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fearlessvk

Midtown Memphis?

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Hey all,

So, um, you might remember me...I was posting on here a bit a few months ago, as I'm moving to memphis from san francisco (very soon now) to take a job at the University. Lots of folks here were really helpful in giving me details about the city (and alleviating my fears that I would feel like a total alien in memphis!) I disappeared for a while because I had to finish my dissertation (which I did - yay!) but now I'm completely done with graduate school and the big move is imminent - I'll be coming out to memphis in july to look for an apartment. Which brings me to a few questions apropos of apartment-hunting in memphis which I would be much appreciative if anyone could answer - though if this isn't really appropriate for this board, forgive me!!

Basically, from everything I've been able to dig up online, I had gathered that I would want to find a place in midtown memphis - however, recently, I mentioned this to a few of my future colleagues and to a real estate agent in memphis and all of them seemed kind of...alarmed...by the prospect of someone moving by herself to her own place in midtown, as though midtown was some kind of horrific crime den or something. They actually successfully managed to freak me out a bit (which is rare) and to wonder if I shouldn't be looking elsewhere. I was hoping someone here might be able to give me a more sober and less hysterical appraisal of living in midtown - are there particular neighborhoods to avoid, particular neighborhoods that are safe and welcoming? Any specific recommendations? Is Cooper-Young (i've heard much about it) a safe place to live?

This could all just be totally over-the-top fear-mongering - I've lived in plenty of cities, including Oakland, and I'm not easily phased. But I just don't know a single thing about memphis, so all these people reacting like I'm jumping into Dante's Inferno made me nervous...

Thanks in advance for any help/advice :)

Cheers,

S

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I think it's fear mongering on the part of the realtors. I suspect they live in the suburbs. If you followed their advice you'd be stuck there as well, and be miserable. In Memphis, there's a noticeable city/suburban split in mindset and attitude. The crime areas of Memphis to avoid are the Southside and the Northside. Midtown is not known as having a high crime rate. Some of the most expensive property in the city is in Midtown--Central Gardens, for example. I do know that property values in Midtown are soaring, which belies it being crime-infested I can't imagine it's as bad as inner city Oakland, but it's ecelectic, full of rich and poor,and everything else, and like in most big cities, you should watch your surroundings.

One area I would avoid are the 70ish midrise apartments around the medical center. I think those have crime.

Anyway, I can offer you a photo shoot of Midtown apartments, some expensive (meaning like $800), some cheap (meaning like $400-500):

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A shot of the Cooper-Young neighborhood in Midtown, full of a lot of shops, bars, etc. You could probably rent a house there for $800:

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Bonus shots of Little Saigon in Midtown, has some good restaurants:

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I sure hope you didn't take the advice of the real estate agent thats recently been spamming the goner board lately. She knows nothing about midtown, and only posts on the board to drum up business... something that doesn't fly to well on this board. I think from her website you can tell that she never steps foot in midtown unless her sorority sisters dare her, yet somehow she found a punk rock/ rock&roll midtown based bulletin board to spam. Don't trust anyone on that board unless you know their personality. There's a lot of jokesters who think they can post anything since the board is unmoderated and anonymous, but also a lot of good, intelligent people.

Sleepy is totally right about the perception of midtown by people living out east. For years my mom looked at people walking around the neighborhood as a bad thing. Because midtown has lots of people walking around , she thought it was unsafe.

Midtown is safe. You'll be fine if you use common sense. I know lots of single women who live by themselves, and there are some great neighborhoods in midtown that are perfect for newcomers. People who live in midtown really hate moving out of it, and often only move out because its not the best environment to raise kids.

There are a lot of great apartments in midtown that don't advertise because they don't have to: you just stop in at their rental office. There's a several on poplar near cooper that are very nice. For duplexes and rental homes (which I highly recommend), you're going to have to check memphis flyer, and the commercial appeal for listings. And once people get to know you, nothing beats word of mouth (including myspace bulletin board postings) for finding the best places . Thats how I found all my tenants.

