New residential pilot hopes to create growth in Shelby County

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- New tax breaks could be coming to developers if they build new apartment complexes in Memphis.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland's office and the Economic Development Growth Engine, also known as EDGE, said the new initiative will help spur growth throughout the city.

"Help revitalize neighborhoods, stabilize and ultimately regrow the city`s population and allow us to retract and retain the work force the city and the county will need going forward," explained Dulberger.

So how do apartment complexes do this?

Dulberger acknowledges it seems like a small thing.

"There have been very few built in the last 20 years outside of the downtown core. There is a demand for this kind of space," he said.

Dulberger said this is not specific to a certain part of the city or county.

"This affects everyone. We anticipate being able to leverage existing projects so the Graceland expansion in Whitehaven is an excellent example and we`ll be looking along Elvis Presley Boulevard corridor to see if there is a project or two we can do there," explained Dulberger.

Some of the requirements include the complex must be at least 25 units, some units must be set aside for those who are low and moderate income and they must contract with small businesses and women, minority owned firms.

"To make sure our local contractors get a piece of the action," said Dulberger.

Mayor Strickland said this pilot will help make Memphis an 'it' city where people want to live.

Strickland gave WREG this statement: "This is the fruit of an idea on which I campaigned for mayor. We need to drive development and density in our core city and this will be another tool to enable that."

The residential pilot still needs to go through one more step of approval and Dulberger said that could happen in June.