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Editorial Results (free)

1. Frayser Truck Stop, Hotel Developers Change Plans -

Developers of a truck stop with a hotel on Hollywood at Interstate 40 in Frayser have dropped plans for the truck stop.

Representatives of the developers, Hospitality Builders of America, announced the change Tuesday, May 3, as the city council delayed a vote on the planned development on the site of the old Treasury department store.

2. Events -

Center for Southern Folklore will host Bill Donoghue for a seminar and Q&A titled “Sonny Boy Williamson II: Rock’s Missing Blues Link” on Wednesday, May 4, at 3 p.m. at 119 S. Main St. Following the seminar, co-researcher Jim Basnight will perform Delta-style selections on his 12-string guitar. Cost is free. For reserved seating, email jlpeiser@gmail.com or call 901-525-3655.

3. Density is Destiny for Memphis’ Creative Economy -

The lack of density in creative workers has worked against the cultivation of a creative economy in Memphis. Density turns out to play an outsized role in the cultivation of collective knowledge and access to the resources necessary to build creative solutions to power the modern-day economy.

4. The Week Ahead: May 2-8 -

So, you think this is the “off-week” of the Memphis In May International Festival – the gap between the Beale Street Music Festival and the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. But, while Tom Lee Park gets a breather, there are plenty of cultural experiences to soak up across Memphis. Here's our weekly roundup of local happenings you need to know about...

5. Archimania Leads 2016 Architecture Awards -

Memphis architecture firm archimania was the biggest winner Saturday night at the 2016 AIA Memphis Design Awards, an annual bash that honors the city’s top architecture firms.

Also singled out for honors by the four members of the design awards jury - which this year was comprised of nationally recognized, award-winning architects from Raleigh, N.C. - were the firms designshop, Haizlip Studio and Self+Tucker Architects as part of a joint venture with archimania. There were 11 winners in all, and the honors were presented during the event at Clark Tower’s Tower Center by the awards’ jury chair Erin Sterling Lewis of Raleigh’s in situ studio.

6. The Week Ahead -

It’s a new week that ends with Music Fest, Memphis! Here’s a roundup of other local happenings you need to know about, from some important government meetings, to corporate earnings reports and a new exhibit set to open at the Memphis Zoo.

7. Robots Are Taking Tennessee’s Jobs -

MTSU student Nathan Simpkins found the perfect major when the university started its mechatronics engineering program in 2013, a pursuit practically guaranteeing him a high-paying job in an increasingly automated manufacturing industry.

8. Last Word: Prince, Violent Crime Numbers, and a Parkside Post Script -

Prince. It’s hard to think of a musician with a more complete knowledge of music as a social and cultural force and the ability to let that force inhabit his music and what he wanted to accomplish.
It is that knowledge and its use from obscurity to the pinnacle of fame and acclaim to his own journey for personal fulfillment that, to me, defines what has been lost.
Music mattered to Prince unlike it had ever mattered before. All of the influences analyzed and synthesized by someone born in rock and roll’s first wave pushed forward in a sound that combined rock and roll and rhythm and blues and funk with purpose and confidence.
It wasn’t a denial or downplaying of any of those music categories – all were present sonically and culturally. No juggling or quick changes.
That was his talent and it’s hard to think of anyone who has been as knowledgeable, intentional and successful -- commercially and artistically – in that combination.
Prince is remembered here for not only playing the city’s largest arenas but for his legendary after shows on Beale Street that brought an entertainment insider cachet the district has rarely seen since its early 1980s reopening.
His was an intensity and sense of purpose rarely seen and possessed in such a way in the 60 years since rock and roll started in this very city, kicked off by both Rocket 88 and That’s Alright Mama.
So why couldn’t the city’s rock radio stations do more than talk about Prince into commercial breaks after another Nickelback rock block and actually play some of his music to acknowledge such a huge genre crossing artist?
Not cool.

9. Focusing on Financial Literacy -

Teaching Memphians how to manage money is of vital importance to helping our community members achieve their personal and financial goals. April is Financial Literacy Month – a national initiative offering an opportunity for individuals to learn how to adopt effective financial strategies.

10. Memphis’ Shrinking Population Cause for Concern -

Even as Memphis has grown larger through annexing surrounding communities, its population has steadily dwindled due to outmigration to the surrounding suburbs. Inner-city struggles will become more pronounced if this region’s wealthiest tax base continues that outward pattern, national experts say.

11. Last Word: The Bible Veto Override Vote, Grizz Nostalgia and Kroger Goes Online -

The Tennessee Legislature hoped to end its 2016 session Wednesday at the end of an eventful day that included a failed attempt to override Gov. Bill Haslam’s veto of the bill that would have made the Bible the official state book.
But into Wednesday evening, the state House was still debating the Hall tax on dividends – specifically further roll backs of it. And the Senate had gone home for the night.
So Thursday looks like a good bet for the adjournment for the year and the formal start of the election season for incumbents.

