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Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

Walk in Downtown Memphis Changes Ownership, Moves Forward

By meerna Jul11,2024
Walk in Downtown Memphis Changes Ownership, Moves Forward

One of the most significant and often criticized developments in downtown Memphis is the changing ownership structure of the city.

Walk (formerly known as Union) is moving forward, albeit with the addition of new developers at the helm. Kevin Adams and David Dlugolenski of Big River Development were the lead development team behind the project.

Bryan Harris of 25 Hits, an Atlanta-based public relations consulting firm, provided the following statement from The Walk’s development team:

“The Walk principals remain fully committed to Memphis and the continued redevelopment of the city’s premier gateway. We have restructured our partnership group and are finalizing joint venture documentation with a new local development partner. Our group plans to jointly go before the Center City Revenue Finance Corporation at its August meeting, where we will amend and expand our existing incentives with a comprehensive redevelopment plan that can be implemented in the current market environment.

Our team has invested over $50 million to date and we believe our new partnership will create the synergy necessary to realize our vision for the Walk. We take our responsibility to bring this transformational project to the region seriously and look forward to continuing to work with the Downtown Memphis Commission and the broader community.

A new local development partner is expected to be named next month for the project, but the specific group or individual remains anonymous. The news comes after Big River Development missed a restructured deadline to close on the project’s first phase of construction.

In December 2022, Center City Revenue Finance Corp., a subsidiary of DMC, approved an extension of the payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) incentive for the project. The extension allowed the project’s PILOT closing to be moved to June 2024 for the first phase of construction and to December 31, 2025 for the entire project.

After that initial deadline, the project leadership changed. How that closing date and incentive package will change will be discussed next month with Center City Revenue Finance Corp.

The Walk was first approved for a 30-year PILOT in August 2020. During a December 2022 meeting with Center City Revenue Finance Corp., Dlugolenski said the company has already spent $53 million on permits and land acquisitions for the site. The project spans 16 parcels on 29 acres and runs along Union Avenue and Gayoso Avenue between South Fourth Street and Danny Thomas Boulevard.

The estimated cost of the first phase of the project was more than $741 million. The first phase includes 349 hotel rooms across two Hilton brands: Tempo and Embassy Suites; more than 142,000 square feet of office space, 702 suites, 27,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, and parking for 1,514 vehicles. (The Commercial Appeal could not confirm whether both Hilton brands would remain involved in the project by press time.)

Memphis-based LRK is handling the design and architecture for the project (which is still listed on the company’s website). Memphis-based Flintco is the general contractor for The Walk.

The march was first announced in 2018 (then called Union Row), and the designs were approved by the Design Review Board, an affiliate of DMC, in 2021.

This story will be updated as new information becomes available to provide further context.

Neil Strebig is a staff writer at The Commercial Appeal. He can be reached at [email protected]901-426-0679 or via X:@neilStrebig

By meerna

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