Nashville Group Plans More Downtown Apartments, This Time on North Side
Nashville-based Elmington Capital Group is gearing up to build more affordable housing in Memphis, this time on the northern fringe of Downtown.
The company recently won a zoning variance clearing the way for Uptown Flats, a 155-unit development on vacant land on North Main at Looney.
Elmington will seek approval Aug. 12 of project financing, a $15 million bond issue from the Shelby County Health, Educational and Housing Facility.
Uptown Flats would follow Elmington’s Crescent Bluffs at Florida and Crump; a second phase there; Second Street Flats at St. Martin and Second; and Patterson Flats, which is planned, but not under construction yet, northeast of Third and G.E. Patterson.
“We’ve done a lot in the south side of Memphis and South Main and we’re trying to branch out into another area,” Elmington representative Hunter Nelson said. “It’s really attractive up there, personally. The city did a good job of putting a lot of money into it.”
Uptown Flats would be bookended by two existing businesses in a two-block expanse outlined by Main, Front, Saffarans and Keel. Memphis Pallet Service is at the northwest corner of Main and Saffarans, and Aquaserv is at the southeast corner of Front and Keel.
Plans call for three three-story buildings built close to the surrounding streets with parking tucked away on the block’s interior.
Tanja Mitchell, whose home on Main faces the apartment site, said residents have gotten used to looking out at a vacant field over the past decade. Developers have promised residents that the apartments would be well landscaped and well run.
The site at 645 North Main is on a stretch of Main that includes Memphis Area Transit Authority’s trolley maintenance shed and city Division of Housing and Community Development offices. It’s less than half a mile north of A.W. Willis Avenue, a main thoroughfare.
Sidewalks and other infrastructure in the area were refurbished in recent years as part of the Main to Main Intermodal Connector project. Main to Main is a continuous pedestrian route from Uptown to West Memphis, via the Big River Crossing of the Harahan Bridge.
If all goes according to plan, Uptown Flats would be completed in 2018 and would push past 600 the number of affordable housing units that Elmington has built in Memphis since 2012.
Uptown Flats would consist of one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging from 750 square feet to more than 1,300 square feet, with rents of $600 to $900 depending on size. Residents would have to meet income qualifications, but it’s not a rent-subsidized development.
A smaller affordable housing development is across the street from the Uptown Flats site at Main and Keel.
The developer received Board of Adjustment approval July 27 to increase the number of dwelling units allowed on the 3.3-acre site from 30 units an acre to 50 units an acre.