MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Years of hard work and millions of dollars in investments all paid off when the new Foote Park at South City complex opened up in South Memphis near downtown.
The ribbon cutting Monday marked the opening of 600 new mixed-income housing units to residents. Rent starts at $1,100 per month for people who are not on income-based assistance plans.
There were countless organizations involved in the process and in attendance Monday. The City of Memphis provided a $30 million contribution.
The former Foote Homes complex had to be torn down to make way for this new complex. The old site was criticized for its poor living conditions. It also attracted crime and violence.
Tara Harris grew up there and is now the principal at Booker T. Washington High School.
“Our students and our families and our parents will actually have an environment and a community that’s reflective of their hard work and the community, and their value of themselves," Harris said.
Some residents of the old buildings are now returning, hopeful this new complex will be the home they’ve always wanted.
“My prayers have been answered," one resident, Tamika, said. "When I look at the new Foote Homes Park at South City, I see home, safety and peace.”
The opening is a major win for downtown residents, and there is optimism this is the first step in a long-term revitalization process.
“Momentum has a way of building on itself," Mayor Jim Strickland said. "The momentum in Memphis is leading to this redevelopment, and this redevelopment is going to reach out to the other parts of this area.”