Six-story building planned for lot near Loflin Yard

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Developers are looking to turn a vacant lot downtown into a six-story building with 57 apartments, as well as shops, and restaurants.

The site is on Carolina near Loflin Yard and Riverside Drive.

Jennifer Oswalt with the Downtown Memphis Commission says it would continue the momentum of development in this area, capitalizing on the new Malco movie theater, Central Station, a lot of the new residential in that area and Loflin Yard and Ghost River Brewery.

The developers, Hamilton and Holliman are asking for a 15-year payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT. It's essentially a 75 percent tax break.

"They have to prove to us that, but for the PILOT, the project would not go forward," Oswalt said.

And it'll pay off if it does. Right now the empty lot generates just over $5,000 in property tax revenue every year.

But it would generate more than $44,000 during the PILOT term and three times that after the PILOT term.

"We support it 100 percent," Oswalt said.

She says the demand downtown for buildings like this keeps going up.

"The return of a lot of businesses to downtown has helped and people want to live and work in the same place.

"And then, there`s the optics. It's much nicer to look at modern building than an empty lot ... which can often look blighted. They try to stay on top of it but it often can look blighted so it's great to have it redeveloped."