Here's what the planned $40M Downtown parking garage, retail center could look like
The $40 million Downtown Mobility Center, the crown jewel of the Downtown Memphis Commission's $60 million plan to overhaul parking in Downtown, got the green light from another regulatory body Wednesday. The Design Review Board voted unanimously to let design plans for the structure move forward.
Currently, the 1.3-acre site is a surface parking lot bounded by Main Street on the east, Front Street on the west, Peabody Place on the north and Beale Street on the south. If built, the proposed six-story structure will include 975 parking spaces, about 13,500 square feet of retail space and a bike commuter station with bike storage and showers.
Board chair Joyce Selena Love praised the project for filling in an area of Downtown connecting important facets of the city that currently doesn't offer aesthetic benefits or utility beyond a few parking spaces.
The building will be a concrete structure with mostly aluminum paneling, according to a DMC staff report. It will be six stories with a seventh level for parking. The staff report said parking uses on the ground floor would be totally or partially screened by retail uses.
According to the staff report: The Main Street frontage will be almost entirely glass-frontage retail space. Additional retail space is planned on the ground floors with possible outdoor seating along the intersection of Front and Beale.
"A monumental exterior stair with an entry at the southeast corner of the building will be the defining visual feature of the Beale Street frontage," the staff report stated.
Plans also call for widening sidewalks around the structure, adding designated rideshare pick-up and drop-off areas along Beale and installing new bike racks. Vehicular entries to the parking garage will be on Peabody and Beale.
While exact plans for the Mobility Center have evolved since its first introduction to the public, DMC staff still stress it will not only be a parking structure but a point of entry for people to enjoy Downtown Memphis.
Exterior lighting and signage for the building will be approved by the Design Review Board at a later date.
Corinne S Kennedy covers economic development, healthcare and soccer for the Commercial Appeal. She can be reached via email at [email protected]