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cdarr

Is Memphis Turning A Corner

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Is it just me, or has there been an explosion of major new projects announced around the city in the past 6 months or so? And it's not all downtown.

These are just a few headline-grabbing developments that have emerged recently (in no particular order):

*Bass Pro Shops taking over the Pyramid and turning into a major tourist/retail destination

*One Beale Street - 27 story luxury hotel/condo tower

*The Horizon - twin 16 story condo towers on the riverfront

*Plans by multi-millionaire businessman Bob Sillerman to turn Graceland into a major international tourist attraction comparable to Disney and Universal theme parks

*12 story apartment building planned for the UofM area

*Downtown Westin Hotel starts construction

*Plans to raze the Ridgeway Trace apartments at Poplar & Ridgeway and build a mixed use development including a new SuperTarget and Cheesecake Factory

*Smaller downtown condos and infill developments in East Memphis announced almost daily

I can't ever remember so many projects being announced in such a short period of time. The momentum is building...it's an exciting time to be in Memphis. What's next to be announced?

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Yes, and you forgot our neighbors to the south who have a couple of billions of dollars being invested for the Myriad and Riverbend. All this is thanks to the visionaries Turly and Belz. When Belz reopened the Peabody, it must've been like opening an Intercontinental in Frayser. Well with all the developments who knows what tomorrow will bring! :)

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It truly is a fun time to keep up with Memphis development. It's nice to see cranes on the north and south sides of downtown (St. Jude and Ground Zero). I can't think of a more livable downtown in the southeastern city of comparable size. And I definitely can't think of a comparable downtown with its own livable island. With Goodwyn given new life, the post office given a better tenant, and No. 67 Madison likely purchased, the sky is the limit. Two projects stick out as critical, though: relocation of the Greyhound Station and, if it will ever get started, the Vue on Main. If these are accomplished or started in 2006, I bet we'll see more commercial and retail. Let's keep sucking in this city!

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Bears - I was thinking about the big developments in Mississippi. Those too are very exciting.

cityuncompromised - I also totally forgot about those two projects right across the street from each other - the Law School and 67 Madison. That will add a whole new dimension of activity to Front Street.

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It's hard to say when downtown Memphis turned a corner. I remember going to Beale Street in the early 90's and it was pretty lively even then.

If I had to put my finger on one date, I'd have to say 1989 when Harbortown began to be developed. Then in the 90's there were a lot of apartments, and lofts opening up. Since 2000, it's pretty much been a steady stream of new stuff, with a lot more condos and new high rises proposed recently since most of the historical buildings are already rehabbed.

Memphis was ahead of most southern cities by a number of years when it came to downtown living, so it's good to see the momentum continue.

I wish that block of Main with the hoped-to-be Vue would soon get fixed up though.

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I hope the next things involve restorations of the Tennessee Brewery, Sterick, and Sears Crosstown, maybe turning the Sears into a multi-use anchor of a multi-ethnic cultural district, seeing as there are already some African and Asian-focused businesses in that vicinity, as well as its proximity to cultural institutions such as Rhodes, Brooks, College of Art, and the Zoo. There's potential in turning that facility into the beacon of that neighborhood. If I had the money, I'd f'in do it myself.

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I hope the next things involve restorations of the Tennessee Brewery, Sterick, and Sears Crosstown, maybe turning the Sears into a multi-use anchor of a multi-ethnic cultural district, seeing as there are already some African and Asian-focused businesses in that vicinity, as well as its proximity to cultural institutions such as Rhodes, Brooks, College of Art, and the Zoo. There's potential in turning that facility into the beacon of that neighborhood. If I had the money, I'd f'in do it myself.

Check out what Minneapolis is doing with their identical Sears Building.

http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/feat...ughesa_midtown/

In addition to 89 condos and 219 rental units, at ground level it will have a Global Marketplace which will be comprised of "Everything from Scandinavian pastries, to Somali lunches, to Italian delis, to African American soul food to American Indian wild rice and fry bread."

And

"One of the groups recruiting businesses is the African Development Center, which works with small, mainly Somali entrepreneurs that now locate in collective shopping centers called suuks."

Now that area of Minneapolis--Lake St.--is super ethnic with Hispanics, Native-Americans, Ethiopians, Somalis, etc., but something along those lines might work in Memphis.

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Yes, and you forgot our neighbors to the south who have a couple of billions of dollars being invested for the Myriad and Riverbend. All this is thanks to the visionaries Turly and Belz. When Belz reopened the Peabody, it must've been like opening an Intercontinental in Frayser. Well with all the developments who knows what tomorrow will bring! :)

I wouldn't give Turley too much credit. Perhaps you forgot the eighties when he got the city council to dissolve the landmarks commission because they were in the way of him tearing down a lot of historic buildings. The uproar from the citizens forced the city council to reverse their decision.

