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VOL. TMN-7 | NO. 28 | Saturday, July 5, 2014
Weekly Issue

‘Significant Headwinds’

Office market stagnant while retail, multifamily and industrial sectors improving

When Gov. Bill Haslam joined local economic development and civic officials at FedExForum in January to announce that Conduit Global would open a call center in Shelby County that would employ 1,000 people over the next three to five years, it provided a much-needed boost to the local office real estate sector.

Editorial: Time for City, County Residency Standard

We have a residency problem.

Sharky's Closes Following Chapter 11

Sharky’s Gulf Grill, an upscale seafood establishment in East Memphis, has closed its doors.

Armstrong Confirms Blue Flu, Wharton Seeks Alternatives

More than 400 Memphis police officers called in sick during the Fourth of July holiday week in what Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong acknowledged Sunday, July 6, is most likely an organized work slowdown by officers upset over cuts in health insurance benefits.

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THE MEMPHIS NEWS ALMANAC

July 4-10: This week in Memphis history

2013: Construction was poised to begin on the $33.5 million expansion and renovation of Methodist University Hospital’s new emergency department.

Armstrong Rules Commission Can Weigh Brooks' Residency

Chancellor Kenny Armstrong ruled Thursday, July 3, that the Shelby County Commission can take up the question Monday, July 7, of whether Commissioner Henri Brooks lives in the district she represents.

Poplar Plaza to Undergo Renovation

The venerable Poplar Plaza shopping center at Poplar Avenue and Highland Street near the University of Memphis is slated to undergo a second facelift.

Problem Solvers

CBRE Memphis team helps properties function during redevelopment

Rick Smith is director of property management for Finard Properties, the commercial real estate firm that owns and manages properties such as the landmark Poplar Plaza shopping center at Poplar Avenue and Highland Street.

Club Crave Property Sees New Activity

A nightclub developer known for projects in Hollywood and the recent Fly Lounge at FedExForum has plans for the old Club Crave property on the northeast corner of Fourth and Beale streets.

Mobile Services Increasingly Expected of Banks

The mobile race is on among Memphis financial institutions, with banks rolling out apps that allow banking on the go and a full range of capabilities that translate the brick-and-mortar banking experience to small digital screens.

Different Pension Path Possible in Council Delay

Memphis City Council members are looking at hybrid pension plans for city employees that could have separate terms for police officers and firefighters and enroll all other city employees in the Social Security plan.

Still Rock ‘n’ Roll

Hard Rock Cafe blends mix of artifacts at new Beale Street digs

When Jeff Nolan, the Hard Rock Café’s music and memorabilia historian, got to Memphis Sunday, June 29, to prepare for the next day’s preview tours of the new Hard Rock location at Beale and Second streets, he grabbed a bite to eat at nearby Rum Boogie Café.

Cohen Touts Labor Union Endorsements

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, rolled out endorsements Monday, June 30, from much of the leadership of local labor unions in his re-election campaign.

Medical Device Accelerator Prepares for Demo Day

Teams participating in ZeroTo510, Memphis’ medical device accelerator program, are gearing up to show the new technologies they’ve devised to investors in a bid for follow-on funding next month.

Memphis Bar Reveals Judicial Candidate Poll

All but three of the 24 local judicial incumbents on the Aug. 7 ballot came out on top in the Memphis Bar Association poll of judicial candidates released Monday, June 30.

University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Le Bonheur Form Pediatric Obesity Center

Doctors like to go where they are needed.

Gastro One Forms New Practice

Gastro One and Memphis Gastroenterology Group have merged, creating the largest gastroenterology practice in the Memphis Metro area.

Connected Home

Memphis company brings automation, connectivity to clients’ houses

When he founded Memphis-based Phoenix Unequaled Home Entertainment 20 years ago, Scott Fuelling couldn’t have predicted the degree to which consumers eventually would embrace the concept of the connected home.

Timing Key Element of County Tax Rate Debate

More funding from Shelby County government for prekindergarten classrooms is a matter of timing, say those on both sides of the property tax rate question on which the $2.8 million in additional funding hinges.

Veterans Town Hall Mirrors Washington Frustration

Depending on how you look at it, a group of 300 frustrated local veterans last week either got a look at the “corrosive” culture of the Department of Veterans Affairs or a look at change in progress.

Downtown Officials Launch ‘Scoop the Poop’ Campaign

Downtown Memphis has overcome obstacle after obstacle as it re-emerged from the ashes of suburban flight and urban renewal.

Palazzolo Opens Run for Germantown Mayor

So far, Germantown Alderman Mike Palazzolo has no opposition in his bid to become the next mayor of Germantown in the Nov. 4 elections.

