By Emily Trenholm
Memphis MetropolisApr 11, 2021
Friends for All Celebrates a New Home and a New Identity. With Diane Duke and Chooch Pickard.
Friends for All executive director Diane Cuke and Chooch Pickard, architect at A2H, discuss FFA's new home in the Evergreen neighborhood and the organization's new name and expanded programs and services.
Community Redevelopment Agency Invests In What Matters to Residents. With Andrew Murray.
The Memphis and Shelby County Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) works to revitalize target neighborhoods -including Uptown, Binghampton, and others - through affordable housing and blight remediation programs that are supported by tax-increment financing (TIF) funds. In this program, president Andrew Murray discusses CRA's recently expanded geography and explains how citizen-led neighborhood planning is a key determinant in where and how the organization invests.
For more information
Connecting Frayser. With Nicole Gates.
In this episode, we welcome Dr. Nicole Gates from the Frayser Connect Center. Frayser Connect is an initiative of Frayser Community Development Corp. Together with Epicenter, RISE Foundation, and other patners, Frayser Connect is working to empower Frayser entrepreneurs and residents through a retrofitted church off North Watkins Street.
For more information, visit the Frayser Connect website and sign up for the monthly newsletter.
A Conversation With Vance Lauderdale
In this show, we welcome guest Vance Lauderdale, the eccentric scion of the Lauderdale family and author of the widely-read Ask Vance column in Memphis Magazine. Vance explains more about his family's checkered history; talks about some of his favorite columns and places; and shares some stories about ghosts, a castle in the Alcy Ball neighborhood, and getting lost in the stairwell of the Sterick building.
BDC Business Hub Combines Innovative Recycling Programs with Workforce Opportunities in Binghampton. With Andy Kizzee and Antwoine Clark.
Tucked away in an industrial neighborhood of Binghampton, the Binghampton Development Corp. (BDC)'s Business Hub is quietly undertaking some of the city's most innovative recycling programs while at the same time offering employment opportunities for workers looking for work in an environment that provides both training and support. Business Hub director Andy Kizzee and employment development manager Antwoine Clark recently talked to Memphis Metropolis about their facility and the programs and services they provide.
Oasis of Hope Marks 20 Years Strengthening the Bickford Bearwater Neighborhood.
While the Bickford Bearwater area in North Memphis may not be as well known as its southern neighbor Uptown, it is bustling with families, school children, and seniors. For the past two decades, Oasis of Hope CDC has been working to strengthen the community through after-school programs, recreation, affordable housing, and more. In this show, executive director Joy Marseille and marketing and community engagement manager Kacie Long discuss the neighborhood and how residents are shaping its future through a renewed emphasis on community engagement and participation.
For more information, visit the Oasis of Hope website.
Getting Around Memphis Without a Car. With Jackson McNeil.
Jackson McNeil, a longtime friend of Memphis Metropolis, recently joined Innovate Memphis as Director of Transportation and Mobility, overseeing the Commute Options program. In this show, we discuss the hard work of (and many obstacles to) getting Memphians out of their cars and onto alternate modes of transportation. Jackson and Emily also discuss the recently published Safe Speed Index, which ranks cities on the average vehicle speeds on streets used by pedestrians.
Junior Achievement Comes to Binghampton. With Leigh Mansberg and Vernonica Tansey.
When Junior Achievement of Memphis moved its headquarters from downtown to Binghampton, it gained new partners and a visible new location but faced challenges converting a former grocery store into the flexible and child-friendly facility they needed. JA president and CEO Leigh Mansberg visits Memphis Metropolis along with Veronica Tansey, project manager and interior designer at Fleming Architects, to discuss the project.
What's Your ParkScore, Memphis? With Noel Durant and JoAnn Street.
A city's ParkScore is a measure of how it compares to other places, using criteria such as access, acreage, equity, and investments. The ParkScore Index is prepared annually by the Trust for Public Land, a people-focused parks and public land advocacy organization. In this show, Noel Durant of the TPL's Tennessee office visits Memphis Metropolis to talk about why ParkScores are so important and how Memphis ranked in their recent study. Memphis park advocates JoAnn Street also joins the conversation to provide a local perspective. JoAnn is the founder of HUG Park Friends, a support organization for three North Memphis parks, Hollywood, University, and Gooch.