Thank god, because I think the historic buildings really make our downtown unique.

I think the bigger factors were St. Jude's resolve to remain there, the law firms, Harbortown, Morgan Keegan, and Autozone.

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I wouldn't give Turley too much credit. Perhaps you forgot the eighties when he got the city council to dissolve the landmarks commission because they were in the way of him tearing down a lot of historic buildings. The uproar from the citizens forced the city council to reverse their decision.

Thank god, because I think the historic buildings really make our downtown unique.

I think the bigger factors were St. Jude's resolve to remain there, the law firms, Harbortown, Morgan Keegan, and Autozone.

I think Peabody Place lit the fuse. It brought Autozone downtown, renovated several blocks, infused some residential energy. I think St. Jude's decision was around the same time as the beginning of Peabody Place. On the heels of that, AZP came in and, well, nothing's really been the same since.

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I agree that downtown is moving along great, but there is so much more work to be done. Some areas along Madison, Union, and Main street are full of old and abandoned buildings that look awful! The older buildings that will cost too much to redevelop (Sterick, Toof, etc.) need to be razed for new high rises or parks IMHO because the longer they sit un-used, the more it will cost to redevelop them. Here's a picture of a couple of buildings that have been empty for a number of years....

Tenoeke Building on Jefferson

56704607.TenoekeBldg.jpg

Hickman building on Madison across from the YMCA

56704582.hickman.jpg

Here's the Dermon office building thats in need of some immediate attention IMO even though signs read "Recently Renovated"

56704580.dermon.jpg

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I agree that downtown is moving along great, but there is so much more work to be done. Some areas along Madison, Union, and Main street are full of old and abandoned buildings that look awful! The older buildings that will cost too much to redevelop (Sterick, Toof, etc.) need to be razed for new high rises or parks IMHO because the longer they sit un-used, the more it will cost to redevelop them. Here's a picture of a couple of buildings that have been empty for a number of years....

Tenoeke Building on Jefferson

56704607.TenoekeBldg.jpg

Hickman building on Madison across from the YMCA

56704582.hickman.jpg

Here's the Dermon office building thats in need of some immediate attention IMO even though signs read "Recently Renovated"

56704580.dermon.jpg

Moderator Edit: Use of all capital letters in writing and making potentially baiting statements led to this line being removed. Both are against forum rules.

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^ Please refrain from saying things that might lead this thread or other threads from becomeing a "versus" thread, and also please refrain from capital letters for entire sentences when you post, its considered shouting on a forum and highly frowned upon.

You can read the rules for this forum here:

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=260

Not following the rules after this point in regards to capitalizing sentences, using potentially baiting language, and other items listed under the rules will lead to moderation (ie suspension, mod preview, etc). Sorry to be so hard out the gate, but rules are rules and its my job to enforce them.

I'm sure once your read the rules you will understand why we have them and will have a good time on UP with no problems.

I would use PM functions under normal circumstances to contact you about this, but until you have 10 posts you do not have that function.

I am glad you joined UP and hope you enjoy the forums and will become a positive contributor to the site.

Thanks!

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I didn't take any offense to that post because everyone knows from my past posts that I'm one of the biggest proponents of "everything" Memphis. Its just a known fact that while we are steamrolling ahead with downtown development, there is still a lot of work to do. I also feel that a lot of talk without actions is irrelevant and thats why I'm working hard to acquire a downtown property to redevelop! I'll keep everyone posted :thumbsup:

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I didn't take any offense to that post because everyone knows from my past posts that I'm one of the biggest proponents of "everything" Memphis. Its just a known fact that while we are steamrolling ahead with downtown development, there is still a lot of work to do. I also feel that a lot of talk without actions is irrelevant and thats why I'm working hard to acquire a downtown property to redevelop! I'll everyone posted :thumbsup:

It really is painful to see the area east of Danny Thomas and west of Highland neglected in redevelopment especially when you compare it to the growth out Bill Morris Parkway and the overbuilt mess that is the Germantown/I-40 area. Loeb is the only developer really trying to make a living rebuilding or refurbishing the midtown area. Kudos to them.

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It really is painful to see the area east of Danny Thomas and west of Highland neglected in redevelopment especially when you compare it to the growth out Bill Morris Parkway and the overbuilt mess that is the Germantown/I-40 area. Loeb is the only developer really trying to make a living rebuilding or refurbishing the midtown area. Kudos to them.

