Bartlett Easy Way to be transformed into urgent care center

By Updated: June 07, 2019 5:42 PM CT | Published: June 07, 2019 4:13 PM CT

It wasn't easy, but the vacant Easy Way in Bartlett is going to have new life as a medical clinic. 

A local emergency medicine physician is about to break ground on an adaptive reuse of the vacant Easy Way in Bartlett that will transform the former grocery store beyond recognition.

In September 2015, the family-owned grocery closed most of its locations, including the store at 5059 Stage Road in Bartlett.

In August of 2016, Dr. Mohammed Bah purchased the 2-acre lot and approximately 4,000-square-foot building from Easy Way Stores Inc. for $450,000, according to the Shelby County Register of Deeds.

Bah originally planned to demolish the circa-1977 grocery store and build a shopping center in which his new urgent care center would occupy one of the bays.

With a flood zone on one side of the property, Bah’s plans for a shopping center were up a creek without a paddle.

After six months of exploring options, Bah found a creative solution working with architect Neeraj Kumar, owner of Design Group LLC, that satisfied the city of Bartlett.

The construction of the Easy Way predated flood zoning requirements, so for Bah to apply the grandfather clause to build on his land within the flood zone, he would have to incorporate the dilapidated grocery store.   

“The challenge in designing the Bah urgent care was transforming the old depleted grocery store into a modern building,” Kumar said. “Our idea was to create a contemporary design that stands out in its surrounding area.”

Rather than renovating the dated façade, Design Group added new structures on the front and side of the existing building that increased the overall footprint to more than 6,000 square feet.

Not only did the additions increase the floor area, as requested by the owner, but it also gave the Design Group an opportunity to create completely new elevations.

“With the combination of building materials, such as faux wood, brick and EIFS on the exterior of the building, the Bah Urgent Care has a modern look with a unique character,” Kumar said.

Sam Harris, senior planner with the city of Bartlett planning department, worked with Bah and Kumar to get the adaptive reuse project over the goal line.

“The building architecture is more modern in appearance,” Harris said, “which aligns with the other new medical office buildings that have been constructed within the city of Bartlett.”

The steel columns and glass mosaic entrance of Bah Urgent Care are similar to the Woodbury Dermatology clinic on Germantown Road, the OrthoSouth clinic on Kate Bond Road and the MOGA (Memphis Obstetrics & Gynecological Association) office currently under construction at Germantown Road and Brother Boulevard.

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“In particular, selecting this site for redevelopment shows the continuing strength and momentum of the Bartlett Station area,” Harris said.

The area has seen a number of similar refurbishments and additions to existing properties, including LA Fitness retrofitting a shopping center, the expanded Bartlett City Schools administration building and renovations of Bartlett High School.

Several longtime fast food establishments, such as McDonald’s, KFC and Wendy’s, have also renovated their locations nearby on Stage Road.

“I was surprised we were able to use the existing structure,” Kumar said.

Bah also owns the Mid-South Urgent Care Center at Houston Levee and Macon roads.


Michelle Corbet

Michelle Corbet

Michelle Corbet covers business for The Daily Memphian. Prior to, she was a reporter at the Memphis Business Journal. A native Memphian and University of Memphis graduate, Michelle covered business in Conway, Arkansas after college. Michelle got her start covering business as an intern at The Commercial Appeal.

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