As part of the ongoing Frayser 2020 initiative, Community LIFT, acting as agent for the Frayser Neighborhood Council (FNC), engaged Ray Brown Urban Design and Universal Commercial Real Estate LLC to provide planning, urban design, and real estate development services required to determine the optimum location, size, and land uses for a new town center for the Frayser neighborhood, to be known as The New Downtown Frayser.
Frayser comprises a collection of highly diverse sub-neighborhoods that together house almost 50,000 residents. In many ways, Frayser retains the size and characteristics of the small town it was until its annexation in 1958. Its residents are fiercely loyal to Frayser, and are determined to restore some of its former sense of unity and community, and to rebuild its economic base. Frayser 2020 proposes strategies to refocus Frayser’s identity, and increase its desirability to new residents as a neighborhood that stresses education, safety, economic opportunities, and health.
FNC envisioned a market driven, economically sustainable “downtown” that would, by addressing those issues, improve Frayser’s overall vitality, and serve as a focus of neighborhood community and civic life. The New Downtown Frayser would help unify the widely diverse sub-neighborhoods by offering a common gathering place for learning, community activities, and civic celebrations.
The New Downtown Frayser could:
- Attract new residents to Frayser
- Provide opportunities for entrepreneurship and employment
- Raise surrounding property values
- Exemplify a cleaner, greener, safer, more vibrant way of redeveloping Frayser’s commercial districts
High quality design and construction would raise Frayser’s public image and encourage investment and new businesses, and the jobs they bring. In short, the New Downtown Frayser would be a genuine, shared special “place” that would belong to all of Frayser.
Plan recommendations include:
- Explore the feasibility of creating mixed residential and commercial/retail revenue-producing uses along the south side of Frayser Boulevard that could provide potential revenues to be captured through a Tax Increment Financing district or similar mechanism.
- Construct a Transit Hub and a neighborhood circulator system to connect destinations within Frayser to the larger MATA system.
- Create a Town Square as a focal point for community celebrations and activities and a symbol of Frayser’s renaissance.
- Reconfigure Frayser Boulevard with curbside parking, bicycle lanes, a center service/turn lane, and new streetscaping to enhance walkability, calm traffic, and improve Frayser’s image and identity.
- Erect a new Frayser Library to be Frayser’s signature landmark building and community activity center.
- Complete the initial concept with a new Arts Center to provide opportunities for both children and adults to express their creativity, a new police precinct building to help reinforce the perception of safety, a Town Hall containing services and governmental offices for routine city business, and a Medical Center housing an urgent care clinic and medical offices.
The Development Concept recommended in this report represents the heart of a larger redevelopment intended both to rebuild and re-brand Frayser Boulevard as Frayser’s Main Street. A long term program of acquiring vacant or blighted properties and holding them for redevelopment can couple with incentives for existing businesses to improve their facilities or relocate to newer, more sustainable, and more advantageously located places. In appropriate locations along Frayser Boulevard, constructing new and rehabilitating existing residential uses can increase the number of potential customers for shops and stores on Main Street Frayser.