WMC-TV 5: Overton Square Facelift In Progress

"There is a lot of moving and shaking going on in Overton Square these days as the area gets a well-deserved face lift.

When many think of Overton Square, they think of the food and beverage scene, but its redevelopment means adding fitness centers and it is all set to open by the end of the year.

"To have a vibrant downtown, you have to have a healthy Midtown," explained Bob Loeb, Loeb Properties.

Loeb says Overton Square is on its way to making a new name for itself.

"We've got food and beverage, we've got theater and film. We want art on the street, so we've got mosaics and murals," he said. Loeb says there is a possibility for a new tapas and crepe restaurant. But restaurants will not be the only attraction."

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Local Gastropub Comes to Overton Square

"Local Gastropub, a popular downtown restaurant and bar, will open its second location in Overton Square. Following the recent Chiwawa lease at the old Chicago Pizza Factory, Local is the next to lease a spot in the commercial redevelopment of Midtown’s historic arts and entertainment district.

Local Gastropub will open in the former Yosemite Sam’s at 2126 Madison Ave., at the northwest corner of Madison and Cooper.   The 100-year-old, 5,826 square foot, two-story building housed Yosemite’s Sam’s for 39 years.  “It’s always been one of the gateways to Overton Square and that will continue with Local,” said Aaron Petree, vice president of leasing for Loeb Properties. Petree represented Loeb in the lease negotiations.

“We are excited to be part of this exciting vision for Overton Square,’’ Local Gastropub owner Jeff Johnson said. “Downtown is a destination and Overton Square will be, too.  I’m glad to be there from the beginning.”  Local Gastropub, now located at 91 South Main Street, will be replicated in Overton Square, featuring upscale food in a casual, pub-like setting. 

The Overton Square site for Local Gastropub has undergone “significant renovation,” according to Tom Hayes, vice-president of construction for Loeb Properties. “The building had major structural problems when we purchased it, and we knew going in that the rehab would cost as much as the purchase price.  My working concept has been a ‘rebirth’ because the building was at the end of its functional life, but it had good bones and given its history, it was worth saving,” he said.

Matt Prince, senior vice-president of Loeb Properties, said the contract with Local Gastropub is the “first step in an effort that will not only revive Overton Square but surpass our memories of it.”   Loeb Properties will invest about $20 million to revive the arts & entertainment district and Overton Square’s footprint to about 115,000 square feet, including the redesign of existing buildings and construction of new buildings. 

Local is an important and symbolic tenant for Overton Square, said Prince, because “it’s a local company with local ownership and that was, and will continue to be, an important part of the district’s personality and vibe.”  He said Loeb Properties is encouraged by the enthusiasm and the interest of retailers and restaurateurs in leasing opportunities in Overton Square.

“We see Overton Square as the linchpin between Overton Park and Midtown, capitalizing on the hundreds of thousands of people drawn there by Playhouse on the Square,’’ said Prince. “With the relocation of Hattiloo Theater to the Overton Square arts & entertainment district, the number of theater-goers will only grow,” said Prince.

Loeb Properties owns and manages a portfolio of more than two million square feet of retail, office, multifamily and industrial properties in Tennessee and Mississippi, and is the largest developer in the Midtown area."

Read more in:

Commercial Appeal

Memphis Business Journal

Daily News

Memphis Flyer

ABC 24