For more information
Young Actors Guild Creates a New Home in a Former Fire Station. With Sabrina Norwood.
Sabrina Norwood, executive director of Young Actors Guild, visits Memphis Metropolis to talk about their organization's first permanent home, their commitment to arts access at the neighborhood level, and alumni who have gone on to perform on Broadway and in Hollywood.
Shelby County's Environmental Court: An Explainer. With Judge Patrick Dandridge.
Shelby County's Environmental Court - one of the first in the country to be established - plays an important role in addressing the issue of blight in Memphis. In this program, Judge Patrick Dandridge explains how cases make it into court and the combination and carrots and sticks that are available to compel property owners to fix up their property. Judge Dandridge and Emily also discuss the resources available to assist low-income homeowners and his plan to establish an Environmental Court foundation to increase those resources.
The State of the City's Bike and Pedestrian Networks. With Nick Oyler.
Nick Oyler has spent the last several years working in and with the community to improve the city's active transportation systems, first with the Memphis Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and most recently as bike and pedestrian program manager for the City of Memphis. Nick is leaving Memphis to pursue new professional opportunities in Denver, and we asked him to return to Memphis Metropolis one last time to reflect on the successes, frustrations, and opportunities he has experienced during his tenure here.
The Ugly Truth About Litter. With Janet Boscarino.
Memphis may have been the cleanest city in the US at one point, but most of us can't remember a time when there wasn't too much litter. Memphis Metropolis invited Janet Boscarino from Clean Memphis to visit the program, to discuss why litter is so bad, what works and doesn't work in terms of prevention and mitigation, and more.
Want to get involved in tackling litter? Visit the Clean Memphis website for resources and information.
Arkwings: A Hidden Gem in Frayser. With Jana Wilson.
This week we welcome Jana Wilson of the Arkwings Foundation to Memphis Metropolis. Located just off James Road in the Frayser neighborhood, Arkwings is a historic home turned arts and culture center -focused specifically on mind, body, and spirit wellness. In the program, shares the history of the home as well its current features, which include a multi-faceted art garden.
Visit the Arkwings Facebook page for more information.
A Look Back at the Memphis Botanic Garden's 70 Year History. With Mary Helen Butler.
Mary Helen Butler, assistant director of the Memphis Botanic Garden, visits the program to talk about the Botanic Garden's origin story, which begins with a gift of irises to the city and continues through today, with multiple gardens and structures and a year-round calendar of events and programming.
For more information
Hyde Park Matters! With Fred Robinson and Rev. Melvin Lee.
Hyde Park is a small neighborhood in North Memphis, one of several off Chelsea Avenue. Like many urban neighborhoods, it was once a thriving area of homeowners and commercial districts, where residents had a sense of pride and community. But for the past several decades it has experienced a lack of investment and a declining population. Today, a grassroots organization called Hyde Park Matters is working determinedly to rejuvenate the neighborhood through community building, blight and litter eradication, and by building close working relationships with local government. Fred Robinson's family has long ties to the community and Rev. Melvin Lee has pastored Macedonia M.B. Church there for many years. Together they visited Memphis Metropolis to talk about the Hyde Park neighborhood and the organization they founded to help it regain its prosperity.
Fighting Blight With Receivership: An Explainer. With Vincent Sawyer.
When a property is chronically blighted, there aren't any easy solutions. Remedies need to be balanced between the needs of surrounding neighbors and those of the property owners. And many times, owners can't be located at all or don't have the resources or ability to fix the property up. That's when government, nonprofits, and other partners need to get creative.
In this show, attorney Vincent Sawyer from The Works CDC visits Memphis Metropolis to explain the entities, processes, and legal tools - such as receivership - that often come into play in bringing blighted properties back into useful life.
Memphis Can't Reduce Pedestrian Deaths Without Talking About "Windshield Bias." With Nick Oyler.
