Broad Avenue Arts District thriving and expanding

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Binghampton neighborhood is thriving. In the last decade, more than 60 restaurants, shops, and art studios opened on Broad Avenue within four blocks located between North Hollywood and Collins.

Shop owners say more and more people across the Mid-South are finding out about the unique and artsy district.

“We were the first retail store over here, and folks were taken back. Who would open a high-end bike shop on Broad Avenue?” Clark Butcher, who owns Victory Bicycle Studio in the heart of the Broad Avenue District, said.

He opened the bike shop in 2011.

“It has been awesome! Broad is incredibly convenient to anywhere in the city. We are off Sam Cooper,” Butcher said.

The revitalization has attracted people from all over, including Ellis Lumpkins from Florida.

“A town that’s trying to renew itself, and I like the look,” Lumpkins said.

Nearly a decade ago, this street was neglected, and its buildings abandoned, but through various city and private efforts, more than $20 million has been pumped into the area.

“We feel this area has a Soho/Manhattan feel. A meat packing district feel. It was largely my wife’s vision,” Jeff Johnson said.

He and his wife opened 20Twelve Boutique last August, and said business is better than he expected.

“We are getting people all over the city: out east, Midtown, downtown,” Johnson said.

The neighborhood association said a couple more stores are set to open this year.

In fact, there’s only one retail spot available right now, but don’t worry, the goal is to stretch the district all the way to Tillman.

“These are beautiful buildings on a great row. Incredibly convenient! It just takes some folks who believe in it and put money in it,” Butcher said.

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