the frayser project
The economic conditions of the Frayser community exhibit many formidable challenges. Frayser has one
of the highest poverty rates in all of Memphis with over one-third of the population living below the
poverty line. The NorthGate-Westside neighborhood, our target project area, is in crisis mode from
decades of neglect, disinvestment, jobs and population loss, exclusionary housing policies and practices,
and foreclosures that have left thousands of vacant, abandoned houses in the community.
Families are living in homes and apartments owned by absentee landlords that, by most standards,
should be condemned or demolished. A 2019 Property Condition Survey conducted by MPAC revealed
203 of 1,091 homes surveyed were candidates for demolition. Years of blight is widespread as a result
of the community being used as an illegal dumping ground for an entire region seemingly. This is further exacerbated by a high crime rate and a pervasive underground economy. Conditions in the Frayser neighborhood significantly undermine resident children’s life chances and increases their risk of
remaining in poverty throughout adulthood.
MPAC’s NorthGate-Westside Stabilization and Revitalization Project Plan is a three-phase comprehensive
strategy to transform the NorthGate-Westside neighborhood into a vibrant, community for commerce
and residential living.
The three phases are:
The NorthGate-Westside Stabilization and Revitalization Plan has the potential to shift the tide for
residents in that community.
In addition to building safe, secure, affordable housing, our plan will bring in essential goods and
services, promote new business growth and investment, create jobs and job training, help generate opportunities for entrepreneurs; establish a health, wellness, and nutrition center within the neighborhood, and address food insecurity and healthy living by bringing in a fresh-food grocery store. It is a detailed community development plan with a concentrated effort to lift residents, families, and children out of poverty and help them thrive.
Our geographic footprint was formed in response to the demand for low-income affordable housing in
Memphis. In 2020, the City of Memphis Department of Housing and Community Development reported
that the city needed 30,000 low-income affordable housing. Our NorthGate-Westside Stabilization and
Revitalization Plan proposes building new single-family and multi-family affordable housing and
acquiring and rehabilitating properties for sale or rent. Frayser lies in an Opportunity Zone.
The quality of life for every Frayser resident must be dramatically improved. Residents of the
NorthGate-Westside neighborhood need options that connect them to work opportunities, services,
recreation—and each other. Our plan offers residents quality, affordable housing, improved basic
services, a safer neighborhood, and more opportunities and connections to jobs for a range of skills and
experience. MPAC anticipates the Stabilization and Revitalization Plan to yield major results, making Frayser a more sustainable and attractive place to live with a better quality of life for its residents.
Project Location (outlined in Blue on Map)
Frayser lies just 3.2 miles north of downtown Memphis. Its boundaries include the Wolf River on the
South, the Mississippi River on the West, the Loosahatchie on the North, and the ICRR railroad on the
East. Rolling hills, tree-lined streets, and wooded areas create a positive atmosphere for Frayser. The
flood plains along the Loosahatchie, Wolf, and Mississippi rivers provide natural boundaries and scenic
beauty for the community. Several vistas along bluffs overlooking the floodplains provide for unparalleled views of the surrounding areas.
Fraser has well-defined commercial nodes at intersections of major roads. These roads and Interstates
provide connections to the broader region and provide opportunities to create attractive gateways in an
out of Frayser. Memphis International Airport is just 15 miles (17 mins) South. The availability of large
tracts of vacant land provides Frayser with exceptionally good potential over the next several decades.
These natural assets give Frayser a character that is not readily found within the Memphis area and they
evoke optimistic responses and place a strong positive sense of community identity that can be
marketed as an asset in a community revitalization strategy.