Pedestrian deaths in Memphis are at an all-time high and the city is one of the most dangerous in the U.S. for people who get around on foot. But while driver behavior and poor street design are the primary contributors to the problem, pedestrians themselves - the victims - are often blamed. Nick Oyler, Bikeway and Pedestrian Program Manager in the city's engineering department, pays a return visit to Memphis Metropolis to discuss what the law actually says about where pedestrians can and cannot cross the street, why pedestrian behavior that seems illogical often is quite rational, and how "windshield bias" - seeing the problem exclusively from the driver perspective - is inhibiting the development of solutions.
As both video content providers and creators proliferate, BLP Film Studios plans to create a world-class production facility in Whtiehaven. With Jason Farmer.
Jason Farmer, founder and CEO of BLP Film Studios, visits Memphis Metropolis to talk about the 100-acre film production facility the company is developing in Whitehaven.
What's Next for Memphis Neighborhoods? With Alex Turley.
The Henry Turley Company has been at the forefront of enlightened neighborhood development and redevelopment for decades, including developing Harbor Town - which became a national model, partnering with the city and others on redeveloping the Uptown area, and most recently, adding a mixed-use community, Orleans Station, to the Medical District.
In this program, company CEO Alex Turley visits Memphis Metropolis for a wide-ranging conversation about the recent surge in development in the city's core and the need for community partnerships that support redevelopment but avoid the levels of displacement and gentrification that other cities have seen in recent years.
After a Long Drought, Duplexes, Quads, and Back Houses are Returning to Memphis Neighborhoods. With Andre Jones.
Andre Jones of Jones Urban Development joins Memphis Metropolis this week to talk about so-called "missing middle" housing, the duplexes, quads, and small apartment buildings that fill our older neighborhoods but haven't been developed in newer neighborhoods. Jones and his company are bringing missing middle housing back, starting in the Uptown neighborhood. In this show, he discusses his Malone Park Commons project - a cottage community - and talks about the challenges he has confronted in its development.
When States Interfere with Local Policymaking. With Dr. Megan Hatch and Dr. Austin Harrison.
In this show, Memphis Metropolis does a deep dive into state preemption, or when state legislatures use their authorities to preempt or essentially override local control of issues as wide-ranging as gun violence, blight remediation, and whether or not Confederate statues can be removed.
Guests Dr. Megan Hatch from Cleveland State University and Dr. Austin Harrison from Rhodes College are our guests, discussing the impact of state preemptions on affordable housing development both locally and around the country.
Get more information about the State of Memphis Housing Summit 2022 here.
Industrial Real Estate: An Explainer. With Kemp Conrad.
Shopping centers, offices, and residential neighborhoods often come to mind when many people think about the real estate business. But industrial real estate - where the region's warehouses and distribution centers are located - dwarfs those other sectors locally. Commercial Advisor's Kemp Conrad joins Memphis Metropolis to explain the geographic and transportation factors that drove industrial real estate's growth, how the Blue Oval City development will impact the sector, and how recent economic trends - such as interest rate increases - may temporarily slow new development even though demand remains high.
Lost Memphis with Josh Whitehead
Outside of his day job in the planning and legal professions, fans of the built environment and its history know him as the creator of the Creme de Memph blog. Creme de Memph first came to life when Josh discovered a trove of historical planning documents - zoning cases, maps, renderings, photos, etc. - in the basement of Memphis' city hall. Years later, the blog has covered sidewalk curb cuts, street configurations that make no sense, historical signs, buildings that are long gone, and others that were designed but never built.
In this episode, we talk to Josh about his Lost Memphis series on the blog, and in particular about two buildings that once stood in the neighborhood where Crump becomes Lamar - VA Hospital #88 and the Memphis Furniture Manufacturing Company.
The Lynching Sites Project. With Richard Watkins and Kelsey Lamkin.
The Lynching Sites Project works to illuminate the truth about lynchings in Shelby County, foster community conversations about the history of racial violence in the community, and create a new legacy of racial equality and justice. In this program, LSP board members Richard Watkins and Kelsey Lamkin explain the organization's goals and programs generally and also discuss their current efforts to add the site of Ell Persons' lynching to the National Register of Historic Places. Ell Persons was lynched in 1917 near what is now Summer Avenue, after being accused of killing a white girl.
