VOL. 116 | NO. 228 | Monday, November 25, 2002
CME Church 228-lot subdivision on tap
CME Church plans 228-lot
By MARY DANDO
The Daily News
A plan to provide affordable
housing in the Third Street corridor for middle-class families will go into
action sometime next year, if approved by the Memphis City Council.
The first reading of an
ordinance to rezone 63 acres on the east side of U.S. Highway 61 north of
Raines Road will be considered by Council members at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The general board of
personnel services for Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, headquartered at
4466 Elvis Presley Blvd., is the applicant.
The church set up a community
development corporation in 1998 and is requesting approval of a zoning change
from single-family residential (R-S10) to R-S8 to allow for the development of
a subdivision on the site.
CME got the green light to
develop the subdivision in April of this year, but in order to make the homes
more affordable, the church is requesting a zoning change to allow for smaller
Tanner George, a consulting
engineer with the community development corporation, said the group already has
developed an adjacent subdivision, Audubon Oaks, and has built 42 homes with an
additional 41 lots slated for the next phase of the project.
Of the 228-lot proposal, the
development corporation will build 210 homes, with 18 single-family residences
custom built by a private group that has helped the church develop the
The group originally intended
the proposed subdivision, Genesis Estates, to be an upscale development with
R-S10 sized lots, but decided to develop a middle-income subdivision instead,
The church already has
developed one subdivision in Frayser, Audubon Oaks.
We really wanted to have a
presence there in Southwest Memphis, in the Third Street corridor. That was
conducive to good family living, and the church has always assisted in that, so
it took the lead here on this particular piece of property, he said.
The church owns about 82
acres in the area, 63 of which are dedicated to middle-income housing. The
remainder will be developed as commercial property fronting Third Street.
There are very few
opportunities for shopping in that area, George said.
In addition, CME intends to
build a church on property west of Levi Road.
When completed, Audubon Oaks
will have 83 single-family homes ranging in price from $70,000 to $133,000. In
developing Genesis Estates, George said the development corporation wanted a
subdivision that offered homes ranging from $95,000 to $170,000.
We just didnt want this
entire area to be affordable housing. Audubon Oaks is a mix of middle-income
and affordable housing, he said.
Genesis Estates originally
was zoned for RS-10, but the CME determined it didnt want to provide upscale
housing in two neighboring developments Auburn Ridge starting at about
$136,000 and Diamond Estates starting at about $151,000 already were doing so.
So many people want
properties in the $95,000 to $170,000 range that we needed a subdivision thats
dedicated to that, he said.
A lifelong member of the CME
Church, George said CMEs mission is economic development, as well as seeking
ways to upgrade the community.
We are a church that, apart
from providing spiritual substance, we also believe in helping the whole
person, he said.
The church established a
buyers counseling service at Greenwood CME church in partnership with Fannie
Once buyers finish
counseling, they are ready to qualify for a Fannie Mae loan, he said.
CME CDC is general contractor
on the project. Once the rezoning is approved, the first phase of 56
single-family homes should start about midsummer, George said.
The Memphis and Shelby County
Office of Planning and Development and Land Use Control Board recommended
approval of the rezoning plan with conditions.
Sheila Pounder, OPD senior
planner, said since the original subdivision proposal already has been
approved, this rezoning plan is a companion case providing lots compliant with
This is a revised
application. The first application came in and conformed to the original R-S10
lots. A year later, they came back and asked for the application to be revised
and they asked for the R-S8 lots. In order to do that they also had to file a
companion rezoning case, she said.
They cannot start the
building until the rezoning is in place.
The remainder of the property
will continue as a commercially zoned district, she said.
Weve approved the
subdivision. Weve recommended approval of the rezoning. The lot sizes they are
proposing to create are in conformance with the lot sizes in that area. It is
adjacent to an existing development to the south that has R-S6 lots (Audubon
Oaks), which is even smaller than R-S8, she said.