12. $12.6M Building Permit For New Ballet Memphis HQ -

2144 Madison Ave.
Memphis, TN 38104
Permit Amount: $12.6 million

Owner: Ballet Memphis
Tenant: Ballet Memphis
Architect: Archimania
Contractor: Grinder, Taber & Grinder
Details: Ballet Memphis is setting the stage for its Overton Square headquarters as Grinder, Taber & Grinder recently applied for a $12.6 million building permit for new construction.

13. Sale of Former Memphis Police Headquarters Set for May -

The tours and inspections are done for now. And City Hall’s timeline for selling the circa-1910 Memphis Police headquarters at 128 Adams Ave. is a bit behind schedule.

14. Memphis Takes Pounding in Opener With Spurs -

The Memphis Grizzlies were not alone in their unmitigated defeat. The NBA Playoffs started this past weekend and while descriptions of what happened to the Grizzlies within the shadow of the Alamo in San Antonio were colorful – “a 106-74 bludgeoning by the San Antonio Spurs” read one account at NBA.com – this was hardly an isolated incident.

15. Last Word: A Dog Named Elvis, Soulville's Change and Highlander Politics -

For those who stopped watching in the fourth quarter, The Grizzlies lost to the Spurs 106-74 in San Antonio Sunday to open the NBA's second season. If you put together the second and fourth quarters it would have been close. But oh the first and third quarters.

16. The Week Ahead: April 18-24 -

Let’s get this week started, Memphis! Here’s our roundup of local happenings you need to know about, from the dreaded federal income tax filing day, to the scheduled end of the Tennessee Legislature for this session, to a couple of big round-ball games at FedExForum beginning Friday.

17. LEDIC Founder Buys Metro 67 Apartments -

The Metro 67 Apartments in Downtown Memphis has been sold by a Dallas equity firm to Scott Ledbetter, founder and chairman-emeritus of LEDIC Management Group in Memphis, and members of his family.

18. Middle Tennessee construction can’t meet demand -

When it comes to residential real estate around Middle Tennessee, there are plenty of buyers but not nearly enough sellers, says Heather Benjamin with Reliant Realty’s Benjamin McConnell Group. And new construction just can’t keep up with the demand.

19. Last Word: Tubby Time, Haslam's Veto and Africa in April's 30th Year -

It was just four weeks ago that all of this talk about change at the top of the Tiger basketball chart was put to rest. Coach Josh Pastner’s performance was reviewed by the University of Memphis administration and he was staying at least for another season. Four weeks to the day of that announcement, Pastner is the new coach at Georgia Tech and we are in the first day of the Tubby Smith era at the U of M.

20. Murry-Drobot Brings Hope to Domestic Violence Survivors -

For the first seven years of her life, Olliette Murry-Drobot grew up in a home where her father physically abused her mother. It’s a harrowing experience she says she still grapples with.

“Growing up, my sense of the world was that it was a very scary place,” she remembers. “I saw that other kids had a sense of safety, but I was always looking over my shoulder.”

21. Legislators Playing Expensive Game With LGBT Issues -

The silly season is in full swing on Capitol Hill, but the “bathroom bill” and any jokes surrounding it are no laughing matter anymore. It’s getting downright expensive.

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery said this week the bill dealing with transgender student use of restrooms could cost the state more than $1.2 billion in federal funds for K-12 and higher education.

22. Metro 67 Apartments Bought by LEDIC Founder -

The Metro 67 Apartments in Downtown Memphis has been sold by a Dallas equity firm to Scott Ledbetter, founder and chairman-emeritus of LEDIC Management Group in Memphis, and members of his family.

23. Events -

Memphis Child Advocacy Center will host its annual children’s memorial flag-raising on Wednesday, April 13, at noon on Civic Center Plaza outside Memphis City Hall, 125 N. Main St. The ceremony remembers Shelby County kids who have died as a result of abuse or neglect. Visit memphiscac.org.

24. Events -

ArtsMemphis will hold a free workshop for organizations interested in Arts Build Communities grants on Tuesday, April 12, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Hattiloo Theatre, 37 S. Cooper St. The grants are open to nonprofits and government entities seeking funding for artistic and cultural projects that benefit the community. Visit tn.gov for details.

25. Waste Pro Inks Deals With Germantown, Gallaway -

The city of Germantown as well as Gallaway in Fayette County have signed five-year contracts with Waste Pro to provide solid waste collection, disposal and recycling services to residential customers.

26. Events -

Hollywood Feed and the North Shore Animal League will host the Overton Bark Adoption Tour on Sunday, April 10, from noon to 3 p.m. in Overton Park’s Overton Bark Dog Park, 2080 Poplar Ave. Attendees can meet pets available for adoption, preview dog treats from Hollywood Feed’s soon-to-open Midtown bakery, and learn how to support Overton Bark through the “Give Your Dog a Bone” campaign. Visit overtonpark.org.

27. Moving Dirt -

The Memphis development community is looking inward and upward to increase density in the urban core. New construction is happening across all four commercial real estate sectors, with long-anticipated projects like Trader Joe’s and the redevelopment of Central Station finally coming to fruition. Construction and operating costs continue to be a challenge as new projects hit the top of their class to command higher rents.

28. Medical District Stakeholders: Neighborhood Full of Potential -

Some 2,500 new employees start jobs each year at employers in the Memphis Medical District, and about 1,300 new students each year start hitting the books at educational institutions there, too.

