Memphis Medical District Collaborative

U3 Advisors was engaged by the Hyde Family Foundations beginning in 2014 to understand the economic and physical impact of 8 major anchor institutions in the Memphis Medical Center including Baptist College of Health Sciences, Memphis Bioworks Foundation, Methodist/LeBonheur, Regional One Health, Southern College of Optometry, Southwest Tennessee Community College, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital/ALSAC, and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Together, these anchors employ 16,000 people, educate 8,000 students, have $1.2 billion in collective purchasing, and control 250 acres of property. U3 Advisors found that despite the significant size of these anchors, their potential impact within the Medical District has not been fully realized.

The analysis found that less than 3% of institutional employees and 6% of institutional students lived within the boundaries of the Medical Center while only $50M of institutional procurement spend was captured in Memphis. The district is also dominated by surface parking lots and auto oriented uses with roughly 270 acres dedicated to parking. By working together, these 8 anchor institutions have the potential to significantly increase their economic impact within the medical district, attract more residents, increase local spending, and optimize land use to develop a dense, vibrant, walk-able neighborhood.

U3 Advisors has developed a three-pronged strategic Anchor Strategy to revitalizing the Memphis Medical Center:

  • Improving Infrastructure: launching a new non-profit community development organization to
  • Live Local, Buy Local, and Hire Local Anchor Programs: leveraging anchor demand to capture more of the institutions’ economic impact in the Medical District
  • District Planning for growth: identifying nodes for the development of walkable mixed-use neighborhoods

Since completing this analysis, U3 Advisors, working with local partners, has lead the implementation of the Anchor Strategy. In January 2016, the Medical District Collaborative – a new non-profit community development organization to direct the future redevelopment of the Memphis medical district – was launched. In addition to coordinating many of the redevelopment efforts MDC will also focus on four key areas: maintaining and improving the public realm, increasing safety and security, programming and marketing of the district, and community development. The $1.8M annual organizational budget is funded through institutional and foundation support.

U3 Advisors is currently designing and implementing the Anchor Programs including Live Local housing incentives, coordinating anchor purchasing officers through a Buy Local Council, and connecting neighborhood residents to job opportunities at the institutions through a Hire Local program. U3 is also overseeing the advancement of several real estate development projects aimed at increasing the supply of residential, retail, and office space in the Medical District.