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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — At one time it was one of tallest skyscrapers in the world. Now the Sterick Building in downtown Memphis is on tap to get a new life.
WREG talked with the developer about the work ahead as walked WREG through the massive space that once housed everything from offices and restaurants, retail and even a bank.
“There’s really nothing like it in Memphis,” said new owner Stuart Harris.
Since 1929, the Sterick Building has towered over Downtown Memphis. The 29-story building, now painted a bright yellow, was a one-of-a kind in its time, but the years have taken a toll.
Since 1986, there have been no tenants in this once-bustling office building at Madison Avenue and Third Street.
But Harris and his company, Constellation Properties, want to change that, and they have taken the first step to revitalizing the Sterick. After working out a deal with the owner of the building and the owner of the land, they bought both.
“The building is in structurally great shape, even though it’s been vacant for for many, many years, since 1986. The bones are great, and it’s very workable,” Harris said.
They have big plans to return this old building to his old glory.
“At the time that it was built there were eight elevators with eight attendants, and there were ladies that wore dresses and bows,” Harris said.
He says the layout of the former bank area lends itself to a sprawling restaurant. But mostly, this will be residential, lit up at night with people living here.
“We think that activating the downtown core and bringing people down to these corners is very important,” Harris said.
His hope is to salvage as much of the 1929 hardware and architecture as possible, like the bronze on the stairs.
“We were preservationists at our core, and so we want to keep as much as we can,” Harris said. “The building has got there’s still a lot of really beautiful hardware, custom hardware that’s throughout the building, that we’re keeping as much as we can keep.”
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The building is already on the National Register of Historic Places, and that could help with tax credits to help get the work done.
Just getting ownership was a major step. Now begins the work of restoring Memphis history.
“People don’t make them anymore like this. They don’t make them with the character that this building has,” Harris said.
Harris said it will take a couple of years just to have all the plans in place for the renovated building, and then begin construction.
They are also looking for people who may have worked in the Sterick and have old photos of it. If you have memories you can share, you can send them to email@example.com.