Knowledge Center

BuildDowntown Master Plan

Memphis sits in a key central location, with a confluence of rail, roadway, and river access. As such, it has long been a distribution hub and a preferred location for warehouse and logistics companies. However, over the past decade, Memphis has begun a renaissance, leaning into tech, medical device/innovation, and agribusiness – industries fueled by the entrepreneurial spirit that locally-grown giants FedEx, AutoZone, and St Jude pour into our community. As a result, Downtown is attracting growing number of residents, businesses, and corporate flags. As our priorities and landscape shift to accommodate the changes, the need for a directed strategic plan is imperative.

BUILDDOWNTOWN focuses on creating the kind of environment that is attractive to the demographic fueling most knowledge-economy jobs. It seeks to transform Downtown into a robust regional engine of economic opportunity, equity, and culture.

Planning preceded and continued during the pandemic. COVID ultimately added greater emphasis on walkability; retail entrepreneurship; and riverfront access.

Downtown will welcome everyone to live, work, play, and innovate. It will be a place to experience rich history and cutting-edge technology, to celebrate diverse cultures, and stroll along a lively Main Street or the Mississippi. Three themes embody this vision:

BUILD UP. Promote compact critical mass. Drive public investment and incentives to focus density within a 5-minute walk of Main Street and designated activity nodes.

CELEBRATE WALKABILITY. Create signature streets and public spaces in each Downtown neighborhood. Support “car-free” living. Link regional BRT to the heart of Downtown.

WELCOME EVERYONE. Share the benefits of Downtown success equitably by supporting affordable housing, workforce training, and small business opportunities; reinvigorate Memphis’ authentic music, food, and arts culture and support “culture bearers;” program and design “common grounds” to invite people from every walk of life to call Downtown “mine.”

Project Details

BuildDowntown Master Plan

Downtown Memphis Commission


Planning, Design and Infrastructure
$4000001 - $5000000