Potential sale of Nineteenth Century Club could be win-win for a - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Potential sale of Nineteenth Century Club could be win-win for all parties

(WMC-TV) - The judge delayed demolition of the Nineteenth Century Club two weeks until the new buyer can put down earnest money.

Nashville restaurant chain owner David Wachtel plans to begin the process of buying the Union Avenue property October 15.

If the deal goes through, Memphis Heritage will have saved the building, the Children's Museum of Memphis will get to keep the money the club donated from the sale last month, the current owner will get a hefty profit, and the new owner will have prime real estate on one of Memphis' busiest streets.

Nineteenth Century Club President Lynn Heathcott broke her silence once the court battle over the historic mansion got one step closer to a resolution.

"It's been a very stressful process," she said. "The idea that it may be saved is wonderful."

The fight to save the 106-year-old mansion from demolition will likely be over in two weeks. That is when Wachtel will begin the process of buying the building to turn it into a restaurant.

"On October 15, he has to put down his earnest money. Once he puts down the earnest money, the plaintiffs will agree to dismiss their appeal," said the plaintiff's attorney, Steve Mulroy.

All parties are due back in court to close the case on October 16.

"It's not a done deal, as we say, but we feel like this is moving in the right direction," said June West, Memphis Heritage.

Former club president Teresa Hurst said suing her club's board members will be worth it in the end.

"I'm happy because I believe on the 16th, this building will be saved and the people of Memphis will benefit by having its heritage saved," she said.

The executive board donated the proceeds from the sale to The Children's Museum of Memphis. The settlement would end the hold on those funds.

"We mainly want to see the Children's Museum have access to their funds," said Heathcott.

Mulroy is confident that will happen, and the Lin family, who just bought the building for just under $500,000, will get more than $800,000 from the upcoming sale.

If the deal closes, it could be a win-win for all involved.

The Children's Museum will get to keep all of its money, the Nineteenth Century Club will get back its money, the Lin family will make a tidy profit, the plaintiffs will have preservation of the building, and the public's interest will be served.

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