International boutique hotel to replace Downtown mainstay

A Downtown hotel originally developed in the mid-1990s is being rebranded as a boutique millennial-targeted hotel. 

Summit Management Corporation is renovating and converting the Sleep Inn at Court Square at 40 N. Front Street to Marriott’s experiential hotel brand targeting millennials, Moxy Hotels. The 118-room hotel will undergo a $3 million makeover this winter.

Moxy Memphis Downtown should debut by early 2018,

“The hotel addresses the need for a differentiated product for Downtown Memphis, being a boutique brand that’s really catered to the passion that Memphis shows and the attraction to millennials and young-at-hearts for a walkable neighborhood with lots of sights, sounds and flavors,” said Greg Averbuch, founder and president of Summit Management Corporation. “I think it will be a very good fit for Memphis.”

The hotel will remain open during the construction, which will get underway this winter. Averbuch expects to reopen as Moxy by the end of the first quarter next year.

Designs were handled by Manuel Zeitlin Architects in association with Memphis’ Bounds and Gillespie Architects.

The hotel’s bedrooms are purposefully designed tech-enabled spaces, including in-room internet TV featuring Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Bluetooth streaming, Pandora and Crackle; abundant power and USB outlets; fast and free Wi-Fi ; and 24/7 Moxy beverage and food self-service.

Designs feature a library and collaborative workspace; a bar, which doubles as the hotel’s physical check-in where guests are greeted with a complimentary cocktail; Moxy’s 24/7 self-service beverage and food concept; and a lounge.

“It’s really centered around the experience of the lobby and public space,” said Averbuch. “It has a lobby bar where guests will actually check in. There will be a very communal atmosphere atmosphere inside the lobby and lounge area, as well as on the terrace that will be on Main Street for people to gather and collaborate.”

The hotel’s reworked exterior will feature a modern front porch theme.

Summit is working with the Downtown Memphis Commission to receive an exterior improvement grant.

Moxy Hotels first launched in Milan in September 2014, and today there are 16 Moxy Hotels in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. In the next year, Moxy is expected to open in Amsterdam, Chicago, Minneapolis, Nashville, Tokyo, Washington, D.C. and elsewhere.

“This is an early adoption of an international brand, so it’s exciting,” said Averbuch. “When you juxtapose that with the Downtown experience, which has always been an exciting place for domestic and international travelers, it’s a good fit for Marriott bringing this brand here.”

Over the past 20-plus years, Summitt also developed the Springhill Suites downtown, which included the adaptive reuse of the Kress Building, as well as the Marriott Courtyard Downtown.

Up next, Summit is developing the Moxy Nashville Vanderbilt Hotel with a scheduled opening late next year.

Read more articles by Michael Waddell.

Michael Waddell is a native Memphian who returned to Memphis several years ago after working for nearly a decade in San Diego and St. Petersburg, Fla., as a writer, editor and graphic designer. His work over the past few years has been featured in The Memphis Daily News, Memphis Bioworks Magazine, Memphis Crossroads, the New York Daily News and the New York Post. Contact Michael.
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