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Airport area redevelopment moves ahead

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The seeds of this were sown earlier this year, and it's continuing to progress, which is great news.

http://memphis.bizjournals.com/memphis/sto...ml?surround=lfn

Airport area redevelopment moves ahead

City and chamber officials are drafting a request for proposals for the airport area redevelopment project.

In January, businesses and city leaders gathered to discuss the appearance of Brooks Road as well as criminal activity on Brooks Road and resolved to clean up the area.

...

He [Dexter Muller] said the RFP will seek an urban design consultant, an engineering firm and a real estate firm. They will work to improve the area's image and infrastructure and will find new uses for old and vacant buildings. The initial investment is expected to be $150,000, and the master plan will take about six months to complete.

"The goal is to have less crime, new buildings, and new employment," Muller said.

The area will be called Aero Center and a commission similar to Center City Commission will oversee it. The area is bordered by Highway 61, I-240, Lamar and Raines.

....

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The Business Journal article compares the potential of the Aero Center Commission to what the Center City Commission has done with downtown. The only problem with that is it took downtown around 25 years to become what it is today, even though it has not reached its full potential. Hopefully the area around the airport doesn't have the same fate, with respect to time. It does seem that there are some major backers to this project in Medtronic and Fed Ex. Hopefully with the help of these major corporations, the area will clean up quicker and other major logistic companies will be attracted to the area.

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This is an excellent use of public resources. The area around the airport has a ton of potential, but it seems like something out of a post-apocalyptic film at times.

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Here is the local newspaper's article along the same line:

"Brooks project moves ahead"

http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/busine...5420697,00.html

In related news, Medtronic is investing in the area:

"Medtronic plans expansion near airport"

http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/busine...5415494,00.html

But I do think it will take at least a decade to really see results. It's a long way to a aerotropolis.

Also in regard to the airport itself:

"Single terminal set for rental cars at airport"

http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/busine...5420693,00.html

Now if only they could also include the Greyhound Station and a light rail stop. Any thoughts on this?

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"Real Estate fit for a king

Since Graceland opened to the public in 1982, EPE and its affiliated companies have gone on a real estate binge, buying everything from gas stations to apartment complexes around the King of Rock and Roll's Whitehaven mansion.

In 1993, EPE purchased what is now known as Graceland Plaza, the visitors center and retail area across the street from the mansion.

In 1997, EPE bought Graceland Crossing, a neighboring shopping center with stores that featured Elvis-related items, located just north of Graceland Plaza.

In 1999, EPE bought an existing hotel near Graceland and turned it into what is known today as Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel.

Since January 2006, EPE and its affiliated companies have spent at least $13.4 million acquiring property near Graceland."

http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/busine...5440838,00.html

Amy thoughts to what this area could become if development around the area could be done correctly? Discussion points?

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"Real Estate fit for a king

Since Graceland opened to the public in 1982, EPE and its affiliated companies have gone on a real estate binge, buying everything from gas stations to apartment complexes around the King of Rock and Roll's Whitehaven mansion.

In 1993, EPE purchased what is now known as Graceland Plaza, the visitors center and retail area across the street from the mansion.

In 1997, EPE bought Graceland Crossing, a neighboring shopping center with stores that featured Elvis-related items, located just north of Graceland Plaza.

In 1999, EPE bought an existing hotel near Graceland and turned it into what is known today as Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel.

Since January 2006, EPE and its affiliated companies have spent at least $13.4 million acquiring property near Graceland."

http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/busine...5440838,00.html

Amy thoughts to what this area could become if development around the area could be done correctly? Discussion points?

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That area does have a lot of potential. Whitehaven is really a nice blue collar community. If you drive down the residential streets, they are really quite pretty. People from Whitehaven are proud of their community and want to stay. While it certainly has its problems, Whitehaven has a lot of upstanding citizens. The area will be a lot better once we get all the strip clubs closed down and enforce a little zoning. If EPE can buy up all the property on Elvis Presley Blvd, they can turn it into a nice blue collar black community that showcases black culture. Think real blues clubs (not the Beale Street kind) and great barbeque and soul food places. The corporate offices around there will certainly help supply eager lunchgoers for more Memphis-only restaurants. I think this part of town can prove that black does not equal ghetto.

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That area does have a lot of potential. Whitehaven is really a nice blue collar community. If you drive down the residential streets, they are really quite pretty. People from Whitehaven are proud of their community and want to stay. While it certainly has its problems, Whitehaven has a lot of upstanding citizens. The area will be a lot better once we get all the strip clubs closed down and enforce a little zoning. If EPE can buy up all the property on Elvis Presley Blvd, they can turn it into a nice blue collar black community that showcases black culture. Think real blues clubs (not the Beale Street kind) and great barbeque and soul food places. The corporate offices around there will certainly help supply eager lunchgoers for more Memphis-only restaurants. I think this part of town can prove that black does not equal ghetto.

