TraVure will change more than a few acres of land in Germantown

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The City of Germantown has some thinking to do.

Anyone who’s lived in Memphis for more than a few months understands Germantown.

It’s the most affluent and maintained town in Memphis’ suburbs, and it has fiercly defended its reputation as a bedroom community. Chain retailers have mostly been reined in with regulations over signage and other building codes, and new developments in the town come up against intense scrutiny.

That’s what makes the new TraVure development different from any other in the city.

The $90 million development near Poplar and Kirby Parkway is set to include two Hilton hotels, a covered parking garage, restaurants, retail outlets and a five-story office building.

A development like that would be a boon to any municipality’s tax revenues and would be welcomed with open arms by almost every other corner of the region.

But, Germatown, as its residents will tell you, is a bit different.

That may be old thinking, however. Germantown now has its own school system to finance. The new municipal system is, by far, the most expensive outlay the township has ever undertaken, and tax revenue will have to match expenditures somehow.

Germantown residents could probably afford a tax increase, but municipal school advocates repeatedly said the new system wouldn’t cost the residents more, and there seems little political will to push forward on any kind of increase.

That leaves new development as the next natural course of action, and there is demand for it in the market.

But, these projects do not come without cost. Germantown residents close to the new developments may see their home values take a hit, and the whole area will grow more commercial than it has been historically.

That will change the character of Germantown to some degree, and it could open a Pandora’s box to other big developments.

Germantown has to fully commit to what kind of city it wants to be, and the impact of the decision could be more than just a few new office buildings.

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