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What is the Vance Avenue Collaborative (VAC)?                                   1 

Origins of the P...

Vance Avenue Collaborative (VAC) is a coalition of faith‐based organization...

The Vance Avenue Collaborative was established in July of 2009 when Reverend Timothy Sull...
     An examination of historical studies, plans, and reports describing the evolution of the Vance 
          Avenue nei...

There is creditable evidence to suggest that the Vance Aven...
recently completed Triangle Noir Plan seeks to redevelop Cleaborn Village and Foote Homes using Federal 
Hope VI Funds whi...
   Map 2 

   Map 3 


Long‐term disinvestment has made vacant land and abandoned buildings the area’s leading land uses, 
followed by residentia...
  Map 5 

An examination of exterior property conditions illustrates the high level of pride that local owners have in...
   Map 6 

Despite the very modest income of most area homeowners and the limited resources of many of the 
While the Vance Avenue Neighborhood currently has a considerable amount of publicly controlled open 
space, much of it wit...
   Table 2 

Median Household Income 

Low educational attainment levels and service sector jobs explain why Median Ho...
public safety, job training, small business assistance, housing and energy conservation, leadership 
development and local...

Over the course of several weeks in March...

Table 5 

Table 6 


In a series of questions about the quality of public services in the Vance Avenue Neighborhood, residents 
were relatively...
Importantly, residents identified temporary housing for the homeless and alcohol and drug treatment as 
two services that ...

An S.W.O.T. analysis is a simple graph which displays the c...

During the fall and winter of 2009, Vance Avenue Neighborhood...
3) Pursue public school excellence by transforming our local schools into 24‐hour community school 
        center facilit...


                          Immediate-Term    ...

Public School    -Enhance achievement           -Construct a state-of-         -Transform Booker T.
Excellence         ...

Economic              -First Source Hiring at       -Establish a robust          -Recreate Vance Ave.
Development      ...
Public Transportation    -Organize a competition         
                           for the design of striking

Among the proposals local residents were most ...
The Bill W Hotel ‐ This new facility will provide single room occupancy rooms, congregate activity areas, 
coordinated cas...
The King Academy Community School Center ‐ Located at the former site of the Universal Life Insurance 
Company will be org...

Memphis Global Village Corridor ‐ The establishment of a new regional commercial center offering goods, 
products, and ...
   May-August   Production by the Writing and Editorial Committee of the Draft of the
                     Vance Avenue R...
   Join the Steering Committee of the Vance Avenue Collaborative to provide ongoing
        organizing, planning and deve...
Georgia Avenue Elementary School
       Saint Patrick Roman Catholic Church
       The University of Memphis
Planning  Framework 1
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Planning Framework 1


