Here are my nominations for things to do now in downtown in priority order:
1. Do whatever it takes to remove panhandlers.
2. Clean up. That means maintenance and trash removal.
3. Green up. That means plant and maintain.
4. Develop a cluster strategy for business segments (4-5) that can naturally be attracted to downtown and will benefit from being close to each other.
5. Develop amenities accordingly. (Why, for instance, do we have a decrepit general interest public library in downtown Memphis? Has no one thought to make it a specialty center serving, say, the advertising and design business?)
6. Develop a realistic retail strategy and put someone in charge of execution who has successfully created a unique retail strategy before. I nominate Pogue and McEwen.
7. Get started on the riverfront plans.
There. That cost $0.
Couldn’t resist two additions:
8. Improve the entrances to downtown. Make Union the priority. When we finish that, tackle Poplar.
9. Pinpoint every people generator in downtown, then improve one block beyond it in every direction. Think broadly. For instance, include the courts. (Poplar from Danny Thomas to Third looks like hell.)
btw… Kudos to Andy and team for the Farmers Market. Very nice job.