VOL. TMN-11 | NO. 15 | Saturday, April 14, 2018
Baseball returns to AutoZone Park, but professional soccer not far behind
These days, Craig Unger calls himself the “corporate guy.” After all, he is now president of both the Memphis Redbirds and the United Soccer League (USL) team that will share AutoZone Park with the St. Louis Cardinals’ Triple-A club beginning in 2019.
USL Memphis has acquired Memphis City FC and will operate it as a Premier Development League (PDL) franchise starting with the 2018 PDL season, with the first match set for Saturday, May 12.
Sports equipment manufacturer Franklin Sports Inc., pharmacy services provider Enclara Pharmacia Inc. and petroleum distributor OMO Energy & Technology Inc. will all make their cases for tax incentives when the Economic Development Growth Engine meets Wednesday, April 18.
The hugs, the handshakes, the slaps on the back, the big smiles and loud, lengthy applause. All things normally saved in the golf world for that moment when a 75-foot eagle putt settles in the bottom of the hole.
Raymond James & Associates Inc., the name tenant of the Raymond James building at 50 North Front St., is suing its landlord at the building over elevator problems in a lawsuit first filed in Chancery Court in February that has since been transferred to Memphis federal court.
Some details in the recently released draft for a reconfiguration of the Memphis Area Transit Authority bus system will likely change before the plan becomes final. After that, the issue is whether a lack of funding will put the brakes on the plan before it can be implemented.
EMPHASIS Residential Real Estate
HelloHome. That’s the new name of a 3-year-old real estate technology platform that founder Jessica Buffington is tweaking to improve customer experience.
Though the Memphis City Council on Tuesday, April 10, granted Cooper-Young the historic overlay district status it has been seeking since last year, there is still a sense of concern among many of the residents.
Memphis real estate firm Marx-Bensdorf Realtors is celebrating a storied 150 years of business this year and looking back at the core values that have contributed to their longevity in an ever-changing industry.
THE MEMPHIS NEWS ALMANAC
1968: Striking Memphis sanitation workers vote to accept a pay raise of 15 cents an hour from the city, ending their strike after 64 days. Ten cents of the raise will go into effect in May, with the other 5 cents being added on Sept. 1.
The final design for the expansion of Memphis Zoo parking will move the entrance to zoo parking further north of where the tentative design earlier this year put it. And the final plan announced Thursday, April 12, by Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland will move 37 parking spaces on the north side of the Prentiss Drive entrance off McLean and create a 3-foot-high berm that eliminates any pedestrian walkway entrances between the zoo parking and the Overton Park Greensward.
More than 300 government, economic development and community leaders will gather at the third annual RegionSmart Summit this month to discuss some of the Mid-South’s biggest planning issues.
GOVERNMENT & POLITICS
Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell probably won’t follow the city’s blueprint for funding universal prekindergarten in Shelby County.
Three incumbent Democratic state House members in the Shelby County delegation to the Tennessee Legislature were effectively re-elected Thursday, April 5, at the noon deadline for candidates in the Aug. 2 state and federal primaries to file their qualifying petitions.
Memphis City Council members gave final approval Tuesday, April 10, to a historical overlay district for Cooper-Young – the first historic district status granted by the city in 20 years.
Early voting in the first of three 2018 elections in Shelby County opens Wednesday at 21 sites across the county and runs through April 26.
Eight years and counting since he resigned as mayor of Memphis, Willie Herenton says he has heard the discussions about the city’s economic stagnation when it comes to growing black prosperity and wealth. Especially the part about how that remains the case despite having “black leadership.”
2018 TENNESSEE ELECTIONS
The 2018 elections are shaping up. The filing deadlines have passed, and most candidates are busy raising money and spending what they have already raised and/or borrowed to tell Tennesseans why they should vote for them and why they shouldn’t vote for those other folks.
The spread of opioid abuse claimed over 1,600 lives in Tennessee in 2016, and it is getting worse. Methamphetamine abuse, while not getting the headlines, has increased. Gun violence and murder is increasing. What proposals do our candidates have to help Tennesseans address these public safety issues?
The race for the U.S. Senate seat in Tennessee got much closer to becoming the two-candidate contest Democratic and Republican leaders have already decided it is.
Health care patients often need as much care and coaching on their nutrition, fitness, or mental health as they may need in dealing with a chronic disease or injury.
When Dr. Steven Goodman, vice chancellor for research at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, arrived at the college more than two years ago, his ambition was to launch a statewide clinical trials network.
NASHVILLE – Buoyed by Bible verses and compromise giving liquor stores a head start on Sunday sales, legislation allowing grocery stores to sell wine on Sundays passed the Senate Wednesday on a 17-11 vote.
