EDGE Finance Committee Aids Revitalization with Two New Projects in Memphis
Two projects approved by the EDGE Economic Development Finance Committee on February 5th, will create a neighborhood hub and allow a small business to open in a long vacant and blighted building.
Alcy Ball Development Corporation
Roger’s Store’ was a fixture in the Alcy Ball neighborhood for years. It was a place for neighbors to gather, rub shoulders, and connect. The store closed in 2018 and the building has been vacant. But now The Alcy Ball Development Corporation is hard at work giving the space new life as a meeting space for the community.
The Development Corporation plans to spend $200,000 to redevelop the building as a neighborhood hub. It will serve as the Development Corporation’s office, a meeting space for block clubs and a community classroom. The group also plans to install a kitchen to launch a budget-friendly cooking program focused on healthy eating.
The EDGE Economic Development Finance Committee approved a $25,000 Inner City Economic Development Loan to help the Development Corporation renovate the 1,936 square foot building by repairing the exterior façade and underlying brick masonry, installing mechanical equipment and an HVAC system, reconfiguring the parking lot, landscaping the site and completing interior renovations.
Development Corporation Executive Director, Seth Harkins and his team work continually with residents in the Alcy Ball community on Financial Empowerment and Neighborhood Revitalization programs. They help residents open checking accounts, reduce debt and manage budgets. They also board up abandoned houses, clear vacant lots, improve parks and install bus stop benches. Their vision is for an economically and socially restored Alcy Ball.
A long-empty and dilapidated building near the corner of Lamar and Bellevue will soon be filled with dancing, fitness and more.
Liz Kinnmark is the owner of Bendy Beast. She is a certified instructor for yoga, flexibility training, Pilates, pole fitness and dancing. Kinnmark bought the modest, commercial brick building at 1202 Minna Place last year and has been working to make the needed repairs and renovations.
The EDGE Finance Committee approved a $20,000 Inner City Economic Development Loan to help Kinnmark renovate the 1,276 sf building, install a new HVAC unit and ductwork; repair, seal and coat the roof; rework the plumbing and electrical systems, install exterior floodlights and an awning; and replace a window and front door.
The building offers high visibility from the street and Kinnmark says the the planned upgrades will make the location stand out on its corner after years of blight. She sees Bendy Beast as an inclusive space and a starting point for friendships, networking, inspiration and interdependence. The Annesdale-Snowden Historic Neighborhood Association supports this project.