MEMPHIS, Tenn (localmemphis.com) - Local bishop wants to be a stakeholder in city of Memphis $210M South City Project
It's been roughly a year since the demolition of Foote Homes and Cleaborn Homes in South Memphis.
Construction is underway, but some community members are concerned because the area around it now suffers from blight. They say vacant buildings and trash have made this area an eyesore.
Church of God in Christ Bishop David Allen Hall says he has a solution.
The city of Memphis has approved a $210 million South City revitalization project for the area where Foote homes used to stand. The final project will be mixed-use. Bishop Hall wants to be a stakeholder in the project.
Bishop Hall has led the church for 26 years and has seen his South Memphis community undergo many changes.
"We have gone through the drug infestation, which was terrible in the 90s. The crack epidemic, through the gang warfare and problems we've maintained our place," Bishop Hall explained.
The city of Memphis Housing and Community Development Department is currently making plans to redevelop the area where Foote Homes once stood. Part of that project includes potential reuse of nearby school buildings like the former Georgia Avenue Elementary School.
"The facility was a great facility, it still is, but now as you can look at it, you can see that it has been utterly devastated by vandals," Bishop Hall explained.
He created Life Together, a 501 3C and he wants the former school building, which was most recently a Boys and Girls Club. Bishop Hall presented plans to the city of Memphis that include turning this into a place that houses a medical clinic, community theatre and services for the neighborhood's senior citizens and youth.
"We want to partner with the fabulous people who are going to renovate this area," Bishop Hall stressed. "This would be a start to them to bring the life and vitality and renewal into South Memphis."
Bishop Hall says he's received positive feedback from the city of Memphis. He says the building he wants to redevelop is currently run by Shelby County Schools. Bishop Hall says he has a meeting with Superintendent Hopson this week to discuss his proposal.