The Lynching Sites Project is hosting a symposium - Turning the Light of Truth: The Lynching of Ell Persons - on Saturday, October 15. More information is available here.Additional Resources
Welcome to the New Hospitality Hub, Where People Without Housing Can Get All Kinds of Help. With Terri Conley and Ellen Roberds.
Memphis' new Hospitality Hub is literally breaking new ground in how unhoused Memphians are welcomed and assisted. With an expanded array of services available, the Hub Hotel for women and their families, open space, and other amenities, the Hub has created a calm and accessible campus where people can be helped along their journey to becoming housed. Terry Conley, case counselor at the Hub, and Ellen Roberds from Dragonfly Collective visit Memphis Metropolis to talk about the new facility and how the Hub team approaches the work with a focus on developing solutions to the many challenges faced by their clients and guests.
The NAACP Building Gets a Facelift and Builds On Its Long History. With Deidre Malone, Felicia Harris, and Cole Bradley.
The Memphis chapter of the NAACP is one of the national organization's oldest and most important. The chapter has been in several locations since its founding more than 100 years ago but has remained rooted in the neighborhood now known as South City, which is home to many important local sites in local Black history, including Clayborn Temple and the Universal Life building. For the past 40 years or so, the NAACP has been located at 588 Vance Avenue, in a building that has its own history, including housing an early Black-owned bank branch as well as Benjamin Hook's law offices.
The NAACP building recently had a significant facelift and also is undergoing inside renovations to allow it to better serve its members, as well as provide office space for small businesses and nonprofits. In this program, longtime NAACP leaders Deidre Malone and Felica Harris discuss the chapter's illustrious history and the importance of the 588 Vance building and the surrounding neighborhood to Memphis Black history and culture.
Later in the program, regular commentator Cole Bradley returns to talk with Emily about the connection between physical spaces and the history and stories we remember.
Respect The Haven! With Jason Sharif.
Whitehaven, one of the largest Memphis neighborhoods, is experiencing positive change and renewal after years of disinvestment. In this program, Jason Sharif, founder of the Respect The Haven advocacy group, talks about growing up in Whitehaven and the ways that his organization is working to build economic, social, and political capital in the community.
Visit the Respect The Haven Facebook page to learn more and support the organization.
Community LIFT Continues Its Neighborhood Revitalization Work Under New Leadership. With Luther Mercer.
When Community LIFT (Leveraging Investments for Transformation) was formed in 2011, funding for community development was scarce despite great needs at the neighborhood level. While there have been many positive changes during that time - including more public and private sector investment in neighborhoods and many success stories - there are still many needs and opportunities. In this program, recently appointed LIFT CEO Luther Mercer visits Memphis Metropolis to talk about the grants and programs the organization provides to neighborhood developers, as well as the small business loans and assistance available from its subsidiary, River City Capital.
Ernest Withers Home Earns National Recognition. With Rome Withers and Kelsey Lamkin.
An unassuming residential building in the Walker Homes neighborhood has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The Ernest C. Withers House, at 480 W. Brooks Road, was the family home of the renowned Memphis photographer and also served as his photography studio during important periods of his career. Withers, who lived from 1922 until 2007, is recognized internationally for his work. He documented many of the most significant events in civil rights history—including the Memphis Sanitation Workers’ Strike—as well as capturing the Black experience in Memphis and the South more broadly. In this show, Withers' son Rome and historic preservationist Kelsey Lamkin discuss what's important about the Withers home and why achieving a National Register listing is an important acknowledgment of its historic significance.
Madison and Avalon - a Key Midtown Intersection - Is Getting Spiffed Up. With Emily Bishop and Karen Lebovitz.
The area around Madison and Avalon is and has been home to important Midtown institutions such as Murphy's Bar, Pho Binh restaurant, the Cash Saver grocery store, and the long-gone but fondly remembered Antenna club. But because that part of Midtown is in between revitalizing areas such as Overton Square and the Medical District, it hasn't been the recipient of much if any streetscape improvements.
