Developers changing plans for One Beale project

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. --Plans are changing for the ambitious One Beale project.

The massive towers would virtually change the Memphis skyline.

Initially the plan was for a 22-story luxury hotel and apartments, but now the Carlisle Corporation, the developer for the project, said they're looking at creating office space instead of the hotel.

"It looks nice," said Felcia Pettis on Tuesday.

Pettis said she'd like to see the skyscrapers grace the Memphis skies.

This version of the plan, first introduced last year, surprised and angered some.

One Beale is set to go in one of the city's most iconic and popular areas: right on Beale Street, right on the Mississippi River.

"I think it's a good thing. Anything that will bring more jobs or anything of that nature and also probably look good," she said.

Tentatively the structure will be six stories and 175,000 square feet but it could be made much larger.

One of the reasons the 22-story luxury hotel was scrapped was because smaller hotels are being brought downtown.

"There are a lot of hotels coming in the core of downtown. In fact I think we have five that are in the works right now," said Leslie Gower, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Downtown Memphis Commission.

One Beale would be in a different market than other hotels being built, but according to the company the competition would still make the One Beale hotel harder to finance.

A proposed multi-million dollar parking lot would also no longer be built underground, but instead at street level so that other businesses in the area could use is.

The Downtown Memphis Commission so far has been an important part of the project.

Gower said she's not familiar with the new project but is looking forward to finding out.

"That is a very ambitious project and we're excited to see what they come up with," she said.

The Carlisle Corporation will spend the next eight months gauging interest for business in the proposed office space.

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