That’s according to Medical District Collaborative president Tommy Pacello, who says the 2.5-square-mile area between Midtown and Downtown that’s home to eight anchor institutions is full of untapped potential. So much so that his organization, which launched earlier this year, is leading a revitalization of the district that leans heavily on anchors like Regional One Health and Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare to help in a buy local, live local and hire local push for the neighborhood.

29. Waste Pro Inks Deals With Germantown, Gallaway -

The city of Germantown as well as Gallaway in Fayette County have signed five-year contracts with Waste Pro to provide solid waste collection, disposal and recycling services to residential customers.

30. Lake District Would Put Lakeland on the Map -

Before Lakeland became a city, it was the Lakeland Amusement Park. A California-based developer is bringing back that original flair with his proposal for The Lake District, a 165-acre mixed-use development.

31. Spence Wilson To Keynote Dunavant Awards May 11 -

Spence Wilson, chairman of the board of Kemmons Wilson Companies, is the keynote speaker for the annual Bobby Dunavant Public Servant Awards to be held May 11 at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis.

32. Last Word: A Day In The Park, Fashion Week and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -

The skid is over. The Grizzlies beat the Bulls at home and the post-season possibility drama continues in the land of Griss and the one year and done college home of Derrick Rose.

33. The Week Ahead: April 4-10 -

Let’s get this week started, Memphis! Here’s our roundup of local happenings you need to know about in the coming days, from an observance of the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination to your first chance to visit Mud Island River Park this season.

34. City Ready to Develop Master Plan for Pinch District -

The Pinch District, one of Memphis’ oldest neighborhoods, is getting its time in the spotlight.

The Downtown Memphis Commission, the city of Memphis Division of Housing & Community Development and the city-county Division of Planning & Development are coming together to develop the Pinch’s first master plan in to bring the area up to date with mixed-use buildings and streetscape improvements.

35. Fertile Ground -

Residents of the Memphis Medical District have begun filing in to the Premier Palace ballroom on Madison Avenue, along with area stakeholders, planners and other attendees who have business interests in the area.

36. Last Word: Encore In D, A Bus Every 10 Minutes and Marc Cohn in Memphis -

Encore in Nashville.
The state Senate’s state and local government committee meets again Wednesday to vote on the de-annexation bill it completed amending Tuesday.

This begins at 2:30 p.m. and we will be providing live Tweets of the action @tdnpols, www.twitter.com/tdnpols. So join us.
Because there was so much debate and parliamentary swordplay Tuesday, the Wednesday session will probably be pretty matter of fact by comparison.
Here’s our account of how it went down with the committee upping the percentage of voters signatures it takes to get a deannexation call on the ballot. And those who do vote to deannex can add payments for benefits liability to what they would also pay as their share of capital debt. There is also reaction from Greater Memphis Chamber president Phil Trenary.
Trenary had some choice words for Chattanooga state Senator Todd Gardenhire who called out Memphis specifically for what he viewed as trying to make the deannexed pay twice for benefits of city workers.
The looming question is what will the reaction to this be in the House which passed a very different version of this.
The proponents of the bill in the House and Senate have fundamentally different views that appear to be the kind of differences that would take some time to reconcile.

37. Dodging a Disaster With Volkswagen? -

Next month will mark five years since the first Passat rolled off the assembly line at Chattanooga’s Volkswagen plant. Most anniversaries are a cause for celebration.

But as Chattanoogans blow out the candles on this particular milestone they’ll be hoping that Volkswagen’s diesel emissions troubles will soon be extinguished, too, and that the new SUV model they’ll start producing this year will help VW emerge from the crisis a better and stronger company than before.

38. Stephenson Leverages Capital for Community Change -

Why start a bank? It’s a question that would never occur to most people. But to Susan Stephenson, the answer is obvious: “It’s infinite variety. You get to participate in other people’s dreams. In the morning, I can be a first-time homeowner. In the afternoon, I’m a small business looking to open a new location.”

39. Memphis Fights Back: Senate Poised To Do Real Damage via De-Annexation -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland makes a persuasive argument against de-annexation legislation now being considered by the state Legislature, providing a long list of figures to show it would devastate the Bluff City.

40. Over $20M in Construction Headed to Brewery District -

495 Tennessee St.
Memphis, TN 38103

Permit Amount: $18.8 million

Owner: 495 Tennessee LLC

Tenant: Brewery Master Tenant

41. Mural Sets Scene for 107 S. Main Revelopment -

The long-blighted building at 107 S. Main St. is headed for active use and will see the addition of a mural by May 1.

At its March 16 meeting, the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. approved to put $10,000 toward a colorful mural designed by Chicago artist Damon Lamar Reed.

42. Last Word: D-Day, Opera Festival Returns and Buying GMF After the Bond Default -

This is what you might call D-Day in Nashville. The “D’ in this case stands for deannexation.
The bill to permit deannexation by referendum has in the course of two weeks become the city’s dominant political issue.

43. Last Word: Monday Vote, Beale's Search and Longview Heights -

Look for the state Senate to vote on the deannexation bill Monday in Nashville. At least that’s the date on the Senate calendar.