In this episode, Emily Bishop and Karen Lebovitz discuss the efforts of MidtownMemphis.org to beautify the area through landscaping in the hopes that the visibility and advocacy will bring additional investment to the area, particularly those that will improve the pedestrian experience.
For more information, visit the MidtownMemphis.org website.
A Conversation with Rusty Bloodworth
Rusty Bloodworth has been quietly influential in the development of the Memphis region for many years. Earlier in 2022, Rusty celebrated 54 years with Boyle, a leading real estate company known for nearly a century of visible projects from Belvedere Avenue - developed by a predecessor company and often called the most beautiful street in Memphis; to Ridgeway Center, one of the country's first mixed-use developments; to most recently, Schilling Farms in Collierville. The firm also has a large Nashville-based practice.
In 2007, Rusty teamed up with other real estate leaders to create a local chapter of the Urban Land Institute, an international organization focused on urban planning, growth, and development.
In this discussion, Rusty reflects on how land use and real estate trends have come and gone over his career, and how he and Boyle's philosophy on development have changed over his career, with much more emphasis in newer projects on a mix of uses, walkability, and the incorporation of green space.
Memphis Parks Need Our Support and Bloom is Here to Help. With Jamal Boddie
Jamal Boddie's career has been diverse, taking him from positions at USC basketball operations and White Station High School athletics to the Library System and the Memphis Grizzlies. That broad experience in community engagement and program management made him a great candidate for his current position as executive director of local nonprofit Bloom. Bloom is an organization focused on helping resident groups organize and engage around their neighborhood parks. In this interview, Jamal visits Memphis Metropolis to talk about some current "park friends" groups around town and Bloom's plans to grow that network through support, partnerships, and capacity building.
For more information, visit the Bloom website.
Champions of the Built Environment. With Marvin Stockwell.
Marvin Stockwell has worn many hats, including medical PR specialist, musician, podcaster, author, and advocate. In the latter role, he has played a leading role in the formation of the Coliseum Coalition, which is dedicated to the preservation and redevelopment of the MidSouth Coliseum. Many would consider the Coliseum a lost cause...after all, it had been mothballed and the city had announced its intention to tear it down. That got Marvin thinking: "What makes us take up causes that others think are impossible?"
In this program, Marvin and Emily dig into what makes champions tick, and talk specifically about buildings and places where local advocates have made a difference in preserving them, from the Coliseum and Crosstown to smaller places like the Luciann Theater and Griggs Business College.
Champions of the Lost Causes website - for Marvin's free e-book and episodes of his podcast.
Past Memphis Metropolis episodes on champions of the built environment
A Conversation with Photographer Brandon Dill
Memphis-based photographer Brandon Dill has had a wide-ranging career, covering subjects ranging from the Memphis Grizzlies to the Byhalia Pipeline through his freelance work with the Commercial Appeal, Associated Press, MLK50, New York Times, Washington Post, and many other clients. In this discussion, Brandon and Emily dive into his photography of special places in Memphis - including iconic buildings such as Crosstown and the Coliseum, and neighborhoods like Orange Mound - as well as the role of photography in advocacy and the importance of engaging residents in the work.
Visit Brandon's website to see his portfolio of work.
Meet the Dynamic Couple Behind Black Seeds Urban Farms. With Derravia Rich and Bobby Rich.
When Derravia and Bobby Rich were growing up in or near the Castalia neighborhood of South Memphis, neither could foresee they would team up for marriage and the creation of a very special urban farm in Uptown. Black Seeds Urban Farms - located at 580 North Fourth Street - is a farm garden where a wide variety of herbs and vegetables are grown and shared with the community; an oasis for tranquility and contemplation; and a fun space for special events and group gatherings.
In this episode, Derravia and Bobby join Emily for a wide-ranging discussion about family ties, food access, entrepreneurship, and their vision for similar places in other neighborhoods.
A Conversation with Josh Whitehead.
