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Editorial Results (free)

1. Belmont Welcomes Largest-Ever Freshman Class -

If you graduated from Belmont 20 years ago, you might not recognize the campus today.

Near ceaseless on-campus construction and a huge spike in enrollment has changed the once-sleepy little school into a major player in Nashville and in national collegiate circles.

2. Reshaping a City, One Lot at a Time -

John G. Brittle Jr. doesn’t have an office. He has a war room. The space, crowded with maps, charts, books, piles of paper and marked-up spreadsheets, is ground zero for InfillNashville, the 10-person team of site selection specialists that Brittle leads at Village Real Estate Services.

3. Many Seek New Homes Near Cities But are Priced Out -

WASHINGTON (AP) – City living has been a blessing for Tim Nelson.

The Phoenix lawyer moved downtown a few months ago into a new $389,000 home with a warehouse-style floor plan, a Jacuzzi tub and kitchen counters made of Caesarstone quartz. His favorite coffee spot is three blocks away. When the Arizona Diamondbacks play on Friday nights, he can watch postgame fireworks from his deck.

4. Why Retailers Need Tenant Representatives -

National and regional retailers have embraced tenant representation for many years as a way to bring local market knowledge to their real estate site selection equation. The local retailer is apt to say, “I know my market well and what locations will work for me, so why do I need a tenant representative to increase my cost?”

5. House GOP Unveils Bill Slashing Highway Grants -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Republicans controlling the House unveiled legislation on Tuesday that proposes a huge cut to a transportation grant program championed by President Barack Obama that funds road and bridge projects, light rail networks, port construction and bike paths.

6. US Home Market: Few Buyers and Not Enough Sellers -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Entering the 2014 spring buying season, the U.S. housing market faces an unusual dilemma: Too few people are selling homes. Yet too few buyers can afford the homes that are for sale.

7. Central Animal Hospital Hosting Open House -

Central Animal Hospital is inviting the public to tour its new and improved facility.

Central Animal Hospital is hosting its first annual community open house Sunday, March 23, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

8. Central Animal Hospital Hosting Open House -

Central Animal Hospital is inviting the public to tour its new and improved facility.

Central Animal Hospital is hosting its first annual community open house Sunday, March 23, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

9. 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.

10. Memphis Area Loses Construction Jobs in Dec. -

The Memphis area lost construction jobs in December, according to the Associated General Contractors of America.

Local construction jobs dropped by 1,200 to 20,100 for the month, a 6 percent decline from the 21,300 jobs during the same month a year ago.

11. Memphis Area Loses Construction Jobs in Dec. -

The Memphis area lost construction jobs in December, according to the Associated General Contractors of America.

Local construction jobs dropped by 1,200 to 20,100 for the month, a 6 percent decline from the 21,300 jobs during the same month a year ago.

12. Building Capacities -

Major road and highway projects like the Interstate 269 loop, I-40/240 and the Mallory Road interchange near Frank Pigeon Industrial Park made substantial progress during 2013, with several phases of important transportation corridors wrapping up and new projects planned for 2014 and beyond.

13. Baptist Begins Work on Germantown Rehabilitation Facility -

Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. is moving ahead with a new rehabilitation facility on South Germantown Road, aimed at helping meet increased demand from an aging population seeking to continue their independence after a devastating injury or illness.

14. 100 Candles -

An appreciation of the past is practically a requirement for visitors of the Majestic Grille, 145 S. Main St., a storied Downtown eatery housed in a space with a terra cotta facade, beaux arts decor and even an old movie screen inside.

15. Coffee, Beer Bar Coming Downtown -

Downtown residents and visitors will soon be able to grab a cup of joe, locally brewed beer and a fresh sandwich or salad in one convenient spot.

Taylor Berger, partner in YoLo Frozen Yogurt & Gelato, and partners Mitch Buckner (of Bella Café in Pink Palace) and Daniel Flanagan (of Chiwawa, the newly opened Southern-inspired eatery near Overton Square) have signed a lease for 2,755 square feet of retail space in the ground floor of Van Vleet Flats, 122 Gayoso Ave.

16. Koury’s Success Defined by Partnerships, Programming -

Heather Baugus Koury has been executive director of the American Institute of Architects Memphis chapter for more than a decade, and although she was just named to the distinguished status of Honorary AIA, she’s never considered becoming a practitioner.

17. Mortgages Jump 38 Percent in January -

Mortgage banking isn’t looking as dreary right now as it has in recent years. In Shelby County, mortgage activity began the year bouncing strongly off totals from the first month of 2012.

18. Madewell Coming to Saddle Creek -

The Shops of Saddle Creek in Germantown will soon gain another national retailer with no other presence in Tennessee.

