Greensward, Fourth Bluff, Crosstown 

The zoo’s parking plan gets underway and the Fourth Bluff gets $5M.

Crosstown theater

Movement began this week to build a an $11 million, 450-seat "art community theater" on the Crosstown Concourse property.

A Downtown Memphis Commission board was slated to review the project Tuesday. The theater would "develop the Crosstown area of Memphis as a multi-cultural community that fosters creativity, education, and diversity through the arts," according to the application.

The theater would play host to community theater shows, national music acts, local music shows, symphony events, and more, according to a financial statement provided in the DMC application.

If funding for the project is approved, officials said construction would begin in October and the project could be complete in November 2017.

click to enlarge Fourth Bluff
  • Fourth Bluff

Fourth Bluff FTW

Memphis won $5 million last week for a project to help re-energize a four-block stretch of downtown Memphis that includes Cossitt Library, Memphis Park, and Mississippi River Park.

"This part of downtown is the missing piece that would link nodes of activity to the north [Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid] and south [Tom Lee Park, Beale Street, Main Street]," said project organizer Maria Fuhrmann.

The grant will bring new signage, events, public art, and more to the area. Fourth Bluff Fridays, one event linked to the Fourth Bluff project, has brought a pop-up beer garden (and hundreds of people) to Memphis Park.

Zoo parking

Public input will be sought on the plan to reconfigure the Memphis Zoo's parking lot.

Design work has begun on the plan that will bring more space there. The change will ultimately bring an end to the decades-long use of the Overton Park Greensward as an overflow parking lot.

The overall design process will include public outreach and meetings. Overton Park Conservancy officials said last week that keeping the public informed "will be a key part of this project," which will be overseen by OPC, the zoo, and the city of Memphis.

"Our goal is to provide regular updates to the public, as well as ample notice of opportunities for the community to provide feedback," OPC said.

The college try

A local group wants a tax deal to push the already red-hot development scene around the University of Memphis (U of M).

The University Neighborhood Development Corp. (UNDC) told Memphis City Council members last week it hopes to create a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district around the area. The move would allow portions of state taxes collected there to be funneled back to the area, instead of going to the state.

The deal could bring $83 million to the area in the next 20 years, officials said. The funds would fuel infrastructure projects to make the area more attractive to students and developers.

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