MEMPHIS, Tenn — A major transformation is underway in Memphis' Medical District.
Major improvements either broke ground or are in the pipeline to make the area between downtown and midtown Memphis more livable and enjoyable for the tens of thousands who work and study there - or call it home.
One of the contributors to the cause is Andre Jones, co-owner of Jones Urban Development.
"Economic diversity is what makes neighborhoods strong," Jones said Friday.
Affordable housing for all income levels; that's why Jones is so excited to bring new units - similar to those recently built in Memphis' Uptown neighborhood - to an area in Memphis' Medical District off of Poplar Avenue near Le Bonheur Children's Hospital.
"It's truly exciting because it's been a long time coming," Jones added.
His goal of roughly 100 new units in the Medical District is just a small piece of major upgrades planned there - home to 16,000 workers, 11,000 residents, and 8,000 students.
"The goal is simply to offer more housing opportunities to folks who want to live in a walkable neighborhood," Jones said.
"You want to make it a great place to live work learn and play," Memphis Medical District Collaborative President Rory Thomas added.
Thomas' organization is overseeing $30 million to date in committed private funds to build new units and mixed-use projects in the Medical District.
"As these hospitals and educational institutions really expand and grow, it's kind of becoming a magnet for the development in the district," Thomas added.
A major piece underway is 'Orleans Station', across the street from the Shelby County Health Department.
Gone is a smaller high rise, and what will rise in its place is nearly 400 housing units, office space, and stores.
"It really shows that it is becoming a destination that 'hey, if you invest into the Medical District, that it's going to not going to elevate the Medical District but the entire city and county as well'," Thomas said.
Thomas envisions most of the major new build-outs will happen across a five-year span and anticipates additional development announcements in the early part of next year.