Goner Message Board
 | Forums | Register | Reply | Search | Statistics | Manual |
Goner Message Board / Memphis / Overton Square
Posted: Sep 9, 2009 11:09 am
Alright - I know there's already been some discussion on the Chick-Fil-A thread... but let's give this it's own life.

Overton Square - here's my understanding of the situation. You have an investor that is interested in bringing their high-end grocery store chain to the area. Heritage group is trying to block it - saying they need to leave the facade alone and build around it. This adds $3.5 million to the cost of the project - and will undoubtedly leave another janky looking old wall just hanging out serving no purpose (ala church/chick-fil-a / Andertons...)

Why does this make any sense? If we have a need - and someone wants to fulfill that need - why do we want to stand in the way?

I am no expert - but it seems to me that with good planning we can have new development that fits with the look of the rest of the neighborhood. Part of this seems like it needs to come from City Planners and neighborhood development groups working with the investment group. But by bringing in retail we desperately need, and utilizing smart architecture and green space - the entire community benefits. Right?
Posted: Sep 9, 2009 11:45 am
I fully agree Zac. It reminds me of the neighborhood group that blocked walgreens from the corner location at North Parkway/East Parkway. A walgreens would certainly look better than the fenced up, over grown lot with and abandoned apartment building. Its been stagnant for several years now.
Posted: Sep 9, 2009 11:46 am
I don't live there but obviously NOLA has had its fair share of these battles in the past few years. The problem with these developers is they will walk all over you if given the chance. It doesn't matter how high end or "socially conscious" the retailer is, they all want to build the ugliest, cheapest shit that they can get away with, which is generally a big parking lot abutting the street and a big ugly rectangle of a store behind it. They are not seeking the input of city planners and neighborhood groups unless they are required by law to do so.

I agree that saving a facade is a ridiculous strategy. A facade is not heritage. It is a facade. It's like you're striving to build the las vegas strip or an amusement park or something. but at least somebody is stepping in, and chances are they have more power than any neighborhood group or even the city council. Here, the city and neighborhood groups can only step in if a zoning variance is required for the property. If it's already zoned properly and not in a special historic landmark district (i.e. french quarter, garden district) they have carte blanche to build whatever the hell they want, and you sure as hell don't want that.
Posted: Sep 9, 2009 11:57 am
If they want to maintain the look of the neighborhood, they should leave the windows and doors boarded up and pay some crackheads and whores to stand around in the lot all day.
Posted: Sep 9, 2009 12:09 pm
It isn't simply Memphis Heritage as the "EvilDoer" in this, FYI.

There is another local group that has really taken charge against this particular developer or at least to involve a community voice in the process; I want to say they are called Memphis Design Center. They are working with Memphis Heritage and neighborhood groups to insist the developers listen to the community's ideas.

Regardless, though I have a family member involved in a big way with Memphis Heritage, I'd like to see what the developer is bringing to the table before I say either way what I think. If it is the typical Cordova-style strip mall idea that their website has all over its gallery, I don't think that is the best idea that could be proposed and would hope for a much more interesting idea for that part of Midtown.

I will say that Memphis Heritage and others have tried for eons to get the current Colorado-based owners and the Lewis-Raspberry people to work with them and communicate. They were continually blown off. These are people from the Memphis community and Lewis-Raspberry apparently facilitated the absentee landowner in alienating the community interests and systematically blighting the property.

I know people in Midtown have reached desperation stage for wanting "something, anything" but that level of emotion where the residents get to that stage is precisely what developers tend to wait for. The owner and developers often are in cahoots to create blighted areas, which disgusts and frustrates the community and the longer it goes on, the more desperate they are to get rid of the blight and get SOMETHING BETTER (even if they have no idea of the proposed "better") in there.

