Apartments breathe new life into historic Chisca hotel - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Apartments breathe new life into historic Chisca hotel

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

Over 100 years after it first opened, the historic Chisca Hotel is shining like new.

"That's kind of what drew us here, just kind of the history of the building," Kimberly Moore said.

In 1913, the building first opened as a 400-plus room hotel. It was modified in the 1960s to include a motor court.

Now, Moore is one of the first tenants to move into the re-christened Chisca on Main.

"I just think they're revitalizing this area and bringing some new life into it, and we just kind of wanted to be a part of that," Moore said.

Other potential tenants strolled through the new apartments. More than 150 units will eventually be available.

The road to the new building was far from smooth.

At least two fires sparked during the construction process.

Some wondered if developers could recoup their investments on such a monumental project.

The project may not have happened at all without one of those controversial tax breaks known as a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT). The one at the Chisca was for 20 years.

But in the hotel where DJ Dewey Phillips played Elvis Presley's very first record, people "can't help falling in love" with the new Chisca.

"I think it's great for Memphis," one neighbor said. "I think it's great for South Main."

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