Friday, June 4, 2010

Smooth Moves at Union and Main

A renovation is planned for the Smooth Moves building on the southwest corner of Union and Main, an intersection with some of the highest pedestrian counts in the city.

This 17,000-sf building will undergo a $1.66 million facelift that will include ground-floor retail space and office space on the basement level and on the second and third floors. Exterior improvements include window enlargements, a canopy and a redesign of the entry. Because of the prime location of this building, Center City Development Corporation (CCDC) awarded the owners a $200,000 loan for property improvements.

CCDC also awarded a $15,000 office grant to Thompson & Company to relocate its 26-member firm into the building. The agency will be occupying 10,400-sf.

Work is expected to begin this summer and be complete late fall. Union Main Holdings, LLC is the developer of the project. The development team also includes Montgomery Martin Contractors and Looney Ricks Kiss Architects.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New Charter School Comes to Uptown

This building at 278 Greenlaw in Uptown is the future home of Downtown's newest charter school, The Memphis College Preparatory Elementary School. The school will open in fall of 2010 with 90 kindergarten students and will grow each year to accommodate students up to the 5th grade.

The school's founder, Michael Whaley, has demonstrated a passion for working with inner-city students. Whaley came to Memphis through Teach for America, a program that recruits outstanding college grads to commit to teach for 2 years in urban and rural public schools.

To help with renovations to the the 12,870-sf facility, the school received a $200,000 development loan from the Center City Development Corporation in May. Construction is scheduled to begin this month.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Downtown's Endangered Gems

Last week the Commercial Appeal reported that two of Downtown's structures are now listed among the Tennessee Preservation Trust'10 most endangered historic sites in Tennessee: The Sterick Building and the historic cobblestones.

Unlike many downtowns across the country, Downtown Memphis is fortunate to have retained asubstantial inventory of prime historic properties that tell the story of our city, add character and authenticity, and incidentally, present excellent opportunities for redevelopment. Following are other downtown historic sites that the Center City Commission highlight as important to the health and vitality of our city.

Sears Crosstown Building, c 1912
One of 9 mail order and retail centers erected nationally by Sears between 1910 and the Great Depression. VERY large-scale buildings, making them a true challenge to renovate. In fact Memphis' is 1.4 million-sf.

Woolworth Building, c 1900
This property has one of the best locations in Downtown on the Main Street trolley line and in the heart of the Downtown Core near Peabody Place and Gayoso, restaurants, parking garages. Amazing architectural features, 14-ft ceilings.

Tennessee Brewery, c 1890
Former home of the Tennessee Brewing Company and Goldcrest Beer. The facade remains the same as it was built 110 years ago. The building is 67,120-sf, has river views and is located in the South Bluff Historic District.

Goyer-Lee House, c 1871
Sits in the heart of Victorian Village and represents the 19-century upper class architectural design. The 7,521-sf building is located just west of the Medical District.

Hickman Building, c 1929
Located across from the Downtown Elementary School and AutoZone Park, this 60,00-sf, 8-story building has an attached parking garage with 80 spaces. The building is on the National Historic Register. Originally built as a medical arts building, the property is being marketed as a residential property or commercial with retail on the ground-floor.

Alabaster Building, c 1926
This 4-story building sits on a 32,960-sf lot. The building is in clean shell condition and is already wired for fiber optics.

Nylon Net Building, c 1909
This property is located at Vance and Wagner amid a neighborhood experiencing tremendous residential growth. The property is 220,000-sf.

147 Jefferson Place, c 1956
This 12-story building is the earliest example of a post WWI International Style design in Memphis. The structure was also the first in Downtown to provide off-street parking for tenants. It is located across from Court Square. The 80,00-sf building has an attached 4-story parking garage with 360 spaces.

Toof Building, c 1913
The Toof Building is a vacant 6-story brick office building Adjacent to AutoZone Park and located on the Medical Center Rail Extension. This 53,667-sf building recently received a partial facelift with the installation of mural called "A Note of Hope" by artist Jeff Zimmerman.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

South Main This Friday Under the Big Top!

"The Greatest Show on Earth" invades South Main this month! This Friday, May 28 head downtown from 6 - 9 pm for the South Main Circus Night with street performances from magicians, fire throwers and sideshow acts. Bring the kids for face painters and cotton candy and music by the barbershop quartet "Five and Dime", DJ Sean & others. Indie Memphis will offer a free outdoor showing of the award-winning film "Act One".

