Corporation wants to build giant hotel, apartment complex on Beale

Memphis, Tennessee — More business could be coming to downtown Memphis that would change the skyline as we know it. A twin tower project including a four-star hotel and apartment complex would be among the tallest in the city. It would have a prime address at the corner of Beale Street and Riverside Drive, overlooking the mighty Mississippi. Right now, the spot is an empty parking lot. Memphis-based Carlisle Corporation is leading the operation, called One Beale, and wants to include 280 apartments, a 300-room hotel, retail, meeting, and office space. The corporation tried to build something like it in 2007, but the recession hit. Now the company is giving it another shot. WREG found out Carlisle Corp. wants to invest $150 million.

Paul Morris, the president of the Downtown Memphis Commission, said the project will have a huge impact. “The proposal is for two towers, one of which is 30 stories high,” Morris said. The plans will have to go through several steps before construction can even start. Morris says if One Beale happens, it will create jobs and lots of them. “It means not only construction jobs, but ongoing jobs when you are talking about a four-star hotel,” he said. “I’m looking for a job myself,” Kawana Lucas said. She said Memphis needs the jobs, but is afraid the project won’t happen because people will be upset it will ruin their river view. “If you live up there it will definitely block your view,” she said, pointing to a nearby complex.

WREG is told the public will have a chance to voice their opinion before this is all said and done. The discussion will start next Tuesday at the Downtown Commission building, where Carlisle Corp. will present their plans at the Center City Revenue Finance Corporation meeting. Morris said even if things go smoothly, construction wouldn’t even start for at least another year. We reached out to Carlisle Corp., but did not hear back as of Tuesday night.

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