Cooper-Young added at least 18 new businesses in or near the neighborhood in 2013, while commercial vacancy declined, according to numbers from the Cooper-Young Business Association.
The growth outpaced both 2012 and 2011, when about 11 businesses opened in the neighborhood each year. Much of the growth in 2013 came from retail and service businesses, adding to the neighborhood’s healthy stock of entertainment and dining options, said Tamara Walker, executive director of the CYBA.
“Cooper-Young continued to be a strong presence in the entertainment and dining arena in Memphis 2013,” Walker said. “We have seen our retail venues grow substantially and this will continue in the future. The number of retail stores in Cooper Young is 45, stocking everything from antiques to hats and paint to watches.”
Several more businesses — Tart bakery, Jay Etkin Gallery and Peridot boutique — have announced their intent to open in early 2014. Longtime veterinary center Central Animal Hospital also is undergoing a major expansion.
The CYBA reported 14 unleased commercial spaces, down from 23 last year, as of early January.
The growth comes as Cooper-Young faces increasing competition from nearby Overton Square, which is undergoing a $20 million redevelopment and recently opened a city-financed multilevel parking deck. Overton Square reported an 85 percent occupancy rate at the end of 2013.
Citywide, Memphis’ retail vacancy rate had increased slightly by mid-year 2013, from 14.8 percent to 15.3 percent, according to the Memphis Business Journal.
Memphis Fitness Kickboxing became one of Cooper-Young’s newcomers May 16, when it opened at 2813 Young Ave.
The business, which already had a gym in Bartlett, had been looking for a central location to accommodate its fitness clients, who were making long commutes from not only Midtown, but DeSoto County and West Memphis to experience the unique, intense workouts that come with kickboxing training. Since opening, the partners have added more equipment and expanded into an adjacent space to keep up with the growth in their client base, which now numbers above 350 at the Cooper-Young location.
Co-owner Eric McMahon said he’s been surprised at the growth, noting that Midtowners seem especially eager to support locally owned Midtown businesses like his.
“It’s honestly been crazy, the growth we’ve had in this location,” McMahon said. “Midtown has a very unique vibe to it and we thought this would fit in with it.”
NEIGHBORHOOD NEWCOMERS LAST YEAR:
Addison, Arthouse T-Shirts, Ballet on Wheels Dance School, Cowork Memphis, Glennys Cowles Interior Design, Greencork, The Growler, Halford Loudspeakers, Kindred Spirit Style, Langford Market, Loaded for Bear, Memphis Fitness Kickboxing, Memphis Made Brewing, Midtown Music, Midtown Yoga Too, Phillip Ashley’s Midtown Chocolate Boutique, Sadhana Sound Studios and Wish.
– LampLighter staff