400 apartments and sprawling retail to replace empty warehouse on Broad Avenue

You can't miss it if you drive down Broad Avenue. A sprawling warehouse, built in the 1940s, sits across from the shops and restaurants that line the pedestrian-friendly street. 

A partnership between multifamily specialist James Maclin and Bob Loeb of local retail developer Loeb Properties will redevelop the site of the abandoned industrial property into 400 apartments and up to 15,000 square feet of retail. 

“Our intent is to develop in areas where we think we can provide some connectivity for people,” said Maclin, managing partner of 3D Realty, Bob Loeb's new firm founded to manage mixed-use projects. 

The warehouse on the northwest corner of Broad Avenue and Bingham Street, which Loeb has owned since the mid-1990s, will be torn down to make way for the redevelopment. Plans call for approximately 400 apartments, 10,000 to 15,000 square feet of commercial retail space and roughly 450 parking spaces. The iconic water tower will remain.

“The water tower is an amazing asset for the area and for the city,” said Maclin, former SVP and director of corporate services for Mid-America Apartment Communities (MAA). “From a construction standpoint, we want to make even more accessible and visible. The base of it today you can’t see because of the warehouse. Our plan is tear down the warehouse and leave the tower, and there’s going to be some activation and programming surrounding the base of the tower."

What is essentially now an eight-acre slab of concrete will be revitalized with green spaces.

“Per some of the things the Mayor has committed to or eluded to in the Memphis 3.0 plan is re-densifying the city so to speak, and this helps,” said Maclin. “If you get 400 units on Broad Avenue, that’s one step closer to meeting and helping the goals and plans the administration has for re-densifying the city.”

The market-rate apartments are expected to draw professional workforce tenants.

The architect on the project is archimania, and the lead general contractor is Patton & Taylor.

“This is a long road and a big project,” said Maclin, who hopes to complete zoning issues in the next 30 days. He expects demolition on the warehouse could get underway by the end of the year.

“We’re excited about Broad Avenue and Binghampton. The historical Broad Avenue arts alliance is a strong group that has created a really great place to eat, socialize and shop. And our project will only add to that.”

Once completed, Maclin’s M&M Enterprises management company, which he and his wife formed last year, will stay on to manage the property.

“As a leading partner in this deal, I’m making a concerted effort to be a part of the community,” said Maclin. “I’m not going to be an absentee owner. We’re going to be good neighbors.”

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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.