Gateway Project in Frayser to bring jobs, economic boost to area

Empty lot where the Gateway Project will be constructed (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
Empty lot where the Gateway Project will be constructed (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

FRAYSER, TN (WMC) - Some Frayser residents are calling a major new project a new beginning for the area.

A 35,000 square foot shopping center is expected to not only provide entertainment but also boost the area's economy.

The Gateway Project will be built on a lot that has sat vacant for 20-years. The lot, at 2571 N. Hollywood Street just off I-40, is now full of trash, an old RV, and overgrown brush.

But that could all change.

"Right now it looks terrible, it looks terrible," Frayser resident Louis Pruitt said.

Residents said the condition of the current lot makes the area look bad.

"Just makes our neighborhood look bad like we don't take care of it," Frayser resident Jacques Shelley said.

The Gateway Project will be the first shopping center project in Frayser in over 30 years.

The rendering of the plans reflects a 35,000 square foot grocery store, a hotel, and multiple spaces for retail.

It's a plan that has residents looking toward the future.

"I am so excited," Frayser resident Malissa Deloney said.

"I think that should be pretty good. There will be a lot more people around," Shelley said.

Not only will the new project dramatically change the entryway to Frayser, it will also bring much needed fresh food to an area surrounded by USDA Certified food deserts.

"It's going to be so exciting. The community needs this," Deloney said.

In addition to helping with the fresh food, that means more jobs for the area.

"There will be jobs and everything," Pruitt said.

An estimated 136 full-time positions will be available at the new shopping center.

"Man, great. Maybe it will bring crime down," Pruitt said.

The Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County approved a 15-year tax abatement for the shopping center.

Officials said they will easily make that money back and then save with increased tax revenue compared to the low taxes from this empty property now.
The shopping center will be completed around 2020.

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