Major projects continue in Downtown Memphis during pandemic

Updated: Apr. 28, 2020 at 5:17 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there were several exciting projects in downtown Memphis underway.

The Downtown Memphis Commission says that’s still the case today.

“The momentum is still there,” said Jennifer Oswalt, president of the Downtown Memphis Commission. “And I have not yet heard of a project that’s not moving forward. It’s going to get harder for some on the financing side. May take a little longer.”

Large cranes tower over the One Beale project, the lot for Union Row has been cleared and the work at the Convention Center is making progress.

Oswalt says the timing of the pandemic made a major difference.

“We’re in a good place in that so much of our growth was in construction rather than just opening which would have been detrimental,” Oswalt said.

The Downtown Memphis Commission has approved $260,000 in forgivable loans to 46 downtown businesses to support them through the pandemic.

Tuesday, the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce also helped Memphis businesses survive with a comprehensive COVID-19 virtual summit.

A look at the future One Beale project.
A look at the future One Beale project.

“It really was awareness building, it was resource sharing, to help them as they consider reopening their business,” said Beverly Robertson, president of the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber teamed up with Shelby County to present several Zoom calls throughout the morning with experts discussing topics including best business practices to be safe while reopening.

“They got answers to their problems and they got the opportunity to ask questions and maybe hear from people they would not have heard from otherwise,” Robertson said.

With a supportive mentality, local economic leaders are hopeful the Memphis economy will rebound quickly after it is safe to reopen.

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