Loeb unveils ambitious plan for Overton Square renewal
FLIGHT. 126 | NO. 201 | Friday, October 14, 2011
Loeb Properties Inc. hopes to capitalize on Midtown’s recent successes with a $ 31 million revitalization plan for Overton Square.
At a meeting on Wednesday, October 12 at Playhouse on the Square, the Memphis-based commercial real estate company revealed its strategy to expand the Square’s footprint, creating a theater arts district with approximately 115,000 square feet in redevelopment. and new buildings.
“We see ourselves as a satellite of Overton Park, but we believe that we can play a very important role in improving Midtown,” said Bob loeb, president of the company.
The original design was to build a “suburban style grocery store” in Overton Square. The business was making progress with the City of Memphis to get help with a new parking structure, but the grocer was moving “very slowly,” Loeb said.
“We had a strong interest expressed initially by a dominant grocer here and over the last month or so, we’ve been reading the news like you did why we couldn’t make progress with that grocer,” Loeb said. “There were other things going on.”
He didn’t mention it by name, but Loeb appears to have referred to Kroger’s recent acquisition of nine Schnucks stores.
Worried, Loeb returned to town and asked permission to search for anchors other than a grocery store. After seeking advice from the neighborhood, stakeholders and the grassroots – as well as architectural advice from LRK Inc. – Loeb devised a “Heart of the Arts” plan to locate the Hattiloo Theater on the south side of Overton Square.
The idea is to move the black repertory theater company from 656 Marshall Avenue. to complement Playhouse on the Square, which attracts between 50,000 and 60,000 people per year.
“As a theater, we are an economic engine,” said the founder of Playhouse Jackie nichols. “Eighty-seven percent of people who go to the theater go out and have a drink or dinner before or after the show. “
Hattiloo’s current space near Sun Studio has 75 seats, and the new space has the potential to increase capacity to 200 seats over time, theater founder Ekundayo Bandele said.
In addition, this decision will help to bridge the “racial divide” to “truly integrate” the whole region.
“Dude, it’s like a utopia,” Bandele said. “This is the Memphis we deserve – this is the company we want to see.”
Loeb Properties will invest $ 19.2 million in the project, and the City of Memphis is invited to contribute $ 11.9 million for infrastructure, including a water retention center, streetscapes and a garage. three-level parking and 450 spaces which will be monitored at the same time. by police personnel and cameras.
But Loeb said his company’s ROI was not as good as the city’s. Overton Square will provide the Memphians with 331 new jobs and the city can expect around $ 2.8 million in new tax revenue per year.
The vast majority of that total – $ 2.4 million – will be generated through new sales taxes, according to Loeb’s estimates. The remaining $ 400,000 will come from new property taxes.
Overton Square will be Shelby County’s first development to follow the City-County Unified Development Code, designed to create mixed-use neighborhoods that are more accessible on foot, by bike, and suitable for pedestrians.
The goal, said Loeb, is smaller rather than larger spaces that will lead to local operators rather than chains. Presenting LRK’s renderings of the new Overton Square, Loeb pointed out “some attractive buildings that need a little maintenance and a few tenants to occupy them”.
One of them is the northwest corner of Madison Avenue and Cooper Street, in the space formerly hosted by Yosemite Sam’s.
“What we’re doing right now is just put it back and rebuild it so it’s better and we have a better tenant, hopefully,” Loeb said.
Then there is the space of the old Paulette in 2110 Madison Ave. Loeb has “made an agreement with the owners to buy the property, but the owners still rent and manage the property.”
Other possible plans for the Square include renovating the old ice rink into a performance hall and turning Trimble Courtyard into a “plug-and-play” for quick and easy entertainment for the kids, not just parking and shopping. dumpsters ”, said the director of LRK Frank ricks.
In addition, the Square will be food truck compliant, with “festival opportunities” for Trimble and Florence. Loeb also asked the Memphis Area Transit Authority to create a loop that serves “preferred passengers”.
In addition, the agreement is expected to have a “multiplier effect” on adjacent properties. Five Guys Burgers and Fries is in the process of providing vacant securities lending off the Union.
And if all goes well, the French Quarter Suites Hotel could be redeveloped into a four or five star hotel and day spa, the original developer said. Ron kirkpatrick.
Loeb projects this development alone of 10 to 12 million dollars to create 125 jobs.