Madewell, a subsidiary of J. Crew Group Inc., has signed a 3,061-square-foot lease in The Shops of Saddle Creek North, 7509 Poplar Ave., in part of the space that was previously The Gap in between James Avery Jewelry and Brighton Collectables.

19. Atlantic Track Grows Local Operations -

Bloomfield, N.J.-based Atlantic Track & Turnout Co. is expanding its Memphis operations with a 12,900-square-foot pre-engineered metal building addition with a bridge crane at 363 E. Bodley Ave.

20. ‘Banner Year’ for Logistics Industry -

Positive momentum far outweighed the negative in the local logistics and distribution industry during 2012, as city officials and business leaders continued elevating Memphis’s status as world logistics hub.

21. Metro Connection -

The Interstate 269 bypass loop is moving closer to completion as work continues on sections running through Collierville, Fayette County and into Mississippi.

Preliminary dirt work is under way to connect Tenn. 385 near the Collierville/Fayette County border to the Mississippi state line, and an eight-mile portion spanning from Poplar Avenue north to Macon Road will be complete by the end of next year.

22. Measure of US Home Prices Rises Most in 6 Years -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A measure of U.S. home prices jumped 5 percent in September compared with a year ago, the largest year-over-year increase since July 2006. The gain reported by CoreLogic offered more evidence of a sustainable housing recovery.

23. Storm's Cost May Hit $50 Billion; Rebuilding to Ease Blow -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Superstorm Sandy will end up causing about $20 billion in property damages and $10 billion to $30 billion more in lost business, according to IHS Global Insight, a forecasting firm.

24. Vintage Homes Wins Bronze in National Housing Awards -

Vintage Homes has received a Bronze in the 2013 National Housing Quality Awards.

The 33-year-old homebuilder was recognized for facing challenges to its business model and revamping itself successfully. Vintage Homes also received credit for its marketing strategy, Opportunity for Improvement program and implementation of business technology tools.

25. Improved Flight Path -

Air medical transport service Hospital Wing has consolidated its operations under one roof with a $1.2 million renovation and expansion of its headquarters near Downtown Memphis.

“The Wing” – as the company is usually called – celebrated the completion of renovations at its Memphis base with an open house event, Tuesday, Oct. 2.

26. Red Deluxe Subleases Sullivan Space -

Two well-known Memphis advertising agencies have inked a unique Downtown office deal.

Red Deluxe Brand Development has subleased 10,400 square feet of office space from Sullivan Branding in the old Smooth Moves building at 85 Union Ave.

27. Red Deluxe Subleases Sullivan Space -

Two well-known Memphis advertising agencies have inked a unique Downtown office deal.

Red Deluxe Brand Development has subleased 10,400 square feet of office space from Sullivan Branding in the old Smooth Moves building at 85 Union Ave.

28. Construction Honors Industry’s Best -

Among the holding pattern of construction nationwide, local contractors appear to be holding their own.

The West Tennessee Chapter of Associated Builders & Contractors Inc. held its 24th annual Excellence in Construction Awards Thursday, Sept. 20, at the Pink Palace Museum, 3050 Central Ave., recognizing the top merit shop construction projects by local ABC members. The awards honored all members of the team responsible for the projects, from contractors to subcontractors, suppliers to owners, and engineers to architects.

29. Census Data Another Sign Economy has Bottomed Out -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Five years after the housing bust, the U.S. economy is showing signs of finally bottoming out.

Americans are on the move again after putting their lives on hold and staying put. More young adults are leaving their parents' homes to take a chance with college or the job market, while once-sharp declines in births are leveling off and poverty is slowing.

30. Retail Transformation -

Two of Loeb Properties Inc.’s larger retail centers in East Memphis are in the midst of major transformations.

31. Response to Heat Wave Still Building -

Memphis drivers may have passed by Clear Channel Outdoor’s digital billboards in recent days and noticed the warnings.

The advertising giant, because of excessive heat around the country, began issuing heat advisory warnings on its billboards in Memphis; Cleveland, Akron, and Columbus, Ohio; Chicago; Milwaukee; and Indianapolis. The warnings in those areas, with cities like Memphis occasionally seeing temperatures rise into the triple digits, remind people to stay hydrated, keep pets indoors and to be mindful of elderly neighbors.

32. Homebuilding Permits Rise During May -

May’s new home permit totals saw a significant upswing year over year, and homebuilders attribute the improvement to low inventory levels and low interest rates.

Shelby County homebuilders filed 91 permits in May – a 78 percent increase from the 51 filed during May 2011 – according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

33. MIFA Unites Volunteers In Service -

Last week we reflected on Herschel Walker’s recent visit to Memphis, sharing examples of how giving back has opened doors and led to opportunities that have yielded great success in his business and personal life. This week let us spotlight an organization engaging our community to sustain the independence of seniors, transform the lives of families in crisis, and equip teens for success: Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association (MIFA).

