Posted: Jan 14, 2010 2:49 am
I was reading the Commercial Appeal website yesterday and have been following the Overton Square thing from afar. I figure like everything Memphis, it will turn into a grade A bumblefark.http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2010/jan/11/overton-square-redeve lopment-plans-delayed-indefin/
(picture of silly woman who refuses to give up the past.)
The picture was very interesting. It's a picture of a woman anmed June West who is the head of the heritage group. Behind her are some of the Overton Square buildings. They are not "old" unless you consider buildings built in the 1960s and 1970's ancient. These building are not attractive, nor do they have any historical or intrinsic value.
I can picture old June as a hot young thing back in the mid 1970's, drinking beer with her buddies and bar hopping from club to club. Been down there for St. Patrick's Day. More than likely has several Silky Sullivan glasses. Hell, the woman probably did Silky Sullivan. Groovy man. She had a lot of fun down there. So did a lot of us kids from the 1970's and 1980's. I can understand somewhat her wanting to hold on to memories and all that.
But, there is nothing there. The economy, demographics of the area, the ineptness of the local government, and the owners of the Overton properties have killed the place. If there was something that could be put into there, there would be something there.
A supermarket, or any other commercial space is going to bring jobs and needed tax revenue to the city. Construction workers, plumbers, pipe fitters, painters, landscapers, all the people it takes to build a structure, and to the probably upwards of a 100 people that a supermarket can hire wont have jobs because of this. Holding on to a memory is worth a lot less than people getting a chance for a livlihood. There are a lot of poor people here, people that want and need jobs, any kind of job. A lot of small crimes happen because of the lack of work and a need for survival.
To Midtowners, Overton Square is dead. However, Midtown is not dead. Why not another supermarket. Kroger is too "in the hood", the Pig is just Ok, and Schnucks is too small. Besides, there are a lot of businesses and things near that district, and maybe things like a decent, large modern supermarket may regentrify the area. Sitting and looking at a bunch of rotting buildings just adds to the general decline of the once decent city of Mempho, Tennessee.
To me, The day the P and H Cafe dies is when Midtown dies. When they serve the last draft beer and greasy hamburger, then and only then should the keys to the community be handed over to the mutants.