Effort underway to revitalize area surrounding MIA - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Effort underway to revitalize area surrounding Memphis International

(WMC-TV) - An effort to redevelop the land bordering the Memphis International Airport is in the works.

Memphis City Councilman Harold Collins said the project, dubbed "Airport City," is long overdue.

"I'm really excited about it," said Collins.

The city put out a $2.2 million bid to hire an urban design firm to develop a master plan for the area around the airport.

"The airport has been the number one air cargo airport in the world for the last 14 years," said Collins.

The airport drives one-third of the economy for the tri-state area, but sights like an abandoned Executive Inn on Airways paint a different picture.

The city is suing the property owner of the Executive Inn and will sue others.

The blight borders FedEx and is less than a mile from Graceland, which draws more than half a million tourists each year.  It is the first thing tourists see when they enter the future "Airport City."

"Whitehaven is one of those places that has been forgotten," said Catfish Cabin owner Toni Berryhill.

Berryhill said her 41-year-old restaurant is the only business left in an Airways Boulevard strip mall.

"There are a lot of people who live out here in Whitehaven, work out here in Whitehaven, so why not make this a pleasant, safe place to work and to live?" said Berryhill.

The redesign will kick off after a year and a half of planning.  It could take decades to fully realize the area's potential.

"I'm glad to see a sense of urgency," said Collins.  "I'm happy it's becoming a priority.  I look forward to seeing the plans and meeting the group that's putting this together."

For more information, click the following links:

Aerotropolis Master Plan

Airport City Q&A

Aerotropolis Master Plan Addendum

Real Estate Marketing Analysis

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