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Planning Framework 1

  1. 1. TABLE OF CONTENTS What is the Vance Avenue Collaborative (VAC)?            1  Origins of the Planning Process                  2  The Vance Avenue Planning Process                2  A Short and Glorious History of the Vance Avenue Neighborhood        4  A Snapshot of Current Conditions in the Vance Avenue Neighborhood      5  Census Data                        10  Resident Perceptions of Existing Conditions and Potential Development  Opportunities                      13    A Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Analysis      17    The Overall Structure of the Vance Avenue Neighborhood Plan        18    An Overview of the Vance Avenue Comprehensive Revitalization Action Plan    20    Vance Avenue Neighborhood Revitalization Action Signature Projects      24    Where We Go From Here?                   27    How You Can Help                      28    Joining the Campaign                    28    Participating Organizations                  29    For More Information about the Vance Avenue Collaborative (VAC)        30               
  2. 2. WHAT IS THE VANCE AVENUE COLLABORATIVE (VAC)? Vance Avenue Collaborative (VAC) is a coalition of faith‐based organizations, social service agencies, public  schools, resident associations, and area businesses serving the 38126 zip code, also known as the Vance  Avenue Neighborhood or the South of the Forum District. The collaborative was launched by leaders of  Saint Patrick Roman Catholic Church who were concerned about the impending displacement of long‐time  residents resulting from the city’s proposed redevelopment of Cleaborn Village. After securing community  organizing and planning assistance from the anthropology and city planning programs at the University of  Memphis, parish leaders contacted others who believed that Vance Area could be transformed into a  vibrant residential neighborhood by building upon the community’s many assets. Among these assets are  its central location within the city and region, its many landmarks including Clayborn Temple, Robert  Church Park, and Booker T. Washington High School. During the past year, a network involving more than  fifteen community‐based organizations have formed a working group committed “to preserving the Vance  Area’s many historic strengths by expanding educational, economic, housing, and cultural opportunities  for current and future residents  in a more vibrant, sustainable, safe, and equitable urban environment”.      Fig. 1      1   
  3. 3. ORIGINS OF THE PLANNING PROCESS The Vance Avenue Collaborative was established in July of 2009 when Reverend Timothy Sullivan O.S.P.,  invited leaders of more than a dozen local institutions to come together to discuss their concerns regarding  the area’s future. The majority of these leaders believed the transformation of Cleaborn Village, and  eventually Foote Homes, into mixed‐income housing complexes using Federal HOPE VI funds, would lead to  massive displacement of long‐time public housing tenants and the destabilization of many of the area’s  anchor institutions, such as the Emanuel Center, First Baptist on Lauderdale, Saint Patrick and Booker T.  Washington, which have served these residents for decades.  Shortly after forming the Vance Avenue Collaborative, local leaders committed themselves to creating a  comprehensive revitalization plan building upon the neighborhood’s many assets. They also secured the  assistance of two graduate assistants from the University of Memphis’ Graduate Program in City and  Regional Planning and the City of Memphis Division of Housing and Community Development to assist with  various outreach, organizing, and planning tasks. The collaborative established the boundaries for the study  area ‐ South 3rd Street as the western boundary, Beale Street as the northern boundary, East Avenue as the  eastern boundary and Crump Boulevard as the southern boundary. Additionally, to expand the base of non‐ partisan support enjoyed by the plan, they decided to undertake the production of the Vance Avenue Plan  in as highly participatory manner as possible. To accomplish this, they worked with U of M, UT, Rhodes, and  Virginia Tech faculty to involve more than 150 undergraduate and graduate students in collecting the  volumes of social, economic, and environmental data needed to prepare an empirically‐based and socially‐ inspired district‐level plan.          Fig. 2  Fig. 3    THE VANCE AVENUE PLANNING PROCESS During the fall 2009 and spring 2010 semesters, volunteers from Saint Patrick Roman Catholic Church along  with students from the University of Memphis carried out the following research in order to understand  the historic trends that shaped this once‐vibrant neighborhood and to develop a detailed profile of existing  conditions within the neighborhood. Among the activities these individuals completed were:  2   
  4. 4.  An examination of historical studies, plans, and reports describing the evolution of the Vance  Avenue neighborhood;   Selective interviews with area elders to elicit their description and evaluation of the most  important historical trends affecting the neighborhood;   A review of population and housing trends based upon the U.S. Census;   Semi‐structured interviews with local institutional leaders regarding their assessment of current  conditions and future development opportunities;   Semi‐structured interviews with local residents regarding their assessment of current conditions  and future development opportunities;   Focus groups with often hard to reach community residents including: youth, area service  providers; and senior citizens;   A parcel‐by‐parcel inventory and survey of existing land uses, building conditions, and site  maintenance levels;   Set‐up of a listening‐post display at the Annual Health Fair and Neighborhood Festival to gather  additional resident input on the evolving Planning Framework for an Improved Vance Avenue Area.   The forging of a representative Steering Committee to assume leadership during the data analysis,  goal setting and program development phases of the planning process.  The people power required to carry out the above mentioned research activities was provided by local  volunteers and students and faculty from the University of Memphis, the University of Tennessee Medical  School, Rhodes College, Virginia Institute of Technology, and Regional AmeriCorps volunteers. The planning  framework that follows is the result of input provided by representatives of more than twenty‐five local  organizations and more than two hundred local residents who were kind enough to participate in the  Vance Avenue Collaborative planning process      Fig. 4  3   