That could change as a member of the Shelby County legislative delegation has at last asked the Tennessee Attorney General for a legal opinion on the proposal. But it’s not a straight-up question about whether the proposal is constitutional. It’s a question about the specific characterization of past Memphis annexations as “egregious” – what has come to be the key legal term in this considerable political controversy.

44. Porter-Leath's Early Childhood Academy Highlights Collaboration -

The past six years have brought so many changes in kindergarten through 12th-grade education locally and statewide that it is easy to lose track of how different early childhood instruction is in its preparation of children for the next step in their journey.

45. Events -

Memphis Irish Society will host a family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day parade in Cooper-Young on Thursday, March 17, at 10 a.m. The route starts at First Congregational Church, 1000 S. Cooper St., and travels north to Memphis Made Brewing, 768 S. Cooper St. Visit memphisirish.com.

46. Cordova Apartments Sell for $31.1 Million -

555 Wood Arbor Parkway
Memphis, TN 38018
Sale Amount: $31.1 million

Sale Date: March 2, 2016
Buyer: CEAI Grove LLC
Seller: Trinity 464 LLC
Loan Amount: $4.2 million
Borrower: CEAI Grove LLC
Lender: CBRE Multifamily Capital Inc.
Details: The Grove at Trinity Point apartments have sold for $31.1 million.

47. Grimes Joins Barge Waggoner As Transportation Project Manager -

Keafur Grimes has joined Barge, Waggoner, Sumner and Cannon Inc. as transportation project manager, bringing with him more than 35 years of experience. In his new role, Grimes manages transportation planning and construction projects to meet federal, state and local regulations; ensures that projects meet quality compliance and assurance standards as well as customer needs; and are delivered on time and within budget.

48. Finances Will Be in Focus at City Council -

The list of financial surprises that Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland presented to Memphis City Council members two weeks ago tops council discussions Tuesday, March 15.

49. Last Word: Tiger Drumbeat, Eye on Drones and Shelby County Biggest Home Sale -

Let the coaching drumbeat resume after the Tigers Sunday post-season collapse one game past Tulsa.
A confession here – I am so sports challenged that I thought UConn was a team from Alaska until I saw it spelled out.
In my defense, who associates Huskies with Connecticut?
My point is what happens next isn’t just about basketball. It’s about a change with a good track record of being emotional in the worst way.
It’s linked to how we want to be known for treating people and what they think of us as a result of that.
In those two areas, it’s never just business. It’s always personal.
Josh Pastner’s four predecessors were each very different case studies in this regard.
It could have been any stop in any city with a basketball court and a one-and-done star he could find and recruit to John Calipari. But he still had to hide under a blanket in the back seat of a car on the way to the airport and lie about it long after everyone knew.
Knew about the Kentucky job that is. The mess he left at the university would surface shortly thereafter.
Tic Price was two fast seasons and the proof that the Memphis job isn’t just about what happens on the court and the attendance at games.
Price was clearly excited about coming to Memphis. He clearly understood the importance and heritage of Tigers basketball and valued it. And he wasted no time at all getting lost in the Memphis that is not a part of that all encompassing world.
It was the only job Larry Finch wanted and ultimately the job he couldn’t continue to have. That after ignoring conventional wisdom as a player and coming from Melrose High to Memphis State, bringing a beloved team with him and then picking Memphis again in the ABA over the Lakers in the NBA.
None of that was considered in pushing him out the door and then naming a building after him.
Dana Kirk
wanted to be the hustler John Calipari was. He was certainly impersonal enough about it and he took the team to an era where a post-season NCAA bid was expected and is still expected to this day.
But his impersonality exacted a high cost and he paid most of that cost. Although you could argue the experience for his team that produced some legendary players also made some of them legendary casualties of his emotional distance. It didn’t allow him to go elsewhere because he never figured out that he was being underestimated just as much as the team whose needs he ignored was in the national view of college basketball.
While Calipari dodged big trouble twice, Kirk wasn’t even in Calipari’s league when it came to ducking and timing.
We are past our inferiority complex. That’s what the last NFL drive of the 1990s did for us.
But it’s not necessarily a bad thing that we see the people chosen to occupy these very public positions as a reflection to the world of who we are.

50. The Week Ahead: March 14-20, 2016 -

How was your weekend, Memphis? Here’s our weekly roundup of local happenings you need to know about, from the first look at the Greater Memphis Chamber’s proposed diversity program to a truly Irish celebration of St. Paddy’s Day.

51. City Has Offer On Adams Police Station -

The realty group that proposed a short-lived Hotel Overton for Overton Square in 2015 has offered the city of Memphis $1.1 million for the old Central Police Station building at 128 Adams Ave.

52. Up, Up and Away -

The modern-day drone is both a high-tech military tool and a safer way to play humanitarian and deliver medicine and supplies to the suffering people of war-torn Syria.

The drone is everything from a stalking device to track poachers creeping through the South African bush hunting rhinos to the impetus for a potential commercial growth industry right here in Memphis.

