Board rejects proposal to demolish Midtown church - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Board rejects proposal to demolish Midtown church

The Land Use Control Board rejected a proposal Thursday to demolish a historic Midtown church to build a CVS Pharmacy. The Land Use Control Board rejected a proposal Thursday to demolish a historic Midtown church to build a CVS Pharmacy.

By Jamel Major - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The Land Use Control Board rejected a proposal Thursday to demolish a historic Midtown church to build a CVS Pharmacy.

For June West, Executive Director of Memphis Heritage, the Board's vote to reject the proposed demolition of Union Avenue Methodist Church was welcome news.

"We're grateful," West said. "We're happy."

West's group has been requesting that CVS pull their plans to tear down the church with the hope of saving the 100 year old structure.

"Midtown represents a group of people who care about walkability, the fabric of Midtown, and that's why people live here, and this plan is not a good one for an urban setting," she said.

Memphis Heritage Marty Gorman said that was not the group's only concern.

"We're also concerned about the agreement CVS signed with Walgreens and Rite Aid regarding not demolishing any buildings on the national registry," Gorman said.

But Ricky Wilkins, a spokesperson for CVS, said the company has come up with a plan that is visually appealing, pedestrian friendly, and has an attractive landscape...

"There are four columns that are reflected for the front of the building," he said. "That represents our attempt to try to replicate the front structure of the Union Avenue Church.

But some concerned residents say redevelopment of the site will have a tremendous impact on their community.

"Tearing down a piece of the neighborhood fabric is not only a bad design, it reinforces the fact that CVS corporate knows nothing about Midtown Memphis," resident Gordon Alexander said.

The proposal now heads to the Memphis City Council for a vote.

Copyright 2010 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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