Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) members did not hold a vote yesterday on a motion to declare downtown Memphis and surrounding neighborhoods a slum. The designation would authorize the use of eminent domain for private development.
As noted on Tuesday, much of the proposed redevelopment area was razed in the 1950s during a previous experiment with urban renewal. Many of those properties remain vacant to this day.
From The Commercial-Appeal:
"You've got enough red tape as it is," South Main developer Cynthia Grawemeyer said after the meeting. She and her husband, Mark Grawemeyer, have been converting historic South Main buildings to restaurants and retail. "This is just another layer we've got to go through," she said.
She said a Wednesday night meeting of the South Main Association, which she leads, drew a crowd to discuss the plan. "The mood is, we're all against it, and that's why we're all here."
The Heritage Trail Community Redevelopment Plan would put over 4,000 private properties under the cloud of condemnation. Redevelopment Agency members envision raising over $100 million from tax-increment financing, which diverts property tax revenues in the project area to the CRA.