53. Last Word: Mudslide, The Deannexation Storm and Kilzer at Calvary -

Lots of news on a very rainy day including the flooding from the constant rain that closed some schools and cancelled a lot of other events. And then there was a mudslide on Riverside Drive from the bluff overlooking Tom Lee Park and the Mississippi River. The rain has also pushed the Wolf River to the point that it is now over some parts of the greenway in Germantown.

54. Numerous Benefits to Cleaning Up Blight -

I grew up in Memphis, but like so many young people, moved away for college and lived in a few other cities before returning in 2012. I always missed my hometown and when I had the opportunity to choose where I wanted to build my career, Memphis was the only choice in my heart.

55. Klondike Wants Plan To Stave Off Gentrification -

With multimillion-dollar investments growing up around it in the Crosstown and Uptown neighborhoods, the Klondike/Smokey City Community Development Corp. is working with the University of Memphis on a grassroots action plan to stave off gentrification.

56. Study: Renters' Rise Extends Beyond Big US Cities to Suburbs -

NEW YORK (AP) – In the American imagination, suburbs are places to buy a house and put down roots. But a growing percentage of suburbanites rent, according to a new study.

About 29 percent of metropolitan-area suburbanites were renters in 2014, up from 23 percent in 2006, according to a report being released Tuesday by New York University's Furman Center real estate think tank and the bank Capital One.

57. Events -

The Center City Revenue Finance Corp. will meet Tuesday, March 8, at 9 a.m. in the Downtown Memphis Commission conference room, 114 N. Main St. Visit downtownmemphiscommission.com.

HireLive will host a sales and marketing career fair Wednesday, March 9, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 5069 Sanderlin Ave. Email your resume to 11056-36-mh2006@apply.maxhire.net and bring 10-15 resumes to the event. Visit hirelive.com.

58. Events -

Carriage Crossing Restaurant Week will be held through Thursday, March 6-10, in The Shops at Carriage Crossing, 4674 Merchants Park Circle. Diners at participating restaurants (Bonefish Grill, Carrabba’s, Firebirds, Hickory Tavern and STIX) can enjoy $40 prix fixe menus that include an appetizer, two entrees and dessert for two. Reservations recommended. Visit shopcarriagecrossing.com to preview menus.

59. Last Word: Hedgepeth Speaks, Josh Pastner's Future and Big Box Liquor -

Where else is there to begin but the Greensward controversy.
And we start with an email from Memphis City Council member Reid Hedgepeth in what is rapidly becoming a Last Word tradition and institution – the email in full.

60. Graceland West Up Next as Guest House Tops Out -

As construction crews working on the 450-room Guest House at Graceland resort hotel marked the topping out of that Whitehaven project this week, work is about to begin on the other side of Elvis Presley Boulevard on the Graceland West project.

61. Last Word: Laurelwood Changes, Greensward Aftermath and Broadband Problems -

East Memphis Proper is about to look a lot different. Nordstrom Rack is opening a Memphis store and it will be built where the Sears store stands now in the Laurelwood shopping center.
Sears closes in mid-April and the 1958 structure will be demolished for a new retail center to be called Poplar Commons.
Nordstrom Rack is 33,000 square feet of a 135,000 square foot shopping center.
Out parcels tend to be the changing face of commercial development on Poplar Avenue.
There are some notable exceptions like the nearby Oak Court Mall which was a significant change of scenery from what was once the Siena College campus.
Further west on Poplar, the Poplar Plaza shopping center – the city’s first suburban shopping center – is still recognizable in its original form if you know what used to be there.

62. Bill Would Open Door for Utilities to Expand Broadband -

Legislation to expand broadband access across Tennessee is evolving – by necessity.

State Rep. Kevin Brooks’ bill HB1303 to allow public utilities to provide Internet service outside their footprint is alive, he says, but it is being “argued vehemently.”

63. New Owner to Revive South Main Eyesore -

The long-maligned building at 107 S. Main St. has a new owner who has signed on to long-term redevelopment and short term-beautification. Prau Investments LLC purchased the 34,200-square-foot building on Dec. 11 for $720,000.

64. RVC, Mansion to Give More Specifics on Mud Island Plans -

The CEO of RVC Outdoor Destinations of Memphis says his company is “ready to invest $10 million of our own capital that is currently available and ready to deploy.”

Andy Cates made the assurance in the company’s proposal to the Riverfront Development Corp. that was one of the two finalists picked Monday, Feb. 29, by an RDC committee.

65. Last Word: Election Day, Luttrell Makes It Six, And About "Executive Sessions" -

Can You Feel It? Tuesday is election day in Memphis and across the state in this presidential election year. And all indications are the turnout locally should be above the 24 percent mark we’ve been at in the last two presidential election years.

66. Last Word: The Moving Election Comes to Town and Missing Early Voters Are Found -

We probably haven’t had this much action with so many presidential candidates in the Memphis area since the 1984 Democratic presidential primary campaign.

Four of the contenders – three Republicans and one Democrat – in Memphis over the weekend looking for votes in advance of Tuesday’s Tennessee primary elections.

67. The Week Ahead: February 29, 2016 -

How was your weekend, Memphis? We know what you’ll be doing Tuesday (voting, of course!), but plenty of nonpolitical happenings grace this week’s calendar too – from a trio of Grizzlies games to a fundraiser supporting fair housing.

