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sleepy

Memphis' FedEx Forum

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Soon to be home of the Memphis Grizzlies with a completion date of August, 2004.

IMO, the Forum is in the best location possible: downtown, a block off Beale Street, three blocks from AutoZone Park, two blocks from Peabody Place, adjacent to the Gibson guitar factory, the Smithsonian Museum of Rock and Soul, and three blocks from a streetcar line.

Current webcam shot. The Gibson factory and the Smithsonian music museum are at the lower right:

200311130500.jpg

September, 2003 shot:

aerial_0309.jpg

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This is a very intereting project. There is talk of building a MLB park in the seaport district in Boston. I think it would kill street life. The Fleet Center is just a big wall all the way around, but since its over north sation people go threre for something other than events, trains, not much excitement there. Coors field in Denver looks great, but its sort of a big vacuous area around it IMO. Will there be retail along the streets outside the Grizzlies facility? Do you hve any pictures of the vicinity?

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This is a very intereting project.  There is talk of building a MLB park in the seaport district in Boston.  I think it would kill street life.  The Fleet Center is just a big wall all the way around, but since its over north sation people go threre for something other than events, trains, not much excitement there.  Coors field in Denver looks great, but its sort of a big vacuous area around it IMO.  Will there be retail along the streets outside the Grizzlies facility?  Do you hve any pictures of the vicinity?

No, I only go there once or twice a year, so I have no pictures of the area.

The block the arena is on was basically vacant, so nothing got knocked down to put it up, and will help tie parts of downtown together by filling in an empty hole.

As far as pedestrian activity goes, Beale Street is just a stone's throw away and a sports arena and a music club street go together. The nearest retail areas are a couple blocks away, so nothing gets killed. There is much new and old housing development going on in downtown Memphis and I imagine this would spur more of the same and create more infill.

Regarding the downtown Boston ballpark. A big blank wall isn't good, but then again, look at Wrigley Field. Memphis has a ballpark downtown for its AAA team, AutoZone Park, and it's been quite a success, with new apartments built around it, shopts, restaurants, etc. This shot has been posted many times previously, but it's still good:

autozoneaerialno6.jpg

The entrance to AutoZone:

autozonefromhighup.jpg

The wall:

autozoneandunionposting.jpg

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Don't get me wrong, this sounds like a good project for Memphis.

Fenway Park in Boston is in a very urban area. Nearby residents think it causes trouble with traffic, parking, noise and vandalism. There are lots of bars restaurants and retail around the area, but it caters pretty much to people going to the game, and not the neighborhood. Even with trains and a subway line right next to the Park, it can be very congested. They must have plans for parking and traffic? Will there be a big parking garage? What will it be like, any ground floor retail?

I am interested because in boston new downtown sports faciliies are not seen by many as a positive thing. New stadiums for the patriots and red sox have pretty much been nixed in the seaport district. The celtics talk about building their own facility every now and then (outside the Fleet). Memphis' experience may show that this kind of project is a good way to develop downtown land.

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I think the differences between an old established neighborhood in Boston and downtown Memphis are too great to really make comparisons.

Neither AutoZone Park nor FedEx Forum muscled their way into a pre-existing neighborhood--at least by Boston standards. Downtown Memphis was seeing a rebirth in residential and commercial before those were built, and they were just part of that ongoing process. They themselves have spurred further development.

Here is part of an apartment complex--Echelon at the Ballpark--built next to AutoZone:

580660_w.jpg

In terms of parking, FedFex Forum will have a garage. AutoZone doesn't, but there are many in the vicinity. In terms of retail, AutoZone has none, other than its Redbirds shop, which is open during the offseason. FedEx is due to have restaurants, a retail shop, and the Smithsonian's Rock and Soul museum.

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The great thing about downtown Memphis is that there are approximately 80,000 parking spots throughout the downtown area - so I've heard. Such a large number of these parking spots are in parking GARAGES, not surface lots - and are near the trolley line.

That's made parking a relative easy in Memphis compared with many cities - while not facing an issue with surface lots.

The arena is a great project for Memphis - its design was first rate and it fits in with Memphis.

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Sleepy and heckles

Thanks for the information and shots of the area. Glad to hear this projects has done so much goood for Memphis.

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