NASHVILLE – One of Gov. Bill Haslam’s main legislative pushes ran afoul of a Legislature angry about everything from Sex Week at the University of Tennessee to the handling of the football coach hiring at the Knoxville campus.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
‘Too Hot to Handel’ not your grandfather’s ‘Messiah’
Twenty-five years after its premier at Lincoln Center, “Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah” is coming to The Orpheum Theatre with its 40-piece orchestra, 100-member choir and renowned soloists. Just the name of the show inspires a new way of thinking about what George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah” traditionally has been, but also could be.
REAL ESTATE & DEVELOPMENT
On a barely two-lane road in Orange Mound, neighbors were taking a look Monday, April 9, at a new duplex on Ethel Street.
477 S. Main St., Memphis, TN 38103 -
The developers of a 62-room Arrive Hotel planned for the former Memphis College of Art graduate school at 477 S. Main St. are seeking approval from the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. for a change of ownership and timeline extension.
Memphis housing market sees record-breaking first quarter
With one quarter in the books, the Memphis-area housing market appears to be on pace for yet another record-breaking year. The average home sales price for the first three months of 2018 rose to $159,274, which is the highest first-quarter amount on record, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, chandlerreports.com.
When Financial Federal executive vice president John Loebel looks at the local mortgage market, he has a straightforward assessment: If you want to buy a home, buy it now.
TRANSPORTATION & LOGISTICS
Consultants mapping a reconstruction of the city’s bus system are suggesting $30 million more a year in annual city funding for the system and a shift of bus service so that 70 percent of the routes have a higher frequency, reducing wait times during peak hours on major north-south and east-west corridors.
Rev. James Lawson, the architect of nonviolent resistance who counseled Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on it, walked in a circle last week around the new “I Am A Man” bronze and stainless steel sculpture. As he walked with his head down, still and video photographers scrambled for the best angle to capture the seminal strategist of the civil rights era, seemingly deep in thought.
THE TIPPING POINT
Kunal Shalia, newly armed with a graduate degree in industrial engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, had a choice to make. He could stay within the sphere of the Bay Area and his native home of San Jose, where he had friends, family and the community that only your original stomping grounds can provide – or he could completely remove himself from everything familiar and start anew.
On the occasion of the home opener for the reigning Pacific Coast League champion Memphis Redbirds at AutoZone Park, new Memphis basketball coach Penny Hardaway was given the honor of throwing out the first pitch. Predictably, he received a standing ovation just for walking out to the pitching mound.
The last game of a season is like the last chapter of a book. You need it, even if it’s not very good and you already know how things turn out.
I find the culture shift of Tennessee football under new head coach Jeremy Pruitt this spring to be refreshing.
Robert Pera will keep controlling interest in the Memphis Grizzlies. Pera informed Grizzlies MVP season ticket holders of his decision in an email Monday night and the team subsequently distributed a short press release announcing Pera’s decision but offering no details, except to say that Pera also had notified the NBA.
Fisher Phillips has appointed David S. Jones regional managing partner of its Memphis office. Jones, who has 18 years’ law experience, represents clients exclusively in immigration-related employment and compliance matters, and that will continue to be his primary focus as regional managing partner. In addition, he will oversee development of the office, attorneys and staff, and will play a greater role in the management of Fisher Phillips as a whole as a member of the operations group. Jones takes the reins from Jeff Weintraub, who served in the role for six years, as part of a routine leadership rotation.
VIEW FROM THE HILL
Just when you think the Tennessee Legislature is going off the deep end, someone will throw them a bungee cord. Maybe a rope made out of hemp would work better because a bungee cord leaves people bouncing, never quite reeling them in.
HOWARD AND BILL. One of my first columns was this very Memphis story. It’s time to tell it again.
Ray’s Take: What do Mike Tyson, Curt Schilling, Marvin Gaye, Francis Ford Coppola and Meat Loaf all have in common?
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life,” Steve Jobs once said, “and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
I recently had the opportunity to attend South by Southwest (sxsw.com) in Austin, Texas, for the first time. If you’ve never been, SXSW is a giant festival in downtown Austin that draws in thousands of people. Founded in 1987, SXSW has boasted an economic impact to Austin of over $300 million in past years.
In years past, plenty of brands adopted a “set it and forget it” email-automation mentality. Once a marketing email was released, it became a distant memory.
In today’s world, the 40-hour workweek may seem old-fashioned. Employees work remotely, answer emails on mobile devices anytime, and fewer workers clock in at nine and clock out at five. While the business climate evolves, the overtime requirement set forth in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) remains consistent: non-exempt employees must receive overtime pay – “time-and-a-half” – for any time worked beyond 40 hours in a workweek. This raises the important and complicated question, “Which employees are exempt?”
A special column for executive directors and college presidents. “I guess I’ll have to do it myself. I can’t depend on anyone. People say they want to help, but...”
Talk about nothing wasted. Behold the founding story, which reads more like a creation myth, of Poo-Pourri.