68. Italian Bike Maker Opens Binghampton Service Shop -

The professional biking world is looking to put Memphis on the map. Victory Bicycle Studio has been tapped to serve as the first U.S. service center for 3T, a Milan, Italy-based manufacturer of high-end bike components.

69. Work Begins On Brewery Development -

502 Tennessee St.
Memphis, TN 38103

Permit Amount: $4.5 million

Application Date: Feb. 18, 2016

Tenant: Brewery Master Tenant LLC

Architect: LRK Architects

Contractor: Montgomery Martin Contractors

70. Last Word: The Road To Memphis, Medical District Plans and A Greensward Update -

The Republican presidential field is coming this way in the gap between early voting, which ends Tuesday evening, and the March 1 election day
Donald Trump, John Kasich and Ben Carson are booked for this coming weekend.

71. Medical Area Ready For Residential Development -

Every week day, 16,000 people go to work in the two-and-a-half square mile area that is the Memphis Medical Center District.

Add the 8,000 students to the workers at the eight major institutions in the district and you have more than a sell-out crowd for an event at FedExForum in that area every working day.

72. The Week Ahead: Feb. 22, 2016 -

Good morning Memphis. The Monday holidays are gone for a while, we’re afraid, but you’ve got a whole week to finish that work instead of just four days. Here are a few items to look forward to this week, led by the annual announcement of performers who will descend on Memphis this May for the Beale Street Music Festival.

73. Refinancing Deal Approved For James Lee House -

At its Feb. 17 meeting, the Center City Development Corp. approved refinancing of the James Lee House, lowering the operators’ monthly payments by $8,000.

74. Tentative Agreement Emerges for Pinch Hotel -

After six months of negotiations and delays in votes by the Memphis City Council, there is an agreement for the construction of a hotel with retail space across Front Street from The Pyramid.

The council delayed a vote on the development Tuesday, Feb. 16, until the March 1 council meeting.

75. Refinancing Approved for James Lee House -

At its Feb. 17 meeting, the Center City Development Corp. approved refinancing of the James Lee House, lowering the operators’ monthly payments by $8,000.

76. Last Word: Tiger Turmoil, Choosing Hotels and Grasshopper In The Committee Room -

When there is turmoil in the world of University of Memphis sports, it is almost impossible to hide and the turmoil inevitably surfaces toward a much faster end game than the city’s mercurial and lively politics. And then there is the period of mourning and regret -- unless the coach's name is John Calipari.
So consider these events all in the space of an overcast Tuesday afternoon.
University of Memphis cheerleaders in Overton Square and on Highland Avenue, near the campus, waving pompoms and signs urging Memphians on the drive home to support Tigers basketball.
Just before the rush hour, the university’s athletic department put out a statement that may have been intended to quell speculation about the future of Tigers basketball coach Josh Pastner but which was so enigmatic that it probably did just the opposite.
You be the judge:
“We continue to receive inquiries concerning the future of Tiger basketball.
Tom Bowen
, UofM Athletic Director, the athletic senior leadership team and the Office of the President will conduct a post-season review of the men’s basketball program, as is customary with all UofM sports teams.
We urge Tiger Nation to support this team through the end of the basketball season with special attention given to the final three home games at FedExForum.”
And late Tuesday evening, the Memphis Rebounders sent an email appeal urging a strong turnout for the Wednesday UCF game at FedExForum which is also on ESPN.
“If business or family obligations prevent you from attending, please give the tickets to family, friends or me,” wrote Harold Byrd of the Rebounders, “as we have multiple requests from many who can’t afford season tickets.”

77. Council Debates, Forms Minority Business Committee -

Memphis City Council members debated at length Tuesday, Feb. 16, whether or not to form a committee to explore the lack of minority business growth locally.

The council ultimately voted to form an ad hoc committee tasked with coming up within three months a set of recommendations to improve city government’s contract spending with minority businesses.

78. Council Debates, Forms Minority Business Committee -

Memphis City Council members debated at length Tuesday, Feb. 16, whether or not to form a committee to explore the lack of minority business growth locally.

The council ultimately voted to form an ad hoc committee tasked with coming up within three months a set of recommendations to improve city government’s contract spending with minority businesses.

79. Memphis City Council to Get Police Body Camera Update -

Memphis City Council members are to get a timeline Tuesday, Feb. 16, on the roll out of police body cameras from Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland as well as some idea of the additional cost.

80. Last Word: Love and Glory and Guitars, New Frost and Scalia's Passing -

To each his or her own on Valentine’s Day observances Sunday that become Valentine’s Day memories with the arrival of Monday.

The Majestic Grille, for instance, had the movies Roman Holiday and Casablanca back to back on the screen of the movie theater turned restaurant.
No sound, but you really don’t need sound for the scene where Audrey Hepburn takes the throne with Gregory Peck and a beatnik Eddie Albert among the press corps at the rope line.
And The Majestic saved The Second Line in Overton Square with a loaner of some champagne after Second Line ran a bit short.
Chef Kelly English thanked the Majestic via Twitter for “saving our sweet Valentine’s Day asses.”