What is wrong with slowing the process down and asking for their plans and asking for involvement with what is eventually built there? They have not wanted to ever provide these. Why not?
Posted: Sep 9, 2009 12:16 pm
There's a high-end grocery store right around the corner from me, called Piggley Wiggley, fits in with the neighborhood.
Posted: Sep 9, 2009 2:14 pm
I don't think anything should be rushed. Being smart about this is important. I think there needs to be someone in the middle that is more objective than the Heritage folks trying to facilitate it. To me, the Heritage folks are on one side, and the developer is on the other. Somewhere in the middle is the right way to do this. I'm sure what Martel said above about what he's seen in NO is true too. All the more reason to have an engaged city planning group making this go in the right direction for us as a whole... it seems like that would come from the city - but I don't think we have anyone thinking about that kind of thing up there.
Posted: Sep 9, 2009 4:17 pm
I did hear that the proposed business for that space was not a high end grocery store, but something along the line of Sav-A-Lot. If that's the case, I say "hell no". We have 3 large grocery stores in Midtown, and I don't really see the need for another.
Now, if it was something that would be built in line with the existing structures, I say "hell yes!" God knows I want somewhere I can buy socks and underwear in Midtown that isn't Family Dollar.
I do like the idea of Overton Square as an "entertainment district", and think it would be a shame to just put up a big box store there. Especially since we already have a lot of grocery stores in Midtown.

A walgreens would certainly look better than the fenced up, over grown lot with and abandoned apartment building. Its been stagnant for several years now.
There was a Walgreens where Family Dollar is for years and years...it's now located at Jackson and Hollywood. There was no need for Walgreens to move across the street to that corner, and not enough room anyway.
I do know that NOTHING will probably go up on that corner for years and years, as it's a huge hazardous waste site, and no one wants to spend the money to clean it up. I believe the neighborhood fought against a car lot there. And, as that's my hood, I don't really want a car lot there either.
Posted: Sep 9, 2009 4:38 pm
are people going to "preserve" cooper young when it becomes decrepit and run down? it seems like the overton "square" (ie intersection) is dead for retail. A look up and down the street would confirm that.

Let's make up a new district, Cooper-Young Square, put medians in the road, and let Overton Intersection figure itself out. Adam Smith's invisible hand will come and whack it in the rear and hopefully knock some sense into Midtowners about what is truly appropriate for the area. Family Dollar, meet Paulettes!
Posted: Sep 9, 2009 6:00 pm
Family Dollar, meet Paulettes!

Well, I'm into that! Maybe I could get better underwear...
Posted: Sep 9, 2009 6:44 pm
I agree that more should be done NOW to make Cooper-Young what it should be and the medians aren't a bad idea.

As I haven't actually lived in Midtown for almost a decade, perhaps I have no idea what that intersection would benefit from in terms of retail development, but I don't think it would do the existing businesses there any favors to just obliterate the idea of making it interesting for commercial usage rather than just rolling over, declaring it dead and acquiescing the area to more generic bullshit.

My first thought on preserving the facades in a new commercial environment, at least from Fridays to the west to Florence, is that it isn't necessarily a bad idea at all, regardless of if it is done in the name of "preservation" or not. The facts are that many similar areas in other cities utilize(d) Federal preservation funding for what resulted in the end as preserving facades and redeveloping the structures for commercial and residential use.

It is frustrating knowing that a number of independent businesses and developers were interested in either keeping the space they had or opening up shop there and for years, the Colorado-based ownership blew them off for whatever reason, so now there is this perception that "nobody" wants that area. Maybe they don't NOW, I have no idea, but there was a time when there was interest in maintaining and developing that intersection and it sucks if it was just passed by to end up with the current situation.

So perhaps it will be Cingular Alltel, meet Bari!
Posted: Sep 9, 2009 7:01 pm
If Los Compadres really does have to move (heard if from a friend who...) they should take over the old TGIFridays building!
Posted: Nov 26, 2009 2:25 pm
Jack in the Box.
Posted: Jan 4, 2010 6:22 pm
Posted: Jan 4, 2010 8:15 pm
Pave it.
Posted: Jan 4, 2010 8:40 pm
Panchos! no wait,...the PIPPIN!, ....Babylon Cafe!,...White Castle!,...Bass Pro Shop!

or this!:

Posted: Jan 4, 2010 9:01 pm | Edited by: Cole
Memphis needs another arena.
Posted: Jan 5, 2010 11:46 am
Memphis needs another arena.

