Center City, has announced via a press release the signing of individual memorandums of understanding with nine founding partners, thus securing anchor tenants for circa 600,000 square feet of the proposed 1,000,000-square-foot redevelopment project.

Among the founding partners are ALSAC, the second-largest healthcare charity in America and the fundraising and awareness organization of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, another founding partner. Other healthcare-related founding partners are the award-winning Memphis-based integrated health care delivery system, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare; the West Clinic, a leading cancer care provider in the Mid-South; and Church Health Center, the faith-based affordable healthcare provider catering to uninsured workers.

Education-related founding partners are Gestalt Community Schools (GCS), a growing system of K-12 college-preparatory charter schools; Rhodes College, a provider of liberal arts education founded in 1848; Memphis Teacher Residency (MTR), a non-profit recruiter and retainer of Memphis teachers; and Crosstown Arts, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting arts and community, with future plans that include the development of art-making and exhibition spaces.

Founding partners are organizations collectively committed to be tenants at the redeveloped Sears Crosstown and who will be actively involved in planning and redeveloping space to cater to their specific needs. All founding partners will be either consolidating operations currently spread out at multiple locations or initiating brand new operations that will create jobs and economic growth Memphis’ Center City.

Envisioned as a mixed-use vertical urban village, the redevelopment project will turn the 16-acre, 1,500,000-square-foot site that has sat vacant for over 20 years into a 900,000 to 1,000,000-square-foot vibrant community, filled with both residential options and commercial ones—such as shopping, dining, healthcare and wellness, education, office, arts and much more.

Common areas, exhibition and event-hosting spaces, such as an atrium and green areas, will also be included. A construction date has yet to be set as the final designs are incomplete, as is the potential tenant roster. Financing is still being lined up as well.

The development team, led by University of Memphis professor Todd Richardson, is made up of Bologna Consultants LLC, Carkuff Interiors, Doug Carpenter & Associates, Grinder Taber & Grinder Inc., LRK/DIALOG and McLean Wilson of Kemmons Wilson Inc. The property was purchased by Crosstown LLC for $3.5 million in 2007.

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Photo credit: Facebook profile of 1927 Sears Crosstown Building

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