Plans for the Tennessee Brewery include 142 new housing units

More residential development could be untapped in Downtown Memphis with the proposed $27.5 million Tennessee Brewery revitalization.

495 Tennessee LLC presented its preliminary plans last week for the long-shuttered brewery at 495 Tennessee Street in the South Main neighborhood. The current concept will see the 65,000-square-foot brewery transformed into a largely residential project.

The developers propose to renovate the historic structure into housing units and build a new, adjacent residential building for a total of 142 units. Also included in the overall proposal is the construction of a 280-space public parking garage with 8,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space.

The Tennessee Brewery was built in 1890 and at one time produced 250,000 barrels of beer a year and employed 1,500 people. Vacant since 1951, the building was thrust into the spotlight last year when a group of civic leaders put together Tennessee Brewery: Untapped in an effort to reactivate the architecturally significant structure. The six-week, pop-up beer garden successfully showcased the building’s potential for an imaginative redevelopment.

Developer and cell phone tower entrepreneur Billy Orgel is leading the renovation of the Tennessee Brewery. He paid $825,000 for the building in November, saving it from an almost-certain demolition.

Demand for residential options in Downtown Memphis, especially on the south end, is stronger than ever, and developers are responding with an influx of new options. High Ground News reported late last year that $200 million in new development projects are planned or underway in South Main which will bring 2,000 new residents to the district.

The development team behind the brewery is still finalizing design plans and development costs, and will file an official PILOT application once the project’s financial analysis is complete.


Read more articles by Jane A. Donahoe.

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