The site of the abandoned French Quarter Suites Hotel is under contract to be purchased by a different ownership group than those that had recently planned to develop an upscale five-star hotel, the Memphis Regional Design Center announced to its members via email and Facebook Wednesday, Jan. 25.
Built in 1984, the 77,866-square-foot hotel at northeast corner of the Cooper-Madison intersection closed its doors in July 2008. There are five owners, including local attorney Donald Pemberton.
“I don’t really know what (the new owners’) plans are for the site,” Pemberton said. “We have a contract with them, I can’t tell you their names. It’s two individuals whose family is in the hotel business and it’s my understanding they’re going to convert it into a Comfort Suites, and that’s basically all I know at this point.”
Ron Kirkpatrick, another one of French Quarter’s owners, vowed in December to redevelop the vacant building into “a four- or five-star hotel and day spa,” contingent upon Memphis City Council’s approval of $16 million in city funds for a parking garage and detention pond in Overton Square. He said the $10 million to $12 million project would alone create 125 jobs.
Save Overton Square and the Midtown Action Coalition have asked for a public meeting to meet the new owners and hear the plans for the site. The new prospective buyers have agreed to meet at Memphis Heritage’s Howard Hall, 2282 Madison Ave., on Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 6:00 pm.
The Memphis Regional Design Center “urged” all those interested in the future of Overton Square and its surrounding Midtown neighborhoods to attend.