MEMPHIS, Tenn. — For the first time in 37 years, lights are on at the historic Sterick building in the heart of downtown, giving residents a preview of what’s to come.
Constellation Properties purchased the nearly 100-year-old skyscraper in March but said renovations to the building are at least two years away.
“It’s just a reminder that hope is on the way for that project, and it’s a placeholder in a way for when it gets fully redeveloped,” said Stuart Harris, owner of Constellation.
The Sterick opened in 1929 and has been vacant since 1986. Harris said they decided to put LEDs on the exterior of the 29-story structure to give it new life. The lights are on from 9:01 p.m. to midnight.
“We started on 901 Day,” Harris said. “We didn’t make a big splash about it. We just wanted to see what people would think, and I’ve had a handful of people reach out and say what is going on over there?”
Harris said they are knee-deep in architectural plans to restore the 350,000-foot building to its former glory.
In April, he told WREG the majority of the building would be residential, lit up at night, with people living there.
Now, he said, people can see what the Sterick might look like in the future on the Memphis skyline.
“In the absence of information, people create their own narrative about projects, and what we don’t want to do is completely disappear from the public and all the sudden tell people what it’s going to be,” said Harris.
Harris said the lights are subtle but allow people to see the unique features and beauty of the building. The Sterick was once known as the tallest building in the South.