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With respect to EPE, I had talked to someone that works for them and she said that people have people that visit the house tell them that if they had a convention center they would hold their national conventions at it. Since, people have been telling them this for a few years, I think they are taking them seriously and are working on a convention center. Think something along the lines of a baby opry land in that area.

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With respect to EPE, I had talked to someone that works for them and she said that people have people that visit the house tell them that if they had a convention center they would hold their national conventions at it. Since, people have been telling them this for a few years, I think they are taking them seriously and are working on a convention center. Think something along the lines of a baby opry land in that area.

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I could see that happening; couple that with the marketability of a "Heartbreak Hotel" brand, and you have enormous money-making possibilities, if done RIGHT, and not cheap-looking. Turn the Heartbreak Hotel brand into a mid to upscale brand. Memphis first. Then consider coupling it/developing a casino version, and expanding long-term into Vegas and Hawaii.

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I always said that if they built an Elvis casino, it'd be the most popular in the country outside of Vegas.

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That area does have a lot of potential. Whitehaven is really a nice blue collar community. If you drive down the residential streets, they are really quite pretty. People from Whitehaven are proud of their community and want to stay. While it certainly has its problems, Whitehaven has a lot of upstanding citizens. The area will be a lot better once we get all the strip clubs closed down and enforce a little zoning. If EPE can buy up all the property on Elvis Presley Blvd, they can turn it into a nice blue collar black community that showcases black culture. Think real blues clubs (not the Beale Street kind) and great barbeque and soul food places. The corporate offices around there will certainly help supply eager lunchgoers for more Memphis-only restaurants. I think this part of town can prove that black does not equal ghetto.

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Looks like the idea of a Aerotropilis is gainng traction in Memphis and that can only be a good thing. I wonder how long it will take to see results. Memphis is the best positioned city in the nation to do this so let's hope they do it right. Thoughts or comments anyone? What can be expected?

Memphis plan takes wing to lead 'aerotroplis' boom

http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/busine...5451607,00.html

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Looks like the idea of a Aerotropilis is gainng traction in Memphis and that can only be a good thing. I wonder how long it will take to see results. Memphis is the best positioned city in the nation to do this so let's hope they do it right.Thoughts or comments anyone? What can be expected?

Memphis plan takes wing to lead 'aerotroplis' boom

http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/busine...5451607,00.html

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Progress update from this CA article. This is kind of a different take on making an area change as the local businesses have taken it upon themselves to make the changes they desire. With this approach rather than having a more distant government entity making decisions and trying to affect change (local stakeholders), this might take off. I hope they can lobby for zoning changes down the road that will make their efforts pay off.

http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/busine...5629728,00.html

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Progress update from this CA article. This is kind of a different take on making an area change as the local businesses have taken it upon themselves to make the changes they desire. With this approach rather than having a more distant government entity making decisions and trying to affect change (local stakeholders), this might take off. I hope they can lobby for zoning changes down the road that will make their efforts pay off.

http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/busine...5629728,00.html

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I have to say the idea of local businesses to start this very solid sounding project appeals to me. I am always a fan of members of a community, businesses and/or residents, taking action to better their neighborhood/area with or without prompting or immediate aid from city government. The Brooks Road Corridor Improvement Group I hope will prove to be a success story, as that would just be a superb example of positive civic action within the city. Pride and vision in what neighborhoods could and should be in our communities is something that we should have more of on all levels I think.

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I have to say the idea of local businesses to start this very solid sounding project appeals to me. I am always a fan of members of a community, businesses and/or residents, taking action to better their neighborhood/area with or without prompting or immediate aid from city government. The Brooks Road Corridor Improvement Group I hope will prove to be a success story, as that would just be a superb example of positive civic action within the city. Pride and vision in what neighborhoods could and should be in our communities is something that we should have more of on all levels I think.

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Well they hired the guy who thought up the idea. So I think there is a good chance that they do it right. Hopefully the redevolopment is dense and appealling.

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. Is it possible that shopping and dining could be introduced (re-introduced?) to the area surrounding Memphis International? And what impact would proposed light rail public transportation from downtown Memphis have in regard to these plans.

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Light rail could help the airport area and downtown, as it would allow for quick, easy transit between them.

I know that in my experience, light rail makes it easier to make an impulse trip. No worries about weather, traffic or parking. Just walk outside and go.

Sadly, the inane routing MATA has selected will likely be the death knell for light rail in Memphis for the next few decades, and probably won't help all that much. Alternative 1 was so obviously good that it just couldn't have been approved. Alternative 2 won't do a damn to help the attitudes of Memphians who already think they are being asked to pay for another downtown trolley.

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I wrote an essay for a response, and here's the thread where I posted it.

I didn't want to derail this one any further. (unavoidable pun)

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^ Good article. The airport does need to have its hotels and service base renovated to keep them attractive options for travelers and tourists, as there is no good reason for folks to have to stay in Mississippi or downtown for lack of decent options around the airport and/or the current grittier nature of that area of the city. As others have said in the past the airport is the front door to Memphis, WTN, and the Mid-South, so seeing steps to shine up the door and replace the broken frame are welcomed developments.

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