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Soulsville Community Center Files $3 Million Building Permit

The Daily News 
Patrick Lantrip 

A $3 million building permit for Tom Shadyac’s new Soulsville community center has been filed with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement.

The permit application for 879 E. McLemore Ave. was filed by Grinder, Taber & Grinder Inc. and lists the nonprofit organization Foundation for I Am as both the tenant and owner.

The permit also calls for the construction of a rock climbing wall, one of the community center’s features Shadyac originally told The Daily News about in April 2016.

At the time Shadyac, who is best known for directing “Patch Adams” and “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,” said he plans to revive the pair of buildings with a climbing wall and recreation center, a 400-seat performing arts center and a “pay-what-you-can” restaurant.

Shadyac purchased the South Memphis site, a 77,000-square-foot community anchor that a local community development corporation tried and failed to develop, in September 2015 for $1.9 million.

The Foundation for I Am is a California-based nonprofit organization connected to Shadyac and a film he directed called “I AM,” which explores what is wrong with the world and ways to improve it, according to its website.

“The specific purpose of this corporation is to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of those impoverished in our society,” its mission statement reads in part. “We will use our resources to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and comfort the sick.”

The philanthropic Hollywood filmmaker-turned-University of Memphis professor, however, is no stranger to Memphis.

His brother, Richard Shadyac Jr., is the current CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising arm for St. Jude. Their father, Richard Shadyac Sr., was a former ALSAC CEO.