Category Archives: Our Communities

Harbor Town (thumbnail image)

Harbor Town | Memphis, TN

By | Featured Properties, Our Communities | No Comments

Most believed that Harbor Town was a gamble. In the 1980s, few people could see themselves making their home in downtown Memphis. It would be fine to work downtown, but better to drive east at night to a home in the suburbs. Henry Turley wanted something different, something like the neighborhood he remembered from childhood – and he wanted it close to downtown. His would be a neighborhood that emphasized the human, not the automobile. His would be a neighborhood that encouraged interaction between folks on front porches and folks on the sidewalks. His would be a neighborhood of small lot sizes, neighborliness, and intimacy. It would not be a neighborhood of garage doors, asphalt, and isolation.

Back then, it was not so easy for others to imagine this neighborhood, let alone such a neighborhood in downtown Memphis. This did not deter Henry. He purchased 132 acres on a sandbar known as Mud Island. There, along the banks of the Mississippi, Henry pursued his vision. Collaborating with RTKL of Baltimore, Looney Ricks Kiss of Memphis, and Tony Bologna, they made a simple, instructive picture book that plainly told “do this, don’t do this” – development guidelines that would grow Harbor Town into the kind of community now known as New Urbanist. Today, Harbor Town is dense and walkable, offering traditional row houses, contemporary homes, apartments, a neighborhood grocery store, restaurants, a Montessori school, a bilingual daycare, a marina, an upscale inn, and a health clinic. The trees are mature, the cars are tucked into alleys behind houses, the river beckons, and the downtown core is only a stone’s throw away.

Visit the Harbor Town Community Association website

Downtown Core (thumbnail image)

Downtown Core | Memphis, TN

By | Featured Properties, Our Communities | No Comments

The Downtown Memphis CorePhotographs of Main Street in the 1940s and 1950s show a vital artery in the heart of Memphis. Lined with department stores and retail destinations, Main Street was a hub of activity, people and commerce. Now, the department stores have closed, but many of the buildings remain, repurposed by Henry Turley Company and our partners into apartments, bistros, markets, boutiques and offices. It is, once again, a hub of activity, people and commerce. This is no small accomplishment, given the near-complete abandonment of the downtown core in the 1970s.

The stretch of Main Street between Union and Beale used to be one of the most desolate parts of downtown – dormant buildings with boards over the windows and one massive hole in the ground where several smaller buildings had burned to the ground. There is nothing more deflating for a city than a series of boarded, unused buildings; conversely, there is nothing more energizing to a city than seeing historic buildings resuscitated with vibrant, modern life. Adaptive re-use is the key: the character of the building is left intact, while other aspects of the building flex to house new activities. Equally important are the buildings’ connections to and interactions with the street. Rather than isolated places, the downtown core of Memphis is becoming one place; one place where the sidewalks, streets and trolley truly promote fluidity from one spot to the next, encouraging street life and energy. Urban areas are ever-evolving, and the Memphis core is evolving into a neighborhood that is alive 24 hours a day – through the workday and into the evening. Henry Turley Company is committed to bringing more people back to downtown Memphis to continue to reclaim downtown as the heart of urban residential, commercial and social life.

South Bluffs

South Bluffs | Memphis, TN

By | Our Communities | No Comments

South Bluffs, Memphis

It’s odd how often we shirk tradition nowadays, giving it less than its fair due for sheer endurance. Naturally, not everything endures, but that which does merits imitation. Henry Turley thought that historical Southern towns showed endurance to be admired. Amongst these are Charleston, Savannah, New Orleans – all have lasted centuries, through times of prosperity and, importantly, times of real adversity (in particular, the Civil War). In developing South Bluffs, Henry Turley Company sought to create a residential area akin to those classic southern cities. With the patina of time, South Bluffs was to become a place so integral as to feel like it had always been there.

To accomplish this, South Bluffs incorporated classic architectural and town planning components, such as commons and boulevards (the green median serving as a park-like place). We planted oak trees and dug up old cobblestones from the site itself, reusing them along the streets of the new neighborhood. We commissioned the same venerable company that had long-ago designed the fountains for downtown’s Court Square to design the fountains for South Bluffs. We contained the public spaces, and their attendant energy, by keeping houses close by, as they are in well-loved town squares – no energy gets dissipated across grassy spaces that are too wide.

South Bluffs sits on a precious site – a high bluff, overlooking the Mississippi River, a once-bustling rail yard. By borrowing from tradition, pairing it with life along the river and commerce along Main Street, South Bluffs now offers a uniquely urban experience.

Visit our website for South Bluffs Apartments for leasing information


Uptown | Memphis, TN

By | Our Communities | No Comments

Uptown, Memphis

In the 1990s, north Memphis was one of the poorest, most under-served areas in the City.  The Greenlaw neighborhood, first established in the 1850s as Memphis’ first suburb, had deteriorated over the decades and was at that time primarily vacant lots and dilapidated structures.  The Lauderdale Courts and Hurt Village public housing projects dominated the landscape and the neighborhood was in desperate need of attention and reinvestment.

