Property values in Uptown development not what homeowners expect - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Property values in Uptown development not what homeowners expected

Homeowners who invested in the Uptown development in downtown Memphis had high hopes for a return on their investment.  Now, a struggling economy is not the only reason their property values have plummeted. Homeowners who invested in the Uptown development in downtown Memphis had high hopes for a return on their investment. Now, a struggling economy is not the only reason their property values have plummeted.

(WMC-TV) - Homeowners who invested in the Uptown development in downtown Memphis had high hopes for a return on their investment.  Now, a struggling economy is not the only reason their property values have plummeted.

In October of 2002, the wrecking ball fell on Hurt Village, clearing the way for what would later be known as Uptown Memphis.

The plan to revitalize 125 city blocks downtown held the promise of diversity and affordability.

"There will be blacks, there will be whites, there will be elderly people," said Former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton.

When homes went on the market in 2005, it seemed Uptown had nowhere to go but up.  Today, Uptown homeowners looking to sell will be lucky to get half of what they paid, in part because the project was never completed.

"I don't think anyone anticipated the economy when they were building or developing these properties," said Rep. Antonio "2 Shay" Parkinson (D) of Memphis.

They also did not know the project would never be completed.

Areas that were never developed as promised are dragging down property values.  A home appraised at $134,000 is just a block away from homes worth $20,000.

The property assessor appraised one Uptown home at over $147,000.  It is now on the market for $74,900.

Memphis Housing Director Robert Lipscomb said the Uptown project is by no means a failure.  The initial plan was to redevelop an area from the Mississippi River East to Ayers and from Poplar Avenue to Cedar and Chelsea.

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