by Toby Sells
The Center City Development Corp. (CCDC) approved loans to High Cotton Brewing and Neely’s Bar-B-Que to help them develop projects in the area of Memphis between the Medical District and Downtown. It will also begin work on a project to clean up some railway underpasses Downtown.
• High Cotton got a $50,000 loan for a $112,000 project that will add a tap and tasting room and an outdoor patio to the brewery, and will improve the building’s façade with new lights and signs.
Brice Timmons, a co-owner of the Memphis craft brewery, predicted a June opening of the tasting room, which can be accessed by customers to buy pints of beer for on-site consumption, growlers, and other brewery merchandise.
• Neely’s Bar-B-Que will return to its original location at 670 Jefferson with the help of a $49,000 loan from the CCDC to renovate the building. The restaurant will be leased and operated by Tony Neely, who last operated a Neely’s Bar-B-Que location in Nashville that was recently closed.
The location was most recently the home of Monsieur Demarcus French Crepêrie, which is moving to a Midtown location.
Neely predicted a June opening for the restaurant. Neely was a frequent guest on “Down Home with the Neely’s,” the Food Network show hosted by his brother and sister-in-law, Patrick and Gina Neely.
The loan will not be given until back taxes are paid on the property.
“It’s good to be back home,” Tony Neely said after the loan was approved during Wednesday’s CCDC meeting.
• Planning will begin soon on a project that would clean up and illuminate three railroad underpasses around the south end of South Main Street.
The CCDC approved an $80,000 budget for the project to begin the planning stages with the understanding that its staff would return to the board with more details before the clean-up work actually begins.
The plan is to clean and illuminate three underpasses on Main, Carolina, and Florida streets. Memphis developer Henry Turley told the CCDC board that the conditions of the underpasses now are “shameful” and “awful,” and they need to be attractive gateways to Downtown Memphis.
The CCDC would work with The Henry Turley Co. to improve the underpasses.