South City renaissance underway

(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A makeover is underway in the area of Foote Homes and Georgia Avenue Elementary School.

The area's makeover includes tearing down Foote Homes and moving Girls, Inc. into Georgia Avenue Elementary School.

Willie Junior Crawford has lived in South City for 50 years. With its shuttered businesses and boarded up windows he said he felt Memphis had forgotten about his neighborhood.

"Once the corner stores starting closing down it was kind of hard," said Crawford. "We really didn't have a way to get to a grocery store."

Change is on the way thanks to the South City Redevelopment Project. This includes more than $200 million, a mix of city and federal money, being pumped into the once vibrant area.

The reimagining of the area includes tearing down Foote Homes. It's Memphis' last public housing complex. It will be replaced with more than 700 units of mixed-use housing. Another change involves moving Girls Inc, a non-profit focused on female empowerment, by 2018 from Booker T. Washington High School into a much bigger space across the street at Georgia Avenue School. It's been closed since 2012.

"To have a location potentially across the street where all of the girls from the school can come to participate as well as other girls in the area is very advantageous," said Girls, Inc. president Lisa Moore.

Other plans for the South City reincarnation include a grocery store, street and building beautification and housing units where residents can run businesses. These are all steps to returning the 38126 to a place of pride for all of its residents and all of Memphis.

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