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From The Memphis Business Journal:

Gene Carlisle is working on plans to construct a 25-27 story condominium tower at No. 1 Beale.

The address' former building has been razed by Carlisle making way for the new construction.

Carlisle, chairman and CEO of Carlisle Corp., says he would like to have a premium hotel manage the tower's condominiums but is still running down details for how that kind of project could work. He is looking at other projects in Dallas, Atlanta, Charlotte and Nashville for ideas.

Carlisle also says he has not determined any details about the units' finishes and appliances or what price he will sell them for. He hopes to build 150-200 high-end units that could sell for premium prices.

He is taking his time with the project to ensure that it will be a lasting benefit for the city.

"Don't let me go do a mediocre box down there if I can go build the best building Memphis has ever had," he says. "That's what I'm after."

He could be under construction with units selling for under $300,000 in a "plain, vanilla box," he says. "I want to know if Memphis can reach up to the top of the mark and do something that's comparable to other cities and do something that's a statement for the city."

The property is zoned for 60 units per acre with a maximum height of eight stories or 90 feet, according to the South Central Business Improvement District Zoning Regulations. The property owners can seek a special exception on the height of the building that would be approved through the Memphis and Shelby County Land Use Control Board.

The property, officially listed as 245 Wagner, is owned by Carlisle Landing LLC, a subsidiary of Carlisle Corp. Wang's Mandarin House was located at the 50,000-square-foot No. 1 Beale building before it was torn down, due to damage from "Hurricane Elvis."

The Shelby County Assessor lists the 1.16 acre property's appraisal at about $1.6 million.

Carlisle notes Nashville's Viridian project as an example he will look at when detailing his plans. The project, a 31-story condominium project in Downtown Nashville developed by Tony Giarratana, was announced on Jan. 15, 2004 and is currently 70% sold.

The $55 million project boasts 225 units and a 6,000-square-foot H.G. Hills Urban Market.
 

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Now that you mention it, here's another article on the proposed condo tower I just read about today.

From the Memphis Commercial Appeal

Riverfront may get luxury condo tower
By Jane Roberts
Contact
April 28, 2005

Gene Carlisle, Wendy's magnate of the Mid-South, is poised to launch a "grand" 25-story condo tower at No. 1 Beale, one of the last pieces of undeveloped riverfront in the city.

He's proposing a condo/luxury hotel combination that over three phases would extend from Riverside Drive to Front, eventually taking in Joe's Crab Shack to the south.

"It will be the biggest project ever done in Memphis," Carlisle said, costing "north of $300 million" and ushering in the kind of luxury people expect from four- and five-star hotels.

Condo prices would start at $400,000.

"The reason we want to have a hotel is to offer spas and room service," Carlisle said. "But we will only do a hotel if it adds to the value of the condo development. Anything less than a four- or five-star hotel doesn't give us what we want."

He's talking to a number of hotel companies, and while he admits "we're doing most of the talking," there are plenty of examples of what Carlisle's talking about in other cities.

Ritz Carlton manages similar luxury condos "all over," Carlisle said, including two in Washington. Donald Trump is developing a luxury hotel/condo tower in Chicago, and the Mansion on Turtle Creek hotel will manage the Cresta Bella in downtown Dallas, which will feature a nature preserve, estate grounds and a European spa and treatment center, according to its Web site.

While Downtown demand for condominiums has gone wild, with 416 in either design or construction now, only a "handful" are high-end, luxury units, said Jeff Sanford, president and CEO of the Center City Commission.

"Empty-nesters selling expensive homes in the suburbs to move Downtown don't want to move into a small Downtown apartment," he said. "I would say the market for high-end condo is almost untapped."

While Carlisle is still deciding what "this building is going to look like," he's adamant that it will be anything but "run-of-the-mill" on what many agree is the last premier undeveloped address Downtown.

"It's in the core. It's everything. Truly, you can walk out your door and have it all there," said James Rasberry, longtime developer Downtown. "I'd be hesitant to do what he's planning anyplace else in the Downtown area. He has the best site, and that is going to be the real test."

Within two to four weeks, Carlisle intends to have a plan ready to take to the City Council, kicking off what he hopes will be a series of approvals to alter zoning, sewers and traffic patterns around the 1.2 acres at 245 Wagner.

The land is currently zoned for 60 units per acre in buildings not to exceed eight stories, according to the South Center Business Improvement District Zoning regulations.

The first phase of construction would start at No. 1 Beale, former site of The Emporium, Armadillo Jack's, No. 1 Beale and Wang's Mandarin House.

Phase II would be built on what are now surface parking lots at Beale and Wagner and Beale and Front. Phase III will extend south to the land now occupied by Joe's Crab Shack.

Carlisle's project is one of several that will alter the Memphis skyline in the next 12-18 months. The Vue, a 28-story apartment tower at the northeast corner of Main and Gayoso, is expected to break ground this summer.

Two 16-story condo towers are planned at Riverside and Channel 3 Drive. The start date has not been set.
 

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Justadude said:
From the best of my memory about Beale, it's a very mid-rise street. Won't this look a little goofy?
It's actually low-rise (less than 4 stories for most of it) for most of the street, but when you hit Front Street, on the South is a high-rise condo. There are mid/high rises in the surrounding (Peabody Place Tower, Peabody Hotel, Radisson, FedExForum, new Westin). This development will be on the north, replacing a low-midrise development. It's at the end of the street, by the river, which I think makes a big difference. If it were smack dab in the middle of Beale, surrounded by low rises, yeah, it would look isolated. I don't think that will be the case given the location.
 
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