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arkitekte May 11, 2012 1:32 AM


Originally Posted by kingchef (Post 5696345)
any new on the promised decision on the chisca hotel project? i understand that it is under secret negotiations w/ the city council. to me, legally questionable, if money, in part, is public and to be co-mingled w/ private funds. any information on the marriott addition and the hilton in the south district? what about the indigo, i think their past 6 years for having completed their project.

i don't know why anyone would want to tie down a project w/ the promise that 15-25% of it has to be given to minority black or women firms, especially if they do not have the expertise to do the work. some of the announced projects are beyond schedule.

Hotel Chisca is still quite a ways from any breaking news. Its a historic site, therefore when its redeveloped, it has to be done in a way that doesn't harm the integrity of the original design. It could be anywhere from a few months to a couple of years before anything is done. Also the developer(s) private and public (the city) have to develop their budget as far as what can actually be done, and how many tax credits they will receive for restoring a historic property.

The Marriott is still a go as far as I know. The Hilton and Hotel Indigo are probably still securing funding/ planning, although I think Hotel Indigo might be dead as a development, as well as the Hilton.

Johnny Ryall May 11, 2012 7:42 PM

This could potentially be very good for Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium revenues if this USFL relaunch does indeed come to fruition. I recommend the Washington Post link below for more details. This time around the USFL will not challenge the NFL and will be a 2nd-tier developmental league with the NFL having some access.

Memphis on USFL’s short list for football team in 2013
Memphis Business Journal


Memphis is among the 8 cities the USFL is targeting for teams. The cities mentioned by the AP are locations without NFL teams and with stadiums that are unused during the spring and summer months. The Memphis Showboats of the USFL played in the Liberty Bowl from 1984 until the league folded in 1987 and featured NFL hall of famer Reggie White. The Showboats made the USFL playoffs in 1985 and were considered among the more viable USFL franchises with solid attendance throughout their two-season run. Unlike the first time around, the USFL will own all the teams rather than rely on local ownership, and not attempt to challenge the NFL for players or payroll.

Photo: MBJ

More on the story from the Washington Post:

kingchef May 13, 2012 2:03 AM

i was under the impression that both hotel projects were on the ready w/ funding. at one point, the indigo was, supposedly, only a few months from completing their project. at the time that was announced, the project had been w9ried on well into it's sixth year. reportedly, they were just getting a property finished in atlanta?

i thought the hilton deal was done and completely approved. the chisca project would not get any better for renovation, certainly, if another two years goes past. i've been looking at the south main district and down past the french fort district. i really like so much of what is there, and i would love to see housing and community services for about 20-25,000 people. there is a great deal of potential remaining over there. the recent aerial shots of that area are really nice, as are the photos of the bridges. i hope the marine hospital project can be completed, the horizon filled, and retail put into that area. i love those bridges and the french fort structures.

arkitekte May 13, 2012 5:06 AM

^I too was under the impression that the Hilton was ready to start well over a year ago or so. Anyways, the Chisca will probably be the first to get going now. The city knows the South Main district is booming, and want to get in while there's still marketable room.

The Marine Hospital is still quite a way from anything happening. I was able to go inside back during March. I'll make a photo thread here in the next few weeks of the Marine Hospital, Sears Crosstown with photos from the interior and roof, and some other abandoned buildings in Memphis.

Johnny Ryall May 14, 2012 5:41 PM


Originally Posted by arkitekte (Post 5699454)
^I too was under the impression that the Hilton was ready to start well over a year ago or so.

Looks like this hotel development is moving forward next to the proposed Hilton property. Its' plot is staked off with orange barricade.

Dallas developer prepares site near arena on Linden for possible 'select service' hotel
The Commercial Appeal


Building a 100- to 150-room hotel is Lowen's intent. But the company has been focused on rezoning the site for a hotel and preparing it for construction, and hasn't determined what brand hotel would be built, he said. The company builds "select service" hotels, which fit between budget and full-service operations. Examples include Homewood Suites, Residence Inn, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Garden Inn.

Next door, at Linden and Fourth, the Royal Phoenix Hotel group is still looking for financing to build a high-rise Hilton of 300 rooms. Bridget Chisholm, a partner in Royal Phoenix, said she'd welcome another hotel as a neighbor. "It would certainly enhance our project as we move forward with it," she said. "It's helping redevelop that area, so it's very exciting."