34. Orgel’s Experience Helps Him Lead School Board -

Billy Orgel was no stranger to the ways of an elected legislative body by last year when he was appointed to become a member of the countywide school board.

For years, getting the approval of the Memphis City Council or the Shelby County Commission to locate a cell tower has been part of his business, Tower Ventures.

35. Iberiabank Relocates Cordova Bank Branch -

Iberiabank is moving its Cordova branch out from behind the shadow of a rival – literally.

The Iberiabank branch at 1605 Germantown Parkway is being relocated a little more than a mile south of that location into a vacant space formerly occupied by Trust One Bank, which closed several of its locations recently.

36. Finard Wraps First Phase of Poplar Plaza Renovation -

Finard Properties LLC has completed the first of many phases in redeveloping Poplar Plaza at Poplar Avenue and South Highland Street – a multimillion-dollar project undertaken to ultimately prepare the center for a new Kroger.

37. Horne Still Growing at 50 Years -

Already this year, the Horne LLP accounting and business advisory firm has hired a few tax managers for its Memphis office, and the firm also has brought its tax leadership here.

38. HomeGoods Preps for Memphis Store -

Plans are under way for home décor retailer HomeGoods to enter the Memphis market in Cordova.

Metro Construction Inc. has filed a $950,000 building permit application with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for interior renovation of a former Samuels Furniture and Interiors at The Commons at Dexter Lake, 1615 N. Germantown Parkway, according to The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com.

39. Housing Market Slowly Improving -

Memphis last month was named as one of 29 metropolitan areas to be included on the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index, which is now nearing 100 cities.

The index identifies metro areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months. Other notable new entrants to the list in February were Miami; Boston; Detroit; Kansas City, Mo.; Portland, Ore.; and Salt Lake City.

40. Transportation Boosted to Top of Political Agenda -

WASHINGTON (AP) – After years of procrastination, the White House and Congress have suddenly boosted a long-term plan to improve the nation's roads, bridges and transit systems to the top of the political agenda.

41. French Quarter’s New Owners Meet With Residents -

Two new local owners are under contract to buy and convert the former French Quarter Suites Hotel in Midtown’s Overton Square district to a Comfort Suites in a $6 million project.

At a public meeting Wednesday, Feb. 1, at Memphis Heritage Inc.’s office, 2282 Madison Ave., partners Jay Kumar and Rishi Chopra revealed plans to purchase the vacant 103-room hotel at 2144 Madison Ave., at the northeast corner of Cooper Street and Madison from FQI LLC for $2.3 million and pump about $3.7 million into renovations.

42. Former French Quarter Hotel to Become Comfort Suites -

Two new local owners are under contract to convert the former French Quarter Suites Hotel in Midtown’s Overton Square district to a Comfort Suites in a $6 million project.

At a public meeting Wednesday, Feb. 1, at Memphis Heritage, 2282 Madison Ave., partners Jay Kumar and Rishi Chopra revealed their plans to purchase the vacant 103-room hotel at the northeast corner of Cooper Street and Madison Avenue from FQI LLC for $2.3 million and pump about $3.7 million into renovations.

43. Fallen Police Memorial to be ‘Lasting Tribute’ -

Men and women in blue were joined by friends, family and supporters at the Oak Court Mall, 4465 Poplar Ave., Friday, Dec. 16, for the unveiling of the mockup of a Fallen Officer Memorial that will honor the Memphis Police Department officers who have given their lives in the line of duty.

44. Poorest Poor in US Hits New Record: 1 in 15 People -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The ranks of America's poorest poor have climbed to a record high – 1 in 15 people – spread widely across metropolitan areas as the housing bust pushed many inner-city poor into suburbs and other outlying places and shriveled jobs and income.

45. $3.1 Million Loan Filed for 60 Madison Garage -

Memphis Center City Revenue Finance Corp. and Madison Garage Partners LP have filed a $3.1 million trust deed through JEK Lending LLC for a parking garage at 60 Madison Ave. The refinancing loan, dated Sept. 30, matures on Sept. 29, 2012.

46. US Homebuilders Less Pessimistic in October -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. homebuilders are less pessimistic about the struggling housing market, but not enough to signal a recovery any time soon.

The National Association of Home Builders said Tuesday that its index of builder sentiment this month rose from 14 to 18.

47. Methodist Selects OB Hospital Build Team -

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare has announced it has selected the design and construction team to build its new $137 million hospital in Olive Branch, and that the team is expected to break ground on the project Oct. 19.

