9/18/17 PRESS RELEASE
The City of Memphis is seeking feedback on ideas collected from the public on the future of the Fairgrounds, starting that process with a public meeting Thursday (Sept. 21). More than 270 ideas have been received thus far from the first public meeting last month and on the website, memphisfairgrounds.com. The City has been exploring these suggestions, as well as ideas from previous planning efforts, and now wants to gather public input on the viable possibilities. “This is the final planning process to determine the right course of action for the Fairgrounds,” said Paul A. Young, director of the Division of Housing and Community Development (HCD). “Our city has been considering the future of the Fairgrounds for more than 10 years and it’s time for us, as a community, to decide what we want there. We need and value input from the public.” At Thursday’s meeting (5-7 p.m. at the Kroc Center, 800 East Parkway South), the City will present some siting options, a potential role for using the Mid-South Coliseum if it is kept, the rationale behind the key concepts, the immediate neighborhoods that will benefit the most from the project, and commercial areas like Lamar and Airways that would have opportunities for greater potential. In addition to the meeting, responses will also be collected at the Cooper-Young Community Farmers Market, in Orange Mound, and at other locations in the adjacent neighborhoods. An updated list of specific locations and times will be posted on social media and on the website. Mayor Jim Strickland has charged HCD to submit a plan for the future of the Fairgrounds to the Memphis City Council and the State of Tennessee by the end of the year. The suggestions from the public will be evaluated as part of the process to produce final recommendations to be presented at a Nov. 6 public meeting. The City’s redevelopment recommendations will be submitted to the State of Tennessee in an application for approval of a Tourism Development Zone, which would allow the incremental increase in sales taxes from the project to pay for Fairgrounds improvements. In addition to providing the opportunity for the public to submit ideas and feedback, memphisfairgrounds.com also has a flyover of the Fairgrounds, a history of the 155-acre site, exhibits displayed at the first public meeting, and a list of all ideas from the public. Thursday’s meeting will be structured in an open house format, so people can drop by at any time during those two hours. FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact HCD at 901-636-7308.