  5. 5. A SHORT AND GLORIOUS HISTORY OF THE VANCE AVENUE NEIGHBORHOOD There is creditable evidence to suggest that the Vance Avenue Neighborhood was once home to a  significant tribe of Mississippian Indians in the period before 1500. The reason for the disappearance of  these First Americans from the area prior to European settlement is not fully understood; however, most  explanations focus on resource depletion. The neighborhood’s more modern history begins in the mid‐ 1800s, when wealthy Memphians built homes along the Beale Street and Linden and Vance Avenues. South  Memphis was incorporated into the City of Memphis in 1850 and remained a popular residential area until  the late 19th century.  As Memphis emerged from the Yellow Fever epidemic, which ravaged the city in the  1870s, it became a major cotton and lumber production area, agricultural transshipment center, railroad  transportation node and retail and financial center.   By the early 20th century streetcars had made new residential development possible to the east of  downtown, in what is today Annesdale Park and Central Gardens. As residents moved into these new  neighborhoods, the large, stylish homes in the Vance neighborhood were turned into boarding houses to  accommodate the growing numbers of workers employed by the city’s rapidly expanding port, downtown,  railroad, and manufacturing firms.  The construction of Lamar Terrace and Foote Homes public housing  complexes in the early 1940s dramatically reduced the area’s total population while increasing the  percentage of local families living below the poverty line.  Large‐scale clearance related to the operation of  the Federal Urban Renewal Program created large vacant spaces. The combined effects of  deindustrialization, suburbanization, and disinvestment took an additional toll on the neighborhood. By the  1960s, court‐ordered school busing and social unrest caused by the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King  Jr. further prompted long‐time residents to leave the area, transforming the Vance Avenue Neighborhood  into a majority African American neighborhood.      While municipal officials and leaders of the Center City Commission made frequent references to the need  to revitalize the area, little concrete action was taken until the 1970s when the city entered into an  agreement with local business and a development corporation along Beale Street to redevelop this storied  entertainment corridor, that serves as the study area’s northern border. In the 1990s, local investors took  advantage of the renewed interest in downtown development that was taking place across the country.  They worked with local, state, and Federal officials to bring significant redevelopment to the Vance Avenue  Neighborhood’s northwestern quadrant with the development of the Westin Hotel, Gibson Guitar Factory,  the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the FedEx Forum home to the Memphis Grizzlies.   While these mega development projects were taking place, smaller scale redevelopment was underway  often through the efforts of local religious congregations. The COGIC Church built a magnificent new  cathedral as their international headquarters featuring a new worship center, educational facility, health  and fitness center, and social services complex. Saint Patrick Roman Catholic Church constructed a new K‐6  Jubilee School, a Community Center offering educational and human services and ten new single‐family  affordable housing units. Streets Ministry, using land donated by the Progressive Baptist Church, erected a  state of the art youth athletics and learning center heavily used by area youth. Meanwhile, First Baptist  Church on Lauderdale’s Mustard Seed Local Development Corporation began offering local residents  courses in financial literacy and homeownership.  In 2008, the City of Memphis’ Division of Housing and Community Development commissioned Self‐Tucker  Architects to create a vision to guide future municipal government investment in the area. The City’s  4   
  6. 6. recently completed Triangle Noir Plan seeks to redevelop Cleaborn Village and Foote Homes using Federal  Hope VI Funds while enhancing several of the Memphis Housing Authority’s remaining family and senior  housing complexes. In the fall of 2009, Robert Lipscomb, Director of the Division of Housing and  Community Development invited representatives of the Vance Avenue Collaborative to join forces in  creating an updated redevelopment plan for the area. While the Collaborative welcomed the opportunity  to do so, city officials have yet to focus on the task.   The Community Profile and Preliminary Planning Framework that follows summarizes a solid year of data  collection and analysis and planning and design work by neighborhood residents and leaders supported by  VAC’s student and faculty team.  A SNAPSHOT OF CURRENT CONDITIONS IN THE VANCE AVENUE NEIGHBORHOOD The Vance Avenue neighborhood is located directly southeast of the city’s Central Business District. The  area is comprised of nearly one hundred blocks laid out in a modified grid pattern. The vast majority of the  neighborhood benefits from good soil, excellent drainage, and modest slopes making it a highly  suitable  location for a wide range of low, medium, and high density development projects.        Map 1: The Vance Avenue neighborhood is located directly southeast of the city’s Central Business District.  It area comprised of nearly one hundred blocks laid out in a modified grip pattern. The vast majority of the  neighborhood benefits from good soil, excellent drainage, and modest slopes.    5   
  7. 7.      Map 2         Map 3    6   
  8. 8. Long‐term disinvestment has made vacant land and abandoned buildings the area’s leading land uses,  followed by residential housing, institutional/community facilities, commercial establishments, and  industrial/warehouses. While vacant and underutilized land and buildings represents a significant  challenge, it also represents an important asset as the economy begins to recover and energy conscious  developers and consumers look for development sites within walking distance of the Downtown.        Map 4    The majority of Vance Avenue Neighborhood buildings are constructed of brick and masonry materials,  which in spite of their age and deferred maintenance are in good condition. While a significant number of  structures, especially those located within Cleaborn Village and Foote Homes are experiencing varying  degrees of deterioration, few structures within the study area are dilapidated. Two historic structures that  residents are most concerned about are Claeaborn Temple, the main organizing site of the 1968 Sanitation  Workers’ Union Strike, which is in need of immediate stabilization and the Universal Life Insurance Building,  which was the international headquarters of the nation’s largest African American owner casualty company  and is also in need of immediate stabilization.      7   
