Why a New York developer is planning a major redevelopment of a Downtown Memphis building

By Jacob Steimer  – Reporter, Memphis Business Journal

July 10, 2018

New York-based developer Tom Intrator has been considering redevelopment projects in Downtown Memphis for years, but he hasn't been confident in the timing. His firm, Hyde Capital Group, and its subsidiary, Lennox Cos., has owned and managed apartments in the Memphis region for six years, but Intrator was waiting on other Downtown development to start before he jumped in.

"The first one out the door always gets shot," Intrator said Tuesday.

But, with the flurry of Downtown development projects announced in 2017 and plans emerging for the rebirth of 100 North Main, he realized it was time to move.

About six months ago, Intrator met with Downtown Memphis Commission(DMC) president Jennifer Oswalt to discuss the opportunities available. Though the meeting was originally about other projects, Oswalt brought up 18 S. Main St., which the DMC purchased in October with the hopes of selling it to a developer.

Intrator and Oswalt walked the property that day, and Intrator was immediately interested because of its close proximity — about .2 miles — to the planned 100 North Main redevelopment.

"The location is exceptional, especially for something of this nature," he said. "[And], there's a lot of character to the building."

Intrator began planning a mixed-use development, which he expects to contain a restaurant, bar, yoga studio and office space. His project was approved Tuesday for a 13.5-year PILOT (payment-in-lieu-of-taxes) from the DMC's Center City Revenue Finance Corp. (CCRFC).

If the approvals process goes to plan, Intrator said demolition at the circa 1910 building should start in the coming months and that the project should be completed in "a couple years." Above is a Designshop rendering of what the project could look like at completion.

Intrator is in discussions with local and out-of-state companies to occupy the building's roughly 9,000 square feet of office space, he said.

As part of the development, the DMC will sell the building to Intrator for $510,000 — $200,000 less than what the DMC paid for it. Oswalt said other developers that looked at the building wanted to fill it with apartments and couldn't make the numbers work at the price — $510,000 — the DMC wanted.

Oswalt said she's quite excited to see the building revived.

"It was the last big chunk holding that block [of Main Street] back," she said.

Intrator said he's interested in developing elsewhere Downtown and currently has multiple other projects he's working to pull together.