48. Expanded Coverage -

Along with new housing developments, restaurants, and retail and entertainment establishments, recent population increases have brought expanded health care services to outlying counties.

DeSoto County in Mississippi is a prime example. Its population grew 50.4 percent between 2000 and 2010, from 107,199 to 161,252, and is expected to reach 172,226 by 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

49. Corruption Probe Surfaces in Millington -

A criminal investigation into corruption within Millington city government that began late last year surfaced Wednesday, July 27, with searches of government offices in the town by Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents and investigators with the Shelby County District Attorney General’s office.

50. Troubled Home Market Creates Generation of Renters -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A growing number of Americans can’t afford a home or don’t want to own one, a trend that’s spawning a generation of renters and a rise in apartment construction.

51. Investors Buy Stalled Lamar Crossing Apartments -

2881 Lamar Ave.
Memphis, TN 38114
Sale Amount: $1.5 Million

Sale Date: May 11, 2011

52. Memphis Architecture Firms Recognized for Excellence -

The Memphis chapter of the American Institute of Architects honored the city’s top firms for their contributions to excellence in design during the annual Celebration of Architecture Gala April 16 at Ballet Memphis, 7950 Trinity Road.

53. SRVS Files Construction Loan for New Headquarters -

3971 Knight Arnold Road
Memphis, TN 38118
Loan Amount: $3.3 million

Loan Date: March 22, 2011
Maturity Date: n/a
Borrower: Shelby Residential and Vocational Services Inc.
Lender: First Tennessee Bank NA

54. Trenarys Buy Goodwyn Condo -

Phil Trenary – who resigns Thursday as president and CEO of Memphis-based Pinnacle Airlines Corp. – and his wife, Bridget, have bought a condominium in Goodwyn Condominiums at 127 Madison Ave. The purchase price was $457,500, and the sellers were Michael O. Arndt and Elizabeth F. Arndt.

55. Home Sales Fell 9.6 Pct. in February -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans bought previously occupied homes in February and those who did purchased them at steep discounts. The weak sales and rise in foreclosures pushed home prices down to their lowest level in nearly 9 years.

56. Unemployment Rises in Nearly All Metro Areas -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Unemployment rose in nearly all large U.S. cities in January compared to the previous month, mostly because of seasonal changes such as the layoff of temporary retail employees hired for the holidays.

57. In Tough Economy, Rental Property Investments Shine -

With the housing market depressed and credit tight, Memphis’ home rental business doesn’t appear to be losing steam any time soon.

Last week, Memphis Investment Properties LLC hosted a three-day tour for a group of 19 New Zealand investors that bought 16 houses for a total $1.08 million.

58. Civil Rights Museum Files Permit for Phase One Redesign -

450 Mulberry St.
Memphis, TN 38103
Permit Amount: $1 million

Permit Date: Applied January 2011
Owner: State of Tennessee
Tenant: National Civil Rights Museum Foundation
Architect: Self Tucker Architects Inc.

59. Target Corp. to Expand its Grocery Offerings -

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minneapolis-based Target Corp. plans to remodel about 400 of its general merchandise stores across the nation in 2011, building upon the discounter's latest strategy to bulk up its grocery offerings.

60. Unemployment Rises in Two-Thirds of Metro Areas -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Unemployment rates rose in more than two-thirds of the nation's largest metro areas in November, a sharp reversal from the previous month and the most since June.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that unemployment rates rose in 258 of the 372 largest cities, fell in 88 and remained the same in 26. That's worse than the previous month, when rates fell in 200 areas and rose in 108.

61. Cook Convention Center Board Chooses CVB Bid -

Between now and the end of the year, the board of the Memphis Cook Convention Center and the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) hope to come to terms on a contract for the CVB to run the convention center.

62. Metro Charter Addresses School Funding Divide -

The most quoted and parsed section of the proposed metro consolidation charter is the wording on the two public school systems in Shelby County and their connection to the metro government.

The written words reflect the first decision the Metro Charter Commission made long before it began drafting any language for any provision.

63. Census: Fast-Growing US Areas Show Big Income Drop -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Call it the migration bust: Many of the fast-growing U.S. areas during the housing boom are now yielding some of the biggest income drops in the economic downturn.

That could have broad impact on the political map in the coming weeks. Voter discontent over the economy and related issues such as immigration head to the polls on Nov. 2 to decide whether to keep Democrats in Congress.

64. Commission Debates Charter Stand, Approves Terms For New Morgue -

Shelby County Commissioners talked Monday about consolidation, education funding and minority business contracts during a session that also included a debate about building a new morgue.

A resolution approving the agreements between Shelby County and the state for the construction of a new Regional Forensic Center passed on an 11-0 vote. Commissioner Heidi Shafer abstained and Commissioner Justin Ford, who is a funeral director, recused himself from the vote.

