Didn't any of you naysayers read that Dwell spread about the hot new trend of transforming shipping containers into commercial spaces, tiny homes and even swimming pools? No? I think it was the May 2004 edition. Run down to thee library and check it out before it's too late.
Seriously, the shipping container concept should not be the exciting part of this business model. Is the service needed, is the location right? Will the product generate demand?
In the nineties while working in Nashville as a young eager video freelancer I remember reading a comment in the Scene about how Nashvillians needed to get with it, and how the writer wished their were more people with edgy taste willing to try things like blue corn chips. No kidding.
The defense of the use shipping containers in this build kind of reminds me of that. And I really like the adaptive reuse of them. But I'm not convinced this property is right for this concept.
The best idea I've heard is for Whole Foods to move into the former Schnuck's at Forest Hill Irene and Poplar. Increasing the traffic and commercial density at Poplar and Exeter doesn't sound too bright to me. There are already 2 Krogers there!
I like Midtown Nursery, but Loeb has the right to lease the space to whoever he wants. He's going to get more rent from a restaurant, and the Nursery is at the end of its term. Now, as far as the design, sure why not? Foodwise, I'm unimpressed with these operators. But they know how to make an interesting and successful venue.
Hey, I've got a forward thinking project that captures the spirt and imagination of youth longing to live in a vibrant urban setting.
Where do you want to put it? Broad Street? Crosstown?
Hell no..... On a tiny tiny tiny piece of property!
Adam: Yes, I always believe in my own BS. Another nursery has already announced they will open in Midtown. Welcome to our market driven economic model.
Memphis is a conservative self referential place. I support any project that is modern, forward thinking and that captures the spirt and imagination of youth longing to live in a vibrant urban setting.
Our city lacks modern architecture. It takes guts to build a forward thinking project in a conservative market like Memphis. Those who are willing to bring artful progressive design to Memphis deserve our support.
BP, do you really believe any of the BS you wrote?
As a CY resident I'm 50/50 on this inclusion of the Truck Stop to the corner. I don't think it looks awful. I do think it will create added traffic problems, but not as bad as I once thought.
I have a feeling when it opens it'll be busy for a while then taper off after the "oh look it's something new" shininess abates. As previously mentioned food trucks aren't the cheapest route to go when hungry.
The real travesty is that this is a not just a land grab scheme with a significant increase in rent for Loeb,Tauer and Berger are going to charge and control the flow of food trucks(for a fee I'm sure) as they sort through their "affiliated and friendly network of food trucks" that are part of their association.Anyone the least bit familiar with their fare knows it's not now,nor will it ever be about really good food.Here's a thought,let's take that old French Quarter property and build this concept on the corner and subdivide the rest for other like minded concepts from the Tauer/Berger team.
There aren't many nurseries in Midtown any more, but there are tons of restaurants. I drive by that corner every day on the way to work and there's no parking. This would create a huge traffic problem (Central has one lane there), and I would have to find another way to work. Tricky, tricky of Loeb to pull this lease-signing stunt while Earnest is out of town. Now set in stone? Tricky.... Earnest is good people, his employees are wonderful, his business is good for Midtown, and I believe him concerning the "verbal agreement" he had with Loeb. But that just left the door open to getting screwed. Profit motive strikes again! And Earnest "gets the business" from Loeb. You won't see me at the Truck Stop, but if the nursery continues, you'll see me there.
Restaurants in shipping containers remind me of my time on the FOB in Iraq where the food court was all shipping containers. Now that was edgy!
The industrial design is superb. This is a hip fun design in our most trend savvy area. Please don't change the design to appease the elements in our community who cling to traditional design. Perhaps they should travel more. They would see that cities that promote and appreciate modern design are also the most educated, wealthy and progressive areas.
If Earnest wanted to stay, he should have signed his lease renewal. End of story.
Yes, look at the Starbucks on Union and the huge commercial success that it is.
I've seen some great designs using the shipping container concept, that doesn't really worry me. But the parking/traffic situation is confusing. Small lot, food trucks taking space and no real parking. What is the law requiring a certain number of parking places for a certain number of tables?
There's talk of this being a pedestrian destination but given how most folks in this town want to park directly in front of where they're eating I'm skeptical. Here in the CY we have tons of parking within a half-block of the intersection but the business' want to build a parking garage. I walk the neighborhood regularly (nightly) and there's parking off the main drag if you're just willing to walk about a block. But the fear of crime/inconvenience seems to create the impression that there's no parking. This compounds the problem I think...
I love fantastic ideas... but it needs to be put a good spot and not forced into an area it won't work.
The design is something being done all over the world right now, it's trendy, not interesting.
I'm embracing and supporting change everywhere.... Crosstown, Overton Square, etc.
Applebees has plenty of parking.
As a resident of the area, I think this sounds fantastic. There are many food trucks in Memphis serving excellent food, and I think the design sounds creative and interesting. To have a vibrant city, folks, you have to embrace change and not expect every restaurant to look like an Applebees.
Not sure if I'd call Food Trucks a trend just yet, but I don't think many people are going to say "Hey, let's go to Truck Stop and get an $8 grilled cheese or two bison tacos for $9!"
Let's be honest though... the food at Chiwawa, as a whole, really isn't that good. There are places in town where you can get much better tacos and dogs for a better price. Truck Stop will be successful in the same way that Chiwawa is popular, they're built to look overly trendy with cheap furniture and materials. You're not going for good food like you would at Iris or Andrew Michael, you're going because it's cool and hip.
Which won't last long.
I hate to see Trolley Stop lose its uniqueness. The idea of the booths will be welcoming, but once you add large screen sports' televised events, I think you begin to lose the family friendly atmosphere w/beer slugging sports fans!
One entrance and one exit on a plot of land that is the size of a postage stamp? This is a bad idea. Look at the Starbucks on Union and the traffic nightmares that occur when there is a rush on coffee. I have a bad feeling about this.
What happens in the next three years when the food truck trend dries up? Way to think with today's eyes.
Simple solution........knowing the money grabbing mindset of Bob Loeb and the tacky vision of Tauer and Berger, I'll choose to spend my money for make believe food at the closet McDonald's before I'll support this place...........it won't help the Nursery, but it would sure be fitting for Bob to be stuck with another dead piece of property and a building that can only be described as looking like some Transformer took a massive dump.
By Leonard Gill
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