After much anticipation, Memphis Teacher Residency is moving into the newly renovated Crosstown Concourse THIS WEEK!
Those of us who are on staff have waited for this day for a very long time (many longer than I have). So many people have worked hard to make this dream become a reality and it is finally here!
The MTR headquarters are currently housed in the Union Avenue Baptist Church basement. The basement has served MTR well over the years and has been a place where many amazing things have happened. I love the space at UABC and will certainly miss the space, but mostly the company of the sweet people who work in that church.
I am however extremely pumped for our big move! Back in the summer, Crosstown Concourse co-founder, Todd Richardson came to MTR to give our staff and residents a presentation about Crosstown Concourse and that is when I learned about what exactly Crosstown was and will be. Todd shared his hopes and dreams and his vision for the space.
Crosstown used to be a 53,000 square foot Sears Distribution Center with over 1,000 employees that has been abandoned for nearly 17 years. From the Concourse’s website: “After the building sat abandoned for 17 years, Crosstown Arts, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, was formed to facilitate the redevelopment of the Sears Crosstown building using arts and culture as a catalyst for change.” Those working on the project spent over four years designing and planning what will now be referred to as the “vertical urban village.”
One of my favorite things about Crosstown Concourse is that the founding partners of the project participated in a “collaborative planning and development process” and sought the community in efforts to dream of what this building would become. It is through relationships that the sustainability of this project existed.
In just a couple of days, I will get to experience the historic Crosstown Concourse for myself. I get to be a part of history as MTR will be the 3rd commercial tenants to move into Crosstown. A few other future tenants will include Church Health, the YMCA, City Leadership, Tech901, Area 51 Ice Cream, Curb Market, French Truck Coffee, Juice Bar, Teach for America, and many others! Crosstown will also be home to Crosstown High School.
Another amazing opportunity we have is that our future residents will get to live in the beautiful new apartments called the Parcels at Concourse. I love this quote from the Parcels website: “People will be living and working, learning and teaching, healing and growing well, creating and recreating, shopping and eating— like a really great neighborhood.”
Going to work at Crosstown everyday will be a reminder of the great history our city has and will give me an opportunity to collaborate with incredible people who continue to make Memphis into “ a really great neighborhood.”