A project that will improve the Jackson Avenue commercial corridor is underway, the city’s director of Housing and Community Development (HCD), Paul Young told a city council committee Tuesday.
The focus of the project, Young said is changing the appearance of the public space, by improving streetscapes, sidewalks, medians, and signage on the Jackson Avenue corridor from Watkins to I-240.
“We want it to have a comprehensive feel so it looks like you’re entering a neighborhood,” Young said.
Still, Young said exactly what improvements will be made hasn’t been finalized yet.
The latest efforts of the project was a traffic study to determine the traffic volume on the street.
The next step, Young said, is to “make sure we’re moving in right direction,” by gathering public feedback.
Options for the project will be presented to the community at a meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 21 at the Dave Wells Community Center. At this meeting, Young said his team will be able to provide more comprehensive updates, as well as visuals of the proposed project features.
Young expects the planning period to wrap up in the the first half of next year, with construction beginning in the spring.
However, Young said the bulk of the construction will begin the next fiscal year in July.
Council member Joe Brown emphasized the importance of removing blight from the Jackson Avenue corridor, calling it a major highway and a gateway to Downtown, Uptown, and the Pinch District.
“When people come to Memphis, they need to see something that looks great,” Brown said.
Young adds that HCD is also collaborating with the Klondike Smokey City CDC and CommCap Partners to produce a comprehensive housing strategy for the neighborhoods surrounding Jackson Avenue.