Date: March 6, 2024

Life at Crosstown

One family ended up at Parcels at Concourse for medical reasons but stayed long after treatment.

Gustavo Rojas and his family never planned to live in Memphis. In fact, they were happily living in New York City when they got the news that would turn their lives upside down and ultimately lead them to an apartment in Parcels at Crosstown Concourse.

It was November 12, 2019. Gustavo’s son, Ethan, had been complaining of headaches, so they took him in for an eye exam, thinking maybe he needed glasses.

“The eye doctor ran some tests, and they saw something and told me to go to the E.R. right away,” said Gustavo.

From there, Ethan had a CAT scan, and it was revealed that he had a brain tumor and would need emergency surgery the next day. A few days later, tests confirmed the tumor was cancerous, and Ethan would need radiation and chemotherapy. His doctors in New York were prepared to start treatment right away, but Gustavo had been doing some research and learned about St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, the world’s best childhood cancer treatment center.

Gustavo and his wife decided to uproot their lives and move their three children to Memphis. St. Jude offered to place the family in short-term housing at its Downtown campus. The apartment in Tri Delta Place was small, like a hotel room, but the Rojas’ were just grateful to have provided housing.

“When we got here, I just couldn’t believe how well they treated the families,” Gustavo said. “And then they called us and said they would be transferring us to long-term housing in The Parcels at Crosstown Concourse. It was a step up with two bedrooms and a kitchen.”

The Rojas’ three kids — now ages 13, 9 and 7 — quickly took to their new home. The kids learned to play soccer, rollerblade and skateboard on the plaza. And they especially loved the library on the Big Stairs in the central atrium.

“They love books and reading, and they love to go down there. And the Memphis Public Library comes to our lobby regularly down here to sell books,” Gustavo said.

Ethan’s treatment, which began in December 2019, lasted a year, and the family weathered the worst parts of the pandemic inside their Parcels home. The COVID-19 vaccine wasn’t yet available after Ethan’s treatment, and New York was still being ravaged with illness. So, Ethan’s doctor recommended the family stay in Memphis a little longer.

“We ended up applying for an apartment here, and we’ve been here for four years now,” said Gustavo. “We felt like Crosstown is home, and we felt safe here. We know most of the security people. We felt comfortable because it’s spacious, and it’s clean. Everything is well-structured and there’s so much so readily available,” he said.

Gustavo said he especially loves how peaceful their apartment is. Even when there are large events in the Central Atrium, Gustavo said the sound didn’t carry to his apartment. And he couldn’t even hear his neighbors in the unit next door.

In the last couple weeks, his family relocated to Franklin, Tennessee for his job. But Gustavo said they would have chosen to stay in Concourse if not for work. In fact, when the family was looking for a new home in Franklin, they set their standards based on their experience at Parcels. The new place had to be quiet, like their Parcels apartment, with good security, like what’s offered at Concourse. “I wish we could take this place with us to Franklin!” said Gustavo.

Rojas Family Favorites

Favorite place to eat in Crosstown Concourse?

We love Farm Burger. The burgers there are great.

Favorite place for a treat?

My kids love the milkshakes at Farm Burger.

Favorite art event you’ve attended here?

I liked Jamie Harmon’s art show at Crosstown Arts that documented families through COVID. But every time they change up the art show, we walk over there. This week, we were watching the Sears Crosstown documentary.

What’s your favorite business in the building?

We love Church Health. They’re amazing.

What’s surprised you most about living in Crosstown?

How peaceful it is. There’s a lot of commercial businesses here, but it doesn’t intrude into our privacy.  When we have events, there are some crowds, but I’m actually happy to see them in the Central Atrium. It feels like the building comes to life. We don’t hear our neighbors. I don’t know what they did to prevent sound from carrying, but it works.




1350 CONCOURSE AVE • MEMPHIS, TN • 38104 • 901.203.8300