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Could a TIF help drive economic growth in South Memphis? Community leaders think yes

The SoulsvilleUSA Neighborhoods Development District is proposing a TIF district in parts of South Memphis.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — If there's one thing missing from South Memphis - it isn't soul.

“We have an underserved community, that while it has enjoyed some investment in the community, it is still sorely underinvested," Rebecca Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson is the Board of Directors President for the SoulsvilleUSA Neighborhoods Development District, the community alliance behind a proposed TIF district upwards of $150 million for South Memphis neighborhoods.

A TIF district averts taxes paid within the district boundaries to redevelopment of that same area.

"This TIF Is actually going to give people of the community, and that’s how we refer to ourselves, people of the community, to dictate the type of development that happens in the future," Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson said the community alliance developed their plan, which they proposed to the Community Redevelopment Agency on Thursday morning, with in-depth community involvement and feedback. The hope is if approved, it could drive economic growth and redevelopment to underserved areas.

The proposed district includes parts of South City, the French Fort area, South Third/Gaston Park, and Soulsville/South Bellevue.

“We want to be the ones to make a difference," Hutchinson said. "We don’t necessarily have our hands out to beg. We want to make this happen and so we’re going after the resources that’s going to help us make it happen.”

The proposed 30-year TIF proposes redevelopments like affordable housing, a grocery store, a senior care and wellness center, a community center, and more.

SNDD is is comprised of an alliance of South Memphis community and business leaders with LeMoyne-Owen College (LOC), South Memphis Alliance (SMA), Soulsville Foundation, Inc. (STAX), Memphis Music Magnet Village Development (MMMVD), LeMoyne-Owen College Community Development Corporation, (LOCCDC), Memphis Black Arts Alliance (MBAA), Knowledge Quest (KQ) and SCORE Community Development Corporation (SCCDC) making up the founding members.

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