SCS Board approves sale of two blighted properties for $325,000

SHELBY CO., Tenn. — Blight is an issue across Memphis and within the Shelby County School System.

Some old schools have been vacant for years.

Tuesday night, the school board approved the sale of two of the vacant properties. One of the lots had been closed for five years, sitting boarded up in a Whitehaven neighborhood.

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FOX13 talked with people who say they’re glad something is being done with those old schools.

Whitehaven homeowner Gregory Couch said he remembers when Graves Elementary School was full of life.

“Yeah actually my granddaughter went there for a year,” he said. The school closed in 2014.

Holmes Road Elementary School, another vacant lot owned by SCS sits a few miles down the road from Graves Elementary.

These are two of 30 vacant properties owned by the school district. They are a mixture of empty lots and former schools. But soon the two school properties will be transformed.

Tuesday night the school board approved those land sales for $325,000 combined.

“If it’s going to help the kids I’ll go along with that.” Couch said.

The former elementary schools will be turned into a manufacturing facility owned by Made in Memphis and a working studio owned by Black Lens Production.

FOX13 talked with one man off-camera about the sale. He said he doesn’t like the blight but doesn’t believe a commercial business is the right fit.

But Couch says it’s better than blight. “It won’t be empty. Somebody will be in it so we won’t have that breaking in and all that,” he said.

It’s unclear how much the other vacant lots owned by SCS are worth. According to the district, they only appraise the property after a potential buyer shows interest.