Development Services Group
Rendering of adaptive reuse of former Wonder Bread bakery
A development group announced Tuesday its plans to invest more than $70 million to transform historic properties into residence, office, and retail space in the Edge District.
The redevelopment, proposed by the Development Services Group (DSG), includes reuse of 150,000 square feet of existing structures, as well as construction of new buildings from the ground up.
President and CEO of DSG Gary Posterman says he sees potential in the Edge District, despite the number of neglected buildings there.
"If you look at an aerial map, it is obvious that the Edge is the ‘hole in the donut’ that can be filled to connect downtown and the Memphis Medical District," said Posterman. " When the Downtown Memphis Commission made it clear that this area was a priority for them, we decided to make a substantial investment and do what we could to catalyze the revitalization of the Edge district. This is a transformational project and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create something exceptional in this area that combines and utilizes a variety of residential, retail, commercial, and greenspace uses,”
Some specifics of the redevelopment include a $55 million transformation of eastern portions of the former Wonder Bread bakery into class-A apartments available for market rate, along with a 480-space parking garage.
Possibly future headquarters for a 120-employee financial services firm, the western portion of the old bakery would be converted into 75,000 square feet of office and retail space, costing about $9.5 million.
About 50,000 additional square feet of office space will be developed at two separate locations on Madison and Monroe, totaling near $4.5 million for both projects.
Lastly, $3 million will be invested to renovate a 27,000-square-foot spot on Monroe known as the "Cycle Shop" to house City & State coffee shop's second location, as well as office spaces for the Memphis Medical District Collaborative.
DSG is seeking a 20-year pay-in-lieu-of taxes incentive from the Downtown Memphis Commission (DMC) to complete the project.
The group will present its proposal to the DMC's Center City Revenue Finance Corporation (CCRFC) next Tuesday. If approved, the group will pay just under $7.5 million in property taxes during the period of the incentive.
“A project of this scale and scope will be catalytic for downtown,” said Brett Roler
, Vice President of Planning and Development for the DMC. “This is a perfect example of a project that wouldn’t be possible without DMC incentives or a public-private partnership. We applaud DSG’s level of investment in the district, as well as their commitment to maintaining the character of the neighborhood through adaptive use of existing buildings...”
Additionally, the group will seek a loan from the DMC's Downtown Parking Authority (DPA) to build a district parking lot.
A second phase of redevelopment, which will not be presented before the CCRFC on Tuesday, includes transforming an abandoned rail spur located under Monroe into a public green space, as well as converting four other properties on Monroe, Marshall, and Union into mixed-use spaces.
Pending approval of the DMC's tax incentive, assistance from the DPA, and public support for additional structured parking, the first phase of construction on the western portion of Wonder Bread and the Cycle Shop, will begin in September.