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VOL. TMN-10 | NO. 7 | Saturday, March 1, 2014
Weekly Issue

Demerger Debate

School assignments change, some schools close and school system borders become more porous

In five months, a new school year will begin in Shelby County. And for a second straight academic year, many parents will be able to say it is unlike any in their lifetimes.

Editorial: More Things Changing with Historic Reform

As we all prepare for a second school year in which the local education landscape will change dramatically, we see even more change on the horizon.

EMPHASIS Commercial Real Estate

Seeking Collaboration

Memphis leaders look to increase public-private investments

The debate over which development projects should be public or public-private efforts could intensify in the coming months as the city of Memphis explores multiple redevelopment plans.

Buzz Around Spec Office Space Starts to Swirl

International Paper Co.’s new office tower in East Memphis is under construction now, but it’s been four years since the last speculative office building opened its doors in Memphis.

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Judge Approves Transfer of Ashlar Hall

Environmental Court Judge Larry Potter, reversing a previous decision, upheld a 2013 transfer of Ashlar Hall from Robert “Prince Mongo” Hodges to an acquaintance who wants to turn the stately but decaying property into a home for military veterans.

‘Never a Dull Moment’ in CRE for Hackmeyer

After beginning the pursuit of a career as a pilot after graduating from the University of Alabama, Tanis Hackmeyer switched gears and delved into the world of commercial real estate.

THE MEMPHIS NEWS ALMANAC

This week in Memphis history: Feb. 28-March 6

1974: On the front page of The Daily News, J.C. Penney Co. announced it would lease a new 508,700-square-foot hardware/automotive national distribution center in Southaven’s Freeport Industrial Park at State Line and Rostin roads. The center was being built by Boston-based Cabot, Cabot and Forbes Co. Southaven was still an unincorporated suburb at the time, governed by the DeSoto County government and growing in terms of economic development as growth in Whitehaven began to spill over across the state line. Southaven would be incorporated in 1981.

Patching Up Poplar

Initiative looks to make busy street pedestrian-friendly

Its narrow traffic lanes are unforgiving and its storm water drain grates make driving the outside lane a perilous endeavor.

German Eatery Slated for Overton Square

Overton Square will be getting an international flavor with the addition of a German-themed restaurant in the space formerly occupied by Paulette’s.

ServiceMaster Revenue Flat, Income Drops for 2013

The ServiceMaster Co. LLC took a net income loss of $506 million for the year 2013 and an $18 million loss for the last three months of the year.

Renovation on Tap for 100 N. Main Tower

The owner of 100 N. Main St., the city’s tallest building, has plans to turn the Downtown skyscraper into a development featuring a hotel and apartments.

MalmoMemphis Completes Three Law Firm Leases

Three Memphis law firms represented by MalmoMemphis Real Estate Inc. have renewed their office leases or leased new spaces.

Dunavant Awards Nomination Deadline Nears

While candidates are watching the election calendar, the committee that will award the Dunavant Public Servant Awards is also watching the calendar.

The MED Adopts Umbrella Name

Two names are better than one, although the new name will get most of the headline treatment.

Healthy Design

Hernando mayor touts role of design standards

The road to community health and wealth is paved, at least in part, with smart design principles.

First Tennessee Celebrates 150th Anniversary

First Tennessee Bank is using Abraham Lincoln’s famed top hat as a symbol of the milestone the venerable financial institution is celebrating this year.

Goldsworthy: Germantown, Collierville Discuss Schools Contract

Germantown Mayor Sharon Goldsworthy says Germantown and Collierville schools leaders are discussing a contract to allow Collierville students to continue attending the Germantown district’s Houston High in the new academic year.

Beale Street Music Festival Offers Diverse Lineup

The lineup for the three-day Memphis in May Beale Street Music Festival features a new night of late-night dance music from a stage in Tom Lee Park and a 69-act lineup in which Memphis artists are nearly a third of the diverse set of performers.

School Closings Votes Leave Issues

Shelby County Schools board members completed Tuesday, Feb. 25, the first half of their actions to prepare the new map of the demerged school system for the academic year that begins in August. And they set the stage for more possible changes in years to come.

Economic Club Names Tucker Executive Director

Just because she took a voluntary buyout from FedEx in December doesn’t mean Laurie Tucker is ready to slow down.

Vapor Haze of the Future

Popularity of e-cigarettes grows though risks unclear

Create A Cig, located in a strip mall on Poplar Avenue across from East High School, is not just an electronic cigarette retail store.

Consolidation Talk Surfaces as Races Come to Life

Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy says he would pursue city and county government consolidation if elected Shelby County mayor.

Hampline Recalls Overton Park Interstate Plans

In a city with lots of markers and monuments showing where historic events happened, there is an increasing amount of attention to a different kind of Memphis historic event.

Pilot Program Provides Meals to Westwood Seniors

The housebound elderly woman had maybe a half-dozen boxes of cereal. She had been on a waiting list for Meals on Wheels for five years.

