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Editorial Results (free)

1. Council Likely to Vote On Pinch Plan in 90 Days -

A plan for the redevelopment of the Pinch area is essentially complete and Mayor Jim Strickland’s administration is rounding up grant funds and other financing for elements of the plan, according to Memphis City Council member Berlin Boyd.

2. Council Likely to Vote On Pinch Plan in 90 Days -

A plan for the redevelopment of the Pinch area is essentially complete and Mayor Jim Strickland’s administration is rounding up grant funds and other financing for elements of the plan, according to Memphis City Council member Berlin Boyd.

3. Pinch District to Move in a New Direction: Up -

The Pinch District is getting a sky-high development treatment. For decades, the north Downtown neighborhood has been known as a sea of parking lots punctuated by a handful of small businesses.

With St. Jude Children's Research Hospital announcing $1 billion in new construction, the Pinch's largest tenant is opening up its campus with new buildings, some as tall as 12 stories, in the greater Pinch neighborhood. A neighborhood-level presence is a sea change for the institution, which has grown to 2.5 million square feet behind a gated campus.

4. Designers Transform Old Sears Tower, Maintain Its Character -

When it opens in January 2017, the Crosstown Concourse building will place users in the medical, educational and arts professions side-by-side in a 1.5-million-square-foot building.

The developers’ vision for the project is that through cohabitation, different sectors will inspire collaboration and creativity across seemingly disparate operations. That vision translates into the building’s design, which emphasizes community spaces with tenants sharing entrances and even rented space.

5. Land Use Board Turns Away Downtown Surfacing Parking Lot Proposal -

City leaders adhering to the mission of density in urban development made their point at a June 9 board meeting of the Land Use Control Board.

The applicant sought approval to construct a block-wide surface parking lot along Pontotoc Avenue between South Front and Wagner streets. The parking lot would be built on vacant land where a warehouse used by Machine Works once stood.

6. Show Time -

For the first time in years, the Peabody Place mall was packed. On June 3, hundreds of ServiceMaster employees and a handful of business and government leaders ushered in One ServiceMaster Center, a multimillion-dollar headquarters for Memphis’ fourth-largest public company.

7. Bridging a Divide -

The Mid-South is united by more than the Mississippi River, but that’s what it took to get the region’s mayors in the same room.

In the aftermath of the 2011 Mississippi River flood, damage stretched from Millington’s naval base to Memphis’ Beale Street. Leaders of the affected municipalities had to come together to apply for FEMA grants and plot their way out of devastation.

8. Mid-South Mayors Don’t See Barriers In Regionalism -

It took the Mississippi River’s devastating flood in 2011 for Mid-South leaders to consider greater collaboration among the area’s 10 counties and three states.

Mid-South mayors came together to plot their way out of disaster, and that convening set the stage for a formal alliance, the Mid-South Mayors’ Council.

9. Shadyac Takes Over Soulsville Project With ‘Different Type of Model’ -

Tom Shadyac wants to pump $10 million into the heart of Soulsville. That’s the initial ask for his community center concept, One Family Memphis.

In September, the Hollywood filmmaker-turned-University of Memphis professor purchased for $1.9 million the bankrupt New Towne Center, a 77,000-square-foot community anchor that a local community development corporation tried to develop during the economic downturn.

10. Greensward Controversy Shows Complex Mix of Groups -

No one from the Memphis Zoo or City Hall showed up for the Greensward box luncheon Saturday, April 9, despite the invitations sent out by Citizens to Preserve Overton Park.

CPOP leaders nevertheless gathered on the other side of the metal parking barrier in place on the Greensward for the second weekend. They dutifully stacked the box lunches and set a vase of flowers on another table near plastic cups and a glass pitcher of water.

11. Zoo Offers Parking Plan, Devotes Parking Fees to Long-Range Parking Solution -

The Memphis Zoo is suggesting the city general services maintenance yard on the east side of the park be used as a parking area and a second greensward with “eco-friendly options” that “are not disruptive to the park” to get zoo patrons from there to the zoo.

12. Beyond The Greensward -

If a crowd shows up some place other than the Greensward, is it a busy spring in Overton Park?

The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art is undergoing renovations in preparation for its 100th anniversary celebration next month.

13. Overton Parking-Traffic Study Sees Future Garage -

An Overton Park traffic and parking study released Tuesday, April 5, recommends a phased-approach to creating more parking in and around the park, better coordination of traffic patterns and then a likely move to a 300-space, $7.8 million parking deck on Prentiss Place Drive off McLean Boulevard at the end of 2017.

