Weekly Update: Celebrating the momentum of Memphis


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As I spend time in every corner of our city, I’m reminded more and more of our momentum. It’s all around -- and it’s worth reminding all of us about here today.

Think about it:

  • At the corner of B.B. King Boulevard and Peabody Place, ServiceMaster’s high-tech employees are working alongside startups in an old shopping mall to grow our tech entrepreneur space. And in a few more months, a large wave of ServiceMaster employees will move Downtown -- a transformation of day-to-day energy in our core city we probably haven’t seen since AutoZone moved to Front Street in the mid-1990s.
  • On the north end of B.B. King, fresh dirt is being turned on sites that will become part of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s westward expansion into the Pinch District. Aided by an infrastructure investment from us, St. Jude will eventually add 1,800 more good jobs in its world-renowned quest that has a home right here in Memphis.
  • A home run to left-center at AutoZone Park heads toward the Hickman Building, which has been dark for more than 40 years. SouthernSun Asset Management is revitalizing it as part of its new headquarters.
  • Remember the old Mall of Memphis site? Drive by it sometime and you’ll see steel rising that will be part of TAG Truck Center’s multi-million-dollar, massive new operation.
  • In East Memphis, a new Boyle Investments office tower is rising, continuing to prove the vitality of that critical business district.
  • In Whitehaven, Elvis Presley Enterprises has doubled down on Memphis with a huge new hotel and entertainment center. New developments are starting to dot Elvis Presley Boulevard, which we’re getting closer to rehabbing.
  • In Binghampton, residents will soon be able to shop for fresh food at a neighborhood grocery store. The Binghampton Gateway Center at the corner of Tillman and Sam Cooper is taking shape, and it wouldn’t have happened without the direct intervention of city government. (A similar new development is planned in Frayser.)
  • On the south end of Downtown, the Tennessee Brewery, vacant for more than 60 years, is about to be alive once more. And you’ll soon start to see work on Central Station’s transformation into a hotel and much more surrounding it -- part of the massive South City redevelopment that includes razing our last remaining traditional housing project in favor of a more vibrant neighborhood.
  • And today at Crosstown Concourse, the old Sears Crosstown building, you can have a cup of coffee, eat lunch or work out at the Church Health YMCA. The Crosstown building is alive again, and the neighborhood is already starting to feel the ripple effects.

All of this is on top of news announced just today: Another of our great corporate citizens, Thomas & Betts, recently cast its own search for a corporate HQ and determined that Memphis is its best place to grow. 

The only bad part of all of this is I know I’ve left out quite a bit. That’s how much is going on in Memphis -- the majority of some $11 billion in development in our region. It’s happening right here within our city limits, not outside of them.

Don’t misunderstand me: I’m still keenly aware of our challenges. And we’re still laser-focused on all that we’re doing to address them.

But being your mayor has convinced me of this: Sometimes we’re too hard on ourselves as Memphians. We give in to bad narratives. And sometimes we’re too rosy. We forget that there are real issues we must confront.

To me, the right mix is a handful of both -- equal parts celebrating our momentum and being clear-eyed about our challenges. City government must continue all we’re doing to enable the great things going on in Memphis to multiply. I’m already seeing it -- and I hope you are, too.

It’s a great time to be a Memphian.

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