There's nothing new going on in midtown, but it's certainly not decaying. Check out midtown housing prices. The area looks to me about the same as it did 40 years ago. Plus, while it's not new construction, renovation of older buildings continues.

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There's nothing new going on in midtown, but it's certainly not decaying. Check out midtown housing prices. The area looks to me about the same as it did 40 years ago. Plus, while it's not new construction, renovation of older buildings continues.

I agree that it's maintaining, not decaying. Housing prices are increasing, but not booming (which is good--no bubble) and plenty of renovations are going on (especially in the nicer, well established neighborhoods of Chickasaw Gardens and Central Gardens). I'm hoping Schnucks will see the housing price growth and their updated demographic studies will help them find the money to renovate Schnucks-Union. I would also like to see more of a national retailer push into Midtown (following Home Depot's lead). A nice, urban Target and a development with more national brands would be the next step in Midtown's growth. Dallas and Atlanta seem to have done well with these infill developments (though many deride them as too cookie cutter or gentrification).

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I agree that it's maintaining, not decaying. Housing prices are increasing, but not booming (which is good--no bubble) and plenty of renovations are going on (especially in the nicer, well established neighborhoods of Chickasaw Gardens and Central Gardens). I'm hoping Schnucks will see the housing price growth and their updated demographic studies will help them find the money to renovate Schnucks-Union. I would also like to see more of a national retailer push into Midtown (following Home Depot's lead). A nice, urban Target and a development with more national brands would be the next step in Midtown's growth. Dallas and Atlanta seem to have done well with these infill developments (though many deride them as too cookie cutter or gentrification).

I think Schnucks bought the building west of their property (it used to be a clothing store) to expand. I read something about it in the C.A. a while ago.

I think a major retailer like Target would kill the Midtown feel and put a lot of smaller shops out of business. This would really hurt the area IMO.

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I think Schnucks bought the building west of their property (it used to be a clothing store) to expand. I read something about it in the C.A. a while ago.

I think a major retailer like Target would kill the Midtown feel and put a lot of smaller shops out of business. This would really hurt the area IMO.

I thought I read the same article you refer to above, but I read something over the weekend that contradicts this and says their "recent renovation to make the store more accessible" was the only thing they can do because of the "complicated real estate issues" that surround the store. Hope that writer was basing it on old news/information. If they've attempted to make the store/products more accessible, I haven't noticed it.

Target or another major retailer can hurt, but it can also validate the area. In my circles, it's about 80/20 for a Target. We still have to hit a major retailer at least once/week. Most of the shops in Midtown are once/month places.

I really hope they don't put one out east at I-240/Poplar. I cannot imagine how they will handle traffic. Both east-west corridors (Poplar and Park) that they discuss holding the traffic are currently at capacity between noon and 6pm.

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I really hope they don't put one out east at I-240/Poplar. I cannot imagine how they will handle traffic. Both east-west corridors (Poplar and Park) that they discuss holding the traffic are currently at capacity between noon and 6pm.

Perhaps it would help matters if they completed the Poplar/Sweetbriar interchange. This is actually in the city's long range Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for 2010. There is currently a "half-interchange" there. If you're going west-bound, you cross over Sweetbriar and have an ramps on/off Poplar. If you are going east-bound, you get a stoplight at Sweetbriar. They never completed the interchange because to do so would take out the front portion of the Ridgeway Trace Apartments.

Included in the same project is the extension of Sweetbriar over the railroad tracks to Park Avenue.

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The developments and the residents are coming, but the pesky issue of more retail is still out there. The June 16th Memphis Business Journal had a story about growing pains of downtown retail.

http://memphis.bizjournals.com/memphis/sto.../19/story3.html

I think as the South End to Uptown is built out and the population grows, more retailers will locate downtown. However, the article does not really cover the personal safety issue, and I think it's quite relevant. For example, my wife feels safer shopping at the Walgreen's at Poplar/Cleveland (not exactly a garden spot) than the one on Main Street Mall. I usually take a chance on the Main St. location, but I always have my guard up. There are still too many unsavory characters downtown and many people do not feel safe walking alone down there after business hours.

More dwellers and increased personal safety should help the downtown retail scene.

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i'm not understanding why wouldn't potential retailers use the same demographics as foot locker, ann taylor, or the gap. if these national retailers could survive, i'm sure there wouldnt' be that big of a drop for retail across the street. it's not like the 25k residents are the only people shopping downtown. in fact, i'm willing to bet that at least 85% of business for retail inside peabody place comes from nonresidents.

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