Con­course plaza canopies of­fer shade, breeze and WiFi

Struc­tures let ten­ants, oth­ers ‘in­ter­con­nect’

The Commercial Appeal - - Business - Tom Bai­ley Mem­phis Com­mer­cial Ap­peal USA TO­DAY NET­WORK - TEN­NESSEE

The three sleekly de­signed canopies that just opened in Crosstown Con­course’s front plaza of­fer free pub­lic WiFi, power out­lets, solid and par­tial shade, a breeze from the 14-foot ceil­ing fans, ta­bles, chairs, benches and a place to meet other peo­ple.

“The idea is that we have all these won­der­ful ten­ants, and we want spa­ces where they can in­ter­con­nect. Not just with each other, but also with the sur­round­ing neigh­bor­hood,” said Todd Richard­son, co-leader of Crosstown Con­course.

The canopies add an­other com­mon, open space for mix­ing res­i­dents of the 265 apart­ments as well as the 40-plus com­mer­cial and non­profit ten­ants and their em­ploy­ees, clients and cus­tomers.

The other meet­ing grounds in­clude the Cen­tral Atrium, West Atrium, North Plaza/Bal­cony and the main plaza.

The $250 mil­lion de­vel­op­ment as­pires to be not just a 1.2 mil­lion-square­foot build­ing hous­ing a mix of ten­ants and uses, but a “ver­ti­cal ur­ban vil­lage” where the in­ter­ac­tions cre­ate com­mu­nity, a sense of place and even bet­ter out­comes for what­ever goals are hatched in and around the build­ing.

Mem­phis-based Hunter Fan wanted to par­tic­i­pate, and do­nated the three huge fans for the canopies, Richard­son said.

Dur­ing a sunny lunch hour last week, Dr. San­jeet Ran­gara­jan sat un­derneath one of the canopies on a pa­tio chair and read from his tablet.

“This is my first time en­joy­ing the canopy,” said the physi­cian, be­decked in his blue scrubs and sun­glasses. Crosstown Con­course is close enough to his work in the Med­i­cal District that he drove over for lunch and to read for a few min­utes.

“It looked like an invit­ing space with nice chairs, and I get to en­joy a bit of shade but also a lit­tle bit of sun in the nice weather here,” he said.

“It’s a nice space,” he said, and pointed to the plaza’s shal­low foun­tains. “You get a lit­tle bit of the sound of na­ture ... I guess if it gets a bit warmer in the sum­mer I’ll go sit under the fan over there.”

Late Fri­day morn­ing, 23-year-old Rey Del­gado sat at a pic­nic ta­ble im­mersed in a book for his stud­ies to be a phar­macy tech­ni­cian.

“It’s more quiet than in­side,” said Del­gado, who’s from Puerto Rico and is vis­it­ing his sis­ter, a Con­course apart­ment ten­ant. He’s a stu­dent at a Puerto Rico col­lege.

LRK Ar­chi­tects de­signed the canopies that each mea­sure about 25 feet-by-40 feet. “They are in the plaza in front of the build­ing so they had to be mon­u­men­tal, oth­er­wise they’d look very dinky,” Richard­son said.

The canopies are il­lu­mi­nated at night, pro­vid­ing “re­ally great light­ing for the plaza,” he said.

Any­one — Con­course ten­ant or not — is wel­come to use the canopies and the WiFi, Richard­son said.

The canopies also are avail­able to be re­served for events like birth­day par­ties, he said.

For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact Stacy Wright at (901) 507-8030 or visit crosstow­narts.org.

Crosstown Con­course has new canopies on their plaza that of­fer big fans and WiFi. MARK WE­BER/THE COM­MER­CIAL AP­PEAL

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