Trolley Night Stops:
SEE The Difference Interiors, RiverArts Festival Poster unveiling party with artist Jimpsie Ayres
Doug Carpenter & Associates, Grand opening celebration
Christines by Shelton, new women's boutique ... cute cute!
Art on a Hot Tin Roof, art opening for David Hinske's "Transendental Vocabulary"
The Warehouse, Grace Askew's CD Release Party at 7 pm
Art Village Gallery, 20 year celebration with 50% off all prints in stock
Jack Robinson Gallery, New work by Suzie Millions and Lester Sivets
Sue Layman Gallery, "Salsa & Sangria Party" with salsa music, new work by Sue Layman, jewelry designer Ellen Web
D'Edge Art & Unique Treasures, George Hunt's show "Potpourri"
Muse Inspired Fashions, Music by DiAnne Price
409 South Main, Art opening with Regis Lawson, Christopher Reed,Joel Halpern, Mae Aur, Ashley Leem, Colin Kidder, Paul Edelstein, Qazi Ahmad, Max Richardson, Elisha Gold
Concept Gallery, Art opening with David Pentecost David Pentecost Art Opening
Drs. Rentrop and Geater, Opening with artist Judy Vandergrift

And in keeping in tone with the circus theme, let's not forget the freakshow to end all freakshows ... the Zombie March. Hundreds of mutated ghouls will gather near GE Patterson and Main at 6 pm to make their annual stumble to Beale Street. If for some reason you want to get "zombified", just duct tape an X on your chest and enjoy your vicious, but good-natured, attack.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

CCC Corrals Stray Newspaper and Magazine Bins

Tired of seeing newspaper and magazine bins scattered throughout Downtown? Good news.

The Center City Commission recently reached an agreement with local periodical publishers to relocate stray stands and racks into designated hitching posts. The CCC is installing about 70 fabricated stationary racks throughout the Downtown core this fall.

An RFP has been issued for a newspaper / magazine corral fabricator and installer.
To view the RFP, click here.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

BBQFest 2010

Survivor: Memphis BBQFest 2010
"Outeat, Outplay, Outlast"
4 days, 50,000 people, 1 survivor.

This year's BBQFest featured honored country Tunisia and many of the "booths" were sporting designs based on the Tunisian theme of Memphis in May. The booth I spent most of my time at, The Ques Brothers, won 2nd place in the booth design contest!

Day 1: Friends and Family Night

Day 2:
Thirsty Thursday

Day 3:
Freaky Friday

Day 4:
Survivor Saturday

This booth was nice enough to name their team after my initials. Great job guys! ;-)

Blog Posted by Brian C

Friday, May 21, 2010

Memphis Farmers Market Dinner Tour

The Memphis Farmers Market's next dinner tour will be at the Madison Hotel on the rooftop and will feature live music along with a great dinner.

Details can be found below as well as at the facebook event linked here:

Grillout on the Madison Rooftop Saturday May 22 6:30pm
$45 includes tax/gratuity
Call 333.1224 for reservations

Join all your friends and Executive Chef Chris Windsor featuring local products from the Memphis Farmers Market including Neola Farms, Whitton Farms and Ghost River Brewery on the Rooftop of The Madison Hotel. Featuring live music by MFM musicians Maria Spence and Alan Rankin.

One of my favorite things to do on a Saturday morning, especially since I live REAL close to it, is to go to the farmers market. The Farmers Market has been growing and growing over the years and has recently featured a TV Chef from the show "Lidia's Italy" who signed books a few weeks ago. I wasn't familiar with her, but many were and stood in line to get her book autographed and to meet her.

The market has a nice chalkboard now that details what's available, upcoming events, etc.

My friend Kitty is one of the great dog sitters you'll find at the market. If you need a dog sitter while shopping, stop by the tent and let Kitty and the other sitters take care of your dog. You'll also find the Hooper Troopers, a group of girls who demonstrate and teach you how to hula hoop with style!

There's also various workshops so you can learn about different things. During BBQFest weekend, my friend Erin had a table set up so you could learn about Meat, Beans, portion control and even how to make your own spices! I must say, by the 4th day of BBQFest, all I really wanted was veggies anyway.

Blog Posted by Brian C