65. Suburbs Take Hit as US Poverty Climbs in Downturn -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Battered by the downturn, America's suburbs are bearing the brunt of poverty among those of working age that has climbed to its highest level in almost a half century, creating strains on dwindling safety-net programs focusing mostly on the inner-city poor.

66. The Hard Sell -

To understand how Northwest Mississippi’s small boomtowns like Olive Branch keep one-upping Memphis and reeling in jobs and taxpayers with the promise of greener pastures, an Internet video is one place to start.

67. Ohio-Based Company Buys Land Slated for Strayer University Campus -

7275 Appling Farms Parkway
Memphis, TN 38133
Sale Amount: $603,788

Sale Date: July 6, 2010
Buyer: Se Testa Memphis LLC
Seller: Belz Investment Co. LP

68. AP Analysis: More Factory Jobs Ease Economic Pain -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Manufacturing job gains in the Midwest helped lower the nation's economic stress in April to its lowest point in five months, according to The Associated Press' monthly analysis of conditions around the country.

69. CVS Inks Deal for Former MAHBA HQ -

CVS has chosen a busy stretch of Germantown Parkway in Cordova for its next area pharmacy.

The company’s regional developer, Redd Realty Services Inc., has inked a deal with Gill Properties to build a retail store on the site of the former Memphis Area Home Builders Association headquarters at 776 N. Germantown Parkway.

70. Charter Body Hashes out Tax Responsibilities -

Metro Charter Commissioners are setting the stage for the most eagerly anticipated part of their work – the details of who pays for what services in a consolidated government.

The commission is still awaiting recommendations on which services it will include in an urban services district encompassing the city of Memphis and a general services district for the rest of the county.

71. Charter Commission Begins Work On Metro Financial Structure -

Metro Charter Commissioners haven't divided the services of a consolidated local government into urban and general services districts yet.

But Thursday the group approved a set of recommendations that give some shape to metro government finances.

72. Candidates Battle it Out in Democratic Primary -

Before voters get to the slimmer, trimmer Aug. 5 race for Shelby County mayor, some of them must decide the three-candidate Democratic primary on the May 4 ballot.

As political races go, this one has enough drama to make it interesting.

73. Consolidated Gov’t to Include New Divisions -

The list of new departments for a consolidated Memphis-Shelby County government continues to grow as the Metro Charter Commission moves a step closer to writing a consolidation charter.

But much debate is to come on the size of the proposed merger government.

74. Wiseman Bray’s Patterson a ‘Rising Star’ in Construction Law -

Chris Patterson, an attorney at Wiseman Bray PLLC, recently was selected by the industry journal Law and Politics as a 2009 Mid-South Rising Star in the field of construction litigation. Patterson was the only Tennessee lawyer listed as a rising star in this area of the law.

75. Goodwyn Condo Interest Builds Quickly After Foreclosure -

Momentum is building at the Goodwyn Condominiums, where Hobson Co. Realtors has inked contracts for nine of its unsold units just weeks after the property was reclaimed by the bank following a foreclosure.

76. Housing Divided -

A couple of years ago, when Clay Thompson of Memphis decided it was time to stop renting, he set his sights on the Downtown condominium market. He was especially interested in the old warehouses in the South Main Historic Arts District that had been converted to condos.

77. Goodwyn Condos Shoved Back Into Marketplace -

It didn’t take long for the Goodwyn Condominiums at 127 Madison Ave. to get back on track. Just two months after foreclosing on more than 80 percent of the historic building, First Tennessee Bank NA has taken steps to finish 21 unsold units and put them on the market.

78. N.J. Company Buys FedEx Global Supply Building -

Another out-of-town company has discovered the value of Memphis’ commercial real estate with a multimillion-dollar investment in the city.

Freehold, N.J.-based Monmouth Real Estate Investment Corp. has bought the 449,262-square-foot, Class A warehouse at 5025 Tuggle Road for $14.6 million. The facility, which just underwent a $1 million expansion, is 100 percent leased by FedEx Global Supply Chain Services Inc.

79. Saddle Creek Lands High-End Women’s Clothing Store -

Anthropologie, a high-end retailer of apparel and other items, is coming to The Shops of Saddle Creek in Germantown.

Though a lease hadn’t been inked by press time Monday, the company will soon begin tenant improvements for the bays that housed the former Yia Yia’s Euro Café and Divine Rags on the southwest end of Saddle Creek North.

80. City Mayoral Transition Yields Crowded To-Do List -  

Memphis Mayor-elect A C Wharton Jr. will be appointing a new city attorney once he takes office next week.

