DOWNTOWN MEMPHIS IS on the brink of a commercial real estate explosion, and hotels are helping to fuel the revival.
Leading the renaissance is Union Row, a $950 million project that will transform a block of vacant or underutilized properties into apartments, office and retail space. Kevin Adams of Big River Partners is leading the project, which will also include a 200-room hotel.
The city has approved a 15-year, multi-million-dollar tax cut for the development, according to local news reports.
Along with the Union Row hotel, more than 2,000 hotels rooms are under development or recently opened in downtown and midtown Memphis. In addition, a proposed convention center hotel could bring another 500 rooms to the market.
In one high-profile project, a developer plans to convert a furniture store in downtown Memphis into a Dream Hotel, an upscale boutique brand.
Tom Intrator of 18Main acquired the Royal Furniture building in December for $3.5 million. He plans to renovate it into a 10-story, 178-room hotel.
Intrator is from Brooklyn, New York, but he has been involved in multi-family and commercial real estate development in Memphis since 2013, reports the Memphis Business Journal and Commercial Appeal.
Dream Hotel is a brand by the Dream Hotel Group, founded by Sant Singh Chatwal, who is now the company chairman. Jay Stein is CEO.
The Inn at Beale
The city has approved a proposal by Nick Patel, president of Turkey Creek Hospitality of Knoxville, to transform the site of a former nightclub on Beale Street into a 120-room independent boutique hotel.
The Inn at Beale will be at the end of the Union Row development. The $16 million project also will receive urban-renewal tax breaks for 15 years, reports Commercial Appeal.
Patel plans to raze the 1970s-era nightclub, which was closed in 2012 after city officials deemed it a nuisance.
The five-story hotel is expected to open in 2021.
Patel owns two other hotels in Memphis, including a newly opened Hilton Garden Inn.
Hilton Garden Inn Memphis Downtown
Earlier this year, Turkey Creek Hospitality and Vision Hospitality Group of Chattanooga, Tennessee, opened a 150-room Hilton Garden Inn on Union Avenue.
The seven-story, full-service property was built at the former site of the Greyhound Bus station. With a nod to the past, the hotel’s gin bar is named The Greyhound.
Turkey Creek Hospitality bought the property in 2011 and demolished the station in 2014. It teamed up with Vision Hospitality to lead the $20 million development, reports the Daily Memphian.
The Hilton Garden Inn Memphis Downtown is Vision Hospitality Group’s entrance into the market. Mitch Patel is president and CEO of Vision Hospitality.
Other hotel projects
Hotels in various stages of development include The Central Station, a 123-room boutique hotel in Memphis’ South Main District.
Owned by Kemmons Wilson Cos. and the Henry Turley Co., the full-service, upscale property is going up at a former transit hub. Called the Central Station, the transit building opened in 1914.
The eight-story hotel has 7,000 square feet of meeting space and nearly 4,000 square feet of retail space.
It will open in the fall and join Hilton’s Curio Collection. Valor Hospitality is the property manager.
In January, Expotel Hospitality Services opened the 119-room Hotel Indigo Memphis Downtown.
The IHG boutique brand went up on B.B. King Boulevard, where Kemmons Wilson’s first Holiday Inn in Memphis once stood.
Over the years, the motel converted to an Econo Lodge before developer Three P Partners of Atlanta transformed the corner property into its current mid-century design that preserves the bones of the original structure.
The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.