Foote Park at South City

Memphis, TN

Memphis’ South City Neighborhood, adjacent to downtown and Beale Street, played a vital role in the Civil Rights Movement and is home to several iconic landmarks. It has also suffered from concentrated poverty, deteriorated housing and notorious public housing developments, and high rates of unemployment and violent crime.

New commercial investments in the 1990s inspired planning for growth and prosperity involving the Memphis Housing Authority, the City of Memphis, residents, the University of Memphis, the Metropolitan Interfaith Association, and the police. In 2014, with McCormack Baron Salazar (MBS) and Urban Strategies, Inc. (USI), the team won a $29.75 million Choice Neighborhood Implementation grant and, in 2019, $5 million in supplemental funding.

The Foote Homes public housing site is being replaced by a high-quality, certified-sustainable and well-managed mixed-income, mixed-use residential community with 592 units in townhouses and garden apartments and an 80-unit senior building. The buildings meet green building standards, with walkable streets, connections to transit and services, and on-site amenities.

The $187 million development is financed by the City, the Memphis Housing Authority, MBS, the Tennessee Housing Development Agency, RBC and Chase banks, HUD, and other partners. The Choice funds are leveraged with low-income housing tax credits, private mortgage debt, local and state funding, and other sources.

Case managers with USI, working with the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis, will reach the lowest-income residents with a range of results-based supports, including physical and mental healthcare and pathways to economic mobility and stability for ex-offenders and others.

New neighborhood assets include the South City Early Childhood Education Center, a Girls Inc. STEM and arts program, a commercial façade program, a Homeowner Repair Program, and a linear park.

This comprehensive initiative leverages the $35 million CNI grant with over $400 million of additional investments to transform this historic neighborhood into a vital new community.