VOL. 133 | NO. 172 | Thursday, August 30, 2018
Plans for Memphis Union Mission Expansion Revealed
Special to The Daily News
Memphis Union Mission has revealed plans for a new 100,000-square-foot facility Downtown that would serve up to 350 homeless guests.
The expansion plans for the nonprofit’s headquarters at 383 Poplar Ave. were disclosed Wednesday, Aug. 29, in a request for a zoning exception from the Board of Adjustment.
The construction will occur in three phases, but the first phase will comprise about half of the build-out, according to the letter of intent.
The construction of Memphis Union Mission's new 100,000-square-foot facility Downtown will occur in three phases, with the first phase comprising about half of the build-out. (Pickering Firm)
The new facilities will stretch across three acres that Memphis Union Mission started acquiring six years ago: from the southwest corner of Poplar and High, extending south to Washington and west to Danny Thomas, the documents show.
Memphis Union Mission requests an exception from Unified Development Code rules requiring the ground floor-to-ceiling height along the Poplar frontage to be at least 14 feet.
“The primary focus of the facility is to provide food, shelter and spiritual guidance to men who are experiencing homelessness,’’ states the letter from project architect Brad Schmiedicke of Pickering Firm.
“The facility surrounds a very large and densely landscaped courtyard. The day use areas provide a variety of peaceful, comfortable day lit spaces. All of these areas focus on the court and a worship center – there are not views back out to the street,’’ the letter states. “In this way, guests are encouraged to check in early, get off the street, and experience a safe, welcoming retreat from their street environment.’’
Memphis Union Mission also strives to engage the community with the homeless to provide help, the letter states. “When complete, the eastern portion of the Poplar Frontage (phase 3) will be clear glass on both floors, with views deep into the facility,’’ the letter states. The western part of the facility will hold dorms and restrooms.
“This (east) portion of the Mission will be flexible and open for 3rd party (community run) supportive services. It could house doctor and dental facilities, a barber shop, GED classes, space for case workers, or a number of other services,’’ the letter states.
Memphis Union Mission applied for a building permit for phase one a few weeks ago. It estimated the cost of phase 1 construction to be $16.5 million.
Linkous Construction will build the facility.
The Board of Adjustment will consider the request at 2 p.m. on Sept. 26 at City Hall.
Memphis Union Mission has been providing emergency services and spiritual outreach to the homeless at 383 Poplar since the early 1960s.