Josh Whitehead recently left a long career in public sector planning - working in both Germantown and Shelby County. During his tenure in Memphis and Shelby County, Josh led the long-overdue overhaul of the local development codes and also was involved in the Memphis 3.0 comprehensive plan. In this discussion, Josh reminisces about childhood experiences that fostered an early interest in urban planning and discussed highlights of his career in government. He and Emily also get into the weeds about our community's addiction to conditional zoning. Finally, Josh explains the origins of Creme de Memph, his quirky and informative blog about all aspects of the local built environment.
How Small Grassroots Action Can Ignite Transformational Neighborhood Change. With Sarah Newstok.
In this program, host Emily Trenholm travels down memory lane with Sarah Newstok, a former colleague at LIvable Memphis. Emily and Sarah talk about how grassroots action helped ignite a new era of bike infrastructure in Memphis, including the then-controversial Madison Avenue bike lanes; the New Face for An Old Broad event that kicked off the redevelopment of the Broad Avenue district, and a wave of other similar MemFix events; and how both movements linked up for the development of the innovative Hampline, which connects Overton Park to the Shelby Farms Greenline.
Northside: A Transformative Project in North Memphis. With Roshun Austin and Cole Bradley.
Northside HIgh School - opened in 1968 - was the jewel of the Klondike neighborhood, surrounded by other important institutions such as Klondike Elementary, the North Branch Library, Katie Sexton Community Center, and Klondike Park. Northside closed in 2016 due to declining enrollment and has been vacant since then. But now, the former school building is being turned into a community hub, including affordable housing, job training, health services, art activities, and more. In this program, we welcome Roshun Austin of the Works CDC to explain the community-led vision for the new space and how her organization is partnering with residents, alumni, and other stakeholders to bring that vision to reality.
Is Trolley Service Returning to Madison Avenue? With Joel Cox, John Lancaster, and Charlie Santo.
In late March, Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) announced that it was testing a new kind of trolley car on the Madison line, in hopes of restoring service to that and the Riverfront loop. John Lancaster and Joel Cox from MATA visited Memphis Metropolis to talk about what's different about the new cars (for one, they are air-conditioned!) and how the recent redevelopment of the Medical District may attract a new type of rider. Later in the show, regular commentator and University of Memphis professor Charlie Santo joins Emily to reflect on the extensive streetcar system Memphis once enjoyed and why it and similar systems around the U.S. disappeared in the first place.
Memphis LISC Brings New Funding Options to Community Developers. With Kathy Cowan.
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a national community development funding intermediary, recently began working in Memphis. Longtime community development leader Kathy Cowan is heading up that effort, and she visits the program this week to discuss her career accomplishments and which programs and partnerships are kicking off the LISC work in Memphis.
Gayoso Bayou and Other Interesting Memphis Sewer History. With Caroline Carrico and Charlie Santo.
Memphis Metropolis welcomes Caroline Carrico from Storyboard Memphis to the show, to discuss her recent article about the important role Gayoso Bayou played in Memphis history, and a little-known adjacent settlement called Catfish Bay. Later in the program, regular commentator Charlie Santo and Emily veer off into a wide-ranging discussion about the role infrastructure plays in urban development and Memphis' role as an innovator in the development of sanitary sewer technology.
William Townsend Loves Old Buildings
Over the past two years, William Townsend of Townsend has acquired - in fairly quick succession - the Luciann Theater on Summer Avenue, the Desoto Masonic Lodge at Court Avenue and Fourth Street, and the historic Lowenstein mansion on Jefferson Avenue and Manassas Street. In this episode, Bill explains his passion for old buildings, which dates back to his childhood in Memphis, and his plans to use the properties' renovations to spur or support the revitalization of the surrounding neighborhoods.
A Garden Walk and More in Cooper Young. With Kim Halyak.
The 2022 Cooper Young Garden Walk is coming up May 21-2, but that's just one piece of what's going on at the Cooper Young Garden Club. In this program, club organizer Kim Halyak visits to discuss the club's seventh annual walk (featuring 90 gardens!), their gateway landscaping project along the neighborhood's southern border, the Cooper Young Arboretum, and much more. Kim and Emily also talk about how gardens and other green spaces are an integral part of the built environment, contributing significantly to a city's livability and attractiveness to visitors.
