Crosstown Concourse celebrates 5 years since opening

Published: Aug. 20, 2022 at 9:45 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A rich history was preserved and revitalized 5 years ago this week.

Many Memphians know the 14-story building when they drive down North Parkway and North Watkins.

Crosstown Concourse is like a beacon for this part of the city.

Saturday was Crosstown Concourse’s “Splashdown,” an event for parents and their kids to close out the summer with fun in the sun, bubbles too.

“We do these events 8 to 10 times a year, just bringing the community together,” said Crosstown Concourse President Todd Richardson.

The community, as well as a thriving business and arts scene, have been coming here for 5 years now, not to mention the hotel, apartments, and even a high school (Crosstown High) establishing during that time.

Lifetime Memphians like Chelley Franklin remember when it was anything but thriving.

“I think it’s quite an experience. They have a lot of different things that everyone can do, from child friendly to adult friendly. They really turned it around. It looks great,” Franklin said, standing with her young daughter, Faith.

“It’s about the uniqueness and keeping the character and identity of a place that makes preserving old places really important,” Richardson said.

Many may remember the building, once a massive Sears, Roebuck & Co. distribution center, sitting vacant for over twenty years, and those same people come back to reminisce on what it was and relish in what it’s now become.

“I meet people every day that are telling me ‘My grandmother used to work here,” or ‘I used to come here as a kid, and I remember seeing Santa on the whatever floor,’” said Sydney Dominick, Visitor Services Coordinator at Crosstown Arts.

“I think we all like to see that this old building was able to turn into something else other than just gravel,” added Franklin.

“We’ve both preserved the physical, architectural design of the building but then also bringing people back as you can see behind me, forming community around it,” Richardson said.

As Richardson puts it, when you preserve the history of this environment, you can come back and know you’re not in any other place in the world... that in Memphis at Crosstown Concourse.

While it’s the 5th anniversary of Crosstown Concourse, five more years will be the 100th anniversary of when the building was built, a building Memphians are proud to call theirs.

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