Brewery, Airbnb Hotel, Art Lofts Up for DMC Review

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A rendering of the inside of Grind City Brewing's taproom. - CENTER CITY DEVELOPMENT CORP.
  • Center City Development Corp.
  • A rendering of the inside of Grind City Brewing's taproom.

A brewery, an Airbnb hotel, and artist loft walk into the Center City Development Corp. (CCDC)….alright, that’s pretty lame.

But next week developers of Grind City Brewing, Ambassador Hotel, and The Medicine Factory will get a review (and possible nod) from the CCDC, a committee of the Downtown Memphis Commission (DMC), for grants and loans that will help them fund their projects Downtown.

Here are the basics:

A rendering of the inside of Grind City Brewing's taproom. - CENTER CITY DEVELOPMENT CORP.
  • Center City Development Corp.
  • A rendering of the inside of Grind City Brewing's taproom.

Grind City Brewing

What: brewery and taproom
Where: 83 Waterworks
Request: grant of $55,697.50
For what: demolition of front warehouse wall, paint, installation of roll-up openings.

Grind City developers announced last year they planned to open a brewery in an industrial part of northern Downtown on the east bank of the Wolf River Harbor.



“We are developing a state-of-the-art brewery and taproom that is unique to the city of Memphis,” the company wrote in its request to the CCDC.

The CCDC staff recommends the grant.

“Local breweries and taprooms have the power to be catalysts for economic development in emerging neighborhoods,” reads the staff report. “Taprooms can be draws for people and additional investment to vacant buildings and sites in the neighborhood.

”Local breweries and taprooms also function as informal community hubs and places for residents and visitors alike to gather.”

The proposed new exterior of the Ambassador Hotel. - CENTER CITY DEVELOPMENT CORP.
  • Center City Development Corp.
  • The proposed new exterior of the Ambassador Hotel.

Ambassador Hotel


What: apartments, Airbnb hotel, “well-known hospitality company”
Where: 345 S. Main St.
Request: loan of up to $200,000; grant up to $60,000
For what: exterior improvements, general renovations

From the developer, Collierville’s GEM Investments:

“The top two floors will provide a mixture of long-term and short-term rentals, dependent on demand. The market currently is lacking in short term rental units operated on platforms such as Airbnb and Homeaway. The project will meet that demand by master leasing the top two floors to an international short-term rental manager.
“The bottom floor will be occupied by a well-known hospitality company, helping build the food scene of the South Main District.“

The CCDC staff likes it:

“This project is clearly aligned with the DMC’s primary goals of improving commercial property values, encouraging new investment, and fighting blight,” reads the staff report. “With major neighborhood investments underway or recently completed at Tennessee Brewery, Central Station, Artspace Lofts, Malco Theater, Arrive Hotel, Slider Inn, Oden Marketing, Wiseacre, Museum Lofts, Century House, and the Arcade building, this project will only add to the significant momentum seen in South Main.”

A current view outside The Medicine Factory. - CENTER CITY DEVELOPMENT CORP.
  • Center City Development Corp.
  • A current view outside The Medicine Factory.

The Medicine Factory


What: artist lofts
Where: 85 W. Virginia Ave.
Request: loan of up to $150,000
For what: general renovations

Phillip and Joseph Lewis bought the warehouse property last year. The space has been used as artists’ studios for the last decade and now has nine studios. The new owners want to improve the building and offer more artists lofts and create a an event space “while maintaining the industrial look of the building.”

A current view inside The Medicine Factory. - CENTER CITY DEVELOPMENT CORP.
  • Center City Development Corp.
  • A current view inside The Medicine Factory.

The CCDC staff recommends the loan:

“Maintaining a vibrant arts community is crucial for any thriving Downtown,” reads the report. “Often, as development and investment in an area increases, it can make become challenging for artists to find studio spaces in the midst of a hot real estate market.

“This renovation will help preserve The Medicine Factory as an active studio space for local artists, while increasing its capacity to serve additional artists.”

All of the projects will get CCDC review on Wednesday, Jan. 16th.

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