Property Updates

Activities on Properties of Interest

as of February 20, 2017

100 N Main
This landmark building with its 792,873 sq. ft. was completed in 1965 and has been vacant since Spring 2014.  The current owner is IMH Memphis c/o Eli Freiden, 7000 W Camino Real STE 240, Boca Raton, FL 33433. According to the Commercial Appeal the owner has no record of experience with major redevelopment projects. After dozens of delays in Environmental Court in a year over fire code violations and other issues with this vacant 38-story office building, 100 North Main owners received notice in October that the lenders were foreclosing on it. This happened as Environmental Court appointed Cushman & Wakefield Commercial Advisors Asset Services as the receiver to oversee fixing fire code violations and preserving the property. They restored power to required areas (stairwells, FAA lights on the roof for aircraft, etc.). The hope was that the lender would take the building at the December foreclosure auction. That did not happen so the fate of the property remains in the balance. The basement flooded the night of 1/24/17.  A 3rd foreclosure sale on January 25, 2017, failed to produce a buyer.

147 Jefferson
Some information below from a November 2012 Commercial Appeal article describes the situation at the Jefferson Plaza: “The Downtown parking garage attached to the 147 Jefferson Ave. building is being demolished, the first of many steps the property owner is taking to redevelop its adjacent 12-story masonry office building for a proposed mixed-use facility. Owner Adam Airman said the non-operational parking structure would be replaced by May 2013.  Airman said. “Either a new parking garage or a parking service will be in its place by next year.” … The 105,564-square-foot office building was built in 1954 at the southeast corner of Jefferson and Second Street. The building was quitclaimed from the Shelby County Government to City Center Services Inc. in February 2011 for $160,500. It was transferred to the county in a 2008 tax sale after then-owner Common Ground LLC failed to pay county property taxes. Airman envisions the building to include office space and possibly senior housing within the next five years. “What I have in mind is for the building to be ground floor and the first floor support the courts … bail bond, lawyers, maybe mail companies like UPS or FedEx to support the court activities because they need a lot of that in the area,” Airman said. “And the upper floors, I’m thinking apartments for seniors maybe and people over 50 that would like to live Downtown. There will be a (new) parking garage and maybe some activity on the top floor for restaurants, weddings, whatever.”  Airman is in the process of preparing drawings for the site and is seeking private equity and also city/county assistance. “This is all preliminary right now,” Airman said. “I’m working on the plans and trying to find people that can invest in rebuilding the project so we can revitalize Downtown. The whole idea is to revitalize the area because it doesn’t look good and homeless people try to go in and things like that.” Airman’s 147 Jefferson property is to the immediate west of the Tenoke Building at 161 Jefferson, another 12-story building that is pending redevelopment but as a hotel. It’s owned by Vince Vaghela of the Mississippi-based development company Vibrant Hotel Inc.”

161 Jefferson
Vibrant Hotels Inc., an affiliate of Batesville, Mississippi-based development company JVD Enterprises, has received a special use permit that would allow the conversion of the century-old Tenoke, located at 161 Jefferson Ave., and the adjacent one-story office at 191 Jefferson Ave. into an “upper-brand franchised full-service hotel,” with 156 rooms according to an application filed with the city-county Office of Planning and Development in August.  The two properties, which were built in 1911 and 1935, respectively, occupy half an acre at the southwest corner of Jefferson and B.B. King Boulevard. The OPD report lists a few conditions, including ensuring dumpsters are screened from public view and that the property isn’t operated on an hourly rate.  It also raises questions about daily traffic congestion in the area, specifically afternoon traffic associated with the Grizzlies Prep charter school across the street.  It questions where hotel guests will park and suggests using the metered parking spaces on the west side of B.B. King Boulevard for valet parking.  The property will be branded as an Aloft Hotel, a boutique flag owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Aloft bills itself as a “tech-forward” brand, with some of its 100 hotels worldwide offering features such as keyless entry systems, which allow guests to use their smartphone or Apple watch to unlock their room, and TiGi (“text it, get it”), an “emoji-only room service menu.”  Tennessee is home to two Aloft Hotels, both in the Nashville area. Aloft’s website states the Downtown Memphis hotel, along with a third Nashville location and one in Chattanooga, will open in 2018. Vince Vangela said on 1/24/17 that the lender has approved his loan, his architects are in touch with the city, the demolition permit should be secured in the next two months so there will be activity this spring. He has plans to meet with the contractor who is working on the Calvary property along Jefferson the week of 1/24.  Mr. Vangela originally said he would raise $16-18 m to renovate the building.  An experienced hotel developer questioned that amount and said it would cost closer to $25 m for 156 rooms in an old building.