14. 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.

15. 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.

16. Old Dominick Built for Aging -

A block-wide warehouse at 301 S. Front St. is getting new life as the Old Dominick Distillery. When it opens to the public in December, the distillery will brew and bottle two kinds of vodkas and three kinds of whiskey. Plans for the historic 54,000-square-foot warehouse include two tasting rooms, a rooftop patio, restaurant and retail area in addition to best-in-class equipment.

17. Cates Wants Detail on Downtown Agreements -

From Mud Island River Park across the Memphis harbor to The Pyramid and further east to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – there are a lot of connections as the areas head toward a new incarnation.

18. 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.

19. Packed Overton Park Traffic Town Hall Seeks View Beyond Greensward -

Architect and urban planner Steve Auterman stood before a standing-room-only crowd at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art Tuesday, Feb. 2, and made the case for a broader vision of Overton Park.

To Auterman, of Looney Ricks Kiss, it’s a still-developing plan that’s larger than the volatile issue of the Memphis Zoo’s overflow parking on the greensward.

20. Last Word: Rallings Meets the Council, Million Dollar Auditions & A Pinch Plan Emerges -

His second day on the job, the new Memphis Police Director, Michael Rallings, met the Memphis City Council and discovered just what a huge issue police body cameras are – if he didn’t know that already.
His answers to some pointed questions about when police can turn off those cameras and why made this an uneven first encounter.
Council members told him they got an earful from constituents over the weekend in the wake of the fatal police shooting of Johnathan Bratcher in South Memphis. And some of the reaction they got was to reports that a police dispatcher ordered police trying out the body cameras to turn them off as they arrived at the scene of the shooting.
There are three cameras being tested. And one of the officers with them showed up after the shooting, according to police.
Meanwhile, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland still didn’t have a timetable for the roll-out of the cameras but did offer some specifics including hiring by the MPD of 10 new personnel to deal with the handling of what the camera records.
And Strickland’s intention is to pay for it out of the existing MPD budget.

21. Tentative Pinch Development Plan About to Emerge -

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.

22. Zoo Distances Self From Overton Park Traffic Study -

Unusually warm temperatures over the weekend brought out more visitors to Overton Park and the Memphis Zoo, offering a preview of what the spring could be like on the greensward.

Overflow zoo parking on the grass mixed with pedestrian park patrons beyond the border of orange cones the zoo uses to mark off the parking.

23. Overton Park Conservancy Sets First Public Hearing -

The first public meeting in Overton Park’s traffic and parking study is Tuesday, Feb. 2, at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. The 6 p.m. session includes a presentation on the guiding principles for the process and then public comments.

24. Overton Park Conservancy Sets First Public Hearing -

The first public meeting in Overton Park’s traffic and parking study is Tuesday, Feb. 2, at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.

The 6 p.m. session includes a presentation on the guiding principles for the process and then public comments.

25. Strickland Proposes Mediation in Greensward Controversy -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland is asking leaders of the Memphis Zoo and the Overton Park Conservancy to enter voluntary mediation over parking in the Overton Park Greensward.

26. Overton Park Conservancy Hires Trio of Firms For Park Traffic Study -

The Overton Park Conservancy has hired a trio of firms led by the design firm Looney Ricks Kiss to recommend solutions to the park’s traffic flow and parking problems.

Working with LRK on the study, agreed to by the conservancy and all of the park’s institutions including the Memphis Zoo, are greenway and trail consultants Alta Planning + Design and engineering consultants Kimley-Horn and Associates.

27. One Commerce Garners LEED Gold Certification -

One Commerce Square’s renovation is both green and gold as it has achieved LEED Gold Certification, a green building accreditation through the U.S. Green Building Council.

The energy-efficient renovation spearheaded by Looney Ricks Kiss has resulted in a 45 percent energy reduction. This translates to a cost savings of $138,000 per year that is passed directly on to One Commerce tenants.

28. One Commerce Garners LEED Gold Certification -

One Commerce Square’s renovation is both green and gold as it has achieved LEED Gold Certification, a green building accreditation through the U.S. Green Building Council.

The energy-efficient renovation spearheaded by Looney Ricks Kiss has resulted in a 45 percent energy reduction. This translates to a cost savings of $138,000 per year that is passed directly on to One Commerce tenants.

