Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Good developments in Crosstown

Cleveland and Larkin development, CrosstownDoing my usual wandering about and decided to take these pictures of some good things happening in Crosstown. First there's the preparation that's being done for a new development (here's a Memphis Business Journal article and editorial on the development from a year ago). This is on the site of the old Colonial Bakery at Cleveland and Larkin.

It's on the west side of Cleveland. The west side! Excellent.

I can't find any images of the proposed houses but the MBJ article included the following:
Architect Jeff Blackledge, owner of Blackledge Architecture, says the homes will follow the bungalow style of many Midtown homes, with porches and large windows. Likewise, the two-story townhomes will mirror Midtown apartment blocks seen along Madison and Poplar, with brick facades and porticos. The homes will have subtle design features such as light fixtures, tilework and crown molding reminiscent of the 1920s and 1930s.
If they're of quality design, they will strengthen the neighborhood.

The other development was a medical building on Monroe between Watkins and Raine Place.

Monroe and Raine Place, Crosstown MemphisThis building replaced an abandoned nursing home from the 60's that had become a self-styled rest home for vagrants.

Although it's recessed from the sidewalk, I believe there are 4 pretty positive aspects to it:
  1. it looks good;
  2. the wrought iron fence makes up for the building's setback by creating an architectural space at the sidewalk (as well as providing security from the previous occupants);
  3. although there is a driveway at the front of the building, there is no parking directly in front.
  4. They kept the mature trees on the sidewalk in front.
One more thing. Both of these are within 3 blocks of the site that Target may be building on Watkins and Poplar. They're proof that Crosstown is far from dead, and very worthy of good architecture.

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Anonymous john said...

Have you noticed that 6 houses have sprouted up on Claybrook?
Here's a link to the real estate listing for one of them:

I walked a bit down Cleveland in the shadow of the Sears Building and was struck at what a pleasant shopping district it couldn't eventually be. Several deep retail bays are available. Between the Vietnamese pool hall, a gay bar (or two?...I'm not sure about Mary's), a newly renovated Jehovah's Witness hall(they're sinking 2 million into the old Malco Crosstown), an alcohol-free bar for twelve steppers, and several blue collar flea markets(actual deals to be found here unlike the stretch on Central) that particular stretch of retail could attain a level of real diversity that Cooper-Young can only dream of.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous john said...

I really have trouble with posting links in blogger. Just search Claybrook on crye-leike's property search.

1:41 PM  
Blogger gatesofmemphis said...

John, you're right about Crosstown. That commercial corridor is architecturally cool and intact. It would help/benefit from the Sears Crosstown redevelopment. The whole neighborhood is reputationally undervalued. It's one good infill development (maybe the one you point to) from a real psychic transformation and the beginning of an economic transform. The Sears Crosstown will be a huge success for a patient developer.

10:55 PM  

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