Elbert Jefferson, the city attorney Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery tried to fire just minutes after taking the oath of office on July 31, Friday sent a second resignation letter to Lowery. The two met for an hour Sunday evening at City Hall and Lowery accepted Jefferson’s resignation.

Jefferson’s attorney, Ted Hansom, and city Chief Administrative Officer Jack Sammons were also present. Jefferson turned in his key card, the keys to his city car and his laptop.

“The drama is over,” Lowery said Monday. “For my part, I wish it had never happened.”

Dramatis personae

In a resignation letter last week to Wharton, Jefferson had expressed hope that he would be hired for some position in the new administration. Over the weekend, he used the same text in the new letter but addressed it to Lowery instead. He requested the city pay his legal fees as well.

The resignation letter to Lowery made moot an ouster suit filed by Shelby County District Attorney General Bill Gibbons. Criminal Court Judge James Lammey, who was to hear the case, reset a final report to Oct. 27, citing Jefferson’s departure.

“A hearing on the issue of suspension would be an inefficient use of judicial resources, of the state of Tennessee and of the resources of the city of Memphis, and considering (Jefferson’s) current health status, would be an unnecessary tax on (Jefferson’s) well-being and a possible threat to his health,” Lammey wrote in the court order.

Jefferson was scheduled to return to City Hall from sick leave Monday. He apparently believed the new mayor would be in office by the time he returned.

An audit of city financial affairs is standard procedure in a change of administrations. Wharton is naming team members to review the offices of the city attorney, human resources and finance and administration. He was also to name members of his transition team Monday.

Time-, battle-tested

Shelby County Commissioner Mike Carpenter and Methodist Healthcare executive Cato Johnson will head the team.

The other members are:

- Herman Morris, attorney and 2007 candidate for Memphis Mayor.

- Tomeka Hart, Memphis Urban League CEO and Memphis school board member.

- Jim Strickland, attorney and Memphis City Council member.

- Rev. Dwight Montgomery, Southern Christian Leadership Conference Memphis chapter President.

- Jose Velasquez, Latino Memphis former executive director.

- Nisha Powers, Powers Hill Design Inc. President.

- Paul Morris, attorney and former chairman Center City Commission.

- Douglas Scarboro, The Leadership Academy vice president.

- Steve Reynolds, Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. CEO.

- Diane Rudner, Plough Foundation chairman.

- Darrell Cobbins, Universal Commercial CEO.

Johnson has more experience serving on such task forces and ad hoc committees than any other leader in the city’s corporate community. Most recently, Johnson was one of two business leaders on the ad hoc committee exploring single-source local funding for education. He also served as a leader of the Mid-South Fairgrounds renovation committee and has been involved in similar capacities with every major construction project for a civic use in the past 15 years.

Carpenter’s appointment is certain to fuel speculation that he might be tapped for some role in the new administration. However, Carpenter has already been holding fundraisers in anticipation of a bid for re-election to his commission seat in the 2010 county elections.

Wharton is tentatively scheduled to take the oath of office Oct. 26.

The Shelby County Commission also meets that same day and could receive Wharton’s resignation and declare a vacancy in the county mayor’s office with a vote to appoint Wharton’s successor-to-come in November. Until that vote, County Commission Chairwoman Joyce Avery will serve as interim mayor.

“It will be a day in which I come to work at one place and leave work from another place,” Wharton told The Daily News.

But the Shelby County Election Commission will meet earlier than expected -- Thursday afternoon -- to certify the Oct. 15 election results. Once the results are certified, Wharton is free to resign as Shelby County mayor and take the oath as Memphis mayor.

Cooperative efforts

Meanwhile, Wharton has asked City Council Chairman Harold Collins to consider delaying a council vote today on the five appointees the city mayor is to make to a metro charter commission. The council set today’s vote with the intention of having whomever won the Oct. 15 special election appoint members of the panel.

“I won’t be there on the 20th. … I’m seeing if they are in a position to put it off until I’m actually over there,” Wharton told The Daily News, as he has had attorneys researching if a council vote in November would meet timelines for such an effort set out in state law.

“I believe that they may be able to meet on Nov. 3,” Wharton said.

Wharton has already named the 10 appointees to be made by the Shelby County mayor to the panel. The County Commission approved all 10 earlier this month.

While it appears he will make the other five, Wharton said he will ask the council, through Collins, to effectively pick the five nominees, whom Wharton would then send to the council as his appointees.

“I chose all 10 over here, which I had to do by law. If I could find some way around it that passed legal muster, then I would do that,” he said. “But we’ve researched it and I know of no way in which the city mayor can say … ‘I’m not going to do that.’ You can’t transfer it.”

Wharton and Lowery were to discuss the matter at a meeting Monday afternoon. Lowery told The Daily News he had received no suggested appointees from council members, but would be willing to submit names the council wants on the charter commission.

