Proposed convenience store with fuel seeks zoning exceptions Downtown

By Updated: January 23, 2019 4:00 AM CT | Published: January 23, 2019 1:19 AM CT

A proposed new convenience store with gas sales on Downtown's south edge would blow out another Memphis corner by placing parking and auto activity between the front of the building and street, but there’s good reason to do it anyway, the developer and local government planners say.

A Collierville-based business, San Investments 5 Inc., proposes to demolish a graffiti-marred, metal warehouse at the northwest corner of Crump Boulevard and Florida and replace it with an all-brick, 4,300-square-foot convenience store with six fuel pumps.

The request for three zoning variances will be heard at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, by the Board of Adjustment at City Hall.

Zoning permits a convenience store with gas sales at that corner, which is on the southern edge of all the redevelopment going on Downtown. The site is within the city’s Gateway Commercial special zoning district.

The Office of Planning & Development staff, in its report, stated that the Gateway Commercial District zoning promotes “the redevelopment of a mixture of higher density residential, office, institutional and commercial uses to provide an appropriate gateway to South Downtown.”

But the development rules there also encourage activities that are more dependent on automobiles to be located “at the periphery of the special district, as is the case here,” states the staff report.

Still, the zoning requires that no parking be placed between the front of the building and Crump. Building up to the street makes walking and biking safer and enhances the visual appeal of a street.

But the applicant seeks an exception, stating that the lot’s shape requires that some parking be placed in front.

The OPD staff agreed and recommends that the Board of Adjustment approve all three requested exceptions to zoning.

The planners pointed out in their report that if the fuel pumps and parking were placed in back, most of the car activity would face residential areas.

Zoning requires landscaping at least 25-feet deep to line Crump and Florida, but the applicant seeks to reduce the depth to 10 feet. Otherwise, there’s not enough space on the lot to allow good, safe traffic flow within the site, the application states.

The applicant proposes to build landscaping berms facing Crump and Florida.

And zoning requires that the site’s entry and exit be at least 300 feet from the corner of Crump and Florida. The 125-foot by 250-foot lot is not large enough to meet the requirement.

The types of neighbors around the site illustrate that the area is in transition from its industrial roots, the OPD planners state. A Budweiser beer distributorship operates directly across Crump to the south, but the Crescent Bluff Apartments are to the east and north.

The staff report states that the graffiti on the existing metal building indicates how inactive the site has been. The proposed store would activate the site 24/7, the planners state.


Commercial Real Estate
Tom Bailey

Tom Bailey

Tom Bailey covers business news for The Daily Memphian. A Tupelo, Mississippi, native, he graduated from Mississippi State University. He's worked in journalism for 40 years and has lived in Midtown for 36 years.

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