  9. 9.     Map 5    An examination of exterior property conditions illustrates the high level of pride that local owners have in  maintaining their properties. The overwhelming majority of building lots have been recently cleaned and  mowed. Additionally, a significant number reveal recent investment in basic landscaping, screening, and  fencing. On the other hand, several residents have expressed concern with areas adjacent to the MHA  controlled neighborhoods, such as properties along Orleans and Fourth Street, which have experienced  recent decline in the form of abandonment, structural deterioration, and an overall lack of cleanliness.  8   
  10. 10.      Map 6    Despite the very modest income of most area homeowners and the limited resources of many of the  neighborhood’s community‐based institutions, an examination of local structures reveals a significant  number that have benefitted from recent improvements, most of which have been self‐financed.     Map 7    9   
  11. 11. While the Vance Avenue Neighborhood currently has a considerable amount of publicly controlled open  space, much of it with mature tree coverage, little of it has been improved. Despite the large numbers of  seniors and children living in the study area for whom daily exercise is a requirement to maintain overall  health and fitness, there is a dearth of well maintained, and supervised public recreational spaces.    CENSUS DATA Total Population  Like many older residential neighborhoods located adjacent to Downtown Memphis, the Vance Avenue  Neighborhood lost approximately 17% of its population between 1990 and 2000. More than 98% of the  remaining residents are African American. One third of these individuals reside in the neighborhood’s two  largest public housing complexes while the remainder of the population lives in a combination of single‐ family and low‐rise private sector housing.         Table 1    Educational Attainment  The Vance Avenue Neighborhood has one of the lowest educational attainment levels in the City of  Memphis. 58% of those over the age of 25 lack a high school diploma, 30% are high school graduates, and  10% have completed some college, while only 3% have completed a four‐year college degree. The  neighborhood’s extremely low educational attainment level makes it very difficult for local residents to  secure living wage jobs. An examination of residents’ occupational status reveals that most local workers  are concentrated in jobs within the secondary labor force where wages are low, benefits limited, and job  security unknown.  10   
  12. 12.      Table 2    Median Household Income  Low educational attainment levels and service sector jobs explain why Median Household Incomes among  Vance Avenue Neighborhood residents were one quarter of those within the City of Memphis as a whole  and one fifth those of Shelby County residents making this area one of the least well resourced in Western  Tennessee and the Mid‐South.         Table 3    Poverty Rate  The Vance Avenue Neighborhood is, by any measure, one of the poorest residential areas in Memphis and  Western Tennessee. The persistent poverty that characterizes the neighborhood demands a  comprehensive revitalization effort that addresses educational, child and family development, health care,  11   
  13. 13. public safety, job training, small business assistance, housing and energy conservation, leadership  development and local institutional capacity building initiatives.         Table 4        12   
  14. 14. RESIDENT PERCEPTIONS OF EXISTING CONDITION AND FUTURE DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES Over the course of several weeks in March, 2010, resident volunteers, assisted by university students and  faculty hit the streets and conducted door‐to‐door survey interviews with approximately 170 residents in  the Vance neighborhood (about 10% of the population).  The 11‐page survey asked questions about  residents’ likes, dislikes, and improvement proposals. Subsequently, we asked them to rank the quality of  services in the area, including: health, educational, social, public, and economic and job development  services. A summary of the findings follows.  What Residents like most about the Vance Avenue  What Residents liked Least about Vance Avenue  Neighborhood  Neighborhood      • The people and neighborly environment  • Trash and litter  • Close to Downtown, FedEx Forum, schools  • Crime, Drug Dealers, Shootings, and  • Quiet  Violence  • Affordability of housing  • Vacant Houses  • Local churches and social service  • Traffic  organizations (Emanuel Center, Saint  • Noise  Patrick, Mustard Seed, Streets Ministries)  • Children running around with nothing to do  • Bus system  • Poorly maintained houses and apartments  • Police patrols and sense of security        Improvements Residents Would Most Like to See in the Vance Avenue Neighborhood    • Renovated houses   • Increased housing choices  • More law enforcement  • A major grocery store  • Bringing people together to build a stronger sense of community  • More, cleaner,  and nicer parks and recreational areas  • Cleaner streets and better maintained lots  • Improved sidewalks and lighting; repair potholes  • More recreational opportunities for children and youth  • Increase number and availability of drug and alcohol treatment programs  • A Community Center  • Decrease domestic violence, increase in police protection  • Services and activities for the elderly              13   
  15. 15.     Table 5      Table 6  14   
  16. 16. In a series of questions about the quality of public services in the Vance Avenue Neighborhood, residents  were relatively satisfied. In particular, 40% of respondents ranked the Fire Department as excellent; 56%  ranked the police as fair to good; and street lighting and garbage pickup was seen as good by 46% of  respondents.  The overall cleanliness of the area was a concern for residents, with approximately 40% of respondents  rating the cleanliness of streets, lots, and parks as poor or very poor. Additionally, 35% of residents ranked  the safety, cleanliness, and equipment at parks as poor. Their suggestions for improving the parks included:   keeping them clean, installing better swings and slides, picnic tables, enhancing security, and adopting  better lighting.  By far the most frequently mentioned improvement to public services were increased police protection;  better public transportation‐ more buses that run with greater frequency (esp. on weekends); repair of  sewage overflows; and street repairs.      Table 7    During the course of the survey we asked residents about their current housing situation and potential  future needs. 92% of the residents surveyed currently rent their homes, but many expressed a desire to  own a home. Approximately 65% of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with their current housing.   15   
