Friday, May 09, 2003

Hyneman moves forward with Mud Island development plans

Memphis Business Journal [link]
by Kate Miller

Kevin Hyneman and partner Jeffry Bronze are moving forward with plans to create a high-density development on the southern end of Mud Island where a massive landslide occurred last August.

Hyneman and Bronze, who now owns 50% of what was previously Hyneman's 21 acres, have planned a $50 million, 19-acre development that will include 234 apartments, 220 condos, four townhomes and 10 single-family lots.

The development will occur in two phases. Phase I, on the southern end of the property, will include 216 rental apartments and 10 residential lots. Hyneman is applying to the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. for a 20-year tax freeze on the eight-acre apartment development, projected to cost $18.34 million.

Phase II will consist of three acres directly involved and within 100 feet of the embankment failure. Hyneman says development of the 18 rental units, four town homes and 220 condos involved in this phase won't begin until all litigation concerning the landslide is resolved, a process he says could take anywhere from three to five years.

Hyneman and his insurance company Indiana Insurance are filing suit against the earth moving contractor L&T Construction and the wicking system material supplier Nilex.

Hynemen says his geotechnical engineers have assured him the failed area can be stabilized and developed.

Prior to the landslide, Hyneman had negotiated a deal to sell his 21 acres to a joint-venture consisting of Henry Turley, Jack Belz and the Riverfront Development Corp. The group announced plans to build an $18 million, 349-unit development on the property that would resemble Harbor Town. 199 of the units would have been for sale, ranging from single-family lots with river views to townhomes and condos. The remaining 150 would have been rental apartments.

Hyneman says all parties involved realized there was no deal almost immediately after the failure occurred.

"30 days after the failure we started working on plan B," he says. "Things happen for a reason and we feel like the failure really created an opportunity for us."

Hyneman says he has always thought a high-density development was the highest and best use of the property, which is why he was not going to be involved in the RDC-Belz-Turley plan.

"We felt like this was more of a multifamily site," Hyneman says. "It's the last site on the island that has multi-family zoning."

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