Complaint Alleges Deutsche Bank Discrimination

Deutsche Bank allegedly discriminated against minority neighborhoods in the Memphis area in the way it handled bank-owned properties, according to a complaint filed with the federal government.

Visible Appeal

Visible Music College tells brand story far beyond Memphis

At one point a few days ago, the performance space at Visible Music College near the front entrance to the school was booming with raucous applause and with the strains of musicians performing, cutting loose and using the stage to explore the range of their musical talents.

School Board Restructuring Plan on Way to Mays

Two months after all sides in the federal court case over the reformation of public education in Shelby County settled their remaining differences over the formation of suburban school districts, the judge in the case is about to review a new part of the three-year-old lawsuit.

Southeastern Asset Management Posts Strong 2013

The annual year-end commentary from Memphis-based Southeastern Asset Management always provides an instructive look at the economic landscape and a peek at the playbook of an investment firm led by a pair of prominent Memphis businessmen.

Strickland: Shorten Pension Ramp-Up

The Memphis City Council chairman thinks the city shouldn’t take five or six years to ramp up to an annual pension fund contribution of $100 million but instead do it in two fiscal years.

Watson Sets Record Straight About Labor Union Views

Tennessee Sen. Bo Watson, a Republican from Hixon, has been showing up in the national media lately, thanks to his public statements against unionization effort at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga.

SPORTS

Score-Watching Grizz Can’t Lose Sight of Opponents

Two hours before the Grizzlies played the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, Feb. 26, at FedExForum, Memphis coach Dave Joerger talked about the last loss – at Charlotte – the game ahead, and that aggravating play that recently invaded Memphis living rooms, including Joerger’s own.

Actions Should Speaker Louder Than Words

The Sports Morality Police have pinned on their badges and are cracking down on athlete-on-athlete crime.

MEMPHIS NEWSMAKERS

Wells Joins Evans Petree as Associate

Julie Wells has joined Evans Petree PC as an associate in the East Memphis office, focusing her practice in health care law and general business matters. She previously worked at Baptist Medical Group, where she played an integral role in physician practice acquisitions and contractual-related matters.

REAL ESTATE RECAP

Polo Shops Sells for $3.1 Million After Foreclosure

7444 Winchester Road, 7464 Winchester Road, Memphis, TN 38125, Sale Amount: $3.1 million -

SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

Tart Cafe Mixes French Flair, Love of Memphis

The business partners opening Tart – a new French-focused cafe, coffee shop, bakery and art gallery in Cooper-Young that held a preview party earlier this month – have been spreading the word through social media and in person that theirs is more than a simple coffeehouse.

LOCAL COLUMNISTS

Ceiling Reflections

FAMILY TIME. “You’re no happier than your most unhappy child,” a wise friend said.

Networking With No Fear

Last week, as I pulled toward my parking space at home, the adorable 3-year-old boy who lives next door ran up to my car. “I haven’t seen you in a while!” he exclaimed in the most excited voice I’d heard all week. “How have you been?” I rolled down my window and chatted with him until his grandmother quickly rushed over to sweep him up.

Instagram Tips for Businesses

For the past couple of years, more and more businesses have been communicating with their audiences through Instagram.

Kids' College Versus Your Retirement

Ray’s Take: Most parents want to give their kids the best college education possible. At the same time, they know they must finance their own retirement. It’s hard to objectively prioritize, especially when your precious children are involved.

How to Fight the Flat

Markets have regained their composure after a sharp, but necessary, sell off in early January. Sentiment has now retreated from the euphoric levels reached toward the end of last year, to more neutral levels.

High Colorado

“Friends around the campfire, and everybody’s high.” I cannot but think that John Denver was a prophet after all.

Stop Asking for Referrals

Referred prospects offer one of the strongest returns of any marketing or sales strategy you can deploy. After all, a good referral costs nothing to generate and a referred prospect is much more likely to become a customer than an average lead.

Three Keys to Building Alumni Relations

Colleges and universities look to alumni for financial support. If you attended or graduated from college you likely receive fundraising solicitations from your alma mater.

Innovation for the Rest of Us

Innovation, as a discipline, tends to be special assignment work that is reserved for the creative hotshots, iconoclasts, those in hot spots like Palo Alto, or on an esteemed university campus, such as MIT.

A Failure to Communicate

A research study was done that asked 100 people who were all more than 90 years of age to describe what they would do differently if they had to live their lives over. The responses most often given were that they would take more risks, that they would spend more time reflecting, and that they would do more that would live on after they were gone. I was not a part of that survey, but I would like to add one more to that list of “do overs”: to listen more.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 73 220 17,575
MORTGAGES 83 246 22,897
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 5 38 4,467
BUILDING PERMITS 206 514 41,739
BANKRUPTCIES 52 176 16,568
BUSINESS LICENSES 20 50 5,751
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 97 196 25,067
MARRIAGE LICENSES 12 66 5,351

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The Memphis News: Business, politics, and the public interest.