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Rural King

East Memphis

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In another current thread East Memphis was discussed, and that got me to thinking about how not being a local of the city I know very little about East Memphis outside of what I have seen driving through. So my question for all the locals is what all is in East Memphis? What is there to do? What interesting shops, restaurants, entertainment, etc are there. Any interesting architecture outside of the prominent buildings off Poplar? Anything must see things out there if one is in town? Etc.

I think this could be an interesting and informative thread and hopefully may spark some more discussion on the board. :)

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East Memphis, to me, really is the heart of the City. Here are the places of interest that my family likes to see/do when they are in town (and things I find unique:

Shopping:

Wild Oats

Fresh Market

Williams-Sonoma/Pottery Barn Outlets

Macy's (Tennessee Flagship)

Numerous locally-owned shops like: James Davis, Joseph, Le Fleur, Garden District

Activities/Food:

Paradiso (Malco's Flagship Theater)

Grove Grille - great lunch place

Folk's Folly - Memphis' Original Prime Steak Restaurant

Half Shell (seafood)

Belmont Grill - dive type place but great eats

Houston's - Chain Restaurant but still a mainstay

Corky's - gotta have BBQ

Blue Plate - breakfast restaurant and Southern fare

Raquet Club of Memphis

Theater Memphis

Memphis Botanical Gardens/Goldsmith's Center

Audobon Park - golf

Businesses:

Hilton Hotels Corporation

Banking Centers galore

and I am sure there are more...

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Most of the city's major private high schools are in East Memphis: Christian Brothers, MUS, St. Agnes, St. Mary's, ECS (Evangelical Christian School), Lausanne, and Hutchison. It's also home to what is probably the best Memphis City School--White Station high school.

The Poplar/Mendenhall intersection is the heart of it all, and aside from several restuarants (Belmont, Folk's Folly, Houstons, Half-Shell, etc) which are located in this area, there are numerous "hang-out" type places like McCallister's, Bogey's deli, and my all-time favorite Gibson's Donuts, open 24-7

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The traffic in east Memphis in intolerable! Especially along poplar between Oak Court Mall and Ridgeway in the afternoons.

I do like how more independent stores and restaurants are opening in East Memphis. It used to be all chains, but now locally owned boutiques, restaurants, and spas or salons are popping up all over. Also older neighborhoods like Sea Isle are being reinvigorated by young first time homeowners, or by consolidating small parcels of land into single parcels for new mansions.

I do wish that something more interesting that strip malls would be built.

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In another current thread East Memphis was discussed, and that got me to thinking about how not being a local of the city I know very little about East Memphis outside of what I have seen driving through. So my question for all the locals is what all is in East Memphis? What is there to do? What interesting shops, restaurants, entertainment, etc are there. Any interesting architecture outside of the prominent buildings off Poplar? Anything must see things out there if one is in town? Etc.

I think this could be an interesting and informative thread and hopefully may spark some more discussion on the board. :)

East Memphis is about 15 miles from Downtown and is where most of the offices in Memphis are. There is a 94% occupancy rate. Clark Tower (33 stories), the Cresent Center, and White Station Tower (22 stories) are the largest office buildings but there are also many small office buildings there too.

Holiday Inn and the Hilton (24 stories) on I-240 are the biggest hotels in East Memphis. The Marriot near the old Mall of Memphis is a little south of the main section of East Memphis and is 14 stories. There is another Hilton behind Clark Tower also. Oak Court Mall and the Laurelwood are the shopping areas and there are a couple of grocery stores and many homes, condos, townhouses, and apartments. St. Francis Hospital (16 stories) serves the area and there is a Baptist Hospital campus on Walnut Grove. You can a silhouette of alot of the East Memphis skyline from Shelby Farms.

For entertainment, the Kroger-St. Jude tennis tournament is played there and I hear the Pardiso movie theater is nice also. There are too many resturants to count but the ones that stand out are John Calipari's (Tigers basketball head coach) resturant in the Hilton behind Clark Tower, and Memphis Pizza a few blocks south of Clark Tower.

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East Memphis is about 15 miles from Downtown and is where most of the offices in Memphis are. There is a 94% occupancy rate. Clark Tower (33 stories), the Cresent Center, and White Station Tower (22 stories) are the largest office buildings but there are also many small office buildings there too.

When it comes to office buildings in Memphis, someone once put it this way to me....The government and the law are downtown, while the money is in East Memphis.

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There is another Hilton behind Clark Tower also.

This Hilton was converted to a Doubletree Hotel when the Adam's Mark was converted to a Hilton.