  17. 17. Importantly, residents identified temporary housing for the homeless and alcohol and drug treatment as  two services that were desperately needed, but currently un‐available. Additionally, they noted that there  are not enough health and social services available to seniors and youth.  Resident responses indicated that they received medical care from a range of sources, including the Med,  area hospitals (Baptist, Methodist, St. Jude, St. Francis and UT) and area clinics and health centers (Church  health Center, Memphis Health Center, Christ Community, Wellington, Southwest Orange Mound Health  Clinic, Memphis Health Loop, and the Health Department , to name only a few). Despite ranking health  services as good overall, residents identified several important gaps in health and wellness services. These  included the need for additional HIV testing and prevention, more care for seniors, health education on  diabetes, obesity, stroke, heart disease, and STD prevention, and drug and alcohol treatment.  Additionally, the survey inquired about how residents felt about local schools from Pre‐K to College as well  as adult education programs, such as GED classes. The residents consistently rated these as good, but also  suggested that there was room for improvement. Some of their suggestions included: improved  infrastructure and more teachers, make schools safer, increase availability of GED programs, increase  availability of tutoring and other educational afterschool opportunities, increase parental involvement, and  improve the local library.  When asked about where they went for everyday shopping needs, such as:  groceries, pharmacy, laundry,  and clothing, the majority of residents indicated that they were able to acquire these things either in the  neighborhood or in nearby shopping centers on Union or Poplar or in South Memphis. When asked what  goods and services were under or un‐available, they noted that there was still a need for a grocery store,  clothing stores, dollar store, pharmacy, and bank in the local area.    Most important outcomes or improvements residents would like to see emerge from the VAC plan:    • A cleaner, safer neighborhood  • More services for the homeless  • Improved housing options for current residents of Cleaborn and Foote  • More opportunities and activities for children and youth, esp. after school and summer  • More community involvement  • More jobs  • More shopping options  • Better community/police relations  • More and improved parks and green spaces  • Honor community’s history and cultural heritage      16   
  18. 18. STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES, THREATS (SWOT) ANALYSIS An S.W.O.T. analysis is a simple graph which displays the community’s Strengths, Weaknesses,  Opportunities and Threats. This information was gained through the various methods discussed above. The  SWOT helps us indentify areas of focus for specific improvements.      17   
  19. 19. THE OVERALL STRUCTURE OF THE VANCE AVENUE NEIGHBORHOOD PLAN During the fall and winter of 2009, Vance Avenue Neighborhood residents and leaders met on a regular  basis with our university partners to analyze the social, economic, and physical data that we had been  collected. In March of 2010, a cross section of community residents participated in an all‐day Neighborhood  Summit to explore alternative revitalization strategies and to select an overall development goal and set of  specific improvement objectives designed to advance the following resident‐identified community‐building  values.   Excellence in public education;   Access to high quality affordable housing;   Availability of job training and placement;   Expansion of employment and entrepreneurial opportunities;   Comprehensive youth services and programs;   Improved public safety and community/police relations;   Coordination of comprehensive social services and case management supports;   Right of all to transportation alternatives (walking, biking);   Removal of barriers to regional health care services; and    Continue support for expanded citizen participation and resident empowerment    Following several hours of discussion, the assembled Vance Avenue residents and leaders chose the  following overall development goal to guide the future development of their neighborhood.      To transform the Vance Avenue Neighborhood into the city’s most  culturally diverse and economically vibrant mixed‐use community  distinguished by its excellent public schools, employment and  entrepreneurial opportunities, quality housing options, support for  children and families, emphasis upon health and wellness, commitment  to green building, design and living, continuation of civil and human  rights advocacy, and commitment to cooperative problem‐solving and  collaborative decision‐making.    Residents then identified the following objectives to enable them to achieve their overall development  goal:  1) Attack the mounting health crisis confronting local residents and communities by providing  universal access to basic health education, wellness, and primary care:    2) Enhance the real and perceived level of public safety through the development of an expanded  community policing program to compliment the MPD’s Blue Crush initiative;    18   
