Residents voice opposition against proposed parking garage near St. Jude

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — People who live in Uptown Memphis and the Greenlaw community say NOT GOOD ENOUGH to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital after changes to a proposed parking garage in their neighborhood.

The majority of residents are against the building of the seven-story parking garage and suggest it goes elsewhere.

FOX13 found out why neighbors believe there’s a better option.

Honoring a plan to protect the culture of the Greenlaw and Uptown neighborhoods is what people who live in those neighborhoods are asking St. Jude to do, which includes taking their eyes off of green space for their proposed seven-story parking garage.

″We do appreciate all of the changes St. Jude has made. However, our community has a community plan,” said Valerie Peavy, Uptown resident.

Peavy, a Greenlaw business owner, told reporters Monday morning the community plan doesn’t include a seven-story parking garage.

For months people who live just down the way from St. Jude in the two neighborhoods have been voicing their opposition to the proposed parking garage for this huge green space.

″I was saddened on Friday. I learned that St. Jude was prepared to pull the case from the BOA meeting. I was saddened to learn they changed their minds,” Peavy said.

People who will be affected said the plan for the land is in the Memphis 3.0 Plan, which the city, residents, and St. Jude developed for the community.

″Six months of work,” said Andre Jones, Uptown resident. “$3,000, hundreds of interviews. This plan is real, and they need to honor it.”

St. Jude proposed building the parking garage on A.W. Willis Avenue between Third and Fourth streets.

But neighbors said there is another spot on Danny Thomas Boulevard that will be a better fit for the traffic.

″ALSAC owns the former City of Memphis general services lot just east of Danny Thomas,” Jones said. “That’s where they originally planned to build the garage.”

The Memphis Shelby County Board of Adjustment will have the final say this week.

″We are asking the Board of Adjustment to stick to the plan for this community that was put together by community participants,” Jones said.

The Board of Adjustment meeting is scheduled for Wednesday.

ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, offered the following statement on the proposed parking garage.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude, have grown by more than 1,200 jobs over the past six years, and likely will add roughly 1,800 more jobs over the next six years while continuing to expand construction and development in the front of our campus into the Pinch District as we grow our mission to advance research and lifesaving treatment for children worldwide. The growth in Memphis has fueled the need for additional new construction, including more parking, and we have continued to partner with the community to plan for a development that brings new opportunities for investment and employment to our fellow neighbors, while preserving the rich history of the area we have invested in and called home for 60 years. We have continued to engage in collaborative dialogue with our neighbors and conduct independent studies to ensure our updated, lower-height design with planned retail and community features creates a more vibrant, walkable area that enriches the neighborhood, and accommodates the growth of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and ALSAC. The planned garage, to be constructed over an open bayou, will allow us to decommission current surface parking along A.W. Willis Avenue. We look forward to meeting again with the Board of Adjustment this week to discuss our updated proposal.