The former Chisca Hotel building will soon be renovated into apartment lofts. In 2012, Main Street Apartment Partners LLC purchased it and a 1961 parking annex building. The local investors are will spend $20 million converting the building into 166 apartment units and commercial space, including a restaurant.
Main Street Apartment Partners will also add a ground-floor plaza adjacent to Main Street and an outdoor deck will be added to the roof of the structure, connecting the original building and a wing constructed in 1961.
"It is going to look great," said Paul Morris with the Downtown Memphis Commission. "The Chisca used to look great 100 years ago when it was built, and it will look great again… The main thing, it will be populated instead of vacant." Morris says renovations are set to start in a few weeks. It could take up to 18 months to complete.
The Chisca Hotel, stands eight stories high at 272 South Main Street. It opened on Christmas Day 1913 and for many years it was one of the finest hotels in Memphis. It was there at The Chisca Hotel from 1949 to 1956 where Dewey Phillips had his WHBQ Radio program "Red, Hot, and Blue", and on "Red, Hot, and Blue" Elvis' very first song "That's Alright Mama" was broadcasted on the airwaves for the first time on July 7, 1954! Elvis also gave his first radio interview there with Dewey on the same day on July 7, 1954. Elvis also was seen frequently at The Chisca Hotel and was even photographed there with Actress, Natalie Wood. The Chisca is a very important to fan's of Elvis Presley. The former Chisca Hotel building served as the Church of God in Christ’s headquarters from 1973 to the late 1990s before the group abandoned it. Since the abandonment the building has suffered much damage.
sources: Downtown Memphis Facebook page, WREG News, and Examiner.com