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.

With Uptown, we are not only reclaiming an area that had been abandoned, we are bringing the people of that community back into the city’s mainstream.