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'This is not a good location for a school,' | Whitehaven could see another film facility, but some neighbors aren't on board

A law firm wants to place a 15,000 sq. ft. film school in a residential area at the corner of Dolan and Lakeview. This is separate from the BLP film studio.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Another film-related development is popping up in Whitehaven, but it's rubbing some neighbors the wrong way. The Green Law Firm wants to place a film school in a residential area at the corner of Dolan and Lakeview. This is separate from the BLP Film Studios, located about four miles north of Elvis Presley Blvd. However, neighbors who live near the empty lot said they need more details about the school before they are onboard with construction. 

With Whitehaven being one of the oldest neighborhoods in Memphis, revitalizing the area has been underway for three years. The newest development looking to make its mark in the area is a 15,000 square foot film school. Joyce Bailey, the President of Bluebird Park Estates Neighborhood Association, stands by her neighbors who oppose the film school. She said Whitehaven has other areas that are suitable for this project. 

"We just want to protect the integrity of our neighborhood," Bailey said.

Mollie McLin, who's been actively trying to inform her community about the new film school, said she needs more information before she approves the school being in her community. 

"I am not really positive about it because we don't know that much about it." (mollie McLin, retired teacher, Whitehaven resident)

The film school doesn't have a name yet, but the property owner wants the 2.1-acre lot that is partially zoned commercial and residential to hold the campus. The campus would have a 7,000 sq. ft. soundstage, administration offices, classrooms, and a dining hall. According to a June 3rd application filed by Self+Tucker Architects, to the Land-Use Control Board, this educational building is for young adults in Memphis aspiring to make it in the movie and television industry. However, It sits right next to Pamela Anderson's house and a portion of the parking lot is near her front yard.

"This is not a good location for a school," Anderson said. "I drink my coffee on this porch every morning, I don't want to look out and see a parking lot out there."

Traffic and property value are other worries for homeowners in this area.

"You are going to have a lot of traffic coming in and out of the property and our road is so narrow you can barely pass two cars here already," Anderson said

Two neighborhood meetings happened this past week to address this issue and to bring the community up to speed.

"As neighbors, we need to know what is coming into our neighborhood and how it may affect us," McLin said.

Another public meeting will be held Monday, June 28 at 4 p.m. with the owner of the property to answer questions about the new facility. The property is currently zoned for commercial, mixed-use, and residential.  The requested use is education and business. If the community doesn't like what they are hearing in Monday's meeting, they said they will fight against it at the July 8 zoning hearing.

For those who live in Whitehaven call 901-322-6151 to call into the meeting Monday or use this Zoom meeting ID:892 1159 0516 and Passcode: 169 533.