Memphis City Council Approves Crosstown Project

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(Memphis) City council members voted Tuesday to approve its portion of the $175 million Sears Crosstown project.

Developers came up with about $160 million, and had requested the city come up with $15 million for partial demolition work and blight removal, among other expenses.

Some on the council said they didn't like being asked to put up money to redevelop the building, especially since they still don't know who's behind the deal.

"Sitting a book in front of us and asking us to vote onĀ  anonymous people who don't want to be identified, this is a struggle for me, director," said Council Member Wanda Halbert.

Housing and Community Development Director Robert Lipscomb said the owners are giving the city the building, which has been empty for 20 years, and want to remain anonymous.

Lipscomb said the $15 million will be reimbursed through grants later on, and even laid out where the city money would come from: public works, MLGW two federal grants and a newly discovered government Energy Conservation Bond.

It still left some council members skeptical.

"I don't think again it's fair to ask your board of directors to vote on a $15 million project when you give it to us 12 hours, no, after you finished the project and present it to us. I just don't think that is right," said Council Member Harold Collins.

Lipscomb wanted a vote, saying other cities would kill for a project like this that is totally grant-funded.

Council members said his passion didn't quell the questions they would have to answer from their constituents.

"You talk about the areas, the predominantly African-American areas, this is gonna effect. What about the jobs, what kind of jobs?" asked Council Member Janis Fullilove.

Despite the debate, the plan was moved on to the full council meeting and was passed.

The council still has two weeks to approve the meeting's minutes, so if members think the necessary questions haven't been answered, they can basically rescind the funding approval.


  • soulbeat

    This is SOOOO CRAZY you stated the city have no money and raise taxes. Got the city where old people can’t pay there light bill. Young people have no jobs. What the ??? is city leaders thinking. I will be pushing in my neighborhood to vote out every one that said yes to this dill. Now lets ask our self who got PAID OFF ON THIS DILL? Folks downtown are filling there pockets taking from us. Memphis is not NY or Cali the average income is 25,000 they say 30,000 but it is only 25 to 28,000. SOME ONE GOT PAID ON THIS DILL. Crime is at a all time high we lost all our schools to the state let me stop. HEY CITY LEADERS COLLEGE KIDS ARE NOT COMING BACK TO THIS TOWN AFTER SCHOOL WAKE UP WAKE THE ???? UP.

  • soulbeat

    Every one know Director Robert Lipscomb is all about money for him self. He stated O the people of Memphis will only take a small hit we do not make 100,000 a year like he do so yes its small to him to some one like me its a big dill so what my light bill going up now more taxes out my pocket now PEOPLE OF MEMPHIS WAKE UP VOTE THESE FOLKS OUT. Look like I need to run for office

  • chris smith

    black run cities are bankrupt and or on their way to being there…..why must people not realize that they do not belong in charge? Look at this idiot President, perfect example of stupidity.

  • Mary Sellerd

    I do believe this bunch can screw up a 1 car funeral. Some of the most lame brain people on the planet run Memphis.. It would not surprise me if this bunch would try to buy a few lots on the moon for a moon pie factory. That is the mind set.

  • Tim

    I think we need another sports arena, baseball stadium, and a bigger boat dock. All the ones we have are over utilized. Of course we need to expand the zoo to hold all the white elephants.

    The developers get everything they want from these …

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