29. Forest Hill Heights Plan Seeks Community Follow-Up -

Development and government leaders are in the process of crafting a broad development plan for Forest Hill Heights, an area located at the southwest corner of Forest Hill-Irene and Winchester roads.

30. Forest Hill Heights Plan Seeks Community Follow-Up -

Development and government leaders are in the process of crafting a broad development plan for Forest Hill Heights, an area located at the southwest corner of Forest Hill-Irene and Winchester roads.

31. The Week Ahead: Nov. 30, 2015 -

How was your weekend, Memphis? Here’s our weekly rundown of local happenings you need to know about, from snow and sledding at the Levitt Shell to orientation for members of the new Memphis City Council...

32. The Week Ahead: Nov. 9, 2015 -

How was your weekend, Memphis? Here’s our weekly rundown of local happenings you need to know about, from revenge on the Warriors to crime reduction through urban planning…

It’s still election season in 70 percent of the city, which sounds like a weather forecast – part warning and part advisory.
But the seven-day outlook calls for an increased chance of political engagement this week. Early voting in the set of five Memphis City Council runoff races continues this week at eight satellite locations as well as the Downtown site, 157 Poplar Ave.
The runoff elections in council districts 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 will determine the identity of a council that will have at least six, possibly seven new members. Super District council members Philip Spinosa and Martavius Jones, the two confirmed new faces on the council, were elected outright on Oct. 8.

33. New Owner to Revive Long-Vacant Downtown Block -

A group of private investors – led by Memphis businessman Michael Cook – is looking to turn a blighted Downtown block into a mixed-use development with covered parking.

Walk-Off Properties LLC bought the nine-story Hickman Building and its accompanying two-story parking garage on Sept. 30 for $1 million. The building, at 240 Madison Ave., sits across from the Fogelman Downtown YMCA.

34. Artspace Lands Grant, Seeks Design Approval -

Developers of the South Main Artspace Lofts are clearing major hurdles this week with final approval for the building design, a crucial tax incentive decision and a grant from a new-to-Memphis donor.

35. Mix It Up -

Memphis’ development eye is turning inward and upward as mixed-use projects are becoming more common than ever before.

Usually a mode of survival for densely packed cities, residential, office, retail and even manufacturing are cohabitating in single mixed-use buildings or lots as a way to recoup Memphis’ sprawl. Downtown and Midtown are being combed for infill and adaptive reuse possibilities as millennials are moving to the urban core in droves.

36. Central Station Design Plans Come Into Clearer Focus -

A six-screen movie theater and nine multistoried apartment buildings with a total of about 200 units are among the updates in the recently submitted plan for the redevelopment of Central Station.

In its application to the Design Review Board, an affiliate board of the Downtown Memphis Commission, developers submitted their $55 million proposal to turn the Downtown train station into a vibrant mixed-use campus.

37. Mixed-Use Midtown Market on Tap for Long-Vacant Corner -

Rumors and speculation have long run rampant about potential development at the southwest corner of Union Avenue and McLean Boulevard, one of Memphis’ busiest intersections.

Some of the speculation involved keeping the eight-story hotel, which was built in the late 1960s, as the central feature of whatever came next. In other scenarios it would be demolished.

38. Grocery, Apartments to Rise at McLean-Union Corner -

Belz Enterprises and Harbour Retail Partners of Marietta, Ga., have a plan to demolish the empty eight-story Artisan Hotel on the southwest corner of Union Avenue and McLean Boulevard.

The project would replace the blighted building with a $43 million mixed-use “Midtown Market” anchored by a “national gourmet grocery store." It also would include 188 apartments: 47 studios; 94 one-bedroom units; and 47 two-bedroom units.

39. Highland Row Developer Seeks Permit for Parking Garage -

Highland Row
Parking Garage
Permit Amount: $5 million

Application Date: September 2015
Completion: Late summer 2016
Owner: Poag Shopping Centers LLC
Architect: Looney Ricks Kiss
Contractor: Milhaus Development LLC
Details: Indianapolis-based developer Milhaus Development LLC and Memphis-based Poag Shopping Centers LLC have pulled a $5 million building permit as they continue developing the new Highland Row urban infill development.

40. Methodist Files Permit for Campus Near Bartlett -

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare has filed a $2.6 million building permit application for changes to a 64,294-square-foot Class B office building it recently acquired.

Methodist plans to turn the building into a campus for the health care provider’s information systems and biomedical and clinical engineering departments.

