Saving the Square 

Memphis Heritage discusses possible changes at Madison and Cooper.

Overton Square is in danger of becoming more of a box.

Plans for the square include tearing down existing buildings, such as the former T.G.I. Fridays, on the south side of Madison and placing a strip mall there or constructing a big-box grocery store in the southwest corner of the adjacent parking lot.

In a meeting organized by Memphis Heritage last week, architects, planners, and Midtown residents came together to discuss the current development plans for Overton Square, plans that many at the meeting did not agree with.

"I would hate to see the buildings torn down," said David Hanson. "The idea of a grocery store is great, but I don't want to infringe on anybody else's rights, especially when they talk about the back of that building facing the front of the other existing buildings."

Others wanted to make sure any retail development would meet certain standards.

"If a grocery store must go there, I would like for it to be an upscale grocery store, like Trader Joe's," said Midtown resident Sara Holmes.

Memphis Heritage executive director June West contacted Fisher Capital, one of the Square's owners, but was told to take her concerns to the city and not to the owners or AWG, developers for the site.

West also contacted AWG and asked for a meeting, but AWG did not return her calls.

"If they don't come to the table, we don't have any way of knowing or communicating what we would like to see, and Midtown residents have a right to say what they would like to see in that area," West said. "It's not that we want to obstruct them. We want to be involved in the plan."

Meeting participants also wondered if they could get a moratorium on development to delay any possible demolition of the area's buildings.

"Every city has a heart and in Memphis, it's Overton Square," said Jeanne Arthur, a realtor who handled public relations for the Square in its early days. "I think that heart still wants to beat."

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Historic Status

      City set to vote on new guidelines for historic districts
    • Eyes on You

      Court says Memphis’ police surveillance violated consent decree.

Blogs

Hungry Memphis

Welcome back, Restaurant Iris!

Music Blog

Gillian Welch Wows GPAC

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Alpha

Intermission Impossible

In Praise of "Love and Murder" at Playhouse on the Square

News Blog

MATA Looks to Hire More Trolley Operators

Music Blog

Listen Up: Cruelty of the Heavens

News Blog

VIDEO: SUV Driver Swerves Into Cyclists

Intermission Impossible

Ostranders to Honor Memphis Performers Who Died During 2017-18 Season

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Kimberly Kim

  • Square Spared?

    City Council passes resolution requiring approval of any Overton Square demolition.
    • Jun 11, 2009
  • Building Blocks

    Land Use Control Board unanimously passes the new Unified Development Code.
    • Jun 4, 2009
  • A Century of Service

    Local Salvation Army officer honored.
    • May 21, 2009
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Bought the Farm

    Tennessee farmers are cashing in on the local food movement.
    • Jan 5, 2017
  • Behind Closed Doors

    The Memphis City Council has ways of keeping the public in the dark.
    • Mar 22, 2018
  • The Past for the Future

    With a new leader, the Lynching Sites Project will commemorate a silenced death.
    • Jan 12, 2017
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2018

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation