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Editorial Results (free)

1. Digest -

Memphis Grizzlies Suffer 15th Consecutive Loss

The Grizzlies lost their 15th straight game, 119-110 at Chicago, on Wednesday, March 7.

The team has not won since defeating the Phoenix Suns at FedExForum on Jan. 29.

2. Events -

Novel will host Otis Sanford for a discussion and signing of “From Boss Crump to King Willie: How Race Changed Memphis Politics” Monday, Oct. 2, at 6 p.m. at the bookstore, 387 Perkins Road Extended. Visit novelmemphis.com.

3. Events -

The Junior League of Memphis will hold an Antiques on the Lawn Sale Saturday, Sept. 30, starting at 9 a.m. at the Community Resource Center, 3475 Central Ave. Items for sale include fine furniture, china, crystal, rugs, collectibles, artwork, cookware and more; all proceeds benefit JLM’s Repeat Boutique. Visit jlmemphis.org.

4. Last Word: Kustoff at Rotary, Royal's Vibe and The Terms of MEMPOWER -

The investment group that renovated the Chisca resurfaced Tuesday evening with a plan for the Wonder Bread factory, vacant for the last four years. But don’t look for a return of the bread smell to the Edge area. And if you look at what has started to happen in that particular corridor since Wonder Bread shut down, the mixed-use plan has some precedent. Throw in the move to sell The Commercial Appeal property just a few blocks away and if the economy remains this good, the transformation in this area could be radical in another four years.

5. Patterson Resignation Comes as Council Examines DMC’s Role -

Terence Patterson exited the Downtown Memphis Commission last week as the Memphis City Council is about to discuss replacing or restructuring not only the DMC, but the Riverfront Development Corp.

6. Authority Sticks With DMC for Beale Street -

The Beale Street entertainment district is preparing for a Christmas parade and a New Year’s Eve celebration beyond Wednesday’s opening of the lucrative Memphis Grizzlies season.

The new year will mark a full two years that the Downtown Memphis Commission has been the interim manager of the district for the Beale Street Tourism Development Authority.

7. Beale Manager Deadline Approaches -

With just days left to apply, the Beale Street Tourism Development Authority’s search for a firm to manage the entertainment district is drawing more interest than it did in its first round.

8. Beale Manager Application Deadline Approaches -

With two weeks to apply, the Beale Street Tourism Development Authority’s search for a firm to manage the entertainment district is drawing more interest than it did in its first round.

Jeff Sanford, a consultant to the authority for the search, said 13 firms have expressed interest in the request for proposal in addition to the four companies who applied in the first round.

9. Second Beale Street RFP Opens Friday, April 15 -

A second request for proposals to manage the Beale Street Entertainment District opens Friday, April 15, with the Beale Street Tourism Development Authority taking a second round of applications.

The authority reopened the process after reviewing four applications from the first round.

10. Second Beale Street RFP Opens Friday -

A second request for proposals to manage the Beale Street Entertainment District opens Friday, April 15, with the Beale Street Tourism Development Authority taking a second round of applications.

The authority reopened the process after reviewing four applications from the first round. Those companies can reapply, and a consultant for the authority has talked with each firm about its original application.

11. Beale Authority Encounters Familiar Headwinds -

Somewhere near the beginning of the Thursday, March 17, meeting of the Beale Street Tourism Development Authority, Caren Nichol talked about how unique the entertainment district is because of its cultural and historical importance.

12. Beale Authority Reopens Management Firm Search, Draws Fire -

The Beale Street Tourism Development Authority has decided to reopen the process for finding a manager for the entertainment district, putting off the selection of a firm possibly until September.

In seeking new proposals by the end of June, the authority voted to keep the proposals from four companies the group has been reviewing for several months and allow those companies to amend their proposals if they wish.

13. Beale Street Management Firm Possibly On March Agenda -

The Beale Street Tourism Development Authority may be ready to pick a day-to-day manager for the entertainment district at its March 10 meeting.

But after meeting with leaders of the four companies who have formally applied for the job, members of the authority said last week they have a lot of information and are looking for some more detail before making a decision.

14. Last Word: The Trade, Hardaway-Todd Grudge Match and Tomato Aspic -

Jeff Green leaves the Grizzlies for the Clippers and Lance Stephenson leaves the Clippers for the Grizzlies.
That was the trade at the NBA’s Thursday afternoon deadline that caused much of Thursday’s deadline buzz as well as lots of social media reaction.
Some of the reaction was tempered by the other part, a protected lottery pick for the Grizz as well.

15. Four Beale Street Proposals Feature Different Backgrounds -

Jeff Sanford fielded inquiries from 17 or 18 companies, local and out of town, expressing some level of interest in the contract to manage the Beale Street entertainment district.

16. The Week Ahead: Jan. 11, 2016 -

How was your weekend, Memphis? Here’s our weekly rundown of local happenings you need to know about, from drones and robot research to the Grizzlies’ annual MLK symposium at the National Civil Rights Museum...

17. Hiring of New Beale Street Manager Nears -

The Beale Street Tourism Development Authority will soon know what it has to work with in selecting a firm to run the entertainment district on a day-to-day basis.

The deadline for real estate management companies to apply to the authority’s request for proposal or RFP was Friday, Dec. 18.

18. Willis Leaving Beale Authority, Lease Transfer Vote Moves to December -

Developer Archie Willis is leaving as chairman of the Beale Street Tourism Development Authority.

Willis announced his resignation from the panel Thursday, Nov. 12, at the end of the authority’s monthly meeting, its seventh since it was created in April.

19. Beale Authority Ready To Issue Manager RFP In November -

The timeline is tight. But with the city of Memphis elections done, the Beale Street Tourism Development Authority is ready to move on several fronts before the end of the year to take control of the entertainment district and hire a day-to-day property manager.

20. Beale Authority Moves Toward Management Firm -

The Beale Street Tourism Development Authority plans to hire a day-to-day real estate management firm by the end of the year.

The authority voted Thursday, Sept. 10, to move toward the hire. The next step is a request for proposal that the board is expected to vote on at its Oct. 15 meeting.

21. Beale Board Looks at 3-Month Window to Set Up Shop -

The Beale Street Tourism Development Authority is looking at a narrow three-month window to get its lease agreement with City Hall signed and, in effect, begin its work for the city and hire some kind of day-to-day manager for the entertainment district.

22. Beale Authority Wants to Talk Fee Simple Ownership Of District -

The newly appointed Beale Street Tourism Development Authority wants to talk to Memphis City Council members about a fee simple arrangement for how it would govern the entertainment district for the city.

23. Beale Street Board to Tackle District Plans, Future -

Jeff Sanford has spent much of the past five years consulting on redevelopment projects in other cities.

But Sanford – who stepped down from his post as president of the Center City Commission, now the Downtown Memphis Commission, in 2010 – hasn’t found another entertainment district comparable to Memphis’ most famous street.

24. Morris to Leave Downtown Memphis Commission -

Paul Morris will leave his post as president of the Downtown Memphis Commission late this year to become president of his family’s business, Jack Morris Auto Glass.

25. Morris Explains Why He’s Leaving Downtown Memphis Commission -

Paul Morris will leave his post as president of the Downtown Memphis Commission late this year to become president of his family’s business, Jack Morris Auto Glass.

26. ‘Alive and Well’ -

The diverse crowd that typically gathers for South Main Historic Arts District Trolley Night – from hipsters in skinny jeans to residents who enjoy the monthly celebration of their neighborhood to others drawn to see what the fuss is all about – featured several hundred ghastly additions in May.

27. South Main’s New Life -

The history of the South Main Historic Arts District is as colorful as its present-day users, an alternating rhythm of sorts in Memphis’ songbook.

The area has oscillated from its ritzy suburban roots of the 1800s to the industrial era ghost town of the 20th century and now to its current status as Downtown’s flourishing arts and boutique district and the subject of some $100 million in investment. And it’s all due to stakeholders who braved the status quo in distinguishing the southern end of the Central Business District as that funky place with an indescribable vibe.

28. ‘Memphis Enthusiast’ Ham Honored by Advertising Federation -

Phrases used to describe Cynthia Ham at the Thursday, Jan. 24, American Advertising Federation Memphis meeting included “the Memphis enthusiast,” “the art-aholic,” “the hostess/entertainer,” “a local celebrity” and even “a pushy broad.”

29. ‘Memphis Enthusiast’ Ham Honored by Advertising Federation -

Phrases used to describe Cynthia Ham at the Thursday, Jan. 24, American Advertising Federation Memphis meeting included “the Memphis enthusiast,” “the art-aholic,” “the hostess/entertainer,” “a local celebrity” and even “a pushy broad.”

30. Memphis Regional Design Center Has New Direction -

The Memphis Regional Design Center board of directors has decided on a new organizational path in order to build additional program capacity to serve and respond to evolving community needs.

Jeff Sanford, of Jeff Sanford Consulting and former president of the Center City Commission, has been named as the new interim leader to oversee the structural and administrative changes needed to position the center to: improve responsiveness to distinctive community needs; stabilize organizational resources; cultivate long-lasting and sustainable partnerships; and increase positive economic and social impact through quality design projects and programs.

31. Regional Design Center Reveals New Direction, Focus -

The Memphis Regional Design Center board of directors has decided on a new organizational path in order to build additional program capacity to serve and respond to evolving community needs.

Jeff Sanford, of Jeff Sanford Consulting and former president of the Center City Commission, has been named as the new interim leader to oversee the structural and administrative changes needed to position the center to: improve responsiveness to distinctive community needs; stabilize organizational resources; cultivate long-lasting and sustainable partnerships; and increase positive economic and social impact through quality design projects and programs.

32. Judge’s Ruling Moves Beale’s Future Forward -

For at least a year, a box containing copies of a report on the future of Beale Street has been in storage awaiting a settlement of the two levels of court disputes for control of the entertainment district.

33. Beale Street Blues -

Last September, a working group appointed by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. completed its work on recommendations for the future of Beale Street.

The report has been printed and boxed up – but it won’t be released until a judge settles the federal bankruptcy case embroiling the entertainment district.

34. Morris to Celebrate First Anniversary at CCC -

Among the actions A C Wharton Jr. took after his election as mayor of Memphis in October 2009 was adding then-Martin, Tate, Morrow & Marston PC attorney Paul Morris to a transition team already packed with movers and shakers.

35. Even in Liberal Bastions, GOP Sees Election Chance -

HYANNIS PORT, Mass. (AP) — In the congressional district that's home to the Kennedy family compound, a Kennedy public skating rink and a Kennedy museum, the heart of liberalism is beating uneasily.

36. Levitt Shell Adds Development Director -

Debra Czestochowski has joined Levitt Shell as the organization’s first development director.

Hometown: Macomb, Ill.
Education: B.A. in English, University of Illinois
Work experience:
More than 30 years advancing nonprofit organizations in higher education and the performing arts, including a decade with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra before joining the Levitt Shell staff.
My husband, Joseph, heads International Arts Inc., based in Chicago and Memphis. Our son, Stefan, is a professional musician preparing for medical school. He lives in Chicago.
Favorite quote:
“A good idea doesn’t care where it came from.” From Jeff Sanford, wise Memphian and fellow Midwesterner.
Who has had the greatest influence on you?
My Grandpa Kindred, who raised his siblings and built a farm for his family and was the kindest man I have known. No one could have had a more perfect surname.
What drew you to the Levitt Shell?
The irresistible opportunity to join those who have regenerated a Memphis treasure in order to build community and diversity through free music and education.
What do you consider your greatest professional accomplishments?
Reaching fundraising goals is deeply satisfying, but it is most significant to me to achieve those goals via servant leadership, which focuses on facilitating the progress of others. I thank Leadership Memphis for acquainting me with the literature in this field.
What do you most enjoy about your work?
I enjoy the creativity and commitment of those around me – staff, board and volunteers. I enjoy the expressions on the faces of those who gather for each concert. I enjoy seeing families together, children dancing and musicians absorbing the energy of the experience as they perform. An evening at the Levitt Shell is joyful. It is what this world should be.

37. Barboro Flats Set for Success -

The first residents who begin moving into Barboro Flats’ 92 apartments Thursday will find a host of amenities and urban comforts waiting for them inside the brand new five-story building at 100 South Main.

38. Sanford Wraps Up CCC Leadership -

Jeff Sanford will make his final monthly report to the Center City Commission board of directors Thursday as president and CEO of the Downtown agency, which attorney Paul Morris will take the helm of next week.

39. Former Atlanta Mayor To Highlight CCC Meeting -

Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin will be the keynote speaker at the Center City Commission’s annual luncheon.

40. CCC to Vote On Contract for New President -

The Center City Commission board of directors is scheduled to vote on a contract for the Downtown agency’s new president and CEO, Paul Morris, at the board’s meeting Friday.

41. Morris Chosen to Head CCC -

Center City Commission board members used a host of adjectives to describe Martin, Tate, Morrow & Marston PC attorney Paul Morris before naming him the Downtown agency’s new president and CEO Friday morning.

42. Memphis Attorney Paul Morris Tapped as new CCC Prez -

The Center City Commission Board of Directors chose Memphis attorney Paul Morris to be the Downtown agency's new president and CEO Friday morning.

43. CCC Names Finalists for President Post -

A field of more than 80 candidates who applied for the job of Center City Commission president and CEO has been winnowed down to three finalists.

After an intensive session of interviews with a short list of seven candidates, the CCC’s executive search committee is bringing back three for one last round of interviews with Downtown stakeholders, CCC board members and staff.

44. Two Locals Among Three Finalists for Top CCC Job -

Two Memphians are among the three finalists for the soon-to-be-open job of Center City Commission president.

Andy Kitsinger, senior vice president of planning and development for the CCC, and Paul Morris, a Memphis attorney and former CCC chairman, are in the running.

45. HF Law Group Moves East for Clients -

The HF Law Group PLLC became the most recent business to announce its move from the central business district Downtown to the eastern part of Shelby County, when it announced last week its relocation to 3257 Sarazen’s Circle.

46. Applicants Submit Resumes to Lead CCC -

A search for successors to departing Center City Commission president Jeff Sanford has generated significant local interest.

47. Applicants Submit Resumes to Head CCC -

A search for successors to departing Center City Commission president Jeff Sanford has generated significant local interest.

Out of more than 70 applicants who submitted resumes to the CCC’s executive search team, the field appears to be narrowing to around 20 people who most closely fit the job description.

48. Lasting Legacy -

His name is emblazoned on the modest sign identifying 52 S. Second St. as the home of the world-famous barbecue establishment he founded in 1948.

49. CCC Board to Receive Loan Snapshots -

The Center City Commission board of directors will meet today at noon at the CCC office, 114 N. Main St., for the board’s regular monthly meeting.

50. Center City Commission Selects Firm to Replace Sanford -

The Center City Commission board of directors Friday afternoon chose an executive search team to lead the hunt for a replacement for the CCC’s departing president.

The board chose HRS Inc. in partnership with W.G. Tucker & Associates, two Pittsburgh-based firms whose work to fill the position now occupied by Jeff Sanford begins immediately.

51. CCC Committee Seeks New President -

On tap at today’s Center City Commission board of directors meeting is a likely decision by the board on an executive search firm that will be tasked with finding a replacement for Jeff Sanford, the CCC’s soon-to-be-departing president.

52. CCC Expands Downtown Loan Program -

Downtown development officials soon may be pumping a lot more money into a grant program to strengthen the area’s office market.

Now, as much as $195,000 could be available for an individual office tenant under proposed changes to the program.

53. AIA-Memphis Returns To Downtown -

The Memphis chapter of the American Institute of Architects is joining a growing list of institutions with plans to relocate or expand Downtown.

AIA-Memphis at the end of March is leaving the temporary Midtown space it shares with Memphis Heritage Inc. to move into a storefront in Downtown’s South Main Historic Arts District. The new digs will put the chapter in a bustling retail and commercial corridor where it hopes to grab a piece of the area’s foot traffic.

54. Downtown Businesses Brace for Year Of Change -

2009 was a less-than-stellar year for Downtown Memphis based on several measures of business and financial activity.

During the past 12 months, the area saw a slump in business license and residential sales activity, rising bankruptcies and a spike in foreclosures.

55. CCC Search Firm Request Deadline Approaches -

Responses to the Center City Commission board of directors’ request for qualifications to help find a replacement for outgoing CCC president Jeff Sanford are due in a little more than two weeks.

56. Search Under Way For Center City Head -

A search committee of Center City Commission officials will meet next month to talk about the first step in finding a replacement for the Downtown agency’s departing president.

Jeff Sanford – who has been with the CCC for about 12 years – is hanging up his hat July 1. After he steps down, Sanford plans to establish a consulting practice that focuses on city building.

57. Sanford Leaving Downtown Group After 12 Years -

After 12 years with the organization, Jeff Sanford is stepping down from his position as president of the Center City Commission, the group that encourages and supports Downtown development. His resignation will be effective July 1.

58. Main Street’s ‘Big Hole’ Reaches Symbolic Milestone -

Today’s topping off ceremony for what once was a giant hole at 100 S. Main St. represents a milestone. By next summer, the property will be the site of a parking garage and 92 apartment units.

59. 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.

60. River Tower Owners to Attempt Second Condo Auction -

The owner of the River Tower at South Bluffs hopes the second time is the charm when it comes to auctioning the Downtown high rise’s unsold condominium units.

Houston-based McCord Development Inc. will hold another condo auction for the 152-unit River Tower, 655 S. Riverside Drive.

61. Ground Zero Pushes To Increase Daytime Business -

You don’t have to wait until darkness falls to walk into a juke joint, especially when the fragrance of green tomatoes frying can be smelled around lunch time at the Ground Zero Blues Club.

Natosha Huffstickler, the managing partner at the Memphis restaurant founded by actor Morgan Freeman, believes everybody needs a daily blues blast and soul food nourishing. So why wait for the weekend?

62. Foreclosed Condos Still Might Go Like Hotcakes -

Juan Sanford knows a good building when he sees one. As an architect at Looney Ricks Kiss Architects Inc., the former Downtown resident is impressed with the look and feel of the Nettleton, a four-story, 36-unit condominium building at 435 S. Front St. in the South Main Historic Arts District.

63. Direct Quotations: Center City Commission Speech -

Center City Commission President Jeff Sanford marked his 12th year as head of the Downtown development organization with a speech at the CCC’s annual meeting last month.

64. Events -

Christian Brothers University will present the fourth session of its Family Business Enrichment Series today from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in the Spain Auditorium in Buckman Hall. The topic of the lecture is “Integrating Closely Held Businesses Into Personal Financial and Investment Strategies.” For reservations, call 321-3999 or e-mail rsvp@cbu.edu.

65. CCC’s Ramped Up Incentives Target ‘Fragile’ Market -

The name of the game is feet on the street.

New and existing retail businesses Downtown, as well as office tenants who need to make physical improvements, stand to benefit from changes the Center City Commission has made to its grab bag of financial incentives.

66. CCC Adopts Grant Program To Help Downtown Office Market -

One of the Center City Commission’s affiliate boards has added a new grant program to the toolbox of tax breaks and businesses incentives offered by the Downtown development agency.

The Center City Development Corp. has created a commercial office tenant improvement program CCC president Jeff Sanford called a first of its kind for the Downtown board.

67. CCC Could Table Cars On Main Street Mall -

Center City Commission members meeting today could put to rest, at least for now, one idea for revitalizing the Main Street Mall.

The CCC board is scheduled to vote today on a recommendation from a task force to take a pass on the idea of reopening the mall to automobile traffic.

68. Task Force Defers Return of Cars to Main Street -

There may be cars once again on the stretch of Main Street between Exchange Avenue and Peabody Place. But now is not the time, according to a Center City Commission task force on the future of the Main Street Mall.

69. Impending Foreclosure Not First For Downtown Building -

The foreclosure notice filed Friday against One Commerce Square at 40 S. Main St. isn’t the first financial crisis the landmark tower has faced.

70. 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.

71. State Budgets Being Delayed by Stimulus Debate -

NEW YORK (AP) - Uncertainty over the final scope of the $800 billion-plus economic stimulus plan in Congress has delayed budget action in some states while governors and legislators wait to see how much federal relief they can expect for their cash-strapped programs.

72. Main Street’s Big Hole To Be Filled at Last -

Center City Commission president Jeff Sanford knew some developers and others doubted anything would get built anytime soon in the big hole at Gayoso Avenue and Main Street.