Hemant

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I agree with sleepy. I would stay away from the Medical District. The apartments I've seen over there are pretty gross. You can check out the Memphis Police crimemapper here

https://crimemapper.memphispolice.org/crimemapper/index.cfm

Just type in Cooper in the search box under "Search Option Two: Street Intersection" and it'll give you the option to check out the different intersections (check out S COOPER ST & YOUNG AVE, MEMPHIS). Careful to only search in Memphis because Bartlett and Collierville are out in the suburbs. Since your a city girl, you probably know you should probably get a car alarm. To find out were the intersections are, you can check out Google map

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This thread is fine IMO, but we have to make sure we keep the discussion on neighborhoods and not real estate. Otherwise it will be breaking the rules on promoting real estate on the boards. I just wanted to make everyone was aware of that rule. Thanks!

On Topic: I agree with Sleepy that Midtown from everything I hear is a fine place to live with lots of options. You'll meet lots of folks who think that anything in Memphis proper is crime-ridden and unsafe, when thats far from the case. You just have to scout out neighborhoods in person and find what area suits needs and tastes best.

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This thread is fine IMO, but we have to make sure we keep the discussion on neighborhoods and not real estate. Otherwise it will be breaking the rules on promoting real estate on the boards. I just wanted to make everyone was aware of that rule. Thanks!

On Topic: I agree with Sleepy that Midtown from everything I hear is a fine place to live with lots of options. You'll meet lots of folks who think that anything in Memphis proper is crime-ridden and unsafe, when thats far from the case. You just have to scout out neighborhoods in person and find what area suits needs and tastes best.

There's a lot of pride in Midtown. There's a reason that you see stickers saying, "Midtown in Memphis" all over the city. Take all of the advice on these boards; I don't know enough to compare areas within Midtown; I think Cooper Young and Overton Square areas are pretty good, as is the area near Rhodes College and the apts near the U of M at Popler and Highland (that might be too east for you, though).

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Thank you for the responses everyone, and especially for the lovely pics. I'm definitely reassured! I should have expected it was just reactionary hysteria, being as I still know people who completely freak out every time I suggest setting foot in Oakland, but since I don't know a thing about Memphis it's just hard to gauge how seriously to take others' warnings...

S

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Thank you for the responses everyone, and especially for the lovely pics. I'm definitely reassured! I should have expected it was just reactionary hysteria, being as I still know people who completely freak out every time I suggest setting foot in Oakland, but since I don't know a thing about Memphis it's just hard to gauge how seriously to take others' warnings...

S

Well ofcourse you have to be aware of your surroundings. Memphis isn't Mayberry. Infact, Memphis has seen a peak in crime recently. The reasons can be plenty (redevelopment bringing in lots of business, New Orleans gangs, nice weather) but its still no excuse. MPD is doing something similar to what the NYPD did called Operation Blue Crush which is basically a sweep of high crime areas. Hopefully, this increase in crime is a sign of desperation on the part of the criminals. Even Cooper Young isn't excempt from the increase in crime

http://www.wmctv.com/Global/story.asp?S=4985248

Lets hope the effects of Blue Crush are visible soon.

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I've lived in Memphis for all of my 41 years. I have friends in midtown and the suburbs and visit all areas of the city frequently. It's funny how midtowners defend midtown and suburbians defend suburbia and what gets missed and ignored by both parties are the facts. This is especially true when it comes to crime. Everybody has an opinon about midtown crime but why not put emotions aside and just check the data? Anyone can go to the Memphis Police website and type a street intersection and see crime data from the last 30 days. Keep in mind the web site is very finicky about spelling so double-check your street names. If anyone has time I suggest they post comparisons with midtown neighborhoods and suburbs. I imagine suburbs like Hickory Hill have similar patterns to midtown, while East Memphis suburbs have much less crime than midtown. However, that's just a guess. Anyone care to post the raw facts?

