Downtown businesses wait out the tough times - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Downtown businesses wait out the tough times

By Nick Kenney - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - While the current state of the economy has many downtown businesses struggling, officials say things are all bad. 

From Beale Street to Main Street, from Silky's to Maggie Moo's, businesses in downtown Memphis are battling tough times.  Jeff Sanford, president of the Center City Commission, said downtown businesses are struggling during the current economic downturn.

"There is no question that the great recession that we're experiencing is having a negative impact on downtown, as it is in the rest of the community," he said.

At Peabody Place, owners have put a temporary stop to the ongoing development of The Peabody Suites, a new hotel that'll fill some of the empty space inside.

Owners blame the slow economy.  But Sanford says the news isn't all bad for downtown, and there's no reason for the blues.

"We've got three new restaurants that have opened," he said. "A wonderful new gallery has opened, and a downtown bike shop."

Plus, new construction is everywhere.  Financing for many of the projects was secured years ago, and Sanford believes new retail and apartment space will draw more people downtown.

"It could be worse," he said. "I hope it doesn't last much longer.  But it could be worse."

Otherwise, Sanford said, he'll be waiting out the tough times like everyone else.

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