Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Town Center Plans Reviewed

Posted By on Tue, Mar 3, 2015 at 1:53 PM

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Neighborhood redevelopment projects are planned to bring town centers (like the one in Soulsville) all over Memphis.

Robert Lipscomb, the city’s director of Housing and Community Development, and his team brought those plans (some of which have been in the works for years) to the Memphis City Council for review Tuesday.

Lipscomb made the presentation to let council members know that progress is being made on some of the projects but also that his office doesn’t just work on big projects like Bass Pro at the Pyramid, and the Fairgrounds redevelopment plan.

The council saw the plan for Foote Homes and the surrounding communities. Lipscomb said his team is readying to apply for a nearly $30 million federal grant for the redevelopment, which would completely demolish and replace the city’s final public housing project.

The Foote Homes plan would be similar to the Cleaborne Pointe project that replaced the housing project there and could include about 714 housing units.

Noting that he didn’t want to “leave any neighborhood behind when it comes to the Fairground project,” Lipscomb showed council members a town center project for the Beltline neighborhood, which sits adjacent to the Fairgrounds’ eastern border.

The plan showed improvements to streetscapes, building facades, and green space. It also included a garden space for residents to use, a park, and lighting for railroad underpasses there that would give better access to the Orange Mound neighborhood.

Lipscomb showed similar plans for the Klondike/Smokey City neighborhood, and for New Chicago, where wrk has already begun.

Council member Wanda Halbert applauded the plans, noting (as she has many times before) that so many development dollars go to Downtown and Midtown while other parts of Memphis are neglected.

Council member Janice Fullilove asked Lipscomb what would happen to the plans would a new mayor be elected in October. Lipscomb said he doesn’t get into politics and the expected the plans to move forward.

The plans have been in the development phase for years. When asked when the projects may come to fruition, Lipscomb said they would get started as soon as funding was identified.

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