Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Suggestion Box Question Of The Week

While we continue to welcome any contributions to our weekly spotlight on strategies for improving Memphis, we throw out this question to spark some conversation:

If you could be in charge of downtown Memphis for a year, what would be your three priorities?

And please elaborate on why you chose these three priorities and what you think each could accomplish.


LeftWingCracker said...

1> Code enforcement. There are STILL too many buildings that need work and are being ignored.

2. Development NORTH of Madison on Main Street.

3. more police on Beale Street.

Anonymous said...

1. Provide financial incentive to attract a buyer for the Sterick building so it can be renovated and turned into a hotel and condo. It is a beautiful historic building. Surely renovating it would be less expensive than building a similar development from the ground up.

2. Expedite the development of the "hole" on main street. There have been four proposals under consideration for some time. The oridinal developer defaulted, so obviously the CCC had an idea of what they wanted there originally. What is taking so long?

3. Decide once and for all what we are going to do with The Pyramid.

Anonymous said...

1. Give ultimatums to Downtown landowners that have sat on their decaying property too long (i.e. The Chisca for years, The Sterick Building). If they don't clean it up, fine them or use eminent domain to take them and give the properties to developers who will. Maybe issue RFPs on these sites.

2. Put some traffic back on the main street mall. Just two lanes (one each way) with cut-outs between the trees for on-street parking.

3. Find a new user for the Pyramid. Drop Bass Pro and pick a company that can actually DO something.

Anonymous said...

Just some ideas, feasible or not:

1. As others have said, inscentives for development/renovation of existing historic buildings (though I think I read that the Sterick building would take like $40million to renovate, though appraised now only at $400,000)

2. Nurturing a self-sufficiency for teh downtown community, developing a market of common needs services (encouraging the farmer market, addition of groveries/co-ops, convenience stores, pharmacies, small special services shops, etc.)

3. Contrary to above, perhaps make more of downtown pedestrian/cyclist-only (with the introduction of more bike racks and maybe increased use of trolley) might be worth considering

4. In the interests of fostering a self-sufficient community, perhaps a school would be a good idea...though we know how successful Memphis is with those...

5. Throughout development maintain a focus on the city and community's sustainability for the future

gatesofmemphis said...

1. Increase residential density by actively promoting development of apartments, 'specially in the area that LWC mentions. Besides creating a more dynamic downtown, apartments will feed businesses, parks and more condominium purchases.
2. increase residential and commercial density and a stronger urban space by infill of surface parking lots in the center and near edges of downtown.
3. rationalize parking downtown with strategically located parking garages built and run by the city or the CCC on existing surface lots.

Anonymous said...

I would probably focus attention on putting more feet on the street throughout Downtown, including the weekends. So, I would try to bring the kinds of activities and businesses that tend to attract both residents of downtown and commuter workers- a Davis Kidd style bookstore and Miss Cordelia style grocery on Main Street, etc. Lots of shade all along the main pedestrian streets and in the parks, because the summer heat often makes outdoor activity much less attractive. I had brunch at the Majestic Grill this weekend; I passed by customers enjoying brunch at Sauces on my way. If more restaurants open on the street and offer weekend brunch, brunch on Main could become a real attraction for downtown residents and a reason for other Memphians to come downtown on the weekend. (Something would have to be done about the smells that assault your nostrils on the strip of the street between Adams and Jefferson.) I agree with the writer who would encourage development north of Madison. I would raze any building that could not be rehabed so that the space could be freed up for new development, including the Sterick Building (as sad as that would be) and the Pyramid. If I had to focus my attention on one thing I would focus first and foremost on getting more and more businesses Downtown because that would do so much to create more foot traffic and would make alot the other objectives more doable.

b said...

1. A moratorium on all new groundbreaking. Clearly, from the posts here, urban sprawl and decay are an issue. Large businesses coming into Memphis would get a lower tax rate for a three year period only on rehabbed or replaced property. End the moratorium ONLY when absolutely necessary.

2. Total rehab of the education system in Memphis. From re-building decaying buildings to supplying all supplies. Memphis can never supplant the other major problems it has, such as high infant mortality without informed, intelligent citizens. Further, develop a program that pays for adults to go back to school. Just starting new with kids will only make things better in the future. Educating the parents and the children will accelerate the improvement. New school construction might also make a dent in unemployment in Memphis.

3. Augment city beautification with more garbage workers, parks care, street cleaners and accelerated completion of construction. My momma always said, "You may not have nothin' but you can be clean." Memphis is dirty and beautification can work wonders on a citizenry's collective consciousness.

Anonymous said...

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