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Historic Falls Building in downtown Memphis bought by luxury hotel developer

The building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was the site of the "Father of the Blues'" first performances in 1914.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The historic Falls Building in downtown Memphis, first built in 1902 for cotton merchants along the Mississippi River, was purchased for $10 million by an entity related to a New York-based luxury hotel developer Wednesday, according to a deed on the Shelby County Register of Deed's website.

The building was purchased by Falls Building Property Owner LLC, an entity related to New York-based Left Lane Development, from Hertz Investment Group, who has owned the building since 2012. 

According to their website, Left Lane is developing $1.4 Billion to $1.6 Billion in luxury hotel projects across the Southeast, including Memphis, over the next five years. 

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No specific details have been released yet regarding the development of the Falls Building, which is currently being used as an office building.

Tim Crowley, the CMO of Left Lane Development, told ABC24 they aren't ready to talk about specific plans yet, but said they aren't only working on luxury hotel projects, but high-end multifamily apartment projects as well. So it's not guaranteed that they will be turning the building into a hotel.

"We specifically raised money to build in the best-performing secondary markets in the country, and we see Memphis as one of those markets," Crowley said. "We couldn't be more excited to come to Memphis."

The Greater Memphis Chamber, which sits next to the building, agreed to move to a location on Peabody Place last month. 

The Falls Building was home to the first performances of W.C. Handy's "St. Louis Blues" in 1914. Handy became known as the "Father of the Blues," and played many times at the building downtown.

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The building hosted some of Memphis' first rooftop parties and transmitted the city's first radio transmission in 1913.

It is one of a few historic buildings downtown that offer unobstructed views of the Mississippi River.

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