The Tennessee Brewery -- Memphis TN
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 35° 08.039 W 090° 03.760
15S E 767638 N 3891851
Quick Description: Built in 1890, the Tennessee Brewery was added to the US National Register of Historic Places in 1980
Location: Tennessee, United States
Date Posted: 4/2/2015 2:20:22 PM
Waymark Code: WMNM8E
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 1

Long Description:
The grand and elegant Tennessee brewery, built 1890 next to the Orgill Brothers Hardware Co. warehouse in a revitalizing area of South Memphis, was added to the US National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

While this old brewery building is still derelict and abandoned, the Orgill warehouse next door, which had also been vacant and abandoned for several decades, is now being reclaimed and renovated into cool condos and loft apartments in this energetic part of South Memphis.

According to the Memphis Flyer news blog, as of Jan 2015, it looks like the Tennessee Brewery will be the centerpiece of a big residential and retail redevelopment called the Brewery District: (visit link)

"Tennessee Brewery Plans Unveiled
POSTED BY TOBY SELLS ON TUE, JAN 13, 2015 AT 11:34 AM

Plans for the redeveloping the Tennessee Brewery building Downtown also now include building a six-story residential structure adjacent to it called the Wash House and a four-story parking garage across the street.

All of the buildings tied together are in a development project called the Brewery District.

Billy Orgel, a cell phone tower developer and Shelby County Schools board member, purchased the long-abandoned Tennessee Brewery building last year for $825,000. Prior to the purchase, the building seemed destined for the wrecking ball. Leasing agent James Rasberry said last year that the building's previous owner would have had the building torn down by the end of the summer 2014 if no one stepped up to save it.

Orgel said Tuesday that last summer’s Brewery Untapped event “really opened my eyes” to the possibilities with the Brewery building.

Since the purchase, Orgel has said in news stories that his plans for the building included a mix of residential and commercial spaces and that the plan would cost around $25 million. He re-asserted that vision Tuesday to members of the Downtown Memphis Commission’s (DMC) Center City Revenue Finance Corporation (CCRFC) and introduced the two new elements of his plan.

Here are the three main portions of his plan:

The Tennessee Brewery building -
• 50,691 square feet of rentable space
• 58 residential units
• 30 unit types
• 48 studio/one-bed units
• 9 two-bed units
• 1,427 square-foot lobby/gym

Wash House -
• 72,505 square feet of rentable space
• 90 residential units
• 6 unit types
• 78 one-bed units
• 12 two-bed units

Parking garage -
• 348 parking spots
• Four stories
Brewery District summary -
• 148 residential units
• 36 unit types
• 349 parking spaces
• 123, 196 total rentable square feet
• 8, 989 square feet of commercial space

Economic impact summary:
Construction period -
• Construction cost - $22.9 million
• Jobs created - 307
• Economic impact during construction - $43.8 million

Operating period -
• New residents - 213
• Job created - 51
• Annual economic impact - $4.9 million

Orgel predicted the project would be ready for residents in late 2016.

He presented the project to the CCRFC Tuesday only as an introduction. He did not come to the board asking for financial assistance but said he and his partners likely would ask them for help down the road. The project would, in fact, take a “leap of faith by a lot of people,” he said.

He repeatedly told board members that he loved the building and his return on the project will be in more than just dollars.

“If you want to just make money, go to Collierville or Cordova and build a strip center,” Orgel said. “This isn’t easy work. You have to be an entrepreneur and a bit foolish on top of it.”

A documentary on the Brewery building and its history is in the works by local producer/director Brian D. Manis.

Orel said Tuesday that a production company with the Discovery Channel approached him recently about filming a show inside the building. The producers were apparently interested in exploring the building’s haunted, paranormal history.

“So, we said that we’re not interested,” Orgel said. “We’re not really sure if anything ever even happened in there.”
Street address:
477 Tennessee St
Memphis, TN


County / Borough / Parish: Shelby Co. TN

Year listed: 1980

Historic (Areas of) Significance: architecture, industry

Periods of significance: 1875-1899

Historic function: Brewery

Current function: vacant/not in use

Privately owned?: yes

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]

Season start / Season finish: Not listed

Hours of operation: Not listed

Secondary Website 2: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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