The University of Memphis Office of Economic Development and Government Relations is stimulating economic development in the University District. As chief economic development and government relations officer for the UofM, Ted Townsend shared a presentation mentioning that this division is focused on creating pathways for students so they have exciting, dynamic careers after graduation.
The transformative project highlighted was the Highland Revitalization Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and its completed infrastructure projects and associated spending over the past year. This project included the addition of an activated crosswalk, mural design unique to the area, SkyCop camera system, railroad quiet zone and LED lit parking lot on Walker Avenue.
“This is all to create a vibrant and safe neighborhood for our students, partners and neighbors and to create a boulevard-type environment along Highland,” Townsend said.
Other economic activity in the University District includes the Park Avenue TIF and the University District Economic Incentives Package, a collaboration between EDGE, UNDC and the UofM, to develop a University District-specific toolbox of economic development incentives.
In early 2019, the University also opened the UMRF Research Park in collaboration with Townsend’s division as an innovation hub attracting global talent and enhancing the community the University serves. The new research park advances the UofM's programming as the school nears completion of its first year of work toward Carnegie 1 status, the highest level of distinction as a research facility.
In addition, Townsend’s group is working to enhance the UofM’s brand globally as well as to establish it as an entrepreneurship landing pad.
“We’re grateful for the opportunity to be involved in the economic development enterprise, and we will continue to do so in the years to come,” Townsend said.
The Office of Economic Development and Government Relation mission is to focus on University-driven economic development by strategically positioning community-based public and private investments that attract high-quality job growth through the creation, expansion and recruitment of advanced technology businesses.
Learn more about the economic impact the Office of Economic Development and Government Relation under the leadership of Ted Townsend here on the UofM Media Room.
The Greater Memphis Chamber is the lead sales and marketing agency for economic development for Memphis and Shelby County. Learn more about our work here.