41. Highland Row Developer Pulls Parking Garage Permit -

Indianapolis-based developer Milhaus Development LLC and Memphis-based Poag Shopping Centers LLC have pulled a $5 million building permit as they continue developing the new Highland Row urban infill development.

42. Methodist Files Permit for Campus Near Bartlett -

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare has filed a $2.6 million building permit application for changes to a 64,294-square-foot Class B office building it recently acquired.

Methodist plans to turn the building into a campus for the health care provider’s information systems and biomedical and clinical engineering departments.

43. ULI Panel Tackles Soulsville’s Dilemma as Shadyac Reveals Concept -

Local shareholders and national development leaders got deep in the heart of Soulsville USA this week with an all-day deliberation on how to bring placemaking to one of Memphis’ struggling historical areas.

44. Highland Row Developer Pulls Parking Garage Permit -

Indianapolis-based developer Milhaus Development LLC and Memphis-based Poag Shopping Centers LLC have pulled a $5 million building permit as they continue developing the new Highland Row urban infill development.

45. One Beale, Tennessee Brewery Plans Go to Design Board -

Plans for two of Downtown Memphis’ most high-profile projects are set to go before a key development board next week.

Both the Tennessee Brewery and One Beale development teams have filed applications to be heard by the Downtown Memphis Commission Design Review Board at its Sept. 2 meeting.

46. One Beale, Tennessee Brewery Plans Go to Downtown Memphis Design Board -

Plans for two of Downtown Memphis’ most high-profile projects are set to go before a key development board next week.

Both the Tennessee Brewery and One Beale development teams have filed applications to be heard by the Downtown Memphis Commission Design Review Board at its Sept. 2 meeting.

47. One Beale, Tennessee Brewery Plans Go to Downtown Memphis Design Board -

Plans for two of Downtown Memphis’ most high-profile projects are set to go before a key development board next week.

Both the Tennessee Brewery and One Beale development teams have filed applications to be heard by the Downtown Memphis Commission Design Review Board at its Sept. 2 meeting.

48. Build Out -

Boyle Investment Co. is building a 52,000-square-foot office building at its Schilling Farms community in Collierville in which Helena Chemical Co.’s Southern Business Unit will lease half of the space.

49. LRK Launches Expansion in Downtown Memphis -

Looney Ricks Kiss is embarking on an expansion of its Downtown Memphis headquarters.

The Memphis-based architecture, planning and design firm is expanding its office footprint by about 60 percent as part of a long-term lease extension at the Toyota Center building adjacent to AutoZone Park, 175 Toyota Plaza.

50. Passion for Architecture Fuels Looney Ricks Kiss' Norcross -

Rob Norcross, a principal at Memphis architecture, planning and design firm Looney Ricks Kiss, has increasingly enmeshed himself into public service, holding positions on several key boards or committees.

51. Rollin' On The River -

When the team of planners and developers behind the Harbor Town community on Mud Island wanted to build slimmer streets to promote a more pedestrian-friendly experience, the city of Memphis said they couldn’t do it.

52. Foote Homes Effort Gets Rebrand, New Details -

With Bass Pro Shops formally opening this week, the next big project on City Hall’s drawing board is a remake of Foote Homes.

The ambitious plan to demolish and rebuild the city’s last large public housing project, using it as a catalyst for redevelopment of the much larger south Downtown into South Memphis area, has been on the books longer than The Pyramid. That’s if you start the timeline with the demolition of the first large housing project, LeMoyne Gardens, in the late 1990s.

53. Dr. Neil Bomar Joins Support Solutions -

Dr. Neil Bomar has joined Support Solutions as its first staff psychiatrist, a role in which he will help individuals with intellectual disabilities and those with a history of long-term mental illness who are currently supported by the organization. Bomar’s addition makes Support Solutions one of the only industry providers in the Mid-South to provide this level of support.

54. Flying High -

Young visitors to the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library will soon find themselves on cloud nine.

Make that Cloud901.

That’s the new name for a state-of-the-art teen learning lab under development at the library, for which more than $1.6 million already has been raised. The lab will be packed with cutting-edge technology and space for creative potential to flourish once it’s complete.

55. Expanding Opportunities -

The popular image of a library may be one of a dowdy old institution that loans out books and demands hushed voices from its patrons. But because of where the library system in Memphis is headed, though, that notion is – no pun intended – overdue for a rethink.

