Shelby County Delegation visited PPS Project

A Shelby County delegation traveled to New York in January to study Bryant Park, one of the Project for Public Spaces’ (PPS) early success stories. Soon, on March 31, PPS will bring their skills to Memphis to help us envision a dynamic riverfront. Come take part.

In the 1980s, PPS gained international acclaim for their role in helping transform Bryant Park from a derelict space nicknamed “Needle Park” into a place now described as “one of the most sensual, graceful open spaces in New York City.”

Bryant Park, which adjoins the NY Public Library, is about the size of the Memphis Public Promenade from Union to Adams. 133 years old, it was revitalized, and today it is a social place where friends meet, eat lunch, chat, stroll, listen to music, work on the wireless network, or simply sit and think. Year-round, New Yorkers love this park with its gravel paths, green chairs, carousel, chess tables, free yoga classes, outdoor library, and Bryant Park Grill.

And the park’s transformation had a tremendous financial impact on surrounding private space. Commercial rents in neighboring office buildings increased 155-225% within ten years of the park’s revival (versus 41-73% in other submarkets). Nearby leasing activity within two years of reopening increased 60% and nearby residential sale prices and assessed property values increased, too.

Over the last thirty years, PPS’s concepts and skills have impacted more than 1500 communities in 47 U.S. states and 24 countries. On March 31, PPS founder Fred Kent, will be Memphis to help us take a fresh look at the riverfront.

Click here to read an interview with Fred Kent in this month’s Urban Land Institute magazine (PDF file, 97K)

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to learn from PPS how we can create great spaces in Memphis. Register today.