The Loews Memphis hotel project will not move forward
Loews Hotel Corporation has scrapped plans for its Memphis skyscraper hotel, telling city officials this year it won’t go ahead with a 20-plus-story hotel on the Civic Center Plaza Downtown. .
New York-based Loews had planned to build a convention center hotel one block from the newly renovated Renasant Convention Center. Plans once included renovating the old Memphis Police Headquarters building on Adams Avenue, but the deal for the land was never finalized.
“While we are disappointed that Loews Hotels are not coming to Memphis as planned, we remain encouraged by the continued growth of the industry, especially in our downtown area,” the City of Memphis said in a statement Tuesday.
The City of Memphis and the Downtown Memphis Commission signed a development agreement with Loews in mid-2019. The agreement included provisions that stated it would be null and void if funding was not in place by the end of 2020. Then the pandemic upended the convention and tourism industry.
In the final weeks of 2020, the city and Loews agreed to extend the development agreement through early 2021 and throughout the past year the project has been in wait-and-see mode until Loews informs Memphis that he couldn’t make the deal work.
The news doesn’t mean the taxpayers of Memphis are out of money. The city did not include any cash incentives in the deal. Any incentives Loews would have received depended on the building and commissioning of the hotel.
Loews is part of a long contentious effort for a new hotel
The search for a new convention center hotel to go with a remodeled convention center began early in the administration of Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. Both projects aimed to transform the north of downtown and breathe new life into the city’s skyline.
The city has solicited proposals for a hotel to help house convention guests with the Downtown Sheraton and Peabody Hotels.
The owners of the Sheraton have proposed renovations to their hotel. And, as a first step, Loews and the former owners of the dilapidated 100 N. Main tower worked together on a project to rehabilitate the city’s tallest building.
When the city decided to move forward with Loews and Townhouse Management Co., Sheraton sued the city, alleging that the process the city used to award incentives for the project was illegal. The suit failed to stop the project.
In early 2019, the city and Loews agreed to move forward without 100 N. Main. This led Townhouse, then the owner of the building, to sue the city in an attempt to stop the project.
This separate lawsuit did not stop the project but was resolved when the City of Memphis and the DMC agreed to purchase the skyscraper from Townhouse Management.
Last month, after a lengthy bidding process, the DMC has entered into negotiations with 100 N. Key development partnersa group of Memphis businessmen, for a pardon of 100. Hand.
All is not lost in the city’s efforts to secure more hotel rooms for the convention center. Carlisle Development Corp. plans to open this spring the Grand Hyatt, which is One Beale’s third hotel and would service the convention center.
The Peabody received approval last week for a state tax incentive that will help pay for $120 million in renovations. Preliminary plans for 100 N. Main include a hotel component.
The city’s statement noted this expected growth.
“We are confident that our city and our newly renovated convention center will continue to attract new development to this space. Additionally, we are even more encouraged by the planned upgrades to the Sheraton and the potential for a hotel for the development plan. development of 100 N. Main Memphis and our downtown remain in a strong position, and we are excited for what the future holds,” the city said.
This story will be updated.