Mixed-use housing development seeks to attract a grocery store to Downtown

Developer Hamilton & Holliman LLC is finalizing designs for its first ground-up, mixed-use housing development. 

The proposed $8 million project at 27 W. Carolina Street will consist of a six-story structure with 57 apartments and 8,000 square feet of retail space. The developers, Dustin Hamilton and Brock Holliman, bought the land two years ago.

“I was wanting to do the project then, but I was concerned that Loflin Yard was too loud because of all the loud music,” said Hamilton. “But that music issue is resolved, so now we can go forward with it. It’s a good place for development. Apartment demand is really high there, the rents are really good.”

For the ground floor retail, Hamilton hopes to target essential services like a bank, grocery store or dry cleaner.

“I think having retail on the ground floor is really useful, and it’s sorely needed down there,” said Hamilton. “There are a lot of apartments within walking distance, and there is not any essential services retail at all down there.”

Despite the need, banks are hesitant about the market and are requiring tenants to be pre-leased, according to Hamilton.

“Their fear of retail is hurting development,” said Hamilton.

The project, which was approved for a 15-year PILOT from the Downtown Memphis Commission last month, will also feature 30 underground parking spaces along with 30 surface parking spots.

The 1.5-acre parcel currently has a warehouse on the back side, and the developers will decide if they want to convert it to apartments or demolish it and build new units in a second phase of the project.

Fleming Architects is finishing up the floor plans, and Patton & Taylor will be handling construction.

Prior to this project, Hamilton and Holliman developed the Carolina Warehouse Lofts, consisting of ten townhouses at 27 Carolina Avenue. Additionally, they completed a 55-home subdivision in Olive Branch.

The LLC also owns a four-acre parcel nearby at Riverside Drive and Carolina, and Hamilton expects to develop a much larger mixed-use project there in the next couple of years if the market holds out.

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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.