Artspace Lands Grant, Seeks Design Approval (MDN)
“Developers of the South Main Artspace Lofts are clearing major hurdles this week with final approval for the building design, a crucial tax incentive decision and a grant from a new-to-Memphis donor.
Last week, the Connecticut-based Education Foundation of America donated $250,000 to Artspace Projects Inc. for its 58-unit affordable living development in Downtown Memphis.
The grant will go toward Artspace’s challenge grant; a local philanthropist has committed $500,000 to the project if Artspace matches another $500,000.
“It’s a pretty significant investment in Memphis from a foundation that doesn’t have any prior granting history here,” said Kerry Hayes, spokesperson for Artspace.
The project is $394,400 away from closing its fundraising gap.
Artspace is set to clear another hurdle at the Downtown Memphis Commission Design Review Board meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 4.
The final design includes rehabbing the vacant United Warehouse building, at 138 St. Paul Ave., and 30,230 square feet of new construction.
Architects Looney Ricks Kiss’ design includes 58 one- and two-bedroom live/work residential units. The lower level of the United Warehouse building would be converted into 7,000 square feet of commercial, gallery and community space.
The new four-story building bears an industrial design with metal paneling and steel canopies. The area between the building and St. Paul Avenue would be turned into a plaza with an outdoor arts garden and space for seating and gathering.
Surrounding the plaza is a decorative fence made of wooden slats and chalkboard panels.
The adjacent 61,076-square-foot United Warehouse building will maintain its brick exterior.
The existing loading dock on the west side will be revamped with a removable railing to accommodate concerts, performances and other public uses.
The basement will be converted into a 22-space underground parking area. Thirty surface parking spaces also are planned.
Also on Nov. 4, the developers will go before the Shelby County Health, Education & Housing Facility Board to gain affordable multifamily housing payment-in-lieu-of-taxes incentives.
Rent for the building is set at 60 percent of the Memphis median income and ranges from $543 to $770 per month.