Johnny Ryall May 14, 2012 6:08 PM

With the coming 10-story expansion tower for the Downtown Marriott @ Cook Convention Center & this development, make that 370 hotel rooms under-construction in the Convention/ Pinch District.

The Pyramid plan takes shape
Bass Pro design includes hotel; city buys nearby land
The Commercial Appeal


Plans to transform The Pyramid into a Bass Pro Shops super store now include a three-story hotel encircling the arena floor... Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris -- who has made 15 to 20 trips to the building -- has decided to add a 210-room hotel on three floors in The Pyramid's interior. The building will be stocked with outdoor goods arrayed among wildlife displays to seem as much like a theme park as a retail store.

Meanwhile, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton recently signed a contract to acquire the nearby Lone Star Industries property. Existing structures there will be torn down and replaced with green space, to improve the area's connection to the Mississippi River and Memphis Cook Convention Center.

INTERIOR Photo by Chris Desmond, EXTERIOR Photo by Jim Weber

arkitekte May 14, 2012 7:10 PM

^While I personally would like to see those hotel rooms be located outside of the Pyramid to spark further development in the Pinch District, adding them inside the Pyramid will certainly bring more money to Bass Pro and the Pyramid, and is a smart idea on their part.

Also, I'm looking forward to see construction start on the hotels south of the Forum.

Johnny Ryall May 14, 2012 10:02 PM

The Memphis Railroad & Trolley Museum is now open. Located inside Central Station on South Main Street.

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Friday & Saturday
Noon - 5:00 PM Sundays
Open other days only by special arrangement

Adults $3.00, under 12 $1.00, 3 and under free.
"At the South End of the Main Street Trolley Line"

Johnny Ryall May 14, 2012 10:03 PM

Loeb Makes Progress on Square Plan
Memphis Daily News


The blue banner that hung until recently at the curved atrium at Cooper Street and Madison Avenue and read “Returning in 2012” will soon ring true for Overton Square and its developer, Loeb Properties Inc. In the coming months and years, the firm will invest about $20 million to revive the arts and entertainment district’s footprint to about 115,000 square feet. Loeb is expected to close on nine acres near the Cooper-Madison intersection from its Colorado owners by mid-June.

Johnny Ryall May 14, 2012 10:07 PM

Ford to propose Memphis taxpayers contribute $2 million to redevelop the Chisca
The Commercial Appeal


Councilman Edmund Ford wants city government to sink $2 million into a $19.5-million redevelopment of the historic Chisca Hotel... The Church of God in Christ has had the long-vacant hotel at 272 S. Main under contract since last October to sell to an investor group including some of the principals in One Commerce Square ownership. They include Gary Prosterman, Karl and Gail Schledwitz and Terry Lynch. The would-be buyers propose to convert the eight-story, 98-year-old hotel into a mixed-used development including smaller apartments on upper floors and ground-floor retail.

Photo by Nikki Boertman

arkitekte May 14, 2012 10:56 PM

^I would much rather see the city invest 2 million into the Chisca redevelopment than the 51 million it invested into the Beale Street Landing and American Queen, but it is what it is. If it comes down to a vote, I see a "no" in the 2 million dollar investment.

arkitekte May 15, 2012 6:45 PM

Found this earlier today; time lapse of the new video board being installed at AutoZone Park.

I was having trouble getting the player to actually play on this page, so you'll have to go to YouTube to watch it.

Johnny Ryall May 16, 2012 9:23 PM

Historic cobblestones ready to undergo $6 million restoration
Memphis Daily News


The cobblestones will include a ramp area for launching canoes and kayaks in the Memphis harbor but not motorized boats. The area will remain accessible to automobiles and have a walkway by the river’s edge as well as two east-west paved walkways leading to the river.

(Photo: Lance Murphey)

kingchef May 16, 2012 11:20 PM

what makes little rock and nashville, tn so similar in demographics? it seems that many polls pair those two up quite often. could have something to do w/ the country music, a good deal north of little rock, in branson, mo. too, may have to do w/ travel packages. i have gotten 3 of those 4 day weekends this year. before, i have never been bothered w/ them. they both have similar night shots of their skylines.

photoLith May 16, 2012 11:35 PM

Memephis and little rock are not the same at all, not even demographically. Memphis had a much larger percentage of blacks than little rock. The two cities are also completely different when you compare their downtowns. Memphis Downtown and the historic areas that surround it are much much larger and intact than little rocks. The architecture is also completely different as memphis had influences from all the major Mississippi river towns.

