Saturday, May 12, 2018

CityBuilding Express - 2018 - Day 1 - Memphis and Huntsville

This morning on the City Building Express, we visited Memphis. We started our time in Memphis at
HarborTown, an early traditional neighborhood development on the banks of the Mississippi River.
Tommy Pacello of the Memphis Medical District Collaborative and Frank Ricks of LRK served as our tour guides. We then made our way through Uptown, viewing one of the larger scattered site affordable housing developments in the country, all provided by Uptown Memphis and the Memphis Housing Authority.

We explored the 1.5 million square foot Crosstown Concourse redevelopment, where a former Sears distribution center has been redeveloped into a vertical urban village. This was a most impressive building transformation that includes retail, office, artist space, a YMCA, healthcare services and apartments. This development got the Crosstown area back on people's mental map in Memphis, and new development is following.

We finished our time in Memphis in the Medical District, where Tommy Pacello presented the work of the Memphis Medical District Collaborative, their goals and mission for the coming years, and the methods, like tactical urbanism and incremental development, that have helped to begin the rebuilding of the area.

We made our way to Huntsville, Alabama, sharing our observations about the morning and afternoon on the bus. Arriving in Huntsville, Chad Emerson of Downtown Huntsville led us on a walking tour of Downtown Huntsville. Huntsville is a city that has undergone a tremendous amount of investment in the past decade, with more planned.