Memphis Grows Up Around Shelby Farms Park



It’s not a done deal yet but the Memphis Land Use Control Board is considering multiple high rise projects adjacent to Shelby Farms Park. Shelby Farms Park and Shelby Farms Greenline consists of approximately 2,900 acres of parkland and 6.5 miles of urban trail with an annual operating budget of $2.5 million.

The first proposed development is for three mixed-use buildings of up to nine stories. These would include retail on the ground floor with offices and apartments on the upper floors. They would have spectacular views of the park. However, the 56 acre development doesn’t stop there. Also in the planning stages are another 18 apartment buildings north and west of the mix use towers. These would be up to three stories in height.

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All together, between 700 and 900 apartment units would be added. If approved, the apartment development would include a clubhouse, pool, parking lots, and green space. The three mixed use high-rises would include 50,000 square feet of retail space and up to 80,000 square feet of office space.

The property is currently zoned for single family housing and will require a zoning change or zoning variance for commercial development. Adjacent single family housing developments include Whitten Heights, Whitten Estates, and Westchester Square. Residents there are concerned the multifamily housing buildings and commercial developments will add significantly to traffic congestion. They also fear that more people will deteriorate their enjoyment of the park although it is intended for use by all of the people of Memphis, Shelby County, and millions of tourists from all over the world.

DB Development Company first submitted the proposal last fall but its consideration has been on hold while more information was being sought by the Land Use Control Board. The development company contents there is strong demand for a greater mix of residential, commercial, and recreational uses next to Shelby Farms Park. Although the park is several times larger than Central Park in Manhattan (surrounded by high rises), it is in an urban setting and growth is likely inevitable. The planning staff recommends that the Land Use Control Board approve the proposal under certain conditions that include careful control of traffic congestion.

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PhotoAuthor bio: Brian Kline has been investing in real estate for more than 35 years and writing about real estate investing for seven years. He also draws upon 30 plus years of business experience including 12 years as a manager at Boeing Aircraft Company. Brian currently lives at Lake Cushman, Washington. A vacation destination, a few short miles from a national forest. In the Olympic Mountains with the Pacific Ocean a couple of miles in the opposite direction.