Uptown Neighbors at the Table to Help Invest 'Real Money'

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Neighbors, stakeholders, and developers met last week to re-imagine Uptown. - ANDREW MURRAY/TWITTER
  • Andrew Murray/Twitter
  • Neighbors, stakeholders, and developers met last week to re-imagine Uptown.

What could you and your neighbors do with $95 million over 14 years?

Figuring that out is precisely the task now before neighbors in Uptown. Thanks to a tax increment financing (TIF) deal started in 2001, the neighborhood has $95 million to invest until 2032.

Now neighbors, developers, and other stakeholders are working to form a neighborhood plan. It’s a new model with few like it across the country. In Memphis, redevelopment has never been done like this before.

The boundaries of Uptown, where $95 million will be invested over 14 years. - MEMPHIS AND SHELBY COUNTY COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY
  • Memphis and Shelby County Community Redevelopment Agency
  • The boundaries of Uptown, where $95 million will be invested over 14 years.

The process is supported by the Memphis and Shelby County Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). The agency was created in 2001 but over the last year, it has become more independent with its own staff and resources.

“What’s exciting about this type of TIF is that — versus the developer-driven type of TIF — this is really driven by the community,” said Tanja Mitchell, who long served as the Uptown Neighborhood Coordinator and is now part of the CRA.
The boundaries of the Uptown TIF. - MEMPHIS AND SHELBY COUNTY COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY
  • Memphis and Shelby County Community Redevelopment Agency
  • The boundaries of the Uptown TIF.

Neighborhood meetings commenced last week to begin piecing the plan together. While details are finalized, pop-ups will populate the neighborhoods of Uptown, which include Smokey City, Greenlaw, Klondike, and more. Vacant buildings, alleys, and more will be re-imagined as retail spaces or restaurants.



Andrew Murray, the CRA’s director of planning and community development, said he’s been through plenty of planning processes. But this one is different, he said, not to mention the fact that “it’s real money!”

“We have 14 years and a set amount of money, and a set amount of ways we can use that money, and we have a community advisory committee that will be driving the planning process,” Murray said. ”They’ll be around to implement the process. They’ll be the keepers of the plan.”





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