VOL. 133 | NO. 176 | Wednesday, September 5, 2018
EDGE Calls Special Meeting for Southbrook Mall Money
Special to The Daily News
The use of county funds to help revitalize the blighted Southbrook Mall property will bring members of the Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE) together Thursday, Sept. 6, for a special called meeting.
In an agenda released Tuesday, EDGE is holding a special meeting Thursday to act as the pass-through agency for a development agreement between Shelby County and Southbrook Properties Inc.
On May 14, the Shelby County Commission passed a resolution, sponsored by commissioner Eddie Jones Jr., appropriating $1.5 million from the county’s FY2018 Economic Development Fund to EDGE for blight reduction and economic development of the Southbrook Mall property into the Southbrook Towne Center.
Southbrook Properties is planning to renovate the vacant former mall into a community space with a multi-use theater for film and performing arts, $1.1 million in renovated retail space and county and city services.
Representatives told commissioners at the meeting May 14 several retailers have signed lease agreements and there are letters of intent from the city and county.
The funding from the county is being met with a $2.1 million commitment from the city of Memphis as well as $1.8 million in city Capital Improvement Project funds.
At last estimate, about $500,000 in private capital was to be put into the project.
Commissioner Steve Basar said the project appeared to be 80 to 90 percent publicly funded, and could not vote in favor of allocating the $1.5 million without more financial information.
Commissioner Mark Billingsley also voted against the appropriation.
“Malls have a tendency to be a drag on a community,” commissioner Heidi Shafer said at the May 14 meeting. “They are trying to do something with a property that’s already there that has been a drag lately and trying to turn it into something that will be an asset. That’s not as easy as it sounds.”
However, Shafer reminded the developers that new commission members will be watching them like a hawk on how they spend the money.
Also on the EDGE agenda, Allworld Project Management is anticipated to be the construction consultant on the Southbrook Towne Center with approval of a contract.
A contract is also on Thursday’s agenda for Allworld to serve as the construction consultant on University District infrastructure improvements associated with the Highland Strip TIF Project.