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    Developers Break Ground on South Main ArtSpace Lofts

    MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

    A vacant downtown warehouse and parking lot will soon be converted into an apartment complex to house artists and their families in Downtown Memphis.

    Developers broke ground on the South Main Artspace Lofts, which will be located at 138 St. Paul Avenue, on Thursday.

    The three-story United Warehouse building will be converted, along with the adjacent parking lot, into a complex of 58 live/work apartments and 12,000 square feet of commercial and community space that will include working studios, a performance gallery, event space, and underground parking.

    "The arts have always been an anchor for Memphis and we know that this project will serve as an arts anchor for the neighborhood for many years to come," South Main Artspace Lofts project manager Heidi Zimmer said. "The renaissance is here. It's happening all around us."

    Developers hope the new facility will help South Main Historic Arts District achieve a new level of vibrancy.

    "This neighborhood has evolved and developed, its' unique character due primarily, not soley, but primarily to the presence of artists and the creative class," Hyde Family Foundations President Barbara Hyde added. "There are just countless things happening in Memphis that are so incredibly exciting and this project is a cornerstone of that exciting growth."

    Here is breakdown of what is expected:

    - 58 live/work units
    - 5,000 square feet of commercial space
    - 7,000 square feet of community space
    - Studios, 1, 2, 3 bedroom units ranging from 30% of 60% of area median income

    "This is one major step, along with many other steps, that are happening in the city to allow Memphis to have its name next to New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and so many other places that are known for the arts. I want Memphis to have its name and place in that history, in that culture," Lawrence Matthews III, a Memphis artist, said during the groundbreaking.

    The revitalization project is expected to cost $17 million.