project leader
Barbara S
Any street in Central Gardens
(Central Gardens)
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Pilot project complete!

the project

This campaign collects money from neighbors who have already committed to have their sidewalks replaced. Read more about our project below, or email us to get an individual estimate for your property.


In our 2016 Central Gardens Strategic Neighborhood Plan, we identified walkability as an important feature in our neighborhood. We also learned that one big weakness of our neighborhood is the nearly impassable sidewalks. A team of volunteers was formed to assess the conditions of our sidewalks. We assessed every block of the neighborhood using a BLDG Memphis app that was customized just for us. The results: Approximately 85% of sidewalks in Central Gardens need repair and over 60% of those warrant immediate repair. Most homeowners know that it is their responsibility to repair but are not sure how. 

Our first step was to begin to educate our neighbors about how to maintain and repair sidewalks. This information is located on our website and a short video shows the obstacles that adults, children, and those with disabilities face every day while trying to navigate crumbling sidewalks.

Getting the Best Price

While financial responsibility falls to the homeowner, we explored a variety of group discounts and city mechanisms that would offer the lowest possible rate to the greatest number of participants. When the city sends a large quantity of sidewalks out for bids, they generally expect to pay $8 per square foot of sidewalk and $12 per square foot of driveway apron.

For Central Gardens to receive that rate through the city, our sidewalk repairs would have to be processed as a Department of Engineering contract. The neighborhood would have to submit the full balance to City Council, which would then vote to accept the money and allocate it. It wasn't clear how long this process would take.

Our Solution

Luther Powers, a longtime concrete contractor with substantial experience in Central Gardens, was willing to beat the city's rate. Once ioby fundraising expences are factored in, we can still deliver the $8/$12 price the city uses, without the hassle of City Council. Our Sidewalk Bundling Plan will serve as a test pilot for Central Gardens and Midtown. By joining with 20+ neighbors, we can demonstrate that we can improve the walkability and safety of the neighborhood at the same time offering neighbors a significant reduction in cost (compared to going it alone).



the steps

The steps of the pilot project include:

  1. 20+ homeowners agree to join the project.
  2. Central Gardens Sidewalk Committee takes measurements and provides an estimate based on guaranteed rate
  3. Contractor removes and replaces all designated sidewalks and driveway aprons.
  4. Homeowners click on the IOBY link to pay online for their portion. Or you can send IOBY a check.
  5. IOBY processes the checks/online funds so that the contractor receives one lump sum.
  6. Should you choose to donate more funds for a community fund, we will use those funds to help out neighbors in need. 

why we're doing it

Central Gardens is a vital historic district in Midtown Memphis. Our Level III Arboretum provides a shady oasis for living and walking. Our children walk and bike to school. Our neighbors walk and bike to shop as well as to just plain enjoy the outdoors. With poor impassable sidewalks, our walkers are not safe. Many walk in the street as the sidewalks are impassable. Walkability is an economic development issue as well. Home values in Central Gardens continue to rise, but we must maintain and enhance the walkability of the neighborhood. 

Finally, Central Gardens is seen as a leader in neighborhoods. We feel we can make a difference not only in Central Gardens but also in Memphis and the US by creating templates on how to tackle this project. With your help in participating in this pilot project, we can do just that!


Using an estimated cost per linear foot for your individual sidewalk in need of repair, you pay online or send a check to IOBY who will send out one check to the contractor for approximately a total of 20+ homes. 

SUBTOTAL    $49,059
ioby Platform Fee $35
Donation Processing Fee (3%) $1,472
TOTAL TO RAISE                              $50,566.00

Disbursement Budget: 

RAISED = $15,508.00
 less ioby Platform Fee  $35.00
less ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $450.67
TOTAL TO DISBURSE = $15,022.33



Pilot project complete!

We have finished installation of our first 20 sidewalks. Thank you to everyone to participated! Another round should start this summer. Check our website for details.


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Brent Kernodle
  • Kristen E Boyden
  • Armstrong/Clark
  • Anonymous
  • 188 s belvedere
  • Hancock / Blankinship (549)
  • Lisa Kennedy