Downtown Memphis, April 18, 2013 - Main Street Apartment Partners LLC, the development team for the Hotel Chisca project, along with the Downtown Memphis Commission, are hosting a Project Launch Party to commemorate the start of the $24 million redevelopment of the historic 100-year old building. The event will take place on Friday, April 26 from 4:30 - 6:00 pm in the Hotel Chisca site garage space located on Main Street near Pontotoc Avenue.
The Hotel Chisca opened in 1913 as an affordable hotel but is best remembered as the place where rock 'n roll first hit the airwaves. In the 1950s, The Chisca housed WHBQ radio station studios where legendary disc jockey Dewey Phillips' show "Red Hot and Blue" played Elvis Presley on air for the first time.
The Orpheum Theatre has arranged for a special performance at the Project Launch Party by Bryan Fenkart, the actor who portrays Huey Calhoun in "MEMPHIS The Musical", which will be playing at the theatre across the street from The Chisca. WEVL FM 89.9's "Rock House" show deejay Lonnie Viar will spin records from the "Red Hot and Blue" era with performances from the Memphis Bop Club. The development team will be on hand to answer questions about the project and renderings will be on display for viewing. Free guest parking is available in the parking lot behind The Chisca at MLK Avenue and Mulberry.
The currently blighted eight-story structure will soon include 150-190 apartments, ground-floor retail and restaurant space, and a new parking garage. The project would not have gone forward without the support received from the City and Downtown Memphis Commission and serves as an example of a successful public-private partnership. Mayor Wharton and Council Chair Edmund Ford, Jr., both of whom were instrumental in moving this project forward, will be on hand for the celebration. Members of Main Street Apartment Partners LLC include Gary Prosterman, J. W. Gibson, Terry Lynch, and Gail and Karl Schledwitz, among others.