Thursday, May 21, 2009

Overton Squared

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2009 at 11:07 AM

Memphis Heritage held a meeting last night about the plans for Overton Square, and they're asking Memphians to contact Associated Wholesale Grocers to ask the company to discuss its plans for the area with local residents.

From an email this morning from Memphis Heritage director June West:

"Our plan to have a conversation with AWG (Associated Wholesale Grocers) about their proposed development at Overton Square has not been successful. After many attempts to reach various officers of the company we have yet to be given the courtesy of a returned call. ...

Since they will not communicate with us it appears we must rally the voices of those that do not want to see this area of Overton Square bulldozed for an inappropriate and undesired development in the heart of midtown. The owners of the property (Fisher Capital) and the proposed developers (AWG) do not seem to understand the importance of this area to local residents and other Memphians. Unfortunately they see it as just another piece of land for low suburban sprawl, strip development. We feel it needs to be a much more defined urban space with more density such as a town center or an entertainment district, etc."

The plan for the area seems to be a grocery store, which, unless done right, would kill the character of the street as it is right now (the buildings are set close to the street, with a nice, wide sidewalk, perfect for strolling and window-shopping).

Most of the buildings' tenants are already gone; Fantastic Sam's was recently told it had to move. I think the only thing left there now is an Indian restaurant and on the very end, Memphis Pizza Cafe (don't quote me, I might be mis-remembering).

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For more or to find their contact list, to go Memphis Heritage's website.

Also, if you're interested, Memphis Magazine did a story last year on what Overton Square was like back in the day, when "the city's pulse beat at Madison and Cooper."

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