56. We’re All Invited -

MEMPHIS, SERVED IN THE SHELL. Following up last week’s column, this from a reader:

“We have no civic pride, half the population is intent on killing as many as they can and the other part lives behind walls or gates. There was a time in the fifties when you could leave your front door unlocked and keys in the car.”

57. Kitsinger Continues Downtown Work With The Development Studio -

As an architect and planner, Andy Kitsinger worked on large projects whose scale immediately changed areas, even as they were being built.

And he’s also worked on developments and projects that are smaller – sometimes part of the ripple effect of larger projects, but no less important or influential.

58. AIA Memphis Showing Best 2014 Architecture -

AIA Memphis is hosting a public display of the best architecture in Memphis this year through June 20.

The opening night reception, hosted during the South Main Art Trolley Tour Friday, May 30, offers the public an opportunity to view the winners of the 2014 AIA Memphis Design Awards for excellence in architecture. The exhibit, located at the AIA Memphis Gallery, 511 S. Main St., is free and open to the public.

59. AIA Memphis Showing Best 2014 Architecture -

AIA Memphis is hosting a public display of the best architecture in Memphis this year through June 20.

The opening night reception, hosted during the South Main Art Trolley Tour Friday, May 30, offers the public an opportunity to view the winners of the 2014 AIA Memphis Design Awards for excellence in architecture. The exhibit, located at the AIA Memphis Gallery, 511 S. Main St., is free and open to the public.

60. LRK Turns 30 With Eye Toward Growth -

LRK Inc. is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and the full-service architectural, planning, environmental and interior design firm is involved with a diverse range of high-profile projects, both locally and nationally, with the intent of creating special places for clients and users.

61. ‘Lean and Mean’ -

Architectural firms that were thrown into a deep, dark hole following the Great Recession are finally starting to see light again.

The only worry is that the light at the end of the tunnel is another recession-driven train, threatening to again pummel the architectural community.

62. Hotel Chisca Gets New Owners, Art Facelift -

The chain-link fence surrounding the dilapidated Hotel Chisca in Downtown Memphis is a little bit easier on the eyes as of Saturday, Oct. 27.

That’s because it now boasts 30 colorful banners created by students of St. Louis Catholic School, under the leadership of art teacher Robin Durden. The art exhibit, “Memphis Music Icons,” pays tribute to the Hotel Chisca’s legacy of being the location where Elvis Presley was first played on Dewey Phillips’ “Red, Hot and Blue” radio show from the WHBQ studios in 1954.

63. Hotel Chisca Gets New Owners, Art Facelift -

The chain link fence surrounding the dilapidated Hotel Chisca in Downtown Memphis is a little bit easier on the eyes as of Saturday, Oct. 27.

That’s because it now boasts 30 colorful banners created by students of St. Louis Catholic School, under the leadership of art teacher Robin Durden. The art exhibit, “Memphis Music Icons,” pays tribute to the Hotel Chisca’s legacy of being the location where Elvis Presley was first played on Dewey Phillips’ “Red, Hot and Blue” radio show from the WHBQ studios in 1954.

64. Visionary Project -

The reversal of fate for the blighted Chisca Hotel at the intersection of South Main Street and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, plagued by passive out-of-town ownership and environmental hazards, was set in motion during a phone call about 18 months ago.

65. Sullivan Branding Inks Toyota Center Deal -

Sullivan Branding has finalized its lease in the Toyota Center, where it will move about two-thirds of its workforce by the end of the week.

About 40 of Sullivan Branding’s 65 Memphis employees will relocate from 400 Union Ave. to occupy approximately half of the sixth floor of the 175,000-square-foot, eight-story Downtown office building at 175 Toyota Center, near the intersection of Third and Union.

66. LRK Consolidates Ofcs. in Toyota Center -

Looney Ricks Kiss is consolidating its Memphis office space on the fifth floor of Toyota Center Downtown.

The firm has been in the building since 2000 after completing a renovation of the entire building along with AutoZone Park.

67. Looney Ricks Kiss Wins 3 Nat'l Design Awards -

Looney Ricks Kiss, also known as LRK Inc., has received three awards in the 2011 Best in American Living Awards by the National Association of Home Builders.

68. Looney Ricks Kiss Wins 3 Nat’l Design Awards -

Looney Ricks Kiss, also known as LRK Inc., has received three awards in the 2011 Best in American Living Awards by the National Association of Home Builders.