On another note, I hope this restoration of the cobblestones maintaines their historic character and they don't change it up too much. Its amazing that the cobblestone landing has survived this long. New Orleans doesn't have one, st Louis doesn't have it's left so it's important that Memphis keeps it as intact as possible. There's only one other historic cobblestone landing that I've seen on the Mississippi, and it was in Helena Arkansas. Cairo still might have one but both Helena and Cairo are so far gone and screwed that it doesn't even really matter.

arkitekte May 17, 2012 12:23 AM


Originally Posted by photoLith (Post 5703417)
On another note, I hope this restoration of the cobblestones maintaines their historic character and they don't change it up too much.Its amazing that the cobblestone landing has survived this long. New Orleans doesn't have one, st Louis doesn't have it's left so it's important that Memphis keeps it as intact as possible. There's only one other historic cobblestone landing that I've seen on the Mississippi, and it was in Helena Arkansas. Cairo still might have one but both Helena and Cairo are so far gone and screwed that it doesn't even really matter.

We'll see what happens regarding the cobblestones. The main reason why Memphis still has the cobble stone landing as well as the huge historic building stock is the lack of development, which now is a good thing, but put a choke hold on Downtown Memphis, while other downtowns were booming. You sometimes here people say Memphis is stuck in 1968 and that when MLK was assassinated the city stopped growing, and its somewhat true.

As far as riverfront development now, Memphis is trying to catch up and is failing miserably. The city has invested $42 million into Beale Street Landing, which was supposed to be a $21 million investment. It was supposed to be completed already, but is way behind. The landing is supposed to house the new American Queen riverboat, which the city loaned $9 million. The riverboat is only going to be in Memphis 9 times a year, and the average cruise on the riverboat is $1,200. Dumb investment, but w/e. I don't know who would pay that money to cruise on the Mississippi, when you could pay 1/4 of that a year in advance and go wherever you want in the Caribbean.

Anyways, here are some photos of what's supposed to be there, and what is actually there now:

Figured I would include this rendering, including One Beale, which is now shelved.

^Both of those are from

And these are from April 27 at the "Grand Opening" with the landing way behind...I've heard everywhere from 3 months to a year, but I visited back in October, and not much more had been done between then and April.

That's not a lot of bang for your buck, imo. Sorry I don't have any recent photos of the structure which is to house ticket offices, lounges, and a restaurant.

Here's a video from ABC 24 news with a video that shows the unfinished structure.
I was actually on the news that night at 10 when a friend and myself were interviewed about the landing, but they didn't post that video on their site. I pretty much said that it was nice to have development coming to the riverfront, but it was far too expensive when other issues in the city need to be addressed.

Anyways, I'm done ranting.

Centropolis May 17, 2012 12:23 AM

sorry to hijack ...photoLith st louis still has its cobblestone landing that goes down into the river, its made of missouri granite. its a little rough in spots.

arkitekte May 17, 2012 12:38 AM

^Centropolis, how does the city address people wandering about on STL's cobblestones? There's some planners in Memphis that want to keep people away from it in a way, saying that its a liability. The article mentions two cases where people have sued, or tried to sue the City of Memphis for injuries they've gotten from walking on the cobblestone landing.

Centropolis May 17, 2012 1:09 AM

Well, I haven't heard any talk of closing off the cobblestones to walking and parking/driving aside from the various riverfront redevelopment plans that either restored or in some cases removed them alltogether. It is somewhat treacherous....

kingchef May 19, 2012 9:55 PM

perhaps i missed it, but i noticed that the downtown marriott, convention center has reportedly announced that the new room addition will be a 10 story addition. are there any drawings? is there any discussion on the possibility of putting the 10 floors on top of the 17 stories or the other 13 story tower? i think it would be good for ht in that area, and i think rotating the addition to a 15 d angle(s) would be interesting. i just don't see stringing another tower along like fish on a line. if one beale were to ever be realized, it might make a nice counter point, as the pyramid, 32 stories, is usually left out of downtown photos.

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