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About Town: From a rebrand to a building’s rebirth in Orange Mound
Unapologetic and Tone are teaming up to redevelop the former United Equipment Building and its surrounding site into Orange Mound Tower. (Mark Weber/The Daily Memphian)

Unapologetic and Tone are teaming up to redevelop the former United Equipment Building and its surrounding site into Orange Mound Tower. (Mark Weber/The Daily Memphian)

Welcome to About Town, where we take a deeper dive into one neighborhood each week while also highlighting the latest news, developments and back stories from Memphis’ neighborhoods. This week’s focus: Orange Mound

Two weeks ago in this space, we highlighted Tone, an Orange Mound-based Black arts organization, and the significance behind its rebranding.

What better way to solidify those efforts than taking part in a potentially transformative collaboration that could benefit Orange Mound for decades to come.


Tone and Unapologetic, a record label and artist collective, are new owners of the former United Equipment Building (and adjacent property) with plans to convert the space into Orange Mound Tower.

Check out the full story: Orange Mound’s United Equipment landmark bought for mixed-use development

Daily Memphian Digital Desk Manager Elle Perry reports in her story that current redevelopment plans include up to 120 apartments or condos surrounding a parking structure and commercial space.

“The project developers have emphasized that the Orange Mound community is at the center of the Orange Mound Tower project and what is being built is not to bring in another group of people to replace the existing residents in the community,” Perry said.

The former United Equipment Building was vacant for about 20 years despite its prominent location in the neighborhood. The structure is a rather iconic landmark because of the traffic in the area on Park Avenue, Lamar Avenue and Airways Boulevard, but also the building’s towering 200-foot presence visible for all those commuters to see.

Perry also goes into much more detail about how those behind the project hope this is not a one-off – but something that can be passed down to future generations.


“You can see the tower from miles away, but if you just drive down Lamar Avenue — and you’ve probably driven past it numerous times — the site is larger than it appears from the street,” Perry said. “You don’t necessarily see the scale of the acreage. I haven’t seen full renderings, but if buildings are added — specifically the residential portion — I think it will ‘pop out’ more from the nearby streetscape.”

More About Town


Ampro Industries, which manufactures consumer and professional hair-styling products, sought a PILOT to help it buy a warehouse on Steele Street next door to Ampro’s facility. (Mark Weber/The Daily Memphian)

Further business expansions in Frayser bring more optimism

Community leaders are optimistic the current trajectory of one of Memphis’ largest Black neighborhoods is trending upward after years of disinvestment.

Touring 100 N. Main: Shattered glass, shell casings, law books and spectacular views


The Downtown Memphis Commission anticipates issuing in about two weeks a request for proposals to potential developers of the 100 North Main Building and the entire block it towers above.

Protect Our Aquifer hires ‘water warrior’ as new leader

Sarah Houston, who has devoted her career to water resource management and protection, will lead Protect Our Aquifer as the nonprofit group enters a new phase of its existence.

Why critical race theory is a hot topic in education

Critical race theory is being banned from classrooms across the nation. Here’s what it is and why educators of color are fighting back. 

Allworld will be project manager for The Walk 

The 11-year-old Memphis firm Allworld Project Management will be in charge of getting The Walk on Union built on time and on budget, developers of the huge mixed-use project announced.

View this article on our website

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