MEMFix headed to the Pinch in April

The "art of the possible" is headed to the Pinch District.

MEMFix will hold its fifth neighborhood activation event in the Pinch on April 11, roughly three weeks before the long-awaited Bass Pro Shops store opens in the totally transformed Pyramid.

"The goal of this MEMFix is to re-energize and reimagine the Pinch and prepare the Pinch District to capitalize on the influx of visitors to the area when Bass Pro Shops opens in the Pyramid this spring," according to the event's Facebook page.

MEMFix is a series of community events aimed at rethinking and activating streets and vacant storefronts, and test driving new neighborhoods in Memphis. It seeks to showcase potential by temporarily transforming one to two city blocks into vibrant, pedestrian-friendly commercial corridors.

Livable Memphis and the Downtown Neighborhood Association are partnering on MEMFix: Pinch District.

The groups are taking on a somewhat forgotten area. The Pinch was a happening night spot in the Pyramid's heyday, and even a desirable place for new development before the recession. But activity there has languished in the Pyramid's shadows.

In spite of its decline, the Pinch stands just north of Downtown Memphis' central business district. It’s a gateway to Mud Island, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Uptown. Bass Pro's genesis will undoubtedly incite renewed enthusiasm for the district as well.

In other words, it's a perfect place for MEMFix.

The event will take on traits of its predecessors and incorporate temporary features designed to display possibilities. Bike lanes, pedestrian crosswalks, traffic alleviation tactics, street trees, street furniture, pop-up retail in vacant storefronts and enticing activities are just some of the things to expect, in addition to live music, performances and food.

MEMFix launched its first event in the Crosstown neighborhood in late 2012. It has held subsequent demonstrations in the University District, South Memphis and the Edge. The events have helped garner interest and activity from developers, retailers and office users.

The precursor to MEMFix--New Face for an Old Broad--occurred in 2010. 

Read more articles by Jane A. Donahoe.

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