Memphis Downtown Commission, HUD eyes developments south of downtown

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Downtown Commission, HUD eyes South City development for more than $200 million.

That's what city leaders and investors said it will take to revamp the historic South City area just outside of downtown.

Blight reduction, grocery stores and a renewed commitment to public safety are some of the things the Downtown Memphis Commission said will help south city become more than just the vacant space next to the FedExForum.

“It’s a long history and that history is going to be replicated,” said businessman Ronald Washington.

The construction is apart of a trend to revitalize South City, further connecting the land south of Martin Luther King Ave., to the rest of central Memphis.

Washington moved his business in the area back in 2004. He said he saw the potential back then.

“In 2003, when I decided to move my business from downtown to here, a lot of people thought I was crazy,” Washington said.

Townhomes, a grocery store, mixed use spaces, parks and even a senior building are some of the things the city plans to bring into the area.

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The plan, backed up in-part by $150 million grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development is intended to bring those things to an area that is home to many vacant lots.

Representatives from the Memphis Downtown Commission, who said the HUD funds will come in increments of just under $30 million over the next five years.

If all goes to plan, the revitalization is set to be complete during the fall of 2021.