  20. 20. 3) Pursue public school excellence by transforming our local schools into 24‐hour community school  center facilities committed to elevating the educational level of all neighborhood residents;    4) Expand employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for local residents through community  benefit agreements with publicly assisted development projects especially in the Downtown,  Fairgrounds, and Riverfront Districts of the city;    5) Increase the number and type of housing available within the neighborhood through the adaptive  re‐use of existing housing, construction of new in‐fill housing, and provision of special needs  housing for seniors and the other‐abled built in a manner that minimizes future energy  consumption;    6) Provide a range of transportation alternatives to neighborhood residents, especially those with  few private transit options – i.e. youth, the elderly, and the other‐abled;    7) Connect to the extraordinary artistic and political culture of the historical Vance Avenue  Neighborhood to remind current and future residents, especially children that they possess  individual agency and collective power; and    8) Identify, train, and nurture the next generation of neighborhood leaders capable of providing  ongoing stewardship to the Vance Avenue Neighborhood’s ongoing community empowerment  activities.    During two meetings organized in April of 2010, more than seventy –five community residents came  together and generated a list of more than one hundred and thirty specific policy, program, and project  proposal idea s designed to enable the Vance Avenue Neighborhood to achieve significant progress  towards these improvement objectives. After generating these suggestions in what President Obama has  referred to as “blue sky” brain storming, residents reduced this list to a set of forty‐five initiatives to be  carried out during the coming seven years on a developmental basis starting with modest “low hanging  fruit‐type” projects progressing to more ambitiously‐scaled initiatives. Using the following three point  decision‐making schema residents placed their projects within a phasing plan on the next page.    Immediate Term Short-Term Long-Term Years 1-2 Years 3-5 Years 6-7 Needed Staff  Use of current  Additional volunteers  Additional volunteers  volunteers  and part‐time staff  and full‐time staff  Required Funding  Less than $25,000 per  Less than $200,000 per  Less than $1 million per  project required  project  project  Outside Technical  None  Modest level of planning  Ongoing technical  Assistance Needed  and program  assistance required from  development assistance  an experienced national  TA provider, such as LISC  or Enterprise  Community Partners    19   
  21. 21.   AN OVERVIEW OF THE VANCE AVENUE COMPREHENSIVE REVITALIZATION ACTION PLAN   Immediate-Term Short-Term Long-Term (Years 1-2) (Year 3-5) (Years 6-7) Public Health and -Organize a full range of -Work with area -Establish a Bill W Hotel Wellness  local 12-Step Programs medical, dental, social providing emergency -Create and distribute a work, and public health services, transitional local human services schools to establish a housing, employment directory cooperative clinic opportunities, and -Promote the utilization providing primary care ongoing case and replication of the to needy individuals management services Saint Patrick and families. for chemically Community Garden -Create a community- dependent -Establish a Flo Jo Lives based substance abuse and homeless men, Walking Club at Robert prevention, intervention, women and children  Church Park and treatment program -Implement a Safe in collaboration with Routes to School area medical schools Program to increase and professional walking and biking to associations, the U of school M Social Work -Organization of a Program, and leaders health care summit of the local 12-Step involving local Community  medical/dental school Arts and Culture  -Create The Peoples’ -Redesign Robert -Transform the vacant Gumbo Healthy and Church Park as Clayborn Temple into a Low Cost Cookbook Memphis’ version of museum celebrating -Oral History Initiative Millennium Park African American -Social History Mural celebrating the family and community Project city’s rich economic, life and -Organization of an social, musical, and culture  annual spring art sports history. exhibition and talent -Identify an existing show featuring local facility or design and talent to be offered build a new facility to during African in April showcase the   considerable artistic talent that exists within the community -Research, design and execute a major urban design effort to enhance the appearance of local streets, parks, playgrounds and other public spaces in the community.     20   
  22. 22.   Public School -Enhance achievement -Construct a state-of- -Transform Booker T. Excellence  through service- the-art public library Washington into an learning serving individuals of all leadership academy -Expand Streets ages with a special focused on community Ministries’ College commitment to organizing, planning, Preparatory Program innovative reading development; and -Establish a local programs and adult management; re- Dunham Dance literacy programs organize the space as and Drumming -Take steps towards a community school Academy as an after establishing a historic center providing space school program for non- preservation trades to worthwhile non-profit athletes school in cooperation organizations  -Challenge the local and with Memphis Heritage regional high schools, and the U of M to universities, public prepare students to agencies, private stabilize and restore corporations and historic structures and churches to organize statuary in their Literacy Summer 2011 community and across to reduce adult literacy the country by 50% within the City   of Memphis and Shelby County  Social Service -Expand job training/ -Development of an up- -Development of a Provision  adult literacy efforts to-date local social national training -Establish local services services directory institute to promote for special needs (paper and on-line) faith-based children -Press for a linkage organizing, planning, -Create a non- program that would development, and violence mediation and require new downtown service delivery. conflict resolution investors/developers to -Organize a youth program teaching youth provide job mentorship connecting a variety of creative opportunities to the every middle schooler problem-solving unemployed living on with a caring adult who methods for use at 08126 zip code  is committed to their home, school and in the development  community Public Safety  -Community/police -Develop an ambitious ‐Work with MPD and relations compact community policing the PBA to organize -Establish foot and bike program complimenting a police-sponsored patrols Blue Crush Young Explorers -Organize neighborhood -Work with local judges Program watches to pursue alternatives -Establish a restorative -Initiate a home and to incarceration for justice project requiring business fire safety and first-time offenders who offenders to provide security inspection commit non-violent meaningful community program crimes service to address the -Explore group buying of -Insure that future negative fire safety and anti-theft buildings constructed consequences of their devices and/or rehabbed in the actions    Vance area follow the principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)   21   
