Summer Avenue hopes to be the city’s official International District

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Big changes could be coming to Summer Avenue. Business owners are working to turn the old commercial strip into the city’s official international district.

“We are trying to represent all the different nationalities that are in the area,” said Meghan Medford with the Summer Avenue Merchants Association. They counted 40 different countries represented in the area.

The association began in 2015 with the idea of reclaiming its roots by promoting the street and fighting blight and crime.

Medford said they’ve teamed up with MPD and code enforcement and have made strides to rid of eyesores and graffiti.

While work still needs to be done, Medford says it’s time to celebrate the positive.

“we’re reaching out to the city to help with marketing and branding ourselves as an official international district,” she said.

She wants to hang different countries’ flags and add more planter boxes and greenery along the street hoping to attract new people to the centrally-located avenue.

“I love it. I think it’s a great idea,” said Dennis Criscuolo, who opened his flag shop in 2001.

He said he’s now seeing family-owned businesses moving into the empty storefronts.

“Over the last couple of years, we’ve really seen it come roaring back,” he said.

Medford says business owners she has talked to are on board with the idea.

“People will realize all the great eateries, food and shopping that’s here, and they can try a little bit of everything. Everything from every country,” said Medford.

She wants your help and ideas to make this International District come to fruition.

If you want to get involved, email Medford at Meghan@medfordroofs.com.