A Conversation with Darrell Cobbins.
Commercial real estate broker Darrell Cobbins visits Memphis Metropolis to discuss the 15-year anniversary of Universal Commercial, the firm he founded 15 years ago. Darrell has played a role in a wide range of projects in the community, from helping the Crosstown Concourse developers acquire property at the beginning of his firm's tenure to most recently assisting Junior Achievement in moving its local headquarters from downtown to Binghampton. Darrell also talks with Emily about Lakeview Gardens, one of the first subdivisions built for African American homeowners, developed by his grandfather. This wide-ranging discussion also touches on the lack of diversity in the commercial real estate industry, and how intentional hiring strategies can benefit the field and the larger community.
Later in the show, regular commentator Charlie Santo stops by to talk about how the urban planning profession is also facing diversity challenges and the strategies the University of Memphis is deploying to recruit a student body that is diverse not only in race but also in terms of socioeconomic status, gender identity, and more.
BLDG Memphis. With Deveney Perry and Austin Harrison
In this show, Memphis Metropolis welcomes Deveney Perry, executive director BLDG Memphis. BLDG Memphis is a 22-year old community development organization, working in the areas of organizational capacity building, community engagement, and public policy advocacy. Later in the show, regular commentator joins host Emily Trenholm to talk about the origins of BLDG Memphis and examine the history of community development corporations in Memphis in a national context.
For more information
A Conversation with Longtime Memphis Reporter Tom Bailey
Tom Bailey, recently retired after a long career in local journalism, visits the show for a conversation about the most significant real estate and community development projects and trends of the past decade or so. In this wide-ranging discussion, Tom and Emily talk about projects that succeeded against all odds - such as Crosstown and the Tennessee Brewery redevelopments - as well as smaller but significant events that helped ignite broader change, such as the addition of bike lanes to Madison Avenue and the New Face for an Old Broad event.
What Could Congress' Big Infrastructure Bill Mean for Memphis? With Robert Knecht and Charlie Santo.
Late last year, Congress passed the bipartisan Federal Investment and Jobs Act, which represented the largest investment in the country's infrastructure in generations - some $500 billion in new funding to be utilized over five years. In this program, City of Memphis public works director Robert Knecht visits Memphis Metropolis to discuss why the infrastructure bill is so important for cities like Memphis, and how the city hopes to utilize its funding for projects of all types, from long-planned street repaving to broadband and resilience initiatives. Later in the show, regular commentator Charlie Santo and Emily do a deeper dive into the bill itself, including the different funding categories, and tee up a future program on how future city investments could connect Memphis workers and communities to the Blue Oval electric car manufacturing plant.
Endangered Places: Griggs Business College Gets a New Life. With Stephanie Wade and Cole Bradley.
The Griggs Business College building, at the corner of Vance Avenue and Danny Thomas Boulevard, isn't as well known as other historic structures. But that's about to change. Emerging real estate developer Stephanie Love and partners literally saved the Griggs Building from the wrecking ball (it was set to be torn down for a gas station) and now the former Black-owned college will be redeveloped to serve the community. Stephanie visited Memphis Metropolis to explain how she got interested in the building, and the long journey that led to her company's eventual acquisition of it. Later in the program, commentator Cole Bradley returns to reflect on the role of champions like Stephanie in redeveloping some of the city's important (and cool) older buildings.
Talking with Tonya Meeks, New Local Urban Land Institute Coordinator
In this program, Memphis Metropolis welcomes Tonya Meeks, new district coordinator for Urban Land Institute (ULI) in Memphis. ULI is an international organization made up of real estate and land use professionals with a shared vision to shape the built environment.
Tonya brings years of work in nonprofit consulting to her new role, as well as experience in the real estate industry. Emily and Tonya talk about the role of ULI in the community and highlight upcoming programs that will focus on receivership (a tool to redevelop blighted properties) and housing for refugees coming to Memphis.
Resources and Information