81. The Week Ahead: Feb. 12, 2016 -

How was your weekend, Memphis? Here’s our weekly rundown of local happenings you need to know about, from circus clowns to Republican senators…

Both U.S. Senators representing Tennessee will be in Memphis Saturday for the Shelby County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day Gala, historically the local party’s largest annual fundraising event.
Sen. Bob Corker is the keynote speaker with Sen. Lamar Alexander as a special guest.
The Lincoln Day gatherings are county-by-county events across the state that can extend far beyond the shadow of Presidents Day: A few of the Lincoln Day dinners have been known to find a place on the calendar in April.
This is the 41st Lincoln Day event in Shelby County, which puts the local event’s origins squarely in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal, a low-point for Republican fortunes nationally after the state’s modern Republican party was formed and prospered in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The event always comes with a large helping of local candidates testing the political waters among the dinner tables between podium speeches.
This year, the Shelby County event is sure to feature partisans from the various Republican presidential campaigns because of its place on the February calendar during the early voting period before the March 1 election day.

82. Urban Treasure -

They were at the 2007 National Recreation and Park Association conference in Indianapolis and they had been dutifully attending the seminars and taking notes. But one day this two-woman contingent from Memphis and the newly formed Shelby Farms Park Conservancy skipped out of the afternoon workshops.

83. Last Word: Clinton in Whitehaven, Changes to Parkside and The Replacements Book -

The Presidential primary caravan has arrived.
Former President Bill Clinton was in Whitehaven Thursday evening to campaign for his wife, former Secretary of State and U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton.
And it was a reminder of his political potency as well as his popularity in a city that went for Barack Obama over his wife in the 2008 Tennessee Presidential primary but which was solidly behind him in both of his successful bids for the White House in the 1990s.
Clinton spoke in a packed Whitehaven High gymnasium to more than 700 people for almost an hour and then worked the crowd that gathered near the podium for another 25 minutes before sprinting out a door to a waiting car.
We’ll be busy this weekend with the opening of the local Bernie Sanders campaign headquarters and we’re still waiting on that promised Donald Trump Memphis appearance.
And we expect to encounter lots of Republican presidential partisans at the local GOP's annual Lincoln Day Gala on the 20th.

84. Last Word: TN(not)Ready, Hatiloo Expands and Tax Season Advice -

So what do you do when the test-makers fail the test?

You go back to the old test in the case of the Tennessee Education Department and the TNReady tests.
These were the new tests for the new statewide student achievement standards that replaced Common Core standards.
They can only be taken online.
But the system crashed Monday, which was the day that all of the preparation in the last year was geared toward. That included two tests locally of the on-line capacity and other technical standards necessary to make this go smoothly.
Here is a good account of what happened statewide and locally with a few other stops across the state to take in the scope of how big a failure this was and what failed.

85. Workforce Effort Leaders Talk About Skills Gap -

Before Olympus Corp. announced last month its plan to locate a service and distribution center in Bartlett, a bigger medical device manufacturing company was on the hook for the town.

86. Last Word: Leaving Warren and Tulane, New Police Brass and Losing Housing -

Post Super Bowl edition of Last Word: Broncos 24 – Panthers 10 – Lady Gaga’s National Anthem kudos – Coldplay/Bruno Mars/Beyonce ambitious halftime extravaganza got lost in spots by bad sound.

87. Last Word: History As Geology, Beyond the Greensward and City Hall's HR Director -

History can be like geology once you get it in something that isn’t in the form of a book.
There are layers on top of layers that you may not ever see or miss until a site is wiped clean for the next present that used to be the future and will eventually become the past.
That’s the case with the city’s historic Medical Center where much has come and gone several times over as our city’s considerable investment in medicine and health approaches the end of its second century.
Health Sciences Park used to be the site of a hospital. You would think something as massive as the tower of Baptist Memorial Hospital’s central campus on Union Avenue would be missed. Yet even those of us who grew up with its presence drive past it every day without a thought of what was once there.
The same with the site of Russwood Park on the north side of Madison Avenue and the old bus barns where Beale used to run further east than it does now.
In recent years, new facilities have arisen as the medical center makes itself over in a kind of economic regeneration without a comprehensive plan.
There is now an effort to come up with a comprehensive plan for the area that is more than different ventures buying or leasing land and making plans for their needs.
Eight of the institutions in the area have hired a consulting firm to develop a master plan that includes not just facilities but residential and retail areas.
It’s a significant step for an area that remains intriguing for those of us trying to remember what was where and how long some of the survivors have been holding out in much different streetscapes than were there when they arrived.
The Masonic lodge at the dead end of Dunlap into Union Avenue is a survivor. It’s where the funerals were held for some of those killed in the 1925 river disaster in which Tom Lee rescued so many others.
The lodge at one time had an earth-shaking pipe organ that I had the rare privilege of hearing at a concert following its restoration in the 1980s – the ancient 1980s.
And I still wonder about the tiny medical textbook storefront and how it endures at a time when students rent books and others use digital versions.
There are still remnants of the porous border between the medical center and the Union Avenue auto row that used to exist and arose around the old Ford plant.

