Crosstown Concourse

Coordinates: 35°09′07″N 90°00′54″W / 35.152021°N 90.015002°W / 35.152021; -90.015002

Crosstown Concourse is a mixed use development in the heart of the Crosstown neighborhood, so named for the intersecting trolley tracks at Cleveland and Poplar that connected Memphis commuters to the neighborhood in 1927. Crosstown Concourse itself is located at the intersection of North Parkway and N. Watkins Street and is the western terminus of the V&E Greenline.

Crosstown Concourse
Sears Building Memphis TN 01.jpg
General information
TypeMixed-use development
Architectural styleArt Deco
Location495 North Watkins Street
Memphis, Tennessee 38104
OwnerCrosstown, LLC
Technical details
Floor count14
Floor area1,500,000 square feet (140,000 m2)
Design and construction
ArchitectNimmons & Co.
Looney Ricks Kiss in association with DIALOG (renovation)
Sears, Roebuck and Company Catalog Distribution Center and Retail Store
NRHP reference No.13000954
Added to NRHPDecember 18, 2013

Crosstown Concourse stands 14 stories tall and includes 65,000 square feet of retail, 630,000 square feet of commercial office space, 265 apartments, and a high school. The property is also Platinum LEED certified - the largest historical adaptive reuse platinum LEED certified building in the world.


Crosstown Concourse was once a Sears, Roebuck & Co. distribution center and retail store, which opened on August 27th, 1927, welcoming nearly 30,000 visitors on that first day. The original 640,000 sf structure was built in only 180 days. By 1965, five separate additions expanded the Sears Crosstown facility to a final size of 1,500,000 sf. In addition to the 150,000 sf retail store, the building was the distribution center for all orders in the Mid-South, including Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Alabama and handled 45,000 orders daily, selling everything from clothes and board games to go-carts and kit houses.


Forty years after opening its doors, Sears Crosstown had grown to a mammoth 1.5 million square feet on 19 acres. Sears closed the Crosstown retail store in 1983.

The site remained a regional distribution center for Sears. But less than 30 years later, due to the decline in the company's mail-order business, Sears closed many of its warehouses across the country, including Crosstown. Sears closed the Crosstown retail store in 1983 due to bankruptcy. [1][2] The building was left vacant in 1993 and remained an iconic yet vandalized [3]and empty tower for more than 20 years.

Today, Crosstown Concourse is a vertical urban village anchored in expanding culture,[4][5] arts, education [6]and healthcare.

Todd Richardson, art history professor at the University of Memphis, and Christopher Miner, a video artist, formed Crosstown Arts in 2010, a nonprofit contemporary arts organization that would serve as the building's developer and is now also a building tenant.

Two years later, the two had commitments from eight local tenants willing to lease a total of 600,000 square feet, nearly half of the building. By the time Crosstown officials asked the Memphis City Council for $15 million (the project's final piece of funding) a year later, the building's tenants included Church Health, Methodist Healthcare, Gestalt Community Schools, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, ALSAC, Memphis Teacher Residency, Rhodes College, and, of course, Crosstown Arts.

The building now includes Crosstown Arts, Crosstown High School, Parcels apartments, a small hotel, numerous health-care agencies and nonprofits, 15 restaurants, retail, and more.

The revitalization of the building led to a foreseen improvement in the surrounding community.[7][8][9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Westly, Erica. "Long After Sears Left, Its Buildings Thrive Again" Check |url= value (help). The New York Times.
  2. ^ "Abandoned Memphis: Sears Crosstown, before the doors closed." Commercial Appeal [Memphis, TN], 27 Feb. 2011. Gale General OneFile, Accessed 3 Dec. 2019.
  3. ^ Bailey Jr., Thomas. "Crosstown Concourse already building up Midtown neighborhood Newspaper". Commercial Appeal, The (Memphis, TN). Commercial Appeal, The (Memphis, TN).
  4. ^ Stennett, Desiree. "explore - Spend a day at Crosstown Concourse - Huge building holds entire community of shops, eateries, health care and more". Commercial Appeal, The (Memphis, TN).
  5. ^ Chandler, Jennifer. "Global Cafe - A mission to connect people - The international food hall features three immigrant cooks preparing and selling the dishes of their homelands." Commercial Appeal, The (Memphis, TN), 1, M ed., sec. Features, 18 Sept. 2018, p. M3. NewsBank: America's News, Accessed 3 Dec. 2019.
  6. ^ "Crosstown Concourse building - 'They're adding a lot of life to the place' - By adding youths, Crosstown High School brings the concourse closer to its 'vertical village' idea." Commercial Appeal, The (Memphis, TN), 1, Appeal ed., sec. News, 26 Aug. 2018, p. A15. NewsBank: America's News, Accessed 3 Dec. 2019.,
  7. ^ "Crosstown Concourse loved by neighbors." Commercial Appeal, The (Memphis, TN), 1, Appeal ed., sec. News, 20 Apr. 2017, p. A2. NewsBank: America's News, Accessed 3 Dec. 2019.
  8. ^ Epley, Cole (2012). "Minneapolis Sears Similar to Crosstown Challenge". Memphis Business Journal (20): 1.
  9. ^ "SunTrust Opens Sun Trust Financial Confidence Center at Crosstown Concourse in Memphis". Global Banking News. August 2017.

External linksEdit