The developers planning to redevelop 100 North Main and the surrounding property made a major announcement Tuesday morning.
Representatives from co-developers Townhouse Management Co. (THM) and Loews Hotels told the Memphis City Council economic development committee they intend to construct a roughly 550-room, 26-story convention center hotel directly east of Memphis City Hall.
Though the renderings presented to Council (which can be viewed above) were rough sketches, Loews executive vice president Alex Tisch promised the hotel will be beautiful.
"We want it to stand out in the skyline," he said. "We want to build for Memphis a really beautiful tower – 26 stories of what will likely be a glass hotel."
While the Memphis Business Journal exclusively reported last month that this site — just east of the trolley tracks from City Hall — was under consideration for such a hotel, we were told at the time that the 100 North Main building was still the likely choice. Tisch said Tuesday that 100 North Main will instead be filled with luxury multifamily housing.
"It would have been easy to say, 'Let's put the hotel in [100 North Main]' and be done," Tisch said. "[But now], if you start at [Poplar Avenue to the north], you’ll have right away three blocks of redevelopment instead of one."
The economic development committee unanimously approved the addition of the proposed hotel to the Downtown Memphis Tourism Development Zone's (TDZ) list of public use facilities. This means that, assuming additional approvals, sales tax generated at the hotel will be earmarked for paying off the project's debt.
Councilmen heaped praise on the project, thanking the developers for their interest and saying they would like to encourage it in any way possible.
"This probably has to be the most exciting thing that’s taken place in the three years I’ve been on the Council," Councilman Martavius Jones said.
Tisch said his company, which plans to own the hotel for decades, is extremely excited about the project.
"When word started getting around [the company], our sales team called the central office en masse because there are so many things in Memphis [for them] to sell," Tisch said.
THM and Loews' plan includes hospitality, retail, residential, office and parking uses and could total $1 billion. The office space is set to be primarily located in a new office tower at 80 North Main, just south of 100 North Main, Tisch said Tuesday.
The TDZ is just one of multiple ways — detailed here — the City of Memphis is throwing its weight behind the project. To hold up its end of the bargain, Townhouse must have the hotel, with at least 500 rooms, in service by Dec. 31, 2022.
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