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The Chisca on Main | Gold Award

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The Chisca on Main | Gold Award

An abandoned motor lodge gets new life


By Peter Fabris August 23, 2017
The Chisca on Main
This article first appeared in the September 2017 issue of Pro Builder.

The Chisca on Main (Unit B1-1961), Gold Award, Multifamily

Site: Memphis, Tenn.
Entrant/Architect: Bounds and Gillespie Architects in association with Looney Ricks Kiss
Builder: Montgomery Martin Contractors, LLC
Developer: Main Street Apartment Partners, LLC
Interior Designer: Carkuff Interiors
Photographer: Ken West Photography
Size: 1,375 sf
Hard cost, excluding land: $80/sf
Rent: $1,800/month
Completion: August 2016

Abandoned for 30 years, the two buildings of the former Chisca Hotel in Memphis, Tenn., had become a safety hazard. If city leaders had their way, the 1961 addition, universally loathed, would have fallen to the wrecking ball. But saving both buildings made financial sense for the developer.

The unsightly exterior of the 1961 motor lodge was treated to some simple fixes. A coat of white paint stabilized bricks and covered their dated colors. The building was gutted, its exterior hallways converted to private balconies for many of the units. In between the motor lodge and the original 1913 hotel, a former indoor ballroom was converted to an outdoor terrace with planters and lounge furniture. The interior studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments have at least 38 distinct configurations, says architect Tony Pellicciotti, principal at Looney Ricks Kiss. Historical elements, including concrete beams and ceilings, were left exposed.

The property was fully leased in four months.

Click on slideshow below for more photos

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