As you can tell, East Memphis is a major services hub but it still lacks activities such as clubs, lounges and such. I don't see the development in downtown hurting this area at all. If anything, you'll see better planned development out East and even more density. I would live in East Memphis if I could afford it. Although I still have a few items on my wishlist for the area.

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Great stuff so far. I like all the great feedback. :D

More questions:

So there are alot of independent businesses out in East Memphis I take it. I know along Poplar it seems rather chain-ish with a some interesting indys scattered about. Off Popular is East Memphis more local in nature? If so, what cross streets might be good to go exploring down, and/or areas?

Is East Memphis off Poplar fairly easy to navigate, find parking in, etc. I find most of Memphis is very easy to navigate, but as stated by someone else East Memphis seems busier.

Isn't there a small mall right off Poplar in the East Memphis area? It would be on your right as you head east on Poplar.

John Calipari's Resaurant - What type of establishement is this? High endish, sports bar-ish, etc..

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Cal's Championship Steakhouse - need more info?

Oak Court Mall - Macy's Flagship is here as well as some okay stores.

Good streets to explore... well East Memphis is largely commercial on both Poplar and Park but very residential most everywhere else. This area of town is one of the safest areas to make an investment (i.e. buying a home). Pockets like High Point Terrace, Shady Grove, Colonial and such are all chock full of great homes in all price ranges. If you're a first time buyer then the Colonial area is a great choice. Lots of great little homes that are fetching good prices and revitalizing the neighborhoods.

I'd like to see some residential towers go up. I believe East Memphis could really have a nice urban vibe to it.

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I believe East Memphis could really have a nice urban vibe to it.

Like I've read, East Memphis is the new Midtown, but since I grew up in East Memphis, it's still suburbia to me.

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Off Popular is East Memphis more local in nature? If so, what cross streets might be good to go exploring down, and/or areas?

For a grand view of East Memphis neighborhoods, take Walnut Grove Road east from around Highland to the I-240 interchange. It's maybe a 5 mile drive. The homes are wonderful. It's a really pretty street. Take some pics if you can. :lol:

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East Memphis was also home to Tennessee's first Starbucks. Its a mix of independent and chain stores. So many on and near Poplar and in the buildings, so its nearly impossible too see them all!!! Also somebody mentioned the traffic on Poplar, so its a must to keep your eyes on the road. Once that RR is abandoned, light rail will make it possible to look around at whats there and our newbie will be able to get rid of her car :thumbsup:

I think residential buildings will take off soon. Land is very expensive in that area so after a couple of Grandviews go up, we will see more middle class residential towers get built.

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Memphian mentioned Activities to do in East Memphis, but he failed to mention one of the best..... The DixonGallery and Gardens. While it is not as nice or as intimate as it was when it first opened, this is the BEST Museun in Memphis. It is intimate and easily taken in without wearing you out. The Dixon's collected French Impressionist Art. They gave a number of pieces to the Brooks. When they died, their home was converted into an Art Museum. It also is located in on a large plot of land laid out as an English Garden. It is well worth the visit. Another small museum that does not get much notice in East Memphis is the Egyptian Museum on the campus of the University of Memphis. It is on the north end of campus and though not a great museum, it is fairly interesting. The other major museums in town most know. "ClaLeeClaire" A name most of you haven't heard. Stands for Clarence-Lee-Claire the 3 children of Clarence Saunders and is the name of the house that is known as the "Pink Palace". I want to mention the "National Ornamental Metal Musem". It is overlooking the Memphis Arkansas Bridge on the river. It is a unique museum and the grounds are interesting. It lets people know how the bluffs looked prior to being cut back so that barge traffic could be unloaded in downtown.

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I would have considered the Dixon as Midtown - it's off Central - right? I'm still somewhat new to Memphis so I haven't learned all of the intricacies yet.

I would like to see the area become as vibrant as Buckhead but on a much smaller scale. If lightrail were to come along you'd see this area take on a whole new life - especially if it were on a line that connected to the UofM.

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^I just read about the Dixon Gallery the other night on the Memphis Symphony Orchestra site, there is a concert there later in the year, and my girlfriend and I were unfamilar with it. That filled in some gaps nicely.

On residential in East Memphis. There are a variety of price ranges in the area? So there is affordable middle income housing in the area and some areas in redevelopment?

I will try to remember to take Walnut Grove during my next trip to Memphis when I have my camera.

Thats for all the great feedback!

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If you take Walnut Grove - for the most part you'll be looking at very expensive housing. The affordable areas of East Memphis are off of Park back to Quince I'd say between Wite Station and a little past Perkins. There are plenty of 1950's houses in the area with great bones that just need a little TLC.