  23. 23.   Economic -First Source Hiring at -Establish a robust -Recreate Vance Ave. Development  Hope VI sites educational program for Corridor between -Community Benefits new entrepreneurs South Main Street and Agreements for city- as well as capital Danny Thomas as a assisted projects financing and regional Afro-centric (Downtown, Waterfront, mentoring resources mixed-use center and Fairgrounds) -Create a community -Establish an incubator -Work with Rise based re-entry program space to support the Foundation to organize for ex-offenders. development of new a financial literacy -Press the major businesses. program in the institutions within the   Downtown Medical District to -Support residents who establish specialized individually and job training programs collectively wish to build area youth and adults businesses aimed at as a local PILOT-like improving healthy foods program access -Lobby the City to -Develop a green jobs establish a buy-local training program on a program and small joint basis by SWTC, U business assistance of M, Christian Brothers effort to create new jobs and the MCS to prepare through local the workforce that will purchasing thereby retrofit existing building plugging a significant to make them more income and wealth energy efficient  leak from the local economy Affordable Housing  -Improve local code -Develop a center for ‐Plan and build a new enforcement independent living for mixed-income, LEED -Expand homeowner those who are ND master planned assistance programs differently abled to community based upon -Create resident include housing, Traditional Design oversight committee to assisted living, and principles within the insure good transitional employment services. Vance Avenue Area services for Cleaborn -Expand the size and that provides 1 for 1 Village residents improve the replacement of the -Encourage the local management of the deeply-subsized public land bank to acquire Section 8 Voucher housing units which the vacant land and Program neighborhood will lose buildings for future -Encourage the City and through the HOPE VI development assuring County to work with Program affordability  the city’s major -Work with local employers to develop a churches to create Employer Assisted attractive new senior Housing Program housing for aging baby where workers choosing boomers who are to living in targeted housing and stabilization commuting weary and neighborhood would eager to take receive better mortgage advantage of the city’s terms due to the many urban amenities willingness of their   employers to create a loan guarantee fund a la the UPENN   22   
  24. 24. Public Transportation  -Organize a competition   for the design of striking bus shelters that convey a sense of the neighborhood’s history, culture, and vitality -Connect area youth with college volunteers who will help them construct bikes at the Revolutions Bike Shop at First Congregational Church -Organize a major neighborhood clean-up to encourage residents to more effectively use the neighborhood’s open spaces                                     23   
  25. 25. VANCE AVENUE NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION ACTION PROJECT SIGNATURE PROJECTS Among the proposals local residents were most excited about were the following signature projects.  Vance Avenue Community‐Based Arts Project ‐ This effort would reconnect local residents, regardless of  age, to the extraordinary tradition of progressive education, creative excellence, and civil rights  accomplishment of the Vance Avenue Neighborhood. This community‐based arts initiative would involve  youth, adults, and seniors in the research, writing, production, and presentation of art, music, dance, and  performances celebrating the historic and contemporary contributions of people of color to the  educational, cultural, political, and business life of Memphis, the Mid‐South and the nation. Among the  many inspirations for this effort are the Studio Museum of Harlem, the Weeksville Historical Center in  Brooklyn, the Philadelphia Mural Project and the Katherine Dunham Center for Arts and Humanities in East  St. Louis, Illinois.          Pictures from the Philadelphia murals project  24   
  26. 26. The Bill W Hotel ‐ This new facility will provide single room occupancy rooms, congregate activity areas,  coordinated case management services, and small business spaces where former homeless men and  women can work. Names after Bill Wilson, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, this full service center will  offer comprehensive health, counseling, nutritional, employment, and housing services for homeless men,  women, and children who are struggling to achieve sobriety, mental health, and a positive and productive  place in our community. Every aspect from the location and design of the structure to the organization and  provision of services will be designed to inspire and uplift those seeking services.            Pictures from the Covenant House    25   
  27. 27. The King Academy Community School Center ‐ Located at the former site of the Universal Life Insurance  Company will be organized as a middle and high school and community center. The school will promote  excellence in teaching and learning through an experientially‐based education in which students at all levels  will develop new knowledge and skills while assisting nearby community‐based organizations in the  planning and implementation of critical organizing, planning and development projects selected by local  residents. This facility will also house the community groups with which the skill is working, such as  Advance Memphis, the Vance Avenue Collaborative, and the NAACP. The overall philosophy of the school  will be based upon Dr. King’s ideas of non‐violence and passive resistance. Administrators, faculty,  students, staff, parents, and community members will be trained in the basic concepts on non‐violence  resistance as a practical philosophy and set of community problem‐solving skills.              Pictures from the Harlem Children’s Zone          26   
