About Us

We are Memphis DNA!


The Downtown Neighborhood Association is a non-profit, community organization that promotes the quality of life of Downtown Memphis, as well as safeguards it's unique ambiance.

DNA has been there to help shape downtown into the livable, enjoyable neighborhood that it is today. Without those early visionaries and those that came after, who believed and fought for this neighborhood, we might not be here today. Without them, it certainly would be a very different place. 

Getting involved in DNA allows you to give back to your community. It allows you to connect to the people who --- together --- build a vibrant city. 

You’ll meet your neighbors, make a difference, and build a better neighborhood. 

You may even be surprised what you get back. Careers in politics have been born from neighborhood associations. Others have found their life purpose. A former DNA president developed a company advising other downtowns and now works nationally. 

By becoming involved in DNA, you'll discover your strengths, build your talents, and get on a first-name basis with city leaders. You will be connected in ways you can't even imagine.  Downtown is a never-ending work in progress. There is much to be done. Help us build a better neighborhood!

How We Run Your DNA

Your DNA is a not-for-profit organization that is Chartered by the State of Tennessee and run under a set of governing By-Laws. The organization is governed by a Board of local residents and business leaders that meets monthly to promote the health of DNA and address important issues. These documents are here to assist the association in self-governing decisions and practices.


The Districts of Memphis DNA


Mud Island District

Mud Island is anchored by the new urbanism success story that is Harbor Town. Harbor Town consist of low-rise multi-family residential and single-family residential with a core of retail shops to serve a very walkable community. A Montessori School sits at the eastern end with a boutique hotel at the west. The northwest edge of the "Island" is populated by several apartment complexes overlooking the Mississippi River Park with more single-family residential development tucked behind along the Wolf River lagoon.

Uptown / Pinch District

The DNA's North District consists of the homes and apartments of Uptown. Additional Single-Family Residential exists in the northeastern portion of the district near the Wold river. There are retail shops bordering along Thomas Street and A.W. Willis Avenue, but the retail core is in the historic Pinch District, including proposed redevelopment of the Great American Pyramid. There are industrial and municipal buildings along the Wolf River Lagoon and along North Main and North Front Streets. The North District includes the St. Jude Research Hospital campus and Bridges.

The Center District

While the smallest of the four DNA Districts in size, the Center packs in a lot of Downtown. Also known as The Core, the Center District encompasses the original DNA boundaries and includes the majority of the retail and hospitality businesses in Downtown Memphis.  Along with our City, County, State, and Federal agencies, including Center City, Chamber of Commerce, and the Downtown Library, the Center contains the historic Beale Street entertainment district. Across the Wolf River Harbor, Mud Island Park and the marina can be accessed by monorail. Residential living is mostly in high-rise apartments and condominiums.

The South District

DNA's South District includes the South Main Historic District of shops, art galleries, and former warehouse and industrial buildings converted into private homes. The district includes the residential development of South Bluffs and the homes along the high bluff overlooking Tom Lee Park and the Mississippi River.