73. Events -

The Memphis Rotary Club will meet today at noon at the University Club of Memphis, 1346 Central Ave. Mayor Willie W. Herenton will speak on the “State of the City.” Lunch is $18 per person and reservations are required. For reservations, e-mail Taylor Hughes at taylor@memphisrotary.org.

74. Events -

The Center City Revenue Finance Corp. will meet Tuesday at 9 a.m. at the Center City Commission office, 114 N. Main St. The agenda will include a request of Linden Yards LLC for approval of payment of closing fees in phases in connection with a PILOT agreement for property at 680, 708 and 713 Linden Ave. For more information, call Andy Kitsinger at 575-0540.

75. CCDC to Discuss Loan Extension -

The Center City Development Corp. board of directors today will discuss a variety of items including a monthly financial report, loan closing analysis and various topics related to development loans the group routinely makes available.

76. Courtyard Hotel Construction Picks Up for ’09 Opening -

The area surrounding North Main Street and Jefferson Avenue just got busier as construction finally started on the eight-story, 131-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel at the intersection’s southwest corner, on the edge of historic Court Square.

77. LoLo’s Table Closes Downtown -

Another Downtown Memphis business has closed.

The owners of the 3-year-old bistro LoLo’s Table at 128 Monroe Ave. decided their restaurant can’t survive, a decision hastened by the broader slowdown in the economy. The last day of business was Saturday, after which the restaurant joined other Downtown businesses that have closed this year, including Muvico, Pat O’Brien’s and EP Delta Kitchen and Bar.

78. Le Bonheur Expansion Project Proceeds in Earnest -

No credit crunch or recession will keep Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare from leading the way toward a greener future, said David Rosenbaum, vice president of facility management.

The financing is as solid as the concrete for the new $327 million Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center. It is designed to withstand a magnitude 7.0 earthquake and accommodate green technologies.

79. Initiative Brings Home Closer for Downtown Workers - Local homebuilder Grant & Co. is launching a program it hopes will entice Downtown employees to live closer to their workplaces.

The “Work Downtown, Live Downtown” promotion kicks off this week for the company’s RiverTown on the Island condominiums, providing a variety of incentives to any Downtown worker who buys a home there.

The first phase of RiverTown – on Mud Island just south of HarborTown – was recently completed. Its four buildings contain 39 units, which range from 1,200 to 3,200 square feet and in price from $199,000 to $650,000.

The company spent the past several months doing the standard billboard, radio and print marketing campaign for the development’s condos, selling 12 homes in the process. Now it hopes to jumpstart condo sales activity with this latest promotion.

Grant & Co. president Keith Grant said the company will target Downtown’s largest employers – such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Morgan Keegan & Co., Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, AutoZone and First Tennessee.

Grant figures the Downtown work force must include a huge untapped market of people interested in living closer to their offices.

“There’s 70,000 people that work Downtown and there’s only (27,000) that live Downtown,” he said. “This is an incentive designed specifically for Downtown businesses.”

Touting the perks

The promotion will revolve around “white glove” tours starting Sept. 6 and held each weekend next month to showcase the homes and tout the benefits of living Downtown for those who already work there.

First of all, Grant said the company hopes to single out the convenience factor.

“Rather than fight the traffic, why not live in an area like the Island, where you can relax in the afternoons looking off your balcony at the Mississippi River and not have to worry about driving 30 minutes home,” he said. “You can drive five minutes home, or walk home or take the trolley home.”

Next comes the amenities on and near Mud Island, which have been enhanced in the past few years with numerous shops and services within the HarborTown development and in neighboring Uptown.

“When HarborTown first started, it started kind of slow just because they didn’t have those kinds of amenities – you didn’t have a grocery store to go to, there wasn’t a gas station, there weren’t any schools at the time, no restaurants to speak of,” Grant said. “So, it’s definitely made it a lot nicer to live on the island now that you have all that on that end of Downtown.”

Grant & Co. will offer buyers one of three incentive packages valued at $3,000 each: an appliance package that includes a refrigerator and washer/dryer; an entertainment package that includes a plasma screen TV; and a decorator package that includes a choice of multiple wall colors and blinds.

‘Building the market’

Getting people to move Downtown has proven more difficult this year. Residential sales in Downtown’s 38103 ZIP code declined 32.7 percent in the first seven months of 2008 compared to the same period last year.

