MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - After sitting vacant for more than three years a city crew began tearing down the remains of Tillman Cove Apartments.
These days, the blighted city-owned property is tagged with graffiti. The windows of the apartments are boarded up.
The space is now being cleared to make way for new affordable housing and possibly retail space along Tillman Street.
A Nashville firm won the bid to develop 218 residential units, including multi-family apartments as well as two-story townhomes. The new space will also include 4,500-square feet of retail space.
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said the neighborhood will begin to see safety and placemaking upgrades by the fall. These upgrades will include new and upgraded bus shelters, new crosswalks, public WiFi at the park and community center and new signage around the neighborhood.
Roy Blakney was among the group of former tenants who watched the demolition. He moved in when he was 12-year-old.
“I raised all my children were raised here. We stayed here until like 1997,” said Blakney.
During Paul Young, Director of the City of Memphis Division of Housing and Community Development first month on the job in 2016 dozens of families came to him desperate. They had just weeks to find new homes after learning the complex was closing.
“Binghamton is really on the move and we want to make sure that as this community grows that affordable housing is baked in. That we have new high-quality housing in this community which is very important for our city,” said Young.
Purchasing the apartments on behalf of the city was the solution.
Plans for the lot are still fluid. The developers will be taking community input on what they believe should be built here.
A completed project is estimated to be complete sometime in 2021.