Thursday, August 10, 2006

One Beale Put on Hold

Posted on Thu, Aug 10, 2006 at 4:00 AM

A proposal to build the tallest building in Memphis at the foot of Beale Street was put on hold Thursday for at least 30 days.

Developer Gene Carlisle was visibly shaken by the delay for the proposed One Beale, a 435-foot tower plus a smaller building with hotel space, condos, retail, and apartments.

“There’s nothing more I can do to change the design,” Carlisle said after the Land Use Control Board voted for delay at the urging of downtowners including Pat Kerr Tigrett. “They want me to not build it.”

The site is at the intersection of Beale Street and Riverside Drive. It has been barren for more than a year, and Carlisle has been working on the project for more than two years, he said.

Tigrett, who lives in Waterford Plaza which is just north of the site, said the towers would obstruct residents’ views of Tom Lee Park and urged Carlisle to consider alternatives. But Carlisle said he has already revised the plans several times. Meanwhile, he said, interest rates have gone up, the market has eroded, and Hurricane Katrina increased construction costs.

“I’d rather vote it up or down,” Carlisle said.

Other opponents included the Candy Factory, one of the first downtown condo projects. It is due east of the proposed One Beale. Supporters included the Office of Planning and Development staff and the Center City Commission.

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