Just 224 homes sold from January through July this year, down from 333 in 2007, according to the latest data from Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

Downtown’s condo market, though still the most robust in Shelby County, decreased 33.9 percent through the end July; the year has seen 125 condo sales Downtown compared with 189 in the same period of 2007.

Condo sales Downtown did increase in July from the previous month and the same month a year ago, a positive note in the eyes of Jeff Sanford, president of the Center City Commission.

“No question, the housing market has slowed, but I would suggest that Downtown has fared better than other parts of the community,” Sanford said. “One, apartment occupancy rates have held over 90 percent. Secondly, the number of condos being sold Downtown – while short of what they were in comparable periods two and three years ago – nonetheless are showing strength. These are not the best of times, but Downtown is more than holding its own.”

How much it continues to hold its own remains to be seen. While Grant & Co. harbors long-term plans for RiverTown of bringing 200 homes to the site, that is on hold until sales of existing units pick up.

Grant said he hopes the latest promotion brings the needed spark.

“One of the reasons we developed it the way we did with multiple buildings was so we could continue at a pace that fits the market,” Grant said. “Some people have to put up a building with 50 or more units in it, then what happens is you encounter a slower market like we’re in now and you slash prices to move property. In our situation, we’re building to the market. We’ll start new buildings as we sell the homes that we have now.”


80. Property Values Shrink Downtown -

The housing market is continuing to leave its fingerprints on already-stretched balance sheets in the Tennessee statehouse as well as on those of municipal agencies and government boards closer to home in Memphis.

81. Trolley Lambasted During Main Street Mall Meeting -

The idea of allowing car traffic on the Main Street Mall Downtown was panned at the first public hearing held by the Center City Commission this week.

But most in the crowd of 50 who attended were far more emotional as they trashed the operation of the Memphis Area Transit Authority’s Main Street Trolley that runs along the mall.

82. Pontotoc Place Granted $2.2 Million Refinancing -

The Memphis Center City Revenue Finance Corp. board recently approved a $2.2 million deed of trust for Pontotoc Place LLC for its multifamily property at 291 E. Pontotoc Place, at the intersection of South Third Street and Pontotoc Place. The property is due south of FedExForum.

83. Slow Market Leads to Condo Auction -

The Houston-based redeveloper of a Downtown high rise has become frustrated with the soft real estate market and will place 44 unsold condominiums on the auction block.

On June 21 at 11 a.m., McCord Development Inc. will try to sell its remaining condominiums in the 152-unit River Tower at South Bluffs at a public auction. The first 10 will be sold absolute, which means they will be sold to the highest bidder regardless of price. Starting bids on the rest of the units will be based on the prices of those first 10.

84. Bank of Bartlett Extends Its Reach to Downtown -

Bartlett and Downtown Memphis are separated by about 15 miles, what could be perceived as a political and cultural divide and different economic centers of gravity.

All of which are reasons why the millions of dollars pumped into the Downtown economy over at least the past decade by Bank of Bartlett, which was established in the small town of the same name in 1980, might be easy to overlook. But those reasons also put into context the bank’s consistent and generous investment in Downtown projects of all stripes.

85. Project to Bring Art to Madison Ave. -

The vacant, six-story office building at 195 Madison
Ave. ought to have a "Your masterpiece here" sign hanging on one side.

The eastern and southern faces of that building, which stands next to leftfield of AutoZone Park, soon will be decorated with murals several stories tall that depict an artist's interpretation of life in Memphis, the city's history and its culture.

86. Center City ApprovesMain Street Patrols -      Two security guards will begin patrolling the Main Street area between Poplar Avenue and Beale Street some time in April. They will be patrolling for aggressive panhandlers who have been the focus of complaints from tour

87. Center City Hires Panhandler Patrol -

The Center City Commission has approved the hiring of two security guards to help curb aggressive panhandling Downtown.

On a unanimous voice vote, 17 board members of the Downtown development body approved a $53,340 contract with CDA Security for a three month patrol starting in April in the Main Street area between Poplar Avenue and Beale Street.

