Get Down Memphis

Imagine Downtown Memphis in a Whole New Way!

BuildDowntown Master Plan Design Studio

Design Studio Location: 100 Peabody Place, Memphis, TN 38103
(Location help: Former Life is Good location on the east side of the Main Street Mall, next to the Post Office branch. Main Street between Gayoso Ave. and Peabody Pl. The entrance is on Main Street!)

What is the BuildDowntown “Design Studio?”

From February 25-March 1, the Downtown Memphis Commission (DMC) will hold a Design Studio to ask Memphis and Shelby County residents to help us create BuildDowntown – the Downtown Memphis Master Plan. Throughout the week, opportunities will be available each day to actively participate in planning and visioning sessions to help determine how Downtown Memphis can grow, improve, and evolve over the next 10 years.

The Design Studio is essential to the successful development and implementation of the BuildDowntown Master Plan. As a part of the DMC’s commitment to creating an inclusive plan that reflects the desires of the community and benefits every Memphian, every session is open to the public. The week-long BuildDowntown Design Studio will bring together Downtown stakeholders, residents, students, professionals, business owners, developers, and leaders from across the Greater Memphis community in a hands-on setting to help create a shared blueprint for our future.

How can you get involved? Design Studio Schedule:

Ongoing: Daily Pin-Up Sessions and Project Updates

Each day, the planning team will present new ideas and concepts for how Downtown could grow and improve in the future. We want you to ask the tough questions and help us evaluate alternatives and prioritize potential action steps. Each pin-up session will be a chance to review our progress thus far and further help shape the final result.


Monday, February 25

Day 1 - How will Downtown Memphis GROW by 2030?

Downtown is currently seeing a resurgence in development activity both small and large. Day one of the design studio will focus on leveraging this activity to retain resources and talent while attracting high-quality housing, shopping, restaurants, and workplaces for the next decade. Drop by one or more of our planning sessions to help us guide how and where Downtown Memphis will grow.

  • 1:00 p.m. Housing Strategies: Where we live and who we build for
  • 2:15 p.m. Retail Strategies: Things to do, places to eat, and places to shop
  • 3:30 p.m. The Downtown Office Campus: Strategies for recruitment and retention


Design Studio Kickoff Party

An open-house invitation to come together and share ideas for Downtown Memphis. Learn more about BuildDowntown, help shape the direction of the plan, and let us know what matters most to you!

  • 5:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m. (Open House format, so drop in when you can)
  • Location: Center for Southern Folklore Hall (enter on the west side of Main Street, in the block between Gayoso Ave & Peabody Pl)


Tuesday, February 26

Day 2 – How do we Improve the Downtown Memphis Experience?

Downtown’s existing attractions, unique character, and undisputed authenticity are some of our most important competitive advantages. Day two of the design studio will focus on identifying strategic investment opportunities that will make Downtown Memphis a better place for residents, workers, and visitors alike. Drop by one or more of our planning sessions to help us develop an improvement action plan.


  • 8:30 a.m. Building a Walkable Community: street design, aesthetics, and public safety
  • 9:45 a.m. From Eyesores to Eye Candy: How can we fight blight and eliminate vacancy?
  • 11:00 a.m. Entertainment and Recreation: expanding events, public art, music, and more
  • 1:00 p.m. Improving Public Space: Our shared outdoor living room
  • 2:30 p.m. Equitable Development: How do we ensure equity and opportunity for everyone?
  • 4:00 p.m. Design Excellence: What are our rules, guidelines, and expectations for creating places of lasting value?
  • 5:30 pm: Project Update/Design Pin-Up @ the Design Studio


Wednesday, February 27

Day 3 – How will Downtown Memphis EVOLVE over the next 10 years?

The built environment of Downtown Memphis has evolved over its 200 years. As the city celebrates its bicentennial in 2019, what’s next?  Day three of the design studio will focus on how we apply innovation and best practices to Downtown’s infrastructure, transit and transportation options (both now and in the future), and ways that mobility options can better support our personal and professional lives. Drop by one or more of our planning sessions to help us develop a plan for capitalizing on emerging trends and find new ways to solve old problems. 

  • 8:30 a.m. Increasing Mobility Options: Trolleys, buses, and scooters. Oh my!
  • 10:00 a.m. The Next Age of Mobility: Autonomous, Connected, Electric, and Shared 
  • 11:30 a.m. | Project Update/Design Pin-Up @ the Design Studio
  • 1:30 p.m. Parking for Today and Tomorrow: More or less, here or there, free or paid? 
  • 3:00 p.m. Utilities & Infrastructure: Are we ready for growth?
  • 5:30 p.m. | Project Update/Design Pin-Up @ Crosstown Concourse, west atrium

Thursday, February 28

Day 4 – Refine. Redraw. Test

Now it’s time to start testing and refining the concepts we’ve heard from you. We will take your ideas and input thus far and begin identifying ways to leverage existing assets, design new opportunities, and develop strategies for Downtown’s continued success in the coming decade.

  • 9:00 a.m. Regional Impact: How can Downtown be strengthened as a regional asset and better support economic growth throughout Memphis and Shelby County?
  • 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Open Hours: Did you wake up this morning with an idea inspired by a conversation earlier in the week or were you unable to attend any of the earlier planning sessions?  It’s not too late to share your thoughts with us. Come by anytime throughout the day and tell us what you want to see in Downtown Memphis’ future.
  • 5:30 p.m. | Project Update/Design Pin-Up @ the Design Studio


Friday, March 1

Day 5 – Refine.Redraw.Test Again

On our last day of the Design Studio, the planning team will refine ideas and objectives. Help us make final decisions to build a framework that will guide the future of Downtown Memphis.

8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Open Hours: Last call to help us shape Build Downtown’s vision by sharing ideas, opinions, hopes, and desires for the future of Downtown Memphis. Stop by and share your voice. 

  • Noon | Project Update/Design Pin-Up @ the Design Studio
  • 2:00 p.m. Studio closes

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Tuesday, April (date and location TBD)

Build Downtown Plan First Look Presentation

Join us as we share the vision for Downtown Memphis that you helped develop and prioritize various recommendations to make our collective vision become a reality by 2030.