New Midtown retail center will replace former Valvoline location

Loeb Properties, which has owned the property at 2046 Union Avenue at the corner of Diana Street for 30 years, is demolishing the gas station and building a retail center that better reflects neighboring Overton Square.

Demolition of the former Valvoline location, which is located two block from Overton Square, could get started this week, followed by construction of a new 7,500-square-foot retail center starting by May. The redevelopment of the property that Loeb bought in 1988 is part of its ongoing overall redevelopment of the Overton Square area.

The new building’s design, created by brg3s architects, includes a amenities such as a restaurant patio option, dedicated parking lot, Union Avenue frontage and contemporary features.

“The design was conceived as an urban gesture on Union Avenue which challenges the typology of the traditional retail development by pushing the building up to the street and moving parking to the rear,” said Jason Jackson, architect with brg3s.

“This references a more Main Street design and builds upon the pedestrian-friendly nature of nearby Overton Square.”

The existing building, which formerly housed a Valvoline location, will be demolished possibly beginning by the end of March. Construction should begin in May with completion expected this fall. Grinder Taber Grinder is the general contractor.

“The form was designed to allow the building to change over time, allowing tenancy for as many as four shops or as few as a single tenant, which is reflected in the building’s massing,” said Jackson.

Potential tenants will need to factor the building’s modern design into their operations.

“By putting the building on the street and creating pedestrian entrances on Union and primary entrances from the parking in the rear, there is no longer a traditional back of house or back of building so services need to be carefully thought about and integrated in a way that they are not visible,” said Jackson.

At least one tenant has already signed on to occupy the new building but further details have not been revealed.

The final remaining 2,250 square feet of the center, which could be used for restaurant or retail use, is currently pre-leasing.

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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