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^Welcome to the forum. I can't find raw data anywhere except on the MPD website. I think everyone should just post their neighborhoods crime stats for a 1 mile radius. Heres mine:

Southwind Residential Area (near the schools)

Aggravated Assault 0

Burglary 3

Domestic Violence 7

Homicide 0

Larceny 2

Larceny Vehicle 3

Motor Vehicle Theft 0

Narcotics 1

Rape 0

Robbery 0

Southwind Commercial Area (Hacks Cross & Winchester)

Aggravated Assault 1

Burglary 5

Domestic Violence 3

Homicide 0

Larceny 18

Larceny Vehicle 7

Motor Vehicle Theft 2

Narcotics 0

Rape 0

Robbery 0

I also decided to do a comparison between Hickory Ridge Mall area and Cooper Young

Hickory Ridge Mall

Aggravated Assault 6

Burglary 38

Domestic Violence 35

Homicide 0

Larceny 46

Larceny Vehicle 50

Motor Vehicle Theft 12

Narcotics 4

Rape 1

Robbery 0

Cooper Young

Aggravated Assault 12

Burglary 43

Domestic Violence 21

Homicide 1

Larceny 25

Larceny Vehicle 46

Motor Vehicle Theft 14

Narcotics 12

Rape 1

Robbery 3

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I don't think such a comparison is fair or even approximates reality. Density is a huge factor that is not accounted for in the comparison. If a neighborhood had 100 people, and there were 40 burglaries in the last month, then its a lot more unsafe than a dense neighborhood in an area like downtown or midtown with 1000 people in a neighborhood and 40 burglaries.

40% get burgled vs 4% get burgled.

Using the police crime mapping data is intended to tell you what happened in the nearby area, not for comparison.

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I don't think such a comparison is fair or even approximates reality. Density is a huge factor that is not accounted for in the comparison. If a neighborhood had 100 people, and there were 40 burglaries in the last month, then its a lot more unsafe than a dense neighborhood in an area like downtown or midtown with 1000 people in a neighborhood and 40 burglaries.

40% get burgled vs 4% get burgled.

Using the police crime mapping data is intended to tell you what happened in the nearby area, not for comparison.

Great point.

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I don't think such a comparison is fair or even approximates reality. Density is a huge factor that is not accounted for in the comparison. If a neighborhood had 100 people, and there were 40 burglaries in the last month, then its a lot more unsafe than a dense neighborhood in an area like downtown or midtown with 1000 people in a neighborhood and 40 burglaries.

40% get burgled vs 4% get burgled.

Using the police crime mapping data is intended to tell you what happened in the nearby area, not for comparison.

Southwind Residential Area (near the schools)

Aggravated Assault 0/1363.3= 0%

Burglary 3/1363.3= 0.2%

Domestic Violence 7/1363.3= 0.07%

Homicide 0/1363.3= 0%

Larceny 2/1363.3= 0.1%

Larceny Vehicle 3/1363.3= 0.2%

Motor Vehicle Theft 0/1363.3= 0%

Narcotics 1/1363.3= 0.07%

Rape 0/1363.3= 0%

Robbery 0/1363.3= 0%

Southwind Commercial Area (Hacks Cross & Winchester)

Aggravated Assault 1/1363.3= 0.07%

Burglary 5/1363.3= 0.3%

Domestic Violence 3/1363.3= 0.2%

Homicide 0/1363.3= 0%

Larceny 18/1363.3= 1.3%

Larceny Vehicle 7/1363.3= 0.5%

Motor Vehicle Theft 2/1363.3= 0.15%

Narcotics 0/1363.3= 0%

Rape 0/1363.3= 0%

Robbery 0/1363.3= 0%

I also decided to do a comparison between Hickory Ridge Mall area and Cooper Young

Hickory Ridge Mall

Aggravated Assault 6/4656.3= 0.1%

Burglary 38/4656.3= 0.8%

Domestic Violence 35/4656.3= 0.8%

Homicide 0/4656.3= 0%

Larceny 46/4656.3= 1%

Larceny Vehicle 50/4656.3= 1%

Motor Vehicle Theft 12/4656.3= 0.3%

Narcotics 4/4656.3= 0.08%

Rape 1/4656.3= 0.02%

Robbery 0/4656.3= 0%

Cooper Young

Aggravated Assault 12/5109.7= 0.2%

Burglary 43/5109.7= 0.8%

Domestic Violence 21/5109.7= 0.4%

Homicide 1/5109.7= 0.02%

Larceny 25/5109.7= 0.4%

Larceny Vehicle 46/5109.7= 0.9%

Motor Vehicle Theft 14/5109.7= 0.2%

Narcotics 12/5109.7= 0.2%

Rape 1/5109.7= 0.02%

Robbery 3/5109.7= 0.06%

These stats look much better :thumbsup: Is blue crush operating by pure numbers or percentage?