...

81. Commission to Appeal Second Juvenile Court Judgeship -

The battle over more than one Juvenile Court judge is on its way to the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Shelby County Commissioners voted this week to appeal an earlier ruling by the Tennessee Appeals Court to the high court. The Supreme Court could choose to hear the case or deny the request for an appeal, which would leave the appeals court ruling in place.

82. August Pending Home Sales Rise to 2 1/2-Year High -

WASHINGTON (AP) - Aspiring homebuyers rushed to take advantage of a tax credit for first-time owners that expires in November, driving up the number of signed sales contracts for the seventh straight month in August.

83. Carpenter Presents Single-Source Plan With 12-Cent County Tax Hike -

Shelby County Commissioner Mike Carpenter has proposed a four year transition to single-source local education funding that would mean two county property tax hikes totaling 12 cents, a city of Memphis property tax reduction and $34 million more in funding for Shelby County schools.

84. City Closer to Erasing Public Housing -  

On paper they’re called mixed-finance properties. A smaller front in the city’s 10-year effort to change the face of public housing in Memphis, they are the sites of four smaller public housing projects in different parts of the city, ranging from 100 units to nearly 300.

This week, city leaders and others cut the ribbon on the new Austin Park Place development in Southeast Memphis. The development of 71 new rental homes including 68 duplex units is built on the site of the old Horn Lake Heights public housing development.

Housing and Community Development director Robert Lipscomb called it “another step in our journey to get rid of public housing.”

“We’re almost there. We only have a few more sites to go before we can eliminate the words ‘public housing’ from our vocabulary,” he told a crowd of 50 people in a tent at the newly built intersection of Latrobe and Leclare drives. “Wouldn’t that be great?”

Eradication effort

Lipscomb recalled the old 80-unit townhouse project that was the site of a 1998 firebombing that killed three children and one adult in a townhouse packed with eleven people. Six others in the unit were injured.

“This place was firebombed. … I was in shock,” Lipscomb recalled. “We’ve gone from firebombing to rebuilding what we call public housing. It’s not public housing. It’s affordable housing.”

Construction on the $12 million project began in August 2008 after everything on the parcel of land on Horn Lake near Third Street was demolished.

The nonprofit Memphis Land Bank Inc. awarded the construction contract to City Housing LLC, a partnership between FaxonGillis Homes and Dean Tutor. The Memphis Housing Authority operates Memphis Land Bank.

Part of the development was financed with low income housing tax credits, which require the rentals to be limited to families with incomes 60 percent or less of the area’s median income. Median income in metro Memphis is $45,725, according to the most recent U.S. Census data.

The tax credit through the Tennessee Housing Development Authority (THDA) was what got SunTrust Community Capital interested, said Ellen Ward, assistant vice president at SunTrust Bank. The bank gets a tax credit against its Tennessee tax liability and the loan comes with a .5 percent interest rate.

“This is our first one. But we are entertaining taking out some permanent pieces on a few of the other properties around here. Hopefully we’ll do new ones if there is more to be done in the future,” Ward told The Daily News. “Naturally, anytime the real estate market goes down, you’ve got a little more risk on your hands. … Having the land bank and the housing authority behind it brings a lot of strength to the table.”

Journey continues

Memphis Land Bank has been one of the entities involved in the demolition of all but two of the city’s public housing projects, not counting four high-rises for senior citizens, begun during former Mayor Willie Herenton’s administration.

Cleaborn Homes and Foote Homes are the only two housing projects still standing and are part of the ambitious, 10-year, $1 billion proposal called Triangle Noir. It would demolish and replace both housing projects with mixed-use, mixed-income housing to help spark commercial and residential development in the broader south Downtown and South Memphis area.

The larger developments of 450 to 900 units were rebuilt with a mix of federal funds under the HOPE VI program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and private financing, said Molly Beard, executive director of the Memphis Land Bank.

Earlier this week, the city received another $8 million in federal funding from HOPE VI for the next phase of Legends Park, the mixed-use, mixed-income development built on the site of the old Dixie Homes housing project near the Downtown Medical Center.

The smaller developments like Austin Park Place are financed with money from a different HUD program and private financing.

‘Not giving up’

The Austin financing was a mix of $6.2 million in HUD money with $5.9 million in private funds.

For all six smaller developments, including Austin, the city has $16.2 million in HUD or public money and $44.5 million in private financing.

Tonnie Carter, a working single mother of six who now lives in the University of Memphis area, was among those who waited in line to apply to live in the new development.

Her goal was “to be someplace where you can pull in your own drive in front of your own door.”