88. Details of Bass Pro-St. Jude Pinch Plan Near -

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Bass Pro Shops have agreed on a tentative and general plan for future development of the Pinch District, according to Memphis City Council member Berlin Boyd.

89. Last Word: Post Caucus, Fincher's Exit, 1919 Handwriting and Your Rolodex -

That close (very little light between index finger and thumb) between Clinton and Sanders in Iowa Monday evening.
Both live to fight another day in another state—New Hampshire.
And because it is Iowa – they each get to declare victory as long as they don’t go into a lot of detail about the totals.
This is one of those cases where it is like horsehoes and hand grenades – close does count.

90. Council Probes Police Body Camera Delay -

Memphis City Council members talk Tuesday, Feb. 2, about when police body cameras might be ready for action.

And there will probably be questions at the 11 a.m. executive session about whether a limited test use of the cameras recorded any of last week’s fatal police shooting of Johnathan Bratcher in South Memphis.

91. The Week Ahead: Feb. 1, 2016 -

How was your weekend, Memphis? The good news is you officially made it through January. Here’s a look at what’s happening this week, from a frigid swim to a FedExForum double-header…

92. Nashville Developer Submits Plans for Downtown Memphis Housing -

Two plans recently filed with the Memphis-Shelby County Office of Planning and Development will turn empty lots into housing for disadvantaged Memphians.

Nashville developer Elmington Capital Group submitted plans for gated multifamily housing in Downtown's South End.

93. Fenced Out -

There’s a major problem in Memphis when it comes to minorities: African-Americans make up 63 percent of the population but garner less than 1 percent of total business receipts within Memphis, according to the most recent U.S. Census data.

94. Last Word: New Minority Business Numbers, The House Affair and The Heights -

The recently revived discussion on minority business in Memphis is about to go back on the front burner again. Fueling the intensity are new U.S. Census numbers. They show the percentage of business receipts in Memphis produced by black-owned businesses has dropped since the 2007 census numbers showed a 1.08 percent share of those receipts by black-owned businesses. That in a city whose population is 63 percent African-American.
The drop to below one percent is even though the overall receipts in 2012 were higher than they were in 2007.
Madeline Faber is the first to report the new numbers as part of a cover story in our weekly, The Memphis News, that will be on the streets and in the racks Saturday, on-line Friday afternoon.
The numbers are such a telling story and such an important indicator that we broke it out as its own story in advance of the cover story.

95. Let’s Hear It for Christine and Patrick! -

This column should be running in late January. Ten years ago, Susan and I flew out to Park City, Utah, for our first (and probably only) Sundance Film Festival. Where “Wordplay,” the award-winning documentary about the crossword puzzle industry, had its world premiere on Jan. 21, 2006.

96. County Commission Forms OPEB Committee -

Shelby County Commissioners have created an ad hoc committee to talk over the health insurance benefits liability of the former Memphis City Schools system and who is responsible for it.

Commission chairman Terry Roland announced Monday, Jan. 25, he had formed the committee, which includes leaders of the Shelby County Schools system and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell’s administration.

97. RDC Leader: Pyramid Isn’t Translating to Tourism Elsewhere -

Toward the back of its proposal for Mud Island River Park, executives with The Mansion Entertainment and Media LLC included a few caveats for those judging the five redevelopment applications.

98. Collierville Board Grants FedEx Tax Break Extension -

The Collierville Board of Mayor and Aldermen ratified a 20-year tax break for the FedEx World Technology Center during its Monday, Jan. 25, meeting.

FedEx will pay nearly $25.2 million over the period and will save about $75.5 million. As part of the retention PILOT agreement, FedEx will invest $40 million in real property and personal property upgrades.

99. Last Word: Kroger Disses Clarence Saunders, Mud Island Plans and The Australians -

What is old has become new again. And judging by your reaction to Andy Meek’s story on the Kroger plans for online ordering of groceries, what is old has gone viral as well.
Here are the basics:
You order from a list of items and Kroger fills the order and has it waiting for you to pick up.
When you think about the idea of supermarkets, which originated here in Memphis with Piggly Wiggly, it’s enough to make the Piggly Wiggly founder himself, Clarence Saunders, spin in his grave.
Before he came up with the idea of taking store shelves from behind the counter and putting them out there for you to get your own stuff from them, you would tell your grocer what you wanted and he would write it down on a paper bag and get it for you, wrap it up and present it to you.
Saunders changed all of that as you know if you’ve seen the Pink Palace’s child-sized replica of a Piggly Wiggly store from the start of the 20th century.
A century later, no paper bags and you can still walk among the shelves if you wish.
Perhaps this isn’t that extreme. Maybe this is simply a swing of the pendulum, back toward the middle ground.
Saunders tried to push it even further with his Keedoozle stores that followed Piggly Wiggly. In those stores, the items were lined up in what amounted to vending machines with shoppers releasing an item from the vertical row with a key.
Here Saunders went too far. He mashed the bread.

100. International Real Estate Firms Find Purchase Potential in Memphis -

International investors and developers are increasingly looking to Memphis because the market is stable and the returns are high, according to a variety of real estate professionals doing business locally.