Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: Midtown ghost town - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: Midtown ghost town

By Joe Birch - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) -   One Memphis neighborhood stays scary all year long - not just the week of Halloween.  It's the ghost town of Midtown, but it could become a shopping mecca complete with big box retailers.

Cab driver Nate Whitlock says it only looks like a ghost town during the day.

"At night time, it's a different world. There's people, they crawl outta here like cockroaches. I hear gunshots constantly. Every night, you hear that," he said.

More than one bang in the night has hit Nate's home.

"Not only do you hear it crack and pop, I've actually heard the wind go whoosh," he said. 

The vacant properties comprise a nearly 27 acre site bounded by Poplar, McNeil, Court and Cleveland. But a site plan, called the Midtown Memphis Planned Development, would change that.  The plan includes moving big box stores and other retailers into the area that Midtowners must currently drive to Germantown to shop at.  Plans include a 135,000 square foot anchor store, and more than a dozen other mixed use retail or office outlets.  

One by one, developers purchased and boarded up a grand total of 96 individual properties to create the gigantic Midtown retail/office mixed use site.

City officials once said that Target Stores was interested in the site, though a target spokesperson denies that.  WSG, a development company based in Miami Beach, Florida is among the visionaries who purchased the many individual lots to create a future shopping mecca.

The Office of Planning and Development has high hopes that a mixed use shopping center will come to fruition, and will replace the now crumbling, vacant buildings that could easily double for a Halloween House of Horrors.

A land planner says her client has a five year time frame to proceed with the project.

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