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    MEMFIX hopes to rejuvenate Cleveland area

    Memphis Business Journal -

    Crosstown Arts, the Mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team and the Memphis Regional Design Center are seeking to use tactical urbanism to reactivate Cleveland Street, much like efforts on Broad Avenue two years ago.
    The three nonprofits are working with the community to put on “MEMFIX Cleveland Street” Nov. 10.
    The event will engage local businesses, residents and community stakeholders to temporarily redesign the street and put temporary businesses along Cleveland from Overton Park to Galloway. It is expected to draw more than 8,000 people, according to Chooch Pickard, executive director at the Memphis Regional Design Center.
    “It basically shows what it can be when it’s redone,” he says. “It shows people the potential of the street if we design it properly and activate it with new retail.”
    MEMFIX Cleveland Street uses the same model as “A New Face for an Old Broad,” which brought more than 13,000 people to Broad Avenue in November 2010.
    In that event, neighborhood stakeholders painted protected bike lanes on Broad Avenue and filled empty retail bays with temporary businesses. It created an energy which led to Victory Bicycle Studio and Muddy’s Bake Shop LLC, among other small businesses, leasing space on Broad. Also, it led to the Overton Broad Connector, a city plan to link Overton Park to the Shelby Farms Greenline via Broad Avenue.
    “The immediate effect was so many more people know about Broad Avenue,” Pickard says. “I’ve been told there has been estimated $8 million in new development which has happened or is planned. And it only cost us $25,000 to do it.”
    The groups are hoping for a similar result on Cleveland. They are looking for vendors of artisan crafts, locally produced goods and food to open 10-by-10 stalls in front of old storefronts. Applications, which will be reviewed by a panel, are due Sept. 30.