$1.1B development plan pitched for Pinch District

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A New York-based developer released plans Wednesday for a $1.1 billion project that would transform the Pinch district on the north end of downtown Memphis.

Real estate investment firm 18 Main and the Downtown Memphis Commission say the Pinch District project would add 2.8 million square feet of apartments, hotel rooms, retail and office space in a walkable neighborhood with green space and street-level retail along several blocks east of the Bass Pro Pyramid.

► See the plan here

Tom Intrator with 18 Main development said his company has spent about $14 million acquiring properties in the Pinch. It’s a historic neighborhood that has seen some restaurant and redevelopment activity over the years, but has also seen many properties sit vacant or demolished to be replaced with parking.

The plan is based around a 2016 study commissioned by the city, county and DMC to imagine the future of an area bounded by the Pyramid, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Uptown and Harbor Town. Renderings show multi-story towers looming over areas now mostly occupied by parking lots or one-story buildings.

“This is about density and connectivity,” Intrator said. “We are building up and not out. We aim to create a new energy that will build upon itself.”

More than 1,500 residential units are included in the plan.

Phase I of development would cost an estimated $604 million, and Phase II estimates are $486 million, not including the costs of parking and infrastructure.

“We think the planned neighborhood will be a great amenity for residents in Harbor Town and Uptown, as well as St. Jude employees,” said Jennifer Oswalt, president of the Downtown Memphis Commission. “Tom Intrator and his team have created a concept that is truly unique, and that is something we look for in a developer partner.”

No timetable for the Pinch development was released.

Development is already beginning on the east side of downtown with the $1 billion Union Row project announced earlier this year.

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