• Memphis commission sheds light on future of downtown area at South Main informational meeting

    By: Tony Atkins


    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The plan for a better downtown continues to take shape.

    Wednesday, the Downtown Memphis Commission gathered stakeholders to show off some of what they've been working on. Several topics were touched on including parking, safety, preservation, growth. 

    “We haven’t seen one kind of thread. It’s been a wide-range of issues,” said Jennifer Oswalt, president of the DMC.  

    Parking, lighting and people were a few of that wide range of issues people said keep downtown from the next level.

    “The people are right. The climate is right. The location is right, and we have a lot to offer the people that come here,” said downtown resident Susan Alders. 

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    The DMC also showed their work Thursday. A look at the parking inventory shows much of the area's designated space sits underutilized.

    Oswalt said making the best use of land used for 70-thousand downtown spaces is key. 

    “What we are trying to say is here are our parking assets. What’s being used and where is the future development headed,” Oswalt said.  

    Oswalt said the DMC’s Blue Suede Brigade corps has grown from 10 to 30 this year. They're also conducting an analysis on lighting. 

    All-in-all, Oswalt said a downtown with more life is the ultimate solution. 

    “The best thing for safety is vibrancy and more people. So above all, we try to get people to live downtown and work downtown and that really will help the situation,” Oswald said.

    The DMC’s final plan for the future of downtown will be finished by Spring 2019.

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