128 Adams
NCE Realty presented the only bid 5-17-16 for this city owned property that was the Police Station.  A quitclaim deed filed 9-20-16 transferred the property from the City to NCE for $2M.  NCE will secure financing for $22-25 M for its redevelopment as a boutique hotel.  The owner must secure a Special Use permit from the city to develop the hotel – this permit is required for all hotels in the Central Business District.  NCE Realty is developing other property in midtown and its principal is Shili Fan.  It is unclear at this time whether NCE has obtained the Special Use Permit. NCE is focusing on the development of its midtown properties now.

179 Madison
The Napoleon Hotel has been developed by Suna Investments as a 58 room boutique hotel. Hotel Napoleon converts a five-story office building built in 1902 by Memphis merchant Napoleon Hill. Hill’s initials can be seen etched into the façade of the building, which owner Patel said provided inspiration for naming the hotel. In the building’s heyday, Hill lived across the street in the Sterick Building, one of Memphis’ most iconic skyscrapers.  It has a farm-to-table eatery called Luna Restaurant and Bar, two ground-floor suites, LED lights throughout the building and a fitness facility.

46 N. Third
The Dermon Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was constructed in 1925 by Dave Dermon at a cost of around $800,000. From the time it was constructed, until 1983, it was the home of Dave Dermon Company, and Dave Dermon Insurance. 'Papa' sold the building in the 1930s, and although it has changed hands many times, it is still known as the Dermon Building today.  It was listed on the National Register in recognition of its local architectural significance and its association with its builder Dave Dermon, who was a prominent Memphis real estate developer in the years between World War I and the Great Depression. In downtown Memphis, the building is second only to the Kress Building in displaying the colorful use of glazed architectural terra cotta from the 1920s.  Starting in 2010, the building was largely or completely vacant. In January 2016 The 100,000-square-foot building was sold to Dermon Capitol Group for $1.5 million and the adjacent parking lot for $310,000.  They announced plans to completely renovate the building and launch it as a hotel in the style of the Madison Hotel and Exchange Building, two other historic office buildings which were converted to hotels.  Work was to begin summer 2016. The building remains vacant and idle.  The representative of the owner said last week that when it is developed it will be a hotel but they are waiting to see what happens with all the other hotels being developed downtown.  He said they are in no hurry!

158 Madison
Across from Hotel Napoleon is the former Leader Federal Bank building at 158 Madison Ave. The building’s new owner Wessman Holdings plans a 70-room boutique hotel for the mid-century building. However Mr. Wessmann was charged 2-16-17 with public corruption in California  - nine counts of bribing an executive officer and one count of conspiracy to commit bribery. If convicted of all the charges, he would face a maximum sentence of 12 years in California prison.

247 Washington
Volunteer Carolee Carlin’s vision to replace the boarded up windows on this city-owned building with art will become a reality. She worked with IOBY (In Our Back Yards) to start an online funding campaign to raise the $3,407 needed for this project. To date, the $3,407 has been raised! “Students Building a Beautiful Memphis” will rely on students’ artwork to revitalize the exterior of 247 Washington Ave. Over two dozen beautiful pieces of art, all created by Shelby County Schools students, will replace the boarded over windows in a building located at the southwest corner of Washington Avenue and Fourth Street. Students Building a Beautiful Memphis is sponsored by Downtown Memphis Commission as it aligns with the Commission’s charge of “making Downtown Memphis a better place to work, live, learn, invest and visit.” Students Building a Beautiful Memphis will wrap up with a public celebration in March (which is Youth Art Month) 2017.  We will show appreciation to our donors, the student artists, and all of our volunteers. Entertainment will be provided by a variety of student performing arts programs to showcase the impressive young talent in our community.” Read more in the Daily News.