VOL. 132 | NO. 160 | Monday, August 14, 2017
MEMFix Sets Date for Eighth Installment
By Patrick Lantrip
Urban infill projects in core sections of the city are not only transforming surrounding areas, but also how Memphians view the city’s neglected assets.
Looking to build off of the momentum of such successful rehabilitation projects, MEMFix has set its sights on the intersection of Madison Avenue and Cleveland Street, where it will host its next event on Oct. 13 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“What I’m excited about for this particular location is that you now have momentum building at Crosstown, and with all the great things happening in Overton Square, the Edge and Downtown – this corridor acts as a crossroads to all of those things,” Memphis Medical District program and data director Abby Miller said. “So it seems like a natural area to start thinking about how to tie everything together.”
Since 2012, MEMFix has held events in Crosstown, the University District, South Memphis, the Edge District, the Pinch and most recently, South City – all areas which have since drawn noticeable interest from developers. (Daily News File/Lance Murphey)
For this eighth installment of MEMFix, Miller’s organization will partner with BLDG Memphis and the Southern College of Optometry to host a series of community events designed to activate the area’s streets and vacant storefronts.
“We thought it would be a good opportunity to have conversations about the neighborhood, highlight the great things that are already happening there – between the business activity and social service activity, and to figure out what the future could look like,” Miller said.
Since Cleveland Street is one of the medical district’s key transportation corridors, Miller said they wanted to explore ways to improve transit and enhance walkability and bikability in that area.
“Second, there are some very great businesses that are there,” she said, specifically noting the area’s high density of international restaurants and stores, which is a characteristic that could be leveraged to attract future development endeavors.
“I think this is really the beginning of a conversation and not the period at the end,” Miller said. “It’s really about building participation and engagement for what people in that area would like to see happen.”
The previous seven installments of MEMFix have occurred over the past five years.
Percy Seldon puts a fresh lane marker down at the intersection of Mississippi and Walker in Soulsville in preparation for MemFIX in 2013. (Daily News File)
According to BLDG Memphis’ website, MEMFix’s first event in 2010 was dubbed A New Face for an Old Broad and helped kick off the Broad Avenue Arts Districts rebirth.
Since 2012, MEMFix has held similar events in Crosstown, the University District, South Memphis, the Edge District, the Pinch and most recently, South City – all areas which have since drawn noticeable interest from developers.
The series of events are designed to renew interest in a specific area by adding bicycle and pedestrian lanes, traffic-calming features like crosswalks and bump-outs, landscaping, street furniture, parklets, pop-up retail in vacant properties, and programming like art, music, history and food trucks, all with the hopes of drawing people to the neighborhood.
“These aren't expensive investments; just small things that can make a big difference in the way our neighborhoods function,” the BLDG Memphis website says. “MEMFix is a great way to try out a revitalization technique without spending a lot of money.”