MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The City of Memphis is talking about a plan to give new life to a blighted part of Binghampton.
That focus includes making sure current residents aren't priced out of the area because of gentrification.
Boarded up windows and boarded up doors are what you'll find at the Tillman Cove Apartments in Binghampton.
The city of Memphis has purchased this property, and their goal is to give this part of town a whole new look on life.
It was in early 2016 when residents of the Tillman Cove apartments told WMC5 they were forced out.
Many said the conditions were deplorable, but they still called the apartments home. "My thing is, they didn't give us notice,” said one resident in 2016. Fast forward to now, and there are locks hanging on a big gate, an indicator of untapped potential.
“We can make sure that what we put back there is in line with what the vision for the community is,” said Mairi Albertson, deputy director of Housing and Community Development in Memphis.
The City of Memphis used an $800,000 federal grant to buy the property when the owners put it up for sale this spring.
Since then, they've been in talks with the Binghampton Development Corporation and key stakeholders to plot a course for the 8-acre parcel.
Albertson said the ideal plan will include apartments and space for retail or restaurants. “Binghampton is a community that could potentially face a gentrification issue,” Albertson said. Albertson said the federal dollars require the city to keep some of the apartments’ low income.
Because of Binghampton's proximity to nearby Broad Avenue and recent area developments, the value in the neighborhood's location will likely increase over time. “We would have the ability to ensure there is an affordable component,” Albertson said. The city expects to put out the call for plans for developers to submit with financial commitments in early 2019.
A more concrete vision should emerge toward the end of next year.