  28. 28.   Memphis Global Village Corridor ‐ The establishment of a new regional commercial center offering goods,  products, and services from around the world, including: Africa, Central and South America, and Asia.  Vance Avenue from South Main Street to Danny Thomas will be transformed into an inspired commercial  corridor evocative of South Beach’s Lincoln Road and 125th Street in Harlem. The proposed corridor will  offer unique arts, crafts, foods, film, and fashion celebrating the best of emerging cuisine, arts, fashion, and  literature from around the world. The Corridor will be developed to be that special place that area  residents and visitors travel to in order to purchase unique presents for those most special in their lives and  hearts.      Pictures from the Lincoln Road Mall    The Robert Church Entrepreneurship Center ‐ This facility will be developed in cooperation with Advance  Memphis, Southwest Tennessee College, the University of Memphis, and the Chamber of Commerce to  assist would‐be entrepreneurs to design and implement new business ventures that will expand the  availability of quality goods and services within the City of Memphis and surrounding communities while  creating new living wage jobs and strengthening the local economy through this “import substitution  based” economic development project.  WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? This Preliminary Framework represents the best effort of members of the Vance Avenue Collaborative Steering Committee and our university partners to capture local residents’ and stakeholders’ future hopes and desires and to translate these into a workable plan to transform our community. While every effort has been made to insure that this document accurately reflects the will of the people, this is a very difficult thing to do! During the next three months, a small Writing and Editorial Committee will be preparing a complete draft of the Vance Avenue Revitalization Action Plan. We welcome your comments on how we can produce the best possible plan based upon this preliminary framework and your additional input. Over the course of the next nine months, the Vance Avenue Collaborative will be involved in the following activities in order to secure the formal adoption of this plan by the city. 27   
  29. 29.  May-August Production by the Writing and Editorial Committee of the Draft of the Vance Avenue Revitalization Action Plan  September Organization of a Community Plan Review Meeting to enable local residents and stakeholders to review, comment upon, and make final changes in the document  October Present a resolution to the Memphis City Council asking them to direct the staff of the Office of Planning and Development to work with the Vance Avenue Collaborative and The University of Memphis in preparing a comprehensive revitalization plan for our neighborhood (This is a formality to overcome the Council’s current moratorium on neighborhood plans prompted by their desire to adopt the Uniform Development Code as an overall policy framework upon which district/neighborhood plans can be evaluated.  November With the support of the Office of Planning and Development and a positive Vote from the Memphis City Council, we will present our plan to the City of Memphis/Shelby County Land Use Control Board in order to secure their formal endorsement.  December With the formal endorsement of the City of Memphis/Shelby County Land Use Control Board, we will return to the Memphis City Council to secure their formal endorsement of our plan.  January – on We will work with public and private sector partners in the city, region, state, and nationally to secure the funds needed to fully implement the major elements of this plan. It is important to note that while the Collaborative has been very busy developing this plan, it has also been involved in three immediate improvement projects. In March of 2010, members of the Collaborative worked with local residents, business owners, and AmeriCorps volunteers to conduct a major clean-up and removal of illegally dumped trash near the intersection of Lauderdale and Vance Avenues. In March, members of the Collaborative also worked with volunteers from Saint Patrick Learning Center, GroMemphis, and the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center to establish a lovely community garden at the corner of Linden and Lauderdale. Finally, in April members of the Collaborative helped organize a Spring Festival and Health Fair at Foote Homes which involved nearly a dozen local service providers and approximately 300 residents. While preparing the final draft of the Vance Avenue Neighborhood Revitalization Plan and working to secure local, state, and federal government support for this effort, members of the Collaborative will continue to look for opportunities to bring local residents and leaders together to take immediate action to advance the goals of our plan. HOW CAN YOU HELP?  Volunteer to review this Preliminary Framework and to provide the writing team with additional input;  Serve as a liaison between the Vance Avenue Collaborative on a local congregation, civic association, or neighborhood group of which you are a member; and 28   
  30. 30.  Join the Steering Committee of the Vance Avenue Collaborative to provide ongoing organizing, planning and development direction to this ongoing community-building and development effort. JOINING THE CAMPAIGN During the coming months, you can support the ongoing effort to improve, adopt, and implement the Vance Avenue Revitalization Action Plan by contacting one of the following individuals: Father Timothy Sullivan, OSP Pastor Saint Patrick Roman Catholic Church S. 4th and Pontotoc Streets Memphis, TN 38126 Anne Stubblefield Chairperson Saint Patrick Community Center S. 4th and Pontotoc Streets Memphis, TN 38126 Kenneth M. Reardon Professor and Director Graduate Program in City and Regional Planning The University of Memphis 210 McCord Hall Memphis, TN 38152 901-678-2610 (Office) 607-274-7402 (Cell) Katherine Lambert Pennington Assistant Professor Department of Anthropology Manning Hall The University of Memphis Memphis, TN 38152 901-678-3328 PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATIONS Black Business Owners Association NAACP Clover Nook for the Blind and Visually Impaired Vance Middle School Booker T. Washington High School Center City Commission Mid-South Peace and Justice Center 29   
  31. 31. Georgia Avenue Elementary School JIFF Saint Patrick Roman Catholic Church The University of Memphis Advance Memphis Emanuel Center Memphis Urban Ministries Memphis Grizzlies Streets Ministries MIFA First Baptist Church Lauderdale Mustard Seed Workers Interfaith Network Church Health Center Temple of Deliverance C.O.G.I.C. Porter Boys and Girls School Inner City Outreach Church Muhammad Mosque #55 Omni Charter Schools FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE VANCE AVENUE COLLABORATIVE Visit the Community Projects section of the Graduate Program in City and Regional Planning at: or call 901-678-2161. Or view one or more of the following You Tube reports produced by local newscasters and The University of Memphis:;; and  Finally, you may read one of the following articles on the Vance Avenue Collaborative’s Work:;; 30