MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Two approved projects will bring more than $300,000 in public projects for the Edge District.
The Center City Development Corporation approved the two grants for the projects on Wednesday, July 20, and the grants will be used to bring pedestrian enhancements and public art to the area.
The Edge District is located between the Central Business Improvement District and the Memphis Medical Center. The district is an important area for the Downtown Memphis Commission and the newly-created Memphis Medical District Collaborative.
One of the grants worth $240,000 will be used to complete four public improvements in the Edge District to promote pedestrian accessibility and relax automobile traffic. Those projects will be worked on for the next 12 months.
The first improvement will be located at the intersection of Marshall and Monroe Avenues. The streets will have reconfigured curb lines that will extend into the street. The changes should correct sight lines and vehicle stopping locations.
The second improvement will be located at the intersection of Madison and Marshall Avenues. The junction will have enhanced sidewalks and redesigned curb lines to encourage safer crossings and slower speeds. The intersection could possibly have a monument or gateway signage added as well.
The third improvement will be located at Madison Avenue and Orleans Street. The vacant triangular-shaped public space there will be transformed into a dog park with street furniture and pedestrian crossings.
The last improvement is located at Union and Marshall Avenues. Sun Studios is working with the Memphis Medical District Collaborative to rearrange the on-street bus parking to make the area safer for visitors. The street improvements include widening the sidewalk in front of the museum and creating a concrete island at the intersection. Tourists at Sun Studios would often stand in the middle of the street to get a picture of the historic building, but with these new improvements, tourists can now stand on the island and take pictures.
Construction for the four projects will take place between September and October depending on when the city of Memphis finishes repaving its streets.
The second grant is worth $65,000 and will be used to add public art displays in the Edge District.
A collection of eight artists have been working over the past two years uncovering the area's history and current uses. They hope to tie the Edge District's history as a railway and manufacturing hub with their art projects to bring about noticeable change in the area.
The largest project comes from local artist Cat Pena. With a $36,805 grant from the Center City Development Corporation, Pena hopes to install metal poles at the triangular intersection of Marshall and Monroe. Strips of heavy-duty plastic will be connected to the poles to hide the displays of used-car dealerships that once lined the streets of the Edge District.
The title of the installation will be named, "There's More to be Proud Of."