Henry Turley Company and partner Belz Enterprises had been developing Harbor Town on the opposite side of the Wolf River for almost a decade and believed that a similar concept could be carried over into the older neighborhood.  Forming a joint venture, Lauderdale-Greenlaw, LLC, they partnered with the City of Memphis and the Memphis Housing Authority to envision a community where all people, regardless of background, could live in a vibrant, connected and safe neighborhood.

This community – 100 city blocks, christened as Uptown Memphis – began in 1999 with a $35 million HOPE VI grant awarded to the Memphis Housing Authority to redevelop the Hurt Village public housing project site.  This initial grant was then leveraged into $150 million with additional public and private funds and marked the beginning of the most ambitious HOPE VI revitalization in the country.

The infamous Hurt Village housing project (featured in the motion picture The Blindside) was demolished and the empty site was transformed into a new mixed-income community with 114 apartments, 53 single-family homes and a commercial development component.  The other public housing project in Uptown, Lauderdale Courts (once home to Elvis Presley), is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and underwent a multi-year, $36 million historic rehabilitation and was reopened in July 2004 as Uptown Square comprising 347 mixed-income apartment homes.

To date, the community has only expanded, now with over 600 new apartments and 250 new homes. Uptown is called home by people from all backgrounds but who share at least one thing in common: the desire to live in a connected neighborhood close to work, friends and entertainment.

Uptown, in coordination with the Tennessee Valley Authority and Memphis Light Gas and Water, also introduced a concept we call “EcoBuild”. Recognizing that utility costs absorb a greater percentage of income for most Uptown residents, EcoBuild seeks to employ energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly design in all facets of the development, lowering utility usage in Uptown by an average of 35% – 60% when compared to non-EcoBuild construction. Uptown has been certified as one of the largest green-building communities in the nation.

More than ten years later, Uptown Memphis has blossomed into a community of engaged residents and proud homeowners. Neighbors arrange and participate in many organized events throughout the year including the annual Chili Cook-Off, BBQ Contest, Pumpkin Decorating Contest, Progressive Thanksgiving Dinner, Kids’ Bike Race, Pet Parade and Clean-Up Days.  A well-established Community Garden is supported by the local chapter of Rotary and flourishes in the center of the neighborhood.

Currently moving into its sustainability phase, the development focus in Uptown will shift from bricks and mortar to the creation of a complete neighborhood.  As the development under the HOPE VI grant program is now complete, a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District, which was established in the early years of the revitalization effort, now provides an ongoing stream of funds dedicated to redevelopment in Uptown.  TIF funds are being utilized to provide new amenities including the expansion of commercial, retail and services, additional new and improved public infrastructure, rehabilitation programs for existing privately-owned structures in the area, neighborhood programs through cohesive efforts with public and private partners; all resulting in an emphasis on improving the quality of life for Uptown’s residents.

Visit the Facebook page for Uptown Memphis.

South Main Arts District (thumbnail image)

South Main Arts | Memphis, TN

By | Our Communities | No Comments

South Main Arts District

Henry Turley was the first commercial developer to venture onto South Main Street. In the mid-1980s, an artist and friend convinced Henry to see South Main as “The Historic South Main Arts District.” Henry agreed to share in his friend’s vision. This was the very early days of loft living (SoHo had just gotten its name in New York City – artists and adventurers were moving into abandoned industrial spaces). Henry’s first South Main project was a building formerly occupied by Taylor Paper Company. With the help of several friends, including Bill Deupree, Henry Klyce and Tony Bologna, that vacant building became what now stands as the Paperworks Condominiums. Henry Turley Company wanted to ensure that the residents of Paperworks could be part of a larger community, so we bought and developed other loft properties along South Main, such as West Farrington, Candy Factory, and The Gallery.

Today, the neighborhood is a lively and vibrant area for artists, entrepreneurs, and other creative types. Condos and apartments abound in the renovated warehouses throughout. There are numerous art galleries, boutiques, bars, and restaurants, leading from the southern anchor of the Memphis Farmer’s Market, past the National Civil Rights Musuem, and all the way back up to the Orpheum Theatre and the downtown core. Memphis College of Art just opened their new downtown campus along South Main, adding to the area’s energetic atmosphere. And, during the last Friday of every month, art galleries throw their doors open while musical acts dot the street for “South Main Trolley Night.”

Tupelo Fairpark (thumbnail image)

Tupelo Fairpark District | Tupelo, MS

By | Our Communities | No Comments

The city of Tupelo approached Henry Turley Company for help with expanding their downtown. We saw a perfect opportunity: their downtown urban grid transformed into an abandoned fairgrounds area on its eastern edge. We decided to incorporate that land into the fabric of their downtown, hoping to keep the area vital and diverse (new buildings amongst the old). Working diligently with the Tupelo Redevelopment Association to pass a tax reimbursement and secure bonds, we were able to imagine and realize an extension of their downtown community. At the Fairpark, there are homes, offices, park space, a business incubator, an entertainment district, a convention center and hotel, restaurants, and Tupelo’s City Hall.