MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Neighbors in Midtown Memphis are continuing to fight against an apartment building going up in the Idlewild community. Their concerns forced a special meeting of the Downtown Memphis Commission Friday.
Residents near Peabody and Diana are fighting the proposed development of the Peabody Falls apartments that currently sit vacant.
“Nobody in our neighborhood is for this development,” said Michael Pongetti, longtime resident. “We all are opposed to it.”
The Downtown Memphis Commission Design Review Board approved a 3-story, 58-unit apartment building to replace the currently dilapidated 2-story structure. Longtime residents appealed that decision, forcing a meeting Friday with Memphis Downtown Commissioners specifically discussing this property.
“Please stop this development from going forward,” one resident pleaded.
Resident after resident spoke about multiple concerns such as a parking problem, decreasing property values and loss of privacy. The new building in this open space, will sit up against their backyards.
“Towering over 20 houses,” said Regina Newman, longtime resident. “It’s not going in next door, it’s going in our backyards.”
"That's 30 new residents looking into our backyards," Pongetti said. "And it's going to get rid of all of our privacy."
The approved design meets zoning regulations. The architect for the property would not agree to an interview due to pending litigation. During the meeting, he argued the concerns were blown out of proportion.
“In terms of traffic, in terms of everything else, there are some aspects of this being overblown,” said Tony Pellicciotti with LRK Architects.
Memphis Downtown Commissioners disagreed with neighbors and voted 6 to 3 to approve the design board's decision. Residents say they won't stop fighting and have filed a lawsuit in chancery court declaring the apartments a nuisance.
“We are not going to give up,” said Pongetti. “This is far from our last stand.”