Pre-World War II Housing Types are the Perfect Solution for Today’s Downtown/Medical District

Memphis, Tenn., February 1, 2021. Malone Park Commons (MPC) makes historic housing types new again. The rental community, when fully built, will include 35 units with a diverse mix of building types that were common prior to World War II. Sometimes referred to as “Missing Middle” housing, Downtown stakeholders see the new Greenlaw Addition development as just right!

Now accepting applications for occupancy, Phase 1 of MPC, consists of 11 small cottages surrounding a shared courtyard — or commons — the cottages range from 330 to 1100 square feet and have amenities such as red oak hardwood floors, lots of natural light, and large front porches. The units willl be move-in ready on March 1, 2021. 

MPC is the vision of Curtis and Andre D. Jones, brothers and partners in Jones Urban Development, who purchased the land from the Community Redevelopment Agency, which has overseen the revitalization of Uptown. The brothers have focused on smaller but better construction in disinvested walkable neighborhoods that were developed prior to the mainstream adoption of automobiles. Historically, traditional neighborhoods have a mix of uses, residential and commercial, allowing residents a higher quality of life by offering a walkable live-work-play triangle. Developer Andre Jones believes buildings of this type are critical for sustainable development. 

“Many architects and builders today focus on materials and methods to promote sustainability. We believe beauty is just as, if not more important, for sustainability,” stated Jones. “Simple, beautiful, flexible buildings that encourage human activity and interaction will be loved and repurposed for years to come. This was our vision for Malone Park Commons.”

Josh Whitehead, Zoning Administrator for Memphis and Shelby County Division of Planning and Development, agrees. 

“2021 marks the 99th anniversary of zoning in Memphis, and for most of that time, the zoning code promoted low-density suburban development while discouraging the kind of places that make cities special. That changed with the adoption of the Unified Development Code (UDC) in 2010,” said Whitehead when asked about the project. “Malone Park Commons is one of the clearest manifestations of one of the UDC’s primary goals: to promote innovative urban infill that blends in with the existing built environment.

Today’s typical development pattern is to build a large number of single-family detached homes or large apartment complexes. Since MPC is a less dense, more neighborhood-scaled development, with building types more recently branded as “Missing Middle,” support from community partners was vital, including financial incentives made possible by the Downtown Memphis Commission

“Malone Park Commons is the type of project the DMC loves to support, one built with inclusivity and equity at the core,” said Brett Roler, VP Planning and Development, Downtown Memphis Commission. “This project is being built in a key Downtown neighborhood by an emerging developer who is building new housing capacity in the same neighborhood where he lives. Not everyone wants a big house or a small apartment, Malone Park’s ‘Missing Middle’ housing adds variety to our market and can make Downtown more attractive to more people.”

The Jones Urban plan is part of a larger revitalization in the area, with recent and planned investments in Uptown, St. Jude, The Pinch, and the Renasant Convention Center further transforming the area with increased connectivity to the Downtown core and the Mississippi River. Because the project’s scale is not as dense as a large apartment complex or commercial development, finding a local lender who understood the neighborhood’s upside and the benefits of filling in its ‘missing teeth’ was vital for this project. Financial Federal Bank stepped into this role and has been a strong advocate for emerging developers and traditional, walkable, neighborhood development. 

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Support for Jones Urban and Malone Park Commons:

“Malone Park, with its architectural approach and mix of unit types, is exactly the type of development – one driven by inclusivity and a sensitivity to the neighborhood scale – that is weaving the fabric of its neighborhood back together into a complete community,” 

  —  Ben Schulman, Director of Real Estate, MMDC.

“It’s been a pleasure to work with Andre and Curtis on the Malone Park Commons project, and the completion of Phase 1 is an acknowledgment of their hard work and dedication to the Greenlaw Addition and walkable neighborhoods in general.”

  —  Eric Beaty – VP Commercial Lending, Financial Federal Bank

 

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Jones Urban Development is a development/general contracting firm that focuses on small-scale residential and mixed use development in walkable neighborhoods.

Malone Park Commons (MPC) is a 35 unit apartment community in the historic Greenlaw Addition neighborhood just north of Downtown Memphis. MPC has a mix of detached cottages, fourplexes, and live/work units for rent. For more information, please visit www.maloneparkcommons.com or call Harris Realty at (901) 372-8003.