Memphis’s medical district, with about 10,000 residents and more than 30,000 employees and students, has a high poverty rate and a shortage of housing and commercial space.
Three local banks, First Horizon, Regions Bank and Truist, committed $10 million each to the Memphis Medical District Fund, secured by a $6 million loss-guarantee from Kresge Foundation.
Pathway Lending, a Nashville-based community development financial institution, or CDFI, will underwrite residential and mixed-use projects.
Pathway’s Clint Gwin said the fund “will bring catalytic capital to the Medical District to facilitate redevelopment and new development advancing the district’s growth and long-term sustainability.”
Memphis is a key geographic focus for Kresge, along with New Orleans and Detroit, The medical district fund builds on a similar Kresge-backed fund in Detroit’s Woodward corridor. A 2019 review found that property values and rents increased, but income diversity was unchanged, “indicating that longer-term residents across the income scale were able to remain in the community.”
Kresge’s Aaron Seybert said, “We know from our experience in Detroit that once you accelerate inclusive development in a neighborhood, it builds upon itself.” He said through the Memphis effort, “We think we can see 15 or 20 years of that kind of mission-oriented development happen in the next five to seven.”