Arlington to redevelop historic square, create new identity

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Arlington is looking to get a facelift.

"It is phenomenal growth," Tonia Howell said.

Howell is the director for Arlington Chamber of Commerce. She says the once-sleepy town is finding a new identity.

Nearly 500 permits for new homes have been approved, major commercial expansion is underway, and businesses in the area are encouraging millennials to move to Arlington.

"All the new residences are bringing new looks from businesses, and the businesses are encouraging some of the millennials to move out here," Howell said.

The heart of Downtown Arlington is already under construction. Foundation has been poured in the area, which will soon contain multiple buildings for retail and offices.

A few streets over, company H. Saga and Port Alliance is planning to construct a $5 million complex that will serve as its headquarters, provide more retail or office space, and include luxury condos for sale.

Howell said the city is looking at Oxford and Collierville for inspiration on how to expand the downtown area.

Arlington leaders said one important thing is to get people walking along the historic downtown. Those pedestrians should include more than just tourists visiting the area. It includes people living in the downtown as well.

The homes in Arlington aren't limited to new subdivisions. Howell said many of them appeal to builders and buyers.

The long-term hope: Arlington becomes even more of a destination.

"We have a few retailers down here. We need more foot traffic. So bringing in new development with more retail and more office is going to bring that foot traffic in for the folks who have really hung in down here in the lean years," Howell said.

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