Cash breakdown of Bluff City’s $200M for revitalization projects

Published: Oct. 9, 2022 at 10:57 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 10, 2022 at 5:24 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A brand-new state-of-the-art library and genealogy center is coming to Orange Mound.

The revitalization of the old Melrose High School on Dallas Street was years in the making, but Friday’s groundbreaking ceremony was the result of a $200 million promise made by Mayor Jim Strickland back in 2021.

“It was a hard fight. People don’t realize how long it took us to do this,” said Hazell Glover Jones who graduated from Melrose in 1963.

The last class graduated in 1972, a half a century later the high school finally has a new life.

Thanks to a $10 million investment by the city, the old high school is being converted into a library and genealogy center. In a separate phase, there are plans to build a senior living facility.

The money came from a promise Mayor Strickland made in 2021 called Project Accelerate Memphis.

“We’re going to capitalize on these favorable conditions and make an unprecedented $200 million investment in catalytic community investment in every neighborhood and every city council district.

Seventy-five million dollars would go towards Parks, another $75 million for broadband and housing and $50 million to revitalize city assets like Historic Melrose.

Another asset included in the plan was AutoZone Park.

The city dedicated five million. Part of those funds will replace the scoreboard in November and contractors have been selected for other projects like a new field.

Four million was reserved for Mud Island River Park for improvements to things like the parking lot, Riverwalk, River Terrace and electrical improvements to the amphitheater.

Only $886,000 has been spent to date on that project.

Ten Million was set aside for the remediation of 100 North Main. None of that money has been spent.

Out of $10 million, $2.6 million will be dedicated to FedExForum has been spent on capital improvements.

As for the Old Melrose High School, city leaders plan to have the first phase of this project complete by December of next year.

Mayor Strickland says the city also has plans for the old drive-in theater on South Third Street in South Memphis.

He says the city plans to build a police precinct and a new library there.

Many of the city investments are the result of the Memphis 3.0 action plan.

To see how other funds in the $200 million “Accelerate Memphis” plan are going click here.

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