Growth: Southeast News

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Posted January 22, 2021

A planned, $77 million, mixed-use development in Midtown’s Cooper-Young neighborhood was approved for a tax incentive that will save developers $23 million over 20 years.

The Center City Revenue Finance Corp., an agency of the Downtown Memphis Commission, voted on Tuesday, Jan. 12, to approve the payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT).

The board voted 7-0 in the online meeting despite concerns voiced by one resident that Central Yards does not address the lack of affordable housing in Memphis.

With the tax incentive, the developers Clayton Kemker and his father, Frank Kemker, plan to start construction as early as June and finish by October 2022.

In recommending board approval, Downtown Memphis Commission staff member Brett Roler described Central Yards as “a terribly exciting infill development in Midtown that is the size and scale we think will be catalytic.” Roler is vice president of planning and development.

The project comprises seven buildings on 5.65 acres, 348 apartments, 615 parking spaces total in two garages, about 51,000 square feet of office or retail space, a public plaza, and a private drive built to the standard of city streets.

The site is generally southwest of Central at Cooper, sandwiched between an active rail line on the north and an abandoned rail line on the south.

Central Yards adds the desired population density and investment to the core city, Roler told the board.

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