Businesses pour money into downtown renaissance - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Businesses pour money into downtown renaissance

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

Billions of dollars are being poured into projects to make Downtown Memphis thrive.

"For us, it's been really great,” Necole Hightower said. “We have so many plans. It's so much potential."

Hightower is a co-owner of Cake Gallery downtown. She said opening on Madison Avenue in early 2014 was the best decision she could have made.

"Beautifully; It's been steadily growing,” Hightower said.

She said her business’ growth has matched the overall growth downtown.

"There was a Crye-Leike building there, now there's a hotel,” she said. “Now there's about to be another hotel. There's a pizza place coming. There's an outdoor park coming."

All of this happened in the past two years.

The biggest addition to downtown is the announcement that ServiceMaster is bringing more than 1,000 employees downtown.

"I think that makes it a better place,” Hightower said.

"Right now, we've got nearly $4 billion in development that's recently completed, under construction, or planned and in the works,” Downtown Memphis Commission President and CEO Terance Patterson said.

The growing trend has bucked a different trend—more than 30 years of people moving out of the heart of the city to the suburbs.

"Memphis as a whole is experiencing a special renaissance, and our core city is right at the heart of this momentum,” Patterson said.

Patterson also said filling in some of the city’s oldest and biggest empty buildings will be a big part of the next phase of the renaissance.

"We know that 100 North Main needs to be developed into something great,” he said.

Hightower said between the apartments, hotels, and businesses moving downtown, the future looks particularly bright for small, local businesses like hers.

"I think it's going to get better and better,” she said. “I don't see it declining."

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