Midtown multifamily infill continues on Peabody, Rembert

By Updated: May 29, 2019 4:31 PM CT | Published: May 29, 2019 4:28 PM CT

The developer of a proposed infill development on Peabody Avenue wants to replace its first-floor parking garage with a surface parking lot behind the building.

Guatom Malhotra with RK Developers LLC received a height variance from the Board of Adjustment last summer to construct a 20-unit, nearly 44-foot-tall infill apartment building in place of a single-family residence on a 0.275-acre lot at 1162 Peabody.

Now, the developer is requesting to modify the design to better fit within budget constraints.

“The owner came to me to see if he can do the previous project within his budget,” architect Neeraj Kumar, owner of Design Group LLC, said when reached by phone Wednesday. “When you have parking on the ground floor it is a very expensive design. We are trying to do a design within his budget, but at the same time using the opportunity to make the design better that fits with the neighborhood’s character.”

Malhotra is proposing to build a $1.2 million four-story, 18-unit apartment building that is closer to the street and has parking behind the building, instead of a first-floor parking garage. The height of the building will remain the same.

The new design has four residential units on the first and second floors and five units on the third and fourth floors.

The majority of the units are one-bedroom, with single-bed units ranging from 500 to 650 square feet and studio units about 350 square feet.

The new design includes 18 parking spaces, one per unit, as approved in the previous design. 

“In the new design, the majority of parking spaces are in the rear and are not directly visible from the Peabody Avenue,” Kumar said as part of the modification application.

According to application, the area has viable mass transportation and bicycle options available. 

“The tenants are expected to be primarily medical residents living for short period of time ranging from a few weeks to six months,” the application states. “Uber will be mode of transportation for future tenants.”

Moving the building closer to the street, from the previously approved 29-foot variance to a 14-foot variance, is in alignment with the goals of the Unified Development Code to promote pedestrian traffic in the Memphis Medical District.

Landscaping is proposed along the front of the building on Peabody Avenue, including a wrought iron fence. The three remaining sides will be secured with a wood privacy fence.

Individual trash containers will be located in the rear yard and will not be visible from Peabody Avenue. 

The first floor of the building will be constructed entirely of brick with cultured stone on the entrance tower on the southeast corner.

“I believe the new design is a better design and fit for the neighborhood,” Kumar said. “It will have positive impact on the neighborhood and its surroundings. I believe it will help in spurring positive growth in the area.”

'Stacked' townhouses on Rembert 

Doing business as Apple Partners LLC, Ed Apple and Eddie Kircher have submitted a request to build two-story stacked townhouses at 76 and 78 N. Rembert St.

For the four-unit project, the developers are seeking to be allowed a unit width of 16 feet where 18 feet is required, side interior setbacks of zero feet where 5 feet is required and a total side setback of 5 feet where 10 feet is required. 

According to the application, the proposed townhomes will maintain or increase setbacks to residential neighbors since the variance request only affects the property line between the proposed townhomes. 

“The proposed width of the townhouse building, 32 feet, will be of corresponding size to the adjacent multifamily and single-family homes in the area,” a letter from Tim Dagastino, of W.H. Porter Consultants PLLC, that was submitted with the application, states. “At 25-feet-wide, the extreme narrowness of the two lots makes constructing the allowed use of townhouse an impossibility. A 16-foot-wide unit is being requested because of this unusual characteristic.”

Apple and Kircher are in the process of acquiring two parcels of land for the project. The north parcel is vacant, while the south parcel is occupied by a single-family home that was constructed in the 1920s that is “in need of major repair,” the letter states.

Apple Partners LLC is the same company behind the City Cottages project. Apple acquired more than 50 vacant lots in Memphis as part of his plan to build new homes and sell them for under $300,000.

The requested modifications will be considered by the Board of Adjustment on Wednesday, June 26, beginning at 2 p.m. in the Memphis City Council Chambers.


RK Developers LLC Neeraj Kumar Design Group LLC Apple Partners LLC Ed Apple Eddie Kircher
Michelle Corbet

Michelle Corbet

Michelle Corbet covers business for The Daily Memphian. Prior to, she was a reporter at the Memphis Business Journal. A native Memphian and University of Memphis graduate, Michelle covered business in Conway, Arkansas after college. Michelle got her start covering business as an intern at The Commercial Appeal.

Elle Perry

Elle Perry

Elle Perry covers arts and culture and other news for the Daily Memphian. She is a native of Memphis and a two-time graduate of the University of Memphis. Elle previously worked for the Memphis Business Journal and has written for publications including The Memphis Flyer and High Ground News.

Comment On This Story

Email Editions

Sign up for our morning and evening editions, plus breaking news.