88. Robertson Jumps Into Role Promoting Downtown Memphis -

When the Center City Commission decided recently to create a new position - chief administrative officer - the group ventured outside its own ranks in tapping the new hire. Eric Robertson, who stepped into the role Jan. 14, had spent almost the past decade in a similar job elsewhere in the city and was already an enthusiastic booster of Downtown Memphis.

89. Officials Deny Rumors That Peabody Place Theater to Close -

Two employees at Muvico Entertainment LLC in the Peabody Place Retail and Entertainment Center shot a glance at each other when they were approached Friday and asked about the theater's imminent closure.

90. Bad Omens Or Good? -

Has Downtown's condominium bubble burst? The 2007 year-end sales figures reveal a sluggish performance from what used to be the hottest thing going in local real estate.

Condo sales in Shelby County declined 25.9 percent from 2006 to 2007, according to the latest data from real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

91. In Limbo -

The two-story brick building at 400 N. Main St., once home to the Downtown coffee shop Cafe Francisco, is on the market with a listing price of almost $700,000.

The building, which dates back to 1905, has been listed by its current Realtor for at least a year, though the cafe's recent closure may alert more potential buyers about the building's availability.

92. Developers Bring Apartments to Condo-Rich Downtown -

With recent announcements of plans to rehab two historic properties, two development teams have signed on to give Downtown something it's been thirsting for - apartments.

Development groups called 91 Cotton Row LLC and Downtown Developers LLC have joined a growing list of groups bringing multifamily product to a submarket that many believe is oversaturated with condominiums and underserved by apartments.

93. Luxury on the River -

Its 28-room hotel opened in late October and its two restaurants opened last week. Now, the River Inn of Harbor Town is poised to become one of Downtown's premier destinations for business and leisure travelers - and also for Memphians looking for a quick getaway or gourmet meal.

94. After Three Years In the Making, Uptown Development Nears Completion -

Three years after the first construction crews arrived in Uptown to move dirt and lay the foundations for a few hundred homes, the end is finally in sight for the revitalization of this once-blighted neighborhood.

95. Proponents Hopeful CDDC Would Strengthen Collierville's Town Square -

During the past two decades Collierville has evolved from sleepy suburb to thriving town. Thanks to an upscale mall, an extended highway and, most notably, an eastward population shift in Shelby County, this town of more than 40,000 residents has become one of Tennessee's fastest-growing communities.

96. One Beale Sales Center Opens Today At Site of Former Crab Shack -

The Memphis City Council gave its stamp of approval at a public vote in October. By January, businessman Gene Carlisle had locked his sales, design and marketing teams in place.

Then, at a press conference in April, Carlisle - wearing a dark suit, blue tie and a big smile - stood in front of a series of high-quality renderings mounted on easels to make his next big announcement. One Beale, his $175 million, skyline-redefining Downtown project being developed at the foot of Beale Street, would be anchored by the 240-room Hyatt Regency Memphis Hotel and Spa.

97. Coffee Klatch No More -

The owners of the one-room coffee bar and café across the street from Memphis City Hall have heard that mayor Willie Herenton is a fan of their fresh-baked muffins.

They assume the mayor sends someone to fetch him a batch, because they haven't seen much of him. Yet he's one example of the loyal customer base The Daily Grind bistro has cultivated during its six-year run, which comes to an end Friday.

98. Georgia-Based Developers Find Their Spot in Uptown -

Hurricane Katrina forced Verlyn and Harold Foley to leave their New Orleans home in 2005 and move to the Atlanta area.

But when the city of Memphis tried to file eminent domain rights on an Uptown property the husband and wife were eyeing for a multifamily building, this real estate development duo decided to stand their ground and fight.

99. Events -

Inside Downtown will meet today at 4:30 p.m. at Wang's Bistro, 113 S. Main St. Center City Commission president Jeff Sanford will discuss the transformation of that section of Main Street and new projects in the works. RSVP by calling 575-0542 or e-mailing hernandez@downtownmemphis.com.

100. Events -

The Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South is hosting Talk Shoppe today from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at its offices, 3693 Tyndale Drive. The topic is "Negotiating to Fruition: Winning the Right Way." The guest speaker is Daren Howard, managing partner in the Mid-South for Jerry Wilson & Associates LLC. For more information, call Jo Garner at 759-7808.