Memphis neighborhood makes dramatic turn around

Published: Mar. 28, 2007 at 10:50 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 31, 2007 at 11:25 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

The most dramatic neighborhood turn around in modern Memphis history is underway just north of downtown.

Hurt Villagewas once a crime ridden, drug infested public housing project. It's now gone. In its place is "Uptown."

Justin Macre rocks in safety on the front porch of the home he shares with his wife just north of downtown.

"We moved in thinking that we might get robbed, shot and killed. But two and a half years later, we haven't gotten shot, haven't gotten robbed and haven't got killed," says Macre.

But you can see why Macre had some justifiable fear.

Hurt Village once stood just North of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital; a neighborhood filled with many law abiding people terrorized by the drug dealers and criminals next door.

The Uptown Partnership ripped down the public housing and replaced Hurt Village with new single family homes and apartments.

Single women make up 56 percent of the 3,000 people who've moved to Uptown in the last couple years.

Tanja Mitchell rents an Uptown apartment where she's helped lead Neighborhood Watch and a community website called Uptown-yak, "now it's just picture perfect," adds Mitchell.

"That's our online everyday neighborhood watch. Anything that goes on in this neighborhood, someone is on the computer typing about it," says Mitchell.

Alexandra Mobley created the website that's become a way for neighbors to watch each other's back on anything suspicious, like a strange vehicle in a neighbors' driveway.

"You call them at work or you send them a message or you e-mail a photo of the vehicle.You e-mail the police a photo of the vehicle and they're here in a minute," says neighbor Alexandra Mobley.

All the vigilance has kept crime largely out of the area where Hurt Village once stood.

Mitchell says she feels safe because she knows her neighbors are looking out for her.

It's an astonishing transformation where people not only took back a neighborhood, they created a new one.

To get more info on community updates and Uptown click here.


to email Joe Birch.