About Us

Founded in 2002

501-3 nonprofit Development Corporation

10 member board of Directors


Jeffrey T. Higgs, Executive Director
Austin Emeagwai, CPA, CFO
Tillman Keaton, Housing Director
Bacari Keaton, Construction Manager

SMRCDC is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization founded in 2000 to provide solutions for the distressed neighborhoods of South Memphis, Tennessee. Our organization has since grown to be a major land owner in South Memphis in preparation for transforming vacant land into affordable housing. We believe that home ownership is the key to wealth build and t that end our efforts have and are geared toward homeownership versus rental. While we recognized that everyone cannot own a home, we seek viable options for quality rentals for Memphis residents. We also provide a combination of critical community services including homebuyer education, homeowner case management, youth development, commercial real estate development and opportunity for community enhancement project that benefit the larger Memphis Community. Everything we do is designed to help low-to-moderate income families make homeownership a reality.

Our organization has been selected as the court appointed conservator for the Aretha Franklin birthplace home located at 406 Lucy Ave. and continued to seek ways to preserve the legacy of America’s Queen of Soul birth place.

SMRCDC recently was selected as the 2019-2002 US Department of Labor / ETA Youth  Build grantee and will train over 70  young people age 16-24 for pre apprenticeship opportunities in  the construction industry. Our history with our sister organization LeMoyne-Owen College Community Development Corporation, make us an ideal organization to create opportunities for these young people so desperately in need of training and opportunities for personal growth.

SMRCDC continues to see ways to build a quality grocery store to this community, which is a food desert and will continue to seek opportunities for jobs and economic development.

Since 2002 SMRCDC and its SoulsvilleUSA partners have brought over $150 million in urban community economic development activities to this low-income census track in South Memphis. Our efforts have and will always be about partnerships and collaborations. We will always seek new and innovative ways to brings sustained urban community economic development to Memphis.