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Interesting stuff! I'm not a statistics guru or anything like that, but those percentages that "Bear" put up seems to indicate that Hickory Hill and Cooper-Young are pretty close to having the same crime data. Not exactly but close enough. I wouldn't have thought that...

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Just saw on the news about a rash of armed robberies in CY recently with someone getting shot last night or night before. Seems relevant here. Note that I spend a few nights/month in CY and am a big fan of the restaurants and shops there.

There is an unusual increase in crime this summer apparently. MPD seems to be working hard with Blue Crush but little seems to be resulting from it. I can't speculate as to the reasons.

Also in the crime stats above there seems to be (anecdotal I agree) an increase in downtown crime.

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Just saw on the news about a rash of armed robberies in CY recently with someone getting shot last night or night before. Seems relevant here. Note that I spend a few nights/month in CY and am a big fan of the restaurants and shops there.

There is an unusual increase in crime this summer apparently. MPD seems to be working hard with Blue Crush but little seems to be resulting from it. I can't speculate as to the reasons.

Also in the crime stats above there seems to be (anecdotal I agree) an increase in downtown crime.

Yeah the Commercial Appeal wrote an article about this you can click here to read it.

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Well, I've just returned from my apartment-hunting trip in memphis! Even though I was completely committed to finding a place in midtown, and 99% of the places I looked were in midtown, I ended up totally rejecting all my own presumptions and renting a place in downtown instead, in the south main district. Basically the deciding factor for me was simply what felt the most urban, and while I liked a lot of places in midtown, and could understand its reputation for being kinda hip or quirky or whatever after exploring for a few days, it just felt a little too spread-out, suburban, and car-dependent for my tastes. Downtown was nicely walkable (and i love the trolley!), and while I did buy a car for memphis, I don't want to rely on it all the time - it would be nice if it was mostly just for my commute. Soooo... downtown it is :) And thanks to everyone on these boards for helpful advice and recommendations and pics and everything.... i'll be arriving in memphis for good in just a couple weeks now!

Cheers,

S

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Well, I've just returned from my apartment-hunting trip in memphis! Even though I was completely committed to finding a place in midtown, and 99% of the places I looked were in midtown, I ended up totally rejecting all my own presumptions and renting a place in downtown instead, in the south main district. Basically the deciding factor for me was simply what felt the most urban, and while I liked a lot of places in midtown, and could understand its reputation for being kinda hip or quirky or whatever after exploring for a few days, it just felt a little too spread-out, suburban, and car-dependent for my tastes. Downtown was nicely walkable (and i love the trolley!), and while I did buy a car for memphis, I don't want to rely on it all the time - it would be nice if it was mostly just for my commute. Soooo... downtown it is :) And thanks to everyone on these boards for helpful advice and recommendations and pics and everything.... i'll be arriving in memphis for good in just a couple weeks now!

Cheers,

S

Here are some links you might want to check out:

http://www.paulryburn.com/blog/ ("Downtown Paul"), some links to what's going on downtown.

http://www.saferdowntownmemphis.com/ (Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis)

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Congratulations. I think you'll like downtown, with one exception: for the thousands of people who live in downtown Memphis there is not one full scale supermarket, just little deli type groceries.

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Congratulations. I think you'll like downtown, with one exception: for the thousands of people who live in downtown Memphis there is not one full scale supermarket, just little deli type groceries.

I wish they would open an Aldi or Walmart Neighborhood Market in Peabody Place. To get to a real supermarket, the only one I could think of thats near downtown is to take the trolley down the Madison Line to Cleveland (end of the line) and walk half a mile north on Cleveland to Kroger on Poplar. I'm sure there are alot of mini grocery stores downtown but I'm not sure what their selection is like. Kroger is more one-stop shop and since its in Midtown, little markup.

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