Renovating the Historic Chisca Hotel

Posted on May 27, 2015



It is no secret that Memphis has been going through a period of “facelifts;” buildings in Overton Square have been revived and are now home to some of the most popular Memphis restaurants, such as Babalu, Lafayette’s Music Room, and Local.  Deteriorating structures, all holding historic significance, have been saved, such as the Tennessee Brewery and the old Sears Crosstown building. Such renovations have not only boosted the economy, but created a flourishing Memphis community. So, it is not surprising that yet another group is following this trend, Carlisle Corporation, along with partners JW Gibson and Karl Schledwitz, and are leading the renovations of the historic Chisca Hotel, newly named The Chisca on Main, into what will be a new and improved Memphis gem.

Built in 1913, the Chisca Hotel was once a widely known Memphis landmark, the largest hotel in its district in the height of its business. The hotel gained notoriety due to its connection to Elvis, as the hotel was the home to WHBQ radio where Elvis’ first record was broadcasted on July 7, 1954. Yet, the hotel had declined over the years, standing and waiting for aid from new ownership. Having seen the opportunity that lies within the eight-story building, Carlisle Corporation jumped at the chance to restore this building to its former glory while pinpointing the needs of the city of Memphis at the same time.

Carlisle Corporation is developing The Chisca on Main into apartments, 161 units to be exact, in a myriad of designs. These designs include one, two, and three bedroom layouts as well as a few lofts and penthouse units, and the first residents will be able to move into their new homes in the former Chisca Plaza starting in late summer, while the remaining 129 units will be complete mid fall. Renovations to the hotel were not easy, as the contractors had to work with the pre-existing structure built so long ago. Yet, renovations continue with the goal of creating new living spaces in the heart of Memphis.

Pre-leasing for The Chisca on Main will begin in May, and Memphians all around the city should be on the lookout for information, which will be released soon. A leasing trailer will reside in the parking lot where interested patrons can obtain additional leasing information and learn more about continued renovation plans.

The Chisca has a strong historic tie to the city of Memphis and the ideal location to South Main and Downtown makes the area both a historic and exciting place to live, grow, and explore. The Chisca is an iconic Memphis landmark is being renovated to preserve and maintain its historic ties, but also the building renovation efforts will help restore current significance as a key point in downtown Memphis to bridge the livelihood from North to South Main. The Chisca on Main is close to the trolley line, the South Main Arts district, Beale Street, the FedEx forum, and other exciting landmarks, making it the center of a growing and vibrant social scene. Therefore, it is no surprise that Carlisle Corporation’s goal, which is to “Discover life in the heart and soul of Memphis,” rings true.

The Chisca on Main is a transformative and ambitious project that will benefit and impact Memphians and the city creating new living spaces while also restoring a historic structure of the city’s past. In addition to The Chisca on Main, it will be also be exciting to see future developments for One Beale, Carlisle Corporation’s proposed $150 million development on the corner of Beale Street and Riverside Drive. The One Beale project consists of two towers, one, a 30-story, 280-room apartment building at the corner of Beale and Riverside and the other, a 22-story, four star luxury hotel built just south of the apartment building.  Construction could start on One Beale as soon as the beginning of next year and open about 30 months after that.

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