Cost goes up for redevelopment of Memphis’ tallest building, but developers say they’re committed

Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 11:07 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The long-awaited report from the Downtown Memphis Commission (DMC) on the status of the 100 North Main redevelopment project had some ups and some downs, but leaders say it’s the closest the historic high rise has been to revitalization.

The building has sat vacant since 2014.

In January, 100 North Main Development Partners, a group from Memphis, was awarded exclusive negotiation rights to assess and redesign the building.

Originally, the due diligence report was to take six months, but Kevin Woods with the development group says the current state of the economy is what caused the nearly three-month delay.

“Everything simply costs more, so the cost of building out a project like this has simply gone up,” Woods said.

Inside Wednesday’s DMC and Downtown Mobility Authority (DMA) meeting, Woods and company said the cost of the project has gone up by $45,160,000, but that they’re still committed to the project.

Already Woods and his team have invested $1.1 million solely in that due diligence work.

“We remain cautiously optimistic that we’ll be able to deliver on this project,” Woods said. We think that this is a project worth taking on for all of Memphis, particularly Downtown Memphis.”

The renderings for the inside remain relatively unchanged from the proposal presented in January.

The tower and its 37 floors will be mixed-use.

Floors 1-14 will consist of the parking garage and 80,000 square feet of retail and office space.

Floors 15-22 will feature 160 hotel rooms.

“We’ve landed a flag hotel that we’re hoping to be able to announce soon,” Woods said.

Floors 23-36 will have 205 apartments varying from studio to two bedroom.

Finally, floor 37 will be a pool and amenities, and the rooftop bar and restaurant are staying.

“As local developers, [they] have reputational risk. They want to make sure that this project gets completed. Their names are on the line. They’re committed to moving forward, so that’s encouraging to us,” said Paul Young, president and CEO of DMC.

Young, who is also a Memphis mayoral candidate, says Woods and his team are asking to begin work early.

Currently, DMC still owns the building, but Woods is requesting to spend up to $2.7 million on an interior demo before the handoff is made from DMC to the development group.

“The next step for us is to come back to the board with a development agreement, and in that agreement, we would outline the fact that they want to begin even before they take possession of the property,” Young said.

“We want permission to be able to go ahead and start some of that cleaning work to get ahead of the curve,” said Woods.

If that development agreement can be approved by the next board meeting on Jan. 18, Young said he expects to see Woods and his team begin working within the first quarter of 2023.

“This is certainly the closest we’ve ever been to having the property see new life. And so, we are really excited that the team has remained committed,” Young said. “It’s going to breathe new life into that part of downtown.”

Should all go according to plan, the timeline from Woods says construction could be seen at 100 North Main by the beginning of 2024.

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