MEMPHIS, Tenn., (localmemphis.com) – The nine-acre “Crosstown Mound” in the heart of Midtown Memphis has two options for development: more housing or a green-space.
Neighbors met at the Memphis Urban League Building to voice opinions over the possibilities for the space that’s been covered in weeds and tall grass for decades. The spot was formerly an undeveloped section of I-40 but was never completed.
The nearby Crosstown Concourse proposed 250 apartments units and a “green-space” with a dog park, walking path, tennis courts, sports field, and a community garden.
The other proposal is for a mixture of housing such as town homes, single-family homes, and four-unit flats.
Paul Young, director of Housing and Community Development for the City of Memphis, said getting feedback from what the community wants is crucial in their decision.
“I think the city sees value in both proposals,” Young said. “Obviously we’d like to reconnect the fabric of the neighborhood with homes. We’d love to have green space and those amenities that the proposal would bring to the table.”
Phil Waldon has lived in Midtown near the “Crosstown Mound” for over 31 years. He offered feedback and said it’s time for something new to be put in its place.
“Anything that’s clean, whether it’s a single-family dwelling or a rental, it really doesn’t matter to me as long as it’s kept up,” Waldon said.
Many parents and students of nearby high schools attended the meeting to express the need for a sports field that the students and community could utilize greatly.
An incoming Central High School freshman, Abram Bingham, said a soccer field would be beneficial for nearby Crosstown High School. He said he and his friends like to play soccer together and this would be a central location for them to do so.
“I’m really excited for the soccer field because I love soccer and I think it’ll bring the community together,” Bingham said.
However, homeowners in the neighborhood expressed they did not want apartments or anymore renters. Frenchie Ward is a homeowner in Midtown and said she did not want out-of-town landlords to take over the possibility of more apartments.
“Homeowners, not renters,” Ward said. “No apartments. Not in Midtown. We have enough of that.”
Young said the Housing and Community Development for the City of Memphis should have a decision by the end of August. The removal of the dirt mound will be the first step for whichever developer is chosen and it will be expensive.
“The removal of the dirt is fairly a significant cost; somewhere between $1 to $3 million to remove the dirt,” Young said. “So whatever team is selected, or developer, will have to bear the burden of that responsibility.”