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VOL. TMN-11 | NO. 33 | Saturday, August 18, 2018
Weekly Issue

Firestone Fallout

Once employing 7,000, impact of closed plant still felt in North Memphis community.

The red letters grow fainter as the years pass in North Memphis. The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. plant’s smokestack, once a symbol of the industrial base that defined North Memphis, has become a different kind of symbol in the 35 years since the tire plant closed.

EMPHASIS Commercial Real Estate

Poag Shopping Centers Sharpening Focus with Smith’s Promotion

Now in its sixth year, Poag Shopping Centers is fine-tuning its operations strategy in response to a slowing retail development landscape over the past couple of years.

New Life

Harmony Plaza follows trend of re-creating old retail centers

By this time next year, the formerly blighted Frayser Plaza will become Harmony Plaza, with Memphis STEM Academy as its anchor tenant and 100 percent occupancy. It’s part of a new trend of transforming out-of-date retail shopping centers into mixed-use, walkable concepts.

University District Set To Begin 1st Phase Of TIF Fund Improvements

It’s been about two years since the Highland Strip TIF was first created by local development officials to improve public infrastructure in the area surrounding the University of Memphis.

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EVENTS

The National Civil Rights Museum’s 2018 Drop the Mic Poetry Slam takes place Saturday, Aug. 18, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Paradise Entertainment Center, 645 Georgia Ave. Qualifying poets and spoken word artists in three age categories will compete for cash prizes in the slam, which is themed “Freedom Forward.” Free and open to the public. Visit civilrightsmuseum.org/drop-the-mic to RSVP.

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ServiceMaster Lends Helping Hand with Annual We Care Day

For ServiceMaster employee Betsy Vincent, there’s a special emotion associated with giving back to her local community.

2019 Memphis In May Festival to Honor City's Bicentennial

For the first time in its 42-year history, the month-long Memphis in May International Festival will depart in 2019 from its tradition of honoring a country and promoting trade ties with that country.

Memphis-Born Aretha Franklin Dies; Queen of Soul was 76

Aretha Franklin, who cast the first sounds from her wonderful voice in a South Memphis house, died Thursday, Aug. 16, at her home in Detroit, her publicist confirmed. She was 76. Her longtime publicist, Gwendolyn Quinn, said the legendary singer died from advanced pancreatic cancer. Earlier this week, word emerged that Ms. Franklin was in hospice care. 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

As Expected, Study Shows Memphis Lags Behind Peer Cities in Economic Development

Greater Memphis Chamber leaders say they’re moving aggressively to improve economic development efforts after a new study confirmed what they already suspected: that Memphis and Shelby County are at a serious competitive disadvantage to a number of peer communities.

REAL ESTATE

Why Local One Commerce Square Owners Are Selling to Out-of-State Investors

After successfully renovating the 29-story iBank Tower in Downtown Memphis, the work is done for a group of prominent Memphis investors as they prepare to sell the office building to a new owner with deeper pockets.

TRANSPORTATION & LOGISTICS

University of Memphis Commercial Aviation Degree Takes Flight This Fall

After a three-year process, the University of Memphis is partnering with a local flight school to offer a Bachelor of Science in Commercial Aviation this fall. When U of M Provost Karen Weddle West went before the Tennessee Higher Education Commission for approval in July, she highlighted a “strong letter of support” from Fred Smith.

$161M in Contracts Awarded for Makeover of Memphis International Airport’s Concourse B

Memphis International Airport’s $245 million makeover of B Concourse marched toward a September construction launch Thursday with approval of $161 million in related contracts that will create thousands of jobs.

GOVERNMENT

Mayor Strickland Hopes County Supports MATA

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland meets with Shelby County Mayor-elect Lee Harris this week as Harris’ transition team is assembled and begins working toward him taking office Sept. 1.

Commission Delays Quinn Road Development After Collierville Opposition

Shelby County commissioners delayed a vote on a proposed a 500-plus home development on Quinn Road – in unincorporated Shelby County just south of Collierville – during their meeting Monday, Aug. 13.  

SNAPSHOT

Graceland Day of Love

Ten couples whose love was inspired by Elvis, whether on a visit to Graceland or during a previous Elvis Week, were invited to renew their vows at Graceland's new Chapel in the Woods. The ceremony on Monday, Aug. 13, gathered couples who had met, been married, or were engaged at Graceland.

RESTAURANT NEWS

Restaurant Iris Reopens; Permit Pulled for Former Windjammer Space

After a nearly three-month renovation, Restaurant Iris will re-open Aug. 22 with a new menu, a new interior, and a chef/owner entering a new chapter in his life.

Grisanti Son Opening Restaurant Inspired by Father

Judd Grisanti is just a few short weeks away from opening a restaurant that moves him to tears almost every time he talks about it.

SNAPSHOT

Lining Up for Elvis

Fans gathered Wednesday night, Aug. 15, to pay homage to Elvis Presley during the annual candlelight vigil at Graceland. Thousands of people from around the world travel to Memphis every year to celebrate the King of Rock 'n' Roll and to commemorate his death in 1977. 

GREEN

Riverline to Make ‘Big Jump’ South of Crump

The Riverline bike and pedestrian trail along the Mississippi River’s edge will be jumping to Crump Boulevard into South Memphis.

LAW & THE COURTS

Retiring Stephen Bush Supports DOJ Continuing to Monitor Juvenile Court

Stephen Bush, the chief public defender for Shelby County, said he supports the U.S. Department of Justice continued oversight over Juvenile Court, becoming the latest official to weigh in on the hotly debated issue.

