A neighborhood revitalized.
Fifteen years ago, we asked ourselves: “How can we build an affordable, sustainable neighborhood for low-income residents?” At the time, HTC and partner Belz Enterprises had been developing Harbor Town on the opposite side of Wolf River for almost a decade and believed a similar concept could carry over to a lower income neighborhood.
We set our sights on 100 blocks of the deteriorated Greenlaw neighborhood at the northern edge of downtown, now known as Uptown. The development was funded through a complex public-private partnership, and we worked with the Tennessee Valley Authority and Memphis Light Gas and Water to implement an EcoBuild program — to help make utilities more affordable for low-income residents. The result: 600 apartments and 250 homes, all built according to energy-efficient, environmentally friendly standards.
Today, a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District, established in the early years of the revitalization, provides an ongoing stream of funds dedicated to the redevelopment. And Uptown has blossomed into a thriving neighborhood with a strong sense of community. A community garden flourishes at its center and throughout the year, the neighborhood hosts events — an annual BBQ Contest, a Kid’s Bike Race, a Progressive Thanksgiving Dinner. That’s the true measure of its success.