First, there was tackling the physical fit of each Parcel. A unique building coupled with unique design elements— indoor front porches, exceptionally wide hallways, and monolithic atriums— meant that there would be no such thing as a “standard” Parcel. In the end, 38 different layouts emerged out of the available 4 sizes of Parcels, each size named after a Sears Model Home available around the time Sears Crosstown was built: The Crafton (studio), The Kismet (1 bedroom), The Americus (2 bedrooms), and The Greenview (3 bedrooms).
More significant, though, was tackling the mission fit of each Parcel.
“For us, it was really important, highest priority, to try to cultivate a diverse community of residents similar to what we have done with commercial tenants,” said Todd Richardson, Co-Leader of the Crosstown Development team. “The Church Health Center, nexAir, Crosstown Arts, Methodist Healthcare, Memphis Teacher Residency, and so on will bring a diverse array employees to the building. We wanted to try to do the same for Parcels — a vertical village that includes a broad range of people.”
To accomplish a sustainable, inclusive residential experience at Concourse, here is how the Parcels add up:
Parcels will be the first newly built apartments in midtown Memphis to open in a decade and the only development of its kind outside of downtown. When pricing these Parcels, the rates of similar historical adaptive reuses, such as the Chisca, Pressbox, Metro 67 and Van Vleet Flats, were taken into account and averaged to ensure a fair market rate— on average, approximately $1.40 per share foot. Unlike the eight comparable developments, however, the market rate for Parcels includes access to amenities particular to Concourse.
“The amenities we are able to offer at Concourse are really an extension of our mission,” says Richardson. “It’s great that we can offer 1200 free parking spaces and all the other conveniences of this vertical village, but more importantly, each Parcel comes with a free membership to the NEW, 25,000 square foot Church Health Center/YMCA Fitness Center, which also allows our residents access to every YMCA in the Mid-South. An amenity like that speaks to our dedication to wellness and community building.”
20% of the 265 Parcels have been designated as “affordable,” meaning individuals and families with an adjusted gross income less than 80% of the Area Median Income for Shelby County can qualify for reduced rent opportunities.
MTR recruits young teachers-in-training with a heart for urban education from across the country. Residents earn a tuition-free masters in education and are provided one year of housing in return for committing to teach in Memphis’s highest need urban schools for three years after that. Parcels will house 65 to 85 MTR residents.
St. Jude will occupy 40 apartments, half of which are dedicated to their graduate program. Those 20 Parcels will house international doctors, researchers, scientists, and post doctorates specializing in the terminal illnesses that St. Jude treats. The remaining 20 Parcels will house families from around the globe who have children actively in treatment at St. Jude.
“Some of these people are moving from other countries and they come to Memphis without a car, so St. Jude is excited to have a vertical village community just a mile and a half from their campus,“ Richardson says. “Whether families or graduate students, we love the idea that Crosstown Concourse will be the foundational experience for so many people living in Memphis for the first time.”
These 13 Parcels are actually micro units— think hotel room sized— that revolving artists in residence will occupy in fall, spring, and summer, for up to three months at a time. Residents will share a large kitchen, dining, laundry and recreational areas. This Crosstown Arts residency program provides room, board, and studio space to each participant free of charge and is open to applicants both locally and globally.
“The program is interdisciplinary, so artists working in all media, whether creative writing, filmmaking, visual arts, or music are welcome to apply,” says Richardson. “Artists will also engage the community through public lectures, open studios, and mentoring opportunities.”
These 5 Parcels will house participants of CHC’s Scholar Program, a program developed to teach college graduates the holistic model of the Church Health Center by allowing them to shadow CHC doctors for a full year before advancing into nursing or medical school.
“This program ensures that these participants can go forward in their careers knowing what it means to be well, as opposed to just learning how to prescribe medication or perform surgery,” Richardson says.
* DIAGRAM DOES NOT REPRESENT THE ACTUAL APARTMENT LOCATION