Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Tax Breaks Could Bring Apartments, Offices to Cooper-Young

Posted By on Wed, Oct 4, 2017 at 12:50 PM

click to enlarge The 25-unit apartment building  proposed to be built close to the corner of Cooper and Walker. - CENTER CITY FINANCE REVENUE CORP.
  • Center City Finance Revenue Corp.
  • The 25-unit apartment building proposed to be built close to the corner of Cooper and Walker.

Two projects before Downtown officials next week could bring more people to live and work in Cooper-Young.

Apartment building


A developer wants an 11-year tax break worth $542,352 to build a $3.2 million, 25-unit apartment building on a vacant lot in Cooper-Young.

Focal Point Investments has asked the Center City Finance Development Corp. (a board of the Downtown Memphis Commission) to grant the payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) deal during its next meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

The building would stand on the lot between the former Galloway United Methodist Church and the parking lot behind the Young Avenue Deli.

Here’s how the applicant describes the project:

“The building will feature 25 studio apartments, each with 550 square feet of space.

The portion of the building facing Cooper will feature nine apartments on three floors, while the remaining 16 apartments will occupy four floors behind the Cooper-facing portion.

The three ground-floor apartments facing Cooper will be configured as flexible spaces that can be used for retail, office, or live-work space.

Each unit will feature modern open floor plans and most of the units will have 10-foot loft ceilings. The site plan includes 19 parking spaces on the south and west sides of the property, as well as four exterior bike racks.”

The CCRFC staff likes the project. For one thing, the site is now generating annual city and county property taxes of $2,345. With the PILOT in place, the site’s owners would make annual payments (instead of regular taxes) of $18,780, a “701 percent increase.”

The staff report says the project would advance the DMC’s strategic goals in fighting blight, accelerating real estate development, and spurring economic development. The CCRFC, once only concerned with Downtown projects, recently adjusted its PILOT program to include Midtown projects with residential components.

New offices for archimania
click to enlarge The proposed site of new offices for archimania. - GOOGLE MAPS
  • Google Maps
  • The proposed site of new offices for archimania.

A local real estate company wants an 11-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes deal worth $307,745 to renovate two buildings on Cooper in a $2.8 million project.

Filament LLC, a real estate company owned by two members of archimania, have asked the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. (CCRFC) for the tax break, noting the project would not be “economically viable” and could not attract financing without it.

The CCRFC is slated to vote on the tax break deal during its next meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

The archimania architectural firm is now based in South Main but Filament partners Barry Yoakum and Todd Walker said the company would move to the updated space on Cooper once it was completed.

The other building on the site would be opened up to a “creditworthy office tenant.” The partners also want to build six rental apartments behind that building at 673 Cooper. They would range in size from 425 square feet to 590 square feet.
click to enlarge Drawings show what the outside of proposed project on Cooper. - CENTER CITY FINANCE CORP.
  • Center City Finance Corp.
  • Drawings show what the outside of proposed project on Cooper.

Construction on the project would start in late December, the applicant said, if the PILOT is approved. Construction would be completed by spring or summer of next year.

CCRFC staff said annual PILOT payments on the project ($31,486) would be 42 percent higher than the taxes the site is generating currently ($22,160).

Approving the project would strengthen the city’s urban core, the applicant said, and that “the time has come to develop an Innovation District.”

“Attracting the type and scale of mixed-use developments long absent from Midtown, this Innovation District strategy, generally, and our proposed development, specifically, will support the CCRFC’s goals by increasing the number of people living, working, and playing in the urban core, especially by increasing commercial property values throughout the urban core, further accelerating commercial and residential development,” reads the project’s application.

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