Group presents plans to redevelop South Memphis area


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — For two hours Thursday, members of the Soulsville USA Neighborhoods Development District, also known as SNDD, stood before the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) board of directors to present their plan for a new tax increment financing district.

“I said, what if we came together as a concerted effort to and applied for a TIF to take the projects that we’ve been doing to the next level,” said Rebecca Matlock Hutchinson, the president on the Board of Directors of SNDD.

She said the organization is a coalition of businesses, institutions, property owners and residents looking to improve South Memphis.

Hutchinson said due to CRA restrictions, they narrowed their focus to five key areas: Soulville USA, French Fort, the South End/South Main area, South City and the South Third/Gaston Park area.

 If approved, she said they will use the funds to provide more affordable housing, infrastructure improvements, blight remediation, economic development and public facility improvement over a 20-year period.

“The keyword is increment and that’s new dollars that’s coming in and they’re generated by the neighborhood and those dollars are redirected back to the neighborhood,” said Andy Kitsinger, owner of the Development Studio consulting firm.

Kitsinger said they project to see around $93 million in TIF funds over the next two decades with 29 percent of those dollars going towards infrastructure improvements. 

“We’ll use the tax increment financing not as the end-all, but as one source of income for the projects that we’ve been doing so we can really benefit the residents in our community,” added Hutchinson.

Board members said Thursday was a preliminary presentation to receive feedback on the plan. The actual application will be submitted later this month. Hutchinson said once the application is submitted, it may be months before they receive a response in order to move forward.

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