THE TIPPING POINT

Sherica Hymes Fulfills Childhood Dream to Own Her Own Business

Recognizing and seizing opportunity is what Sherica Hymes has built a career – and a new business – on. It takes a tremendous amount of self-awareness and bravery to abandon an idea that isn’t working, but for Hymes, there is no other way to succeed.

VIEW FROM THE HILL

TNReady Testing Patience of All Concerned

If Clint Eastwood were to make to a sequel of “The Outlaw Josey Wales,” state Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver could play Granny Hawkins because of her penchant for blunt language.

SPORTS

Small Moves, Significant Results?

Mike Conley Likes Grizzlies’ Offseason Moves , Says Marc Gasol Does, Too

As the Memphis Grizzlies recently unveiled their new uniforms in a special event at FedExForum, there was a large image of Mike Conley – noted NBA fashion plate – modeling the new threads. Asked what he thought, Conley smiled and said: “In my personal opinion, I think I look great.”

USL Memphis Coach Tim Mulqueen Embraces Expansion Challenge

Let’s get the hard part out of the way first, the thing that might make you resistant to welcoming your first USL Memphis head coach. Tim Mulqueen is a rabid New York Knicks fan. Yes, the same team that now employs former Grizzlies coach David Fizdale.

Slot Payoff? Anthony Miller Could Be Just That For Chicago

Pretty much everyone seems to believe the Chicago Bears got a steal when they selected University of Memphis wideout Anthony Miller No. 51 overall in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Kirby Smart, Georgia Pledge Past Won’t Hurt Immediate Future

Georgia’s Kirby Smart will never forget second-and-26. How can he? But a lot of great things happened before that 26-23 loss in overtime to Alabama and mentor Nick Saban in the National Championship Game, including the overtime win against Oklahoma in the national semifinals and beating Auburn in the SEC title game.

Rookie Receiver Deontay Burnett Younger Than Titans Name

Deontay Burnett is so young that, to anyone’s knowledge, he is the first player to wear a Tennessee Titans uniform who was born after the team played its first game in the Volunteer State.

THE PRESS BOX

Now More than Ever, Tigers’ Riley Patterson Says There is No Other Option

Long after the football had landed outside the goal posts, those missed field goals in the American Athletic Conference title game kept kicking around inside Riley Patterson’s head.

MEMPHIS NEWSMAKERS

Newsmakers: Aug. 15, 2018

Joseph W. Smith, associate attorney at Rice, Amundsen & Caperton PLLC, has been selected as an associate member in the Leo S. Bearman Sr. American Inn of Court. Smith was nominated and voted by the Masters of the Inn. He began his legal career at Rice, Amundsen & Caperton as a runner during his undergraduate studies at the University of Memphis and continued as a law clerk while attending the U of M Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. He joined the firm as an attorney in May 2016 and focuses his practice on all aspects of domestic relations, including divorce, custody, support and adoption.

LOCAL COLUMNISTS

A Tasteful List 2018

MEMPHIS BY THE BITE: Presenting the Tasteful List 2018 – alphabetical local favorites in one decidedly local man’s opinion. Most of the following should come with a gym membership and a warning from the American Heart Association, bless their hearts. Show some restraint; don’t try all of these over the weekend.

When You Max Out Your 401(k)

Ray’s Take: According to Bloomberg, only 41 percent of workers are saving in a 401(k) at the 79 percent of American companies that offer a plan to their employees. So if you are one of the 41 percent of Americans contributing to a 401(k), good work. And if you are contributing the maximum amount, which was $18,500 for 2018, you’re even better off, and certainly making progress towards a better retirement.

Labor Day Getaways From Memphis

In all of the Labor Days I’ve experienced – I’m 41 so it’s more than a few – I’ve only traveled overnight once. It was in 2015 for a friend’s wedding in Cincinnati.

Why Company Reviews Matter

Every once in a while, I’m talking to a job seeker when something happens that I’m not expecting. It’s especially surprising with the job seeker doesn’t currently have a job and is unemployed.

How to Build Brand with Instagram

Instagram isn’t just selfies and vacation photos. Eighty percent of Instagram users follow at least one brand, reports AdWeek. That doesn’t mean you should jump on the Insta bandwagon without a plan. Before you post your first #picoftheday, you need to define your strategy.

Building on Momentum

Though I did not move to Memphis from New Orleans until 2005, I consider myself a proud Memphian.

Fundraising and Awareness

Should a nonprofit invest in marketing, communications and public relations activities? Should desperately needed funds be “diverted” to non-mission-critical tasks? What about the allocation of time: should board members and an organization’s paid leaders schedule time to focus on building awareness for the organization? Our answer is yes. Here’s what we have learned through our work with nonprofits.

Conscious Innovation a Necessity

Readers of this column understand how the role of business itself is morphing. Technology has met customer preference and disrupted many categories. Think of Airbnb, Lyft and Uber, as well as UberEats. Look at the unimaginable growth of Apple and Amazon. Examine, too, the function of innovation as a formal discipline and the rise of Conscious Capitalism.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 80 401 13,843
MORTGAGES 99 439 16,005
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 19 63 2,202
BUILDING PERMITS 233 998 28,755
BANKRUPTCIES 49 276 8,926
BUSINESS LICENSES 23 136 4,701
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 23 141 5,534
MARRIAGE LICENSES 15 88 2,982

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