One year ago this week, a full day of live music, food, open houses and more heralded the opening of Crosstown Concourse.
Years of anticipation ushered in the unveiling of a project years in the making, the handiwork people and local organizations who envisioned something beyond the vacant shell of a former Sears mail-order processing warehouse and store.
“I remember standing in this building several years ago when its founding fathers were making the pitch,” said Gwyn Fisher, Regional Economic Director for the State of Tennessee. “It was hard to imagine everything it would become, and today it is such a crown jewel for our city and for our county.”
Today, Crosstown Concourse is the center for urban living in a futuristic sort of way. A school, food market, restaurants, apartments, nail salon, spa, YMCA, and art galleries and performance space all exist within the walls of the 14-floor, more than a million square-foot art deco building that towers over North Parkway and Cleveland Street.
Ben James and a friend stopped in to have a MemPop popsicle and lounge and people watch.
“I think it’s good for the City of Memphis to have something like this and I don’t know if this is true, but I heard they were going to tear this building down, but it’s nice that they could actually make use of it,” said James.
Residents and visitors find more than leisure in at Crosstown Concourse. Several facilities offer healthcare services in the building.
April Child-Potter with the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce says the development of Crosstown Concourse is also viewed as a valued economic asset.
“Every August, the Greater Memphis Chamber invites site selectors from the top selection firms from across the country here to Memphis to see what our city is all about to see what sort of assets we have to offer companies that might be looking to relocate their company,” said Childs-Potter.
This year well over a dozen Site Selectors are taking what the Chamber calls the Blue Carpet Tour on this first anniversary of Crosstown’s opening.
“The adaptive reuse of this space really sort of personifies everything that this city is from an investable opportunity perspective,” said Childs-Potter.