Crosstown Concourse welcomes first tenants

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The first tenants in a historical project have a new place to call home. The Sears building in Crosstown has residents. It's a project that's been years in the making after the massive Memphis landmark has sat empty for more than 20 years.

Tuesday afternoon and it's busy at the Crosstown Concourse building. As we bring in the new year, we`re finally seeing new tenants inside the building that has stood empty for years.

Five units in the expansive building are now occupied, the residents moved in Monday.

"I think to have the first few residents moving their stuff in was just kind of an eye opener of what`s coming," said Alexis Schettino, the assistant property manager for the Parcels at Concourse.

While there's only a handful of people here now, there's 265 total units to fill.

The concept is what Schettino called, "an urban vertical village." It's apartment style living will be part of the building but the rest will include a vegan, organic restaurant, grocery store, art gallery, coffee shop, greenhouse space, pharmacy, health center, other retail, YMCA, and eventually a school.

While the concept is new and modern, history remains with original concrete flooring and brick.

"Because the building is just a huge staple for Memphis, I think this area will get back to what it was when Sears was in it`s prime."

Business owners nearby hope so too.

"It is exciting. We've been waiting for this for over a year," said Octavia Young, owner of the Midtown Crossing Grill.

Young opened her restaurant with the hopes the Concourse will thrive. She said waiting has not been easy. She's seen traffic from construction workers on the project but now she's ready for the new tenants.

"More stability, more security. This is also an area for growth to small businesses and entrepreneurs. More for the arts as well," said Young.

Prices for apartment units start around $929 and go up.

The goal is for a grand opening in May.