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I would have considered the Dixon as Midtown - it's off Central - right? I'm still somewhat new to Memphis so I haven't learned all of the intricacies yet.

No...the Dixon is on Park in an area that is distinctly East Memphis.

The only two museums I can think of in Midtown near Central are the Pink Palace museum, and the Children's Museum.

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My very first memories of anything are East Memphis. It's the center of my universe, so to speak, and I still live here. For anyone wanting to own a home in a safe, stable area but not wanting the cookie-cutter blandness of the newer suburbs, East Memphis is the place to be.

Like Memphian said, there are some nice, very affordable neighborhoods in the between Park Avenue and Willow Road. The price range in this area is generally between $80,000 to $150,000. These neighborhoods seem to be quite stable, quiet and safe. I live in a neighborhood East of there called Yorkshire, where many of the homes are $250,000 or more, but others (like mine) are below $200,000. It's a very unique neighborhood with large lots, rolling hills, and winding roads through dense tree cover.

Most of the homes in East Memphis were built in the '50s and -60s. The quality of construction seems to be excellent throughout. Also, the proximity of most neighborhoods to the choice shopping and major employment centers along Poplar Avenue make it unlikely that this area will suffer a decline anytime soon. East Memphis is a great example of a postwar suburb done right...and it has matured into a wonderful district of the city.

Another point that should be made is that East Memphis is home to the city's two most internationally-recognized corporations. The headquarters building for FedEx Corporation is located not at Winchester and Hacks Cross as is commonly thought, but on Shady Grove, about a block north of Poplar. International Paper is headquartered in triple 11-story towers about a half-mile east of there. ServiceMaster, another Fortune 500 company, is not headquartered here but has most of its corporate staff at Ridgeway Center in the same vicinity.

There's an amazing amount of infill going on in East Memphis right now that even rivals downtown. Density is picking up all along the zone 1 mile north or south of Poplar. Low-end properties are being bought out and razed to make way for banks and higher-end retail. I forsee that more mid- to high-rise residential development is on the horizon.

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I forsee that more mid- to high-rise residential development is on the horizon.

I certainly hope so. I'd love to live in an East Memphis condo tower, it just needs to be affordable.

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My very first memories of anything are East Memphis. It's the center of my universe, so to speak, and I still live here. For anyone wanting to own a home in a safe, stable area but not wanting the cookie-cutter blandness of the newer suburbs, East Memphis is the place to be.

I grew up on Rich Road in the '60's and always though that East Memphis was one of the best examples of post WW2 suburban areas in the country--basically just because it was built as just a newer part of the city, connected to the rest of the city grid, unlike some 70's, 80's suburban areas which are built as more isolated from the city.

If you take Walnut Grove - for the most part you'll be looking at very expensive housing. The affordable areas of East Memphis are off of Park back to Quince I'd say between Wite Station and a little past Perkins. There are plenty of 1950's houses in the area with great bones that just need a little TLC.

Yeah, I wasn't advising Rural King to go house-hunting on Walnut Grove, just house-looking! :lol:

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Another point that should be made is that East Memphis is home to the city's two most internationally-recognized corporations. The headquarters building for FedEx Corporation is located not at Winchester and Hacks Cross as is commonly thought, but on Shady Grove, about a block north of Poplar.

The World HQ is on Hacks Cross, or thats what it says on the sign anyway. I think the Corporate HQ is what you were talking about. Its where Fred Smith and all the other big shots work. Would've been nice if they just combined all their HQ's into one large 70 story tower on Shady Grove or something like the Renaissance Center (GM World) in Detroit. Oh well

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The World HQ is on Hacks Cross, or thats what it says on the sign anyway. I think the Corporate HQ is what you were talking about. Its where Fred Smith and all the other big shots work. Would've been nice if they just combined all their HQ's into one large 70 story tower on Shady Grove or something like the Renaissance Center (GM World) in Detroit. Oh well

Yes...Hacks Cross is the World Headquarters for FedEx Express - the overnight segment, i.e. airplanes. Shady Grove is the HQ for FedEx Corp., the parent company for Express, Ground, Frieight, etc. You are correct - this is where Fred's office is.

As cool as a 70 story tower would have been, FedEx would have had trouble justifying the cost premium of that vs. a campus style facility in a city where land is relatively plentiful and cheap, not to mention flat and easy to build on. The economics just don't work for office skyscrapers here, I'm afraid. Perhaps someday in the next 10-15 years land along Poplar will become so scarce that commercial developers start going 20-30 stories. And maybe downtown will be such a popular residential location that Class A office space is in demand there again.

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