Harbor Town, Memphis
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Harbor Town is an upscale, new urbanist-style neighborhood in Memphis, Tennessee. Harbor Town sits atop 132 acres on a sandbar known as Mud Island. The neighborhood emphasizes the human, not the automobile, and interaction between neighbors is encouraged. It was the collaborative effort of Memphis native and downtown developer Henry Turley, RTKL of Baltimore, Looney, Ricks and Kiss architectural firm from Memphis and consultant, Tony Bologna. They made a simple book that plainly told "do this and don't do that"- development guidelines that would grow Harbor Town into the kind of community now known as New Urbanism. Today, Harbor Town is dense and walkable, offering traditional row houses, contemporary homes, apartments, shops, restaurants, schools, parks, and a marina. It is much studied by city planners from all over the world. Today the trees are mature, the cars are tucked away into alleys behind houses, the river beckons, and the downtown core is a stones throw away.
Harbor Town is home to the upscale, European-style 28 room boutique hotel called the "River Inn", which houses the much-acclaimed romantic restaurant "Paulette's", and a year-round rooftop bar and restaurant overlooking the Mississippi River called "Terrace". A neighborhood bar and grill called "Tugs" is across the street from The River Inn. Also on the island is a grocery store, Miss Cordelia's, which is similar to Trader Joe's or Whole Foods but smaller. There is also a full-service spa, a coffee shop called "Café Eclectic", the "Nail Bar", which offers a glass of wine with a mani-pedi, "Happy Days" dry cleaning, a dentist called "Higginbotham Family Dental", medical care called "Harbor of Health," and a gym. A Montessori school is located in Harbor Town, where children can go until age 13. There is a foreign-language immersion day-care center where children learn Spanish. Behind the montesori school there is an amphitheater where they hold small concerts in the spring. There is a marina with slips that can be owned or rented.
Mississippi River Flood of 2011
Harbor Town was closed to everyone except residents for a short period of time in May 2011 when the Mississippi River reached a level of 48.03 feet, 14 feet above flood stage. A 5-foot-high emergency levy was built in the afternoon and evening of May 9, 2011, in the west lane of Island Drive. The east lane remained open in the event that Mud Island had to be evacuated, since Mud Island Drive (the road north of Harbor Town and the only other land access to Mud Island) was under water. Some homes along Wolf River Harbor had to be evacuated but no major damage was reported.
Among Harbor Town's current and former residents are politicians Harold Ford, Jr., Harold Ford,Sr., Lewis Unglesby, and Myron Lowery. There are many former and current Memphis Grizzlies players and coaches, including Shane Battier, Brian Cardinal, Jake Tsakalaidis, Dahntay Jones and past Grizzlies Head Coaches Marc Iavaroni, Hubie Brown and Mike Fratello. Other present or past residents include Wayne Jackson of the group The Memphis Horns, French opera singer Marie Stephane Bernard, and local entrprenuer Dean Jernigan.
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