Otis Sanford: Memphis has a lot of new projects to show off

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Anyone who lived or worked within smelling distance of the old Wonder Bread bakery will remember the unmistakable aroma that for decades came from the Monroe Avenue plant.

When the bakery closed in 2013, it was yet another blow to the manufacturing base that used to define Memphis.

Now, five years after the ovens shut down for good, developers are looking to revive the property. But it's not going to be a bakery. Instead developers will create a multipurpose development featuring upscale residential units along with office and retail space.

The $73 million project also includes a parking garage with nearly 500 spaces. It would encompass not just the shuttered bread factory, but surrounding properties between Downtown and the Medical Center in what is known as the Edge District.

To make it all work, developers are seeking a 20-year tax freeze, or what is commonly known as a PILOT.

The project is far from being a done deal, although artist renderings are impressive.

If it does come to fruition, it would enhance an area of the city that is already undergoing significant change. New but smaller projects are taking shape along nearby Union Avenue and owners of the Commercial Appeal  have announced they intend to move and sell the newspaper`s expansive property at 495 Union.

Add in the Crosstown Concourse project in the old Sears building and Memphis has plenty of new development projects to show off.

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