Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Inside the Overton Square

Memphis Heritage is hosting a meeting about Overton Square from 4-6 p.m. this Wednesday, May 20th, at their headquarters, 2282 Madison (at Edgewood).

Like the last public Overton Square meeting, this one also and unfortunately takes place during business hours. Memphis Heritage has told me that this was designed several weeks ago as a educational/informational meeting and has morphed into an advocacy meeting because of the recent contract on Overton Square. From here out, advocacy meetings will take place after normal business hours so members and concerned citizens can participate.

Clock Tower in Overton Square

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Anonymous Joseph A said...

What exactly is going on here? I remember when the Square was almost entirely occupied just a few years ago. Allowing a speculative developer to control this land and then sell it to a budget grocer is absolutely insane. Midtown is nice, but it absolutely has to have vibrant walkable centers on top of the existing tree-lined streets in order to really thrive. I think this area could learn a thing or two from St. Louis, where the success of well-preserved, walkable mixed-use areas led to the city's first population increase in decades. As someone originally from Oxford, Mississippi, I think it is in everybody's best interest for this neighborhood to survive. Moreover, I would hate to see it suffer the same speculative and bad developments as my hometown did.

2:53 PM  
Blogger gatesofmemphis said...

They have an existing strip of early 20th century storefronts which are mostly empty (facts showing the emptiness was an intentional marketing move, not market conditions), plus a massive parking lot behind. The present owner wants to sell both to a new tenant. In lieu of any contact, rumors are flowing that the potential owner wants to demolish the storefronts and build antiurban developments, i.e., parking in front, artless architecture.

You are absolutely right about the walkable center. In fact, if the possible owners aren't stubborn buttheads, they can learn a lot about making their development a success from the folks rallying for Overton Square. If done right, they could become an immediate center of Midtown Memphis.

thanks for commenting. I always enjoy seeing your photographs.

12:20 AM  

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