“Five o’clock in the morning I was here with my Barney blanket, my water bottle and my muffin,” Carter said. “I think what used to be public housing is for young girls who are trying to get on their feet. I’m 35 years old. I want to be there. I want to set examples for my children. I know it’s hard but I’m not giving up.”

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85. Local Bridges to Be Reinforced Soon -

Six structurally deficient bridges in Shelby County will be replaced or repaired during the first year of the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s four-year, $350 million Better Bridges Program approved by the Legislature earlier this year.

86. Diversified Interests Keep Commercial Builders Afloat -

Fewer cranes. Fewer steel girders. Fewer concrete mixers.

Outside a handful of high-profile projects in the past year, the commercial construction market – much like its residential counterpart – has been marked by a lack of activity in Shelby County, as the tightened lending landscape crippled the industry.

87. A River Runs Through Us: Memphis’ once and future connection with the Wolf -

A cottonmouth slithers through the marsh. A wolf spider clings to a cypress tree. A white heron soars above the bottomland forest.

Paddle a canoe down the Ghost River section of the Wolf River in Fayette County and you’ll travel through multiple, distinct ecosystems teeming with wildlife. But while animal sightings convey the true spirit of the Wolf, only one creature – the elusive “river rat” – can verbalize why this river and its wetland corridor are so important.

88. FedEx Company Anticipates Recovery With Expansion -

At a time when many companies are putting the brakes on large-scale projects, FedEx Global Supply Chain Services Inc. is undertaking a $1 million expansion and renovation of its warehouse at 5025 Tuggle Road in Oakhaven/Parkway Village, a facility it will fully occupy once the work is complete.

89. AP Analysis: Economic Stress Up In Much of Nation -

California, Michigan and South Carolina suffered the most financial pain in May as unemployment, home foreclosures and bankruptcies rose, according to The Associated Press’ monthly analysis of economic stress in more than 3,100 U.S. counties.

90. Collier Lincoln Mercury Dealership Sold Back to Bank -

2177 Covington Pike
Memphis, TN 38128
Sale Amount: $2.5 Million

Sale Date: May 22, 2009
Buyer: First Tennessee Bank NA
Seller: LaToya L. Williams, substitute trustee

91. FedEx Warehouse Slated for Renovation -

The FedEx Global Supply Chain Services Inc. warehouse at 5025 Tuggle Road in Oakhaven/Parkway Village will undergo a $1 million renovation, according to a building permit filed with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement. The owner of the building, The Harbin Group, filed the permit last week.

92. Next Stop: Norfolk Southern’s intermodal plans take shape -

The freight trains that rumble through Memphis are hard to ignore, especially the ones that parallel or bisect main thoroughfares and disrupt traffic. But even people who don’t cross railroad tracks during their commutes are likely to hear the distant blare of horns at some point during the day as locomotives make their way into and out of the city.

93. Neuvo Salon Files Permit For New East Memphis Location -

5158 Wheelis Drive
Memphis, TN 38117
Permit Amount: $712,367

Project Cost: $712,367
Permit Date: Applied May 2009
Completion: March 2010
Owner: Neuvo Salon
Tenant: Neuvo Salon
Contractor: Construction Solutions LLC
Architect: Thoda and Associates PLLC

94. Mud Island Apartments to Bolster Existing Condos -

It took a tax break from the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. to get the project going, but construction of Grand Island, a $19 million, 204-unit apartment complex slated for Mud Island, got the green light this week and will commence in November.

95. Lifeblood Might Seek New Building -

Memphians may want to consider building a new Mid-South Regional Blood Center that can withstand earthquakes as Lifeblood begins a strategic planning process to set priorities for the next three to five years.

96. Senior-Living ‘Dream’ Moves Forward In Millington -

Barret Oaks, an ambitious $40 million mixed-use senior living development, will soon be under way on a 47-acre cotton field in Millington more than a year after its creators envisioned the concept.

97. ‘Beige Book’ Bleak On Memphis Construction -

Construction faces a challenging environment in this region, according to the Federal Reserve Bank’s “Beige Book” released this week.

98. $4.5M Ice Arena Coming to Cordova -

An ownership group called Memphis Ice Arena LLC plans to bring a $4.5 million, 65,000-square-foot ice arena to the city in 2009, ending a six-year drought without a public ice rink.

99. Soden Says Graceland Expansion Plans Still Afoot -

Graceland turns on the most famous Christmas lights in rock ‘n’ roll this evening in Whitehaven, and country music star Martina McBride will be in Graceland Plaza to throw the switch on the rows of blue lights.

100. Motel Developers Meet Different Fates With Council -

As a whole, the Memphis City Council over the last several years usually has responded to development applications for new motels in the inner city with a mix of incredulity, skepticism and pointed questions for developers.