Peabody Place (Memphis, Tennessee)
It is located near popular tourist locations, including The Peabody Hotel, Beale Street, FedEx Forum (home of the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies), the Orpheum Theatre and AutoZone Park (home of the AAA Memphis Redbirds). The project's new and restored historic buildings include a 15-story modern office tower, two apartment projects, two museums, an enclosed mall, and numerous restaurants.
It is noted for a dense variety of spaces, ranging from the grandeur of the restored historic Peabody Hotel to the quirky Center for Southern Folklore to the nationally recognized and ultramodern street-level offices of the Red Deluxe Brand Development advertising agency. Peabody Place encompasses more than two million square feet connected by skywalks, corridors and trolley stations.
The development was planned for years, and the first building was to appear in 1993.
In 2012 the Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE) announced that it would establish its headquarters in the Tower at Peabody Place, taking about 4,931 square feet (458.1 m2) of space on the 11th floor.
An enclosed mall, with 300,000 square feet (28,000 m2) of space, was opened in 2001 and was initially anchored by a 22 screen Muvico cinema, Jillian's, and Tower Records; other chain stores, such as Ann Taylor and Gap joined. While it was initially successful, the excitement quickly fizzled out and the enclosed mall proved to be unable to compete with more convenient suburban alternatives in more affluent neighborhoods that were perceived as safer, due to their demographics. The Jillian's was a 60,000-square-foot (5,600 m2), three floor entertainment lounge.
Over several years, most of the stores in the indoor mall were closed. A few were replaced by new establishments, such as Encore restaurant, and Primetime Sports Bar, but those were also unable to gain traction and eventually closed. While the rest of Peabody Place and the Downtown area in general had been performing well, the enclosed mall failed. Many considered the fundamental concept of an enclosed mall to be somewhat antiquated and particularly inappropriate in dense urban areas, criticizing Belz for its lack of urban expertise.
In late 2005 the Encore Restaurant and Bar opened at 150 Peabody Place. In November 2006 Muvico closed eight of its screens. Afterwards, Ann Taylor Loft moved from Peabody Place to Germantown, Tennessee, Tower Records went into liquidation, and Napoli Pizza and Subs closed. In early 2004 the Isaac Hayes Restaurant closed, and since then the Sports Avenue store sales figures had significantly decreased. The Jillian's had higher sales in 2007 than in 2006, and Owen Reed, the assistant general manager, said that business was robust especially while games occurred at the FedEx Forum and while concerts occurred in Downtown Memphis. Reed said "We dictate the volume at this mall. With the exception of the movie theater, we define foot traffic."
By January 2008, the second floor of the retail area was almost entirely vacant, and Sydnie's Gifts and Walson's Jewelers announced that they were closing. The Muvico theater was scheduled to shut down by the end of March 2008. Belz considered converting the Muvico space into a hotel lobby, a meeting space, and 160-170 hotel rooms. In June 2008 the Dan McGuinness Irish pub in the Peabody Place Retail & Entertainment Center announced it was moving out to an unspecified location. In July 2008, Belz announced plans to convert the former Muvico theater into hotel suites. It was not an expansion of The Peabody Hotel, but instead a separate hotel property. The idea was put on hold by the Late-2000s recession. River City Management opened the Primetime Sports Bar in early 2009. It took over the spot previously held by Jillian's. Earlier in 2009, Starbucks in Peabody Place closed. In September 2009 the Encore Restaurant closed. In August 2010 the Primetime Sports Bar closed.
As of February 2012, the mall is officially closed down to the public, while the inside of the mall is still visible from the street.
- http://www.belz.com/shopping/peabodyplace.aspx Web Site of Developer (Belz Enterprises, Inc)
- Peabody Hotel History at Hotel Web Site
- "Red Deluxe Office Space Wins AIA Recognition"
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