Curtain Up

Hattiloo debuts $3.3 million Overton Square theater

Ekundayo Bandele could have gone for the standard opening ceremony for the new Hattiloo Theatre in Overton Square – a single ceremony with perhaps some theater, a couple of speeches and a ribbon-cutting.

Paragon Bank Celebrates Record 2013

At Paragon Bank’s annual shareholders’ meeting this month, the bank’s leadership team could be forgiven for brimming with confidence.

Baker’s Career Mirrored State’s Political Story

As the week begins, political leaders of both parties and across several generations will gather in East Tennessee for the funeral of former U.S. Sen. Howard Baker.

Baptist Hires Pediatric Surgeon for New Unit

It’s difficult to imagine giving up an address that includes the words “Gulf Breeze” and a view of Pensacola Bay.

SPORTS

Grizzlies Hope Stokes Develops Into Next Z-Bo

It’s unlikely that Jarnell Stokes was the only Memphis high school basketball player sitting in the upper reaches of FedExForum cheering on the Grizzlies and warming up to that new power forward that we all know as Z-Bo.

A Wise Sports Fan Appreciates the Journey

So what does Team USA’s soccer experience and the Memphis Grizzlies experience have in common?

MEMPHIS NEWSMAKERS

Health Choice Selects Abisch to Lead Population Health Services

Ellen Abisch has joined Health Choice LLC as senior director of population health services. In the newly created position, Abisch will be responsible for designing, implementing and managing population health and wellness programs for the Health Choice network.

REAL ESTATE RECAP

Charlotte Firm Buys Mendenhall Warehouse

4517 S. Mendenhall Road, Memphis, TN 38141, Sale Amount: $1.4 million -
An affiliate of Charlotte, N.C.-based real estate development firm The Keith Corp. has paid $1.4 million for the 14,650-square-foot warehouse at 4517 S. Mendenhall Road in Hickory Hill.

SMALL BUSINESS

BuzzFree Mosquito Keeps Properties Free of Pests

Lisa Thomas was well-aware of how relentless the mosquitoes could be. For several years, her family lived in the Mississippi Delta.

LOCAL COLUMNISTS

Light and Dark

WHEN STORIES ARE TOLD IN THE DARK, LEAVE A LIGHT ON. As I watch what leads the local TV news – basically a visual evening recap of whatever that day’s monitoring of police scanners and chasing sirens can produce – and what passes for TV reporting – basically an evening twist to whatever might be salacious or sensational in that morning’s paper – I wonder if all of our better angels have left town.

Giving Your Child Independence

Parents of newly minted graduates have all heard about it: the “Boomerang Generation.” According to Pew Research Center, It’s estimated that some 45 percent of college graduates between the ages of 18 and 24 are living at home with family. If you are a parent, you may be wondering what you can do to give your children the gift of independence on this Fourth of July.

Second-Quarter Scoreboards

With central bank stimulus offsetting moribund economic data and geopolitical depressants, this market continues its low volume, low volatility ways. With the absence of news and trading strategies capturing our attention at the moment, let’s take a look back at the second quarter and identify the winners and losers.

Vacation Home – Is It Time to Buy?

Ray’s take: It’s summertime and the vacation season is upon us. Sometimes, it sounds wonderful to own a beach or mountain getaway. Many Americans share that same dream – a “summer place” to enjoy and perhaps pass down through the generations.

Toddler Update

A recent weekend found Uncle Vic traversing the road between Little Rock and the South Mississippi hometown of great-nephew R.P. The subject of an I Swear column in January of last year, R.P. will soon be 18 months old.

10 Deadly Sins of Email Marketing

Part one in a two-part series. Data released last year by a research firm called Return Path cites that the average individual receives more than 400 commercial emails per month – emails from businesses selling products and services versus email from colleagues, friends or family.

Compromise, Relationships and Faith

Part three of a three-part series. Securing $58 million for a senior housing project is not easy. Cathy Davis, executive director of Bayview Hunters Point Multipurpose Senior Services Inc. (BHPMSS) in California speaks eloquently about compromise and engaging with the political system.

Business Becomes Human

After sifting through 20-plus in-depth consumer narratives of their condition, an R&D scientist said to me, “We need to always begin new product development projects this way.”

Pledging Our Allegiance

The Pledge of Allegiance, just 31 words, is an encounter with wisdom from the past, taking us from what we hold, to what holds us. It is memorized, recited and ingrained into our daily lives.

Armstrong Tallies 181 Cops Out Sick for Fourth

Memphis police brass count 181 police officers who have called in sick during the Fourth of July holiday week, according to a Saturday, July 5, statement from Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 32 344 10,222
MORTGAGES 52 452 13,327
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 30 106 2,644
BUILDING PERMITS 0 783 24,307
BANKRUPTCIES 60 359 9,892
BUSINESS LICENSES 23 133 3,736
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 76 595 14,558
MARRIAGE LICENSES 23 104 3,167

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