Have you been to down to South Main lately? The area is getting a major facelift – and not just of the cosmetic variety. The Memphis Business Journal reported back in April that Henry Turley and Billy Orgel, collectively South Junction Partners, are planning a 197-unit apartment development with ground-up construction possibly starting as early as mid-July. Slated to be called South Junction Apartments, the development will sit on the 5.58 vacant lot at Carolina Avenue and Florida Street.
Next up, the Downtown Memphis Commission launched The South Main Design Challenge and over the past several months teams have submitted ideas to help revamp underused and abandoned sites throughout the South Main area. Semi-finalists were announced last week and include everything from outdoor movie theaters to a market that brings fresh, local food options from the Memphis Farmer’s Market to the residents of South Main year-round.
The area has always had a reputation for being a quaint, artsy oasis in the midst of a gritty commercial downtown and while we’re all for development and innovation of all types, extra attention needs to paid to maintain the personality and charm of a neighborhood we’ve grown to love.
Trezevant Enterprises, Inc. is hoping to get in on the South Main renaissance by developing the former Cummins Mid-South LLC building at 666 Riverside drive. The 2.1-acre lot is home to a three-level 100,174-square-foot building. The MBJ reported Trezevant considers the parking lot area to be a prime outparcel for a “coffee shop or free-standing bank branch.” It was also noted that the property is the first thing drivers will see as they come around the I-240 loop and are deposited onto Riverside Dr.
A public hearing has been scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday, June 26 to rezone the property, allowing for a Self-Storage Facility and/or a drive thru window to a commercial building. Several residents are concerned that those two allowances would decrease property value and interrupt traffic flow, not to mention the unsightly signage that is usually associated with Self-Storage facilities. One group in particular is hosting the website norezoneriverside.com in hopes to acquire enough petition signatures an opposing emails to thwart the rezoning.
In short, if you are a South Main or downtown resident it’s up to you to voice ideas, opinions and concerns for future development projects. Take an active approach in growing and promoting the cool, quirky traits of our beloved Memphis neighborhoods and get involved!
Voice your ideas, opinions and concerns about the 666 Riverside project here.