MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A planned parking garage to benefit employees with St. Jude has some living in the Uptown and Greenlaw communities asking county leaders to pump the brakes on the proposal.
Ahead of Wednesday’s Board of Adjustment meeting, concerned community members gathered to urge once again those who could soon vote on the proposal to reconsider.
Some might consider it a David and Goliath battle. One between St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – with a multi-million-dollar operational budget and a small community with just as many reasons they said as to why they are against a proposed parking garage.
“What is being proposed is a 7-story, a massive 7-story, 1,640-passenger car garage for the employees,” a local business owner, Valerie Peavy said.
Peavy stood alongside others from the Uptown and Greenlaw communities.
“Envision what 1,600 cars on a 24-hour basis, at different shifts, coming through this very quiet community, will do to our neighborhood,” Peavy said.
Community members said the area at AW Willis between North 3rd and 4th streets could experience what they call “dangerous” modifications.
Uptown residents are concerned about pedestrian safety, housing, increased traffic, and pollution among others.
In a letter to the city and county office of planning and development, those representing the hospital said that “the expansion is necessary to allow St. Jude to continue its work to advance care and treatment for children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases.”
Many living in this community said there are several concerns. One of those concerns is the often-crowded corner. They fear new construction will make the congested area even worse.
In the meantime, this group will continue pushing to turn this space into parks, not parking spaces.
WREG reached out to St. Jude to get its side of the debate. Once we hear back, we will pass along their response.
As for those opposed to the garage, they are willing to meet with St. Jude to compromise on a proposal.
WREG will update with a new story after Wednesday’s scheduled county meeting or as new information becomes available.