Memphis Daily News

City Council Vote to Focus On Highland Strip Project

Memphis City Council members vote Tuesday, Oct. 18, on an economic impact plan for the Highland Strip area that sets the stage for the tax increment financing district to finance infrastructure changes in the private development hot spot.

The council meets at 3:30 p.m. at City Hall, 125 N. Main St. Follow the meeting @tdnpols,, for live coverage and updates from committee sessions earlier in the council day.

The TIF area collects an increment of the increase in property taxes paid in a specific area through the increase in property value and dedicates that amount to public infrastructure improvements.

In the case of the University Neighborhood District, the area is 601 parcels along and near Highland Avenue on the western border of the University of Memphis campus. The property tax increment comes to an estimated $83 million going back into the district over a 20-year period, according to Mike Keaney, president of the University Neighborhood Development Corporation.

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Storied University of Memphis Railroad Right Of Way To Become Safer, Greener

"When classes resume at the University of Memphis in August, the unofficial campus tradition of crossing the railroad tracks along Southern Avenue will change. Students on foot will no longer be able to cross just anywhere along the 2,000 feet of track between Patterson and Zach Curlin.

There will be a five-foot high iron fence on both sides of the Norfolk Southern right of way and three new pedestrian and bicycle crossings. They replace six existing, outdated and largely forgotten pedestrian crossings.

“The students will no longer be able to just freelance across the track like they’ve been doing since 1912,” said landscape architect Ritchie Smith, whose firm designed the $1.8 million project. “The students will be guided and funneled into these three crossings.”

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Loeb Looking to Build Homes Near University of Memphis

"Loeb Properties has a piece of University of Memphis-area land under contract for purchase and the eventual construction of single-family homes.

The vacant land faces Ellsworth Street between Midland and Central avenues and was intended for townhomes as part of the Highland Row project.

Indiana-based developer Milhaus Ventures planned 35 townhomes on the west side of the development to complement the 354 apartments and 32,000 square feet of commercial space. Milhaus gained approval from the city-county Office of Planning and Development to build the townhouses but never broke ground. Construction of the greater Highland Row development is expected to continue into next spring.

Single-family construction is a departure for Loeb Properties, a local developer that many associate with the vibrant retail and entertainment areas.

Matt Prince, senior vice president of brokerage and development, said that Loeb was drawn to the site because of the hot residential demand in the area."

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