I think we need our USFL team back.
Posted: Jan 5, 2010 11:49 am
more condos.
Posted: Jan 5, 2010 12:14 pm
relocate Overton Park Old Growth Forest to Overton Square!

Win Win!
Posted: Jan 5, 2010 2:05 pm
OK, eric o, even better: Build an enclosed overpass from Memphis Zoo to Overton Square and build a new and better Monkey Island!!!! Those poor things are itching to go on another run of Midtown a la the time they ran over to Snowden and that big apartment building on N. Parkway!
Posted: Jan 11, 2010 4:05 pm
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.
Posted: Jan 14, 2010 8:37 am
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.

'10s and '20s dumbass. They are pretty interesting in that they were all built as separate buildings (Pizza Cafe has a step down between the two levels). Compare that to anyplace built nowadays that's just a facade in front of a steel framed metal box or a cardhouse of tilt-up concrete panels. Shit, look at the riveted arabesques inside the skating rink area -that's totally wild, NOBODY builds like that anymore.

Granted, empty buildings are a waste, but look what they're about to build over at the fairgrounds. Mixed retail and housing (while those stupid Pie Factory apartments and most of the Cooper Young store fronts stand empty). We're about to have MORE empty buildings.
Posted: Jan 14, 2010 8:47 am
what the hell is a bumblefark?
Posted: Jan 14, 2010 9:17 am
Totally agree with senor boogie woogie! As a native Memphian and having lived almost all of my 40 years in midtown, I must say its time to get something going on over there! Overton Square has been a waste of space for years now. It certainly had its day. From the old candy store that used to be back behind the Pizza Cafe, the original Squash Blossom, the Video Suite, Swensens and the old ice skating rink. Hell..the Chicago Pizza Factory was way cool before it closed 20+ years ago. The shits pretty pathetic man. Time to make use of the land and have have some life over there.
Posted: Jan 14, 2010 1:19 pm
Heritage group is trying to block it - saying they need to leave the facade alone and build around it.

I took an objective look at the facade 3 days ago, and thought to myself "what is it about this structure that's worth preserving?" and then it dawned on me that the heritage group is trying to preserve their own 1970's era redneck heyday bullshit.

Those buildings were and still are ugly.
Posted: Jan 14, 2010 2:03 pm
Tear it down and start all over again. I know it's complicated, but empty buildings don't employ anybody.
Posted: Jan 14, 2010 2:52 pm
I'm all for preservation of old buildings. It really saddens me to see an old building disappear...but if it just sits there boarded up and falling apart, you gotta do something about it.

I found this on someone's flickr. You can see what we did with the old Cadillac dealership bldg in Oakland, CA.

This was a real tough project both politically and construction-wise. Because it was a car dealership, and also some sort of a factory before that way back in the 30s and 40s or something, the building had to be de-contaminated fully from the ground. Very expensive project. But I think it was a great transformation and it has generated jobs for the city of Oakland.
Posted: Jan 14, 2010 3:21 pm
and then it dawned on me that the heritage group is trying to preserve their own 1970's era redneck heyday bullshit.

Posted: Jan 17, 2010 8:18 pm | Edited by: littlemisslinda
[/i][i]I'm all for preservation of old buildings. It really saddens me to see an old building disappear...but if it just sits there boarded up and falling apart, you gotta do something about it.

You should see these buildings.
They're ugly.
These people are 1970's memphis culture.
T.G.I. Friday's was a big deal to those redneck fools.
Posted: Jan 18, 2010 8:59 am
tear those fucking buildings down and put in a super target already so i can get women's pantyhose and squirt guns at 4am without driving to west memphis
Posted: Jan 18, 2010 2:11 pm
i dont know about a super target but there has got to be a place where i can get a pair of nail trimmers that costs a little more than 50 cents'. now i love to only spend 50 cents on things that i need but sometimes its just not worth it
Your Reply Click this icon to move up to the quoted message

Only registered users are allowed to post here. Please, enter your username/password details upon posting a message, or register first.

  Goner Message Board Powered by PHP Forum Software miniBB ®