69. City Prepares Madison Ave. for Bike Lanes -

Madison Avenue is set to get dedicated bike lanes on both sides of the street between Cooper and McNeil streets.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. has ordered the city Engineering Division to proceed with restriping Madison in preparation for the bike lanes.

70. New Façades -

Local architecture firms have run the gamut with realignment strategies in combating the economic downturn, from reduction of footprints and overhead to reorganizing and rebranding.

In late 2009, Memphis-based Looney Ricks Kiss Architects Inc. filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition. The news sent shockwaves throughout the industry, as one of the city’s most prominent firms – behind landmark projects like AutoZone Park and AutoZone corporate headquarters, Riverside Drive, FedExForum, Harbor Town and the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, to name a few – was being forced to reorganize.

71. LRK Awarded for Design of CA2 -

Looney Ricks Kiss recently received a Merit Award from the American Institute of Architects-Tennessee Chapter during the 2011 Design Awards of Excellence for LRK’s design of Court Annex Two (CA2)

72. Final Madison Bike Lane Hearing Weighs Options -

Now the decisions begin about how to redraw the markings on Madison Avenue in Midtown.

More than 100 people attended the third and final in a series of public hearings Wednesday, July 13, at Minglewood Hall.

73. Advocates Push Overton-Greenline Link -

When the group of architects and planners working on a bicycle-pedestrian path connecting the Shelby Farms Greenline with Overton Park went beyond the end of the Greenline onto Tillman Street recently, they had a Memphis Police bicycle escort.

74. Maps Marked Up At Second Madison Bike Lane Meeting -

A group of more than 100 citizens got a chance to do more than just look at maps of Madison Avenue Wednesday evening.

In the second of three public hearings on proposed bicycle lanes for the two mile stretch of Madison between Cleveland Ave. and Cooper St., those at the Minglewood Hall meeting got a chance to mark up the maps with what they would like to see.

75. Reading Celebration -

The Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library Saturday celebrated its 10th anniversary with a family-friendly blowout bash featuring artistic performances and words of support and encouragement from community leaders.

76. City, Community at Heart of Montgomery Martin’s Work -

Construction, says Montgomery Martin, is hard. And he should know, having been in the business since 1978.

“You’re creating something out of nothing, you’re taking a raw piece of dirt, grading it off and digging holes and pouring concrete and creating an edifice for an environment to work in and live in,” Martin said. “That’s all very appealing and neat, and a necessary thing to do for society and for culture and for people to live and operate in.”

77. Overton Square Developer Eyes Grocery Store for Site -

A premium grocery store is in the works for Overton Square with plans to preserve the entertainment district’s character and bring it back to life, Loeb Properties Inc. revealed this week.

78. Overton Square Developer Eyes Grocery Store -

A premium grocery store is in the works for Overton Square with plans to preserve the entertainment district’s character and bring it back to life, Loeb Properties Inc. revealed this week.

Before a standing room only crowd Tuesday at the office of Memphis Heritage Inc., 2282 Madison Ave., Loeb president Bob Loeb unveiled the site plan for a 53,000-square-foot grocery store, more than double the size of Schnucks’ Midtown location.

79. Bankruptcy Trends Shift, Local Numbers Drop -

Bankruptcy attorney Jimmy McElroy, one of the Memphis court’s top filers, has noticed a recent change in local bankruptcy trends.

80. Downtown Touchdown -

Many of the dominoes that fell into place in advance of Pinnacle Airlines Corp. deciding to move its Memphis corporate headquarters to the landmark Downtown tower One Commerce Square happened in the public eye.

81. $5.3M Permit Application Filed for Soulsville Charter School -

1115 College St.
Memphis, TN 38106
Permit Amount: $5.3 million

Project Cost: $5.3 million for phase one
Permit Date: Applied September 2010
Completion: July 2011
Owner: Soulsville Foundation
Tenant: Soulsville Charter School
Contractor: Looney Ricks Kiss
Architect: Flintco Inc.

82. $5.3M Permit Application Filed for Soulsville Charter School -

A $5.3 million permit application has been filed for Soulsville Charter School, slated to be built at 1115 College St. The permit calls for construction of a two-story school building, which will replace 13 portable classrooms currently on site, according to Soulsville communications director Tim Sampson.

83. LRK Works to Rise From Bankruptcy Ashes -

Many architecture and engineering firms spent the past two years adapting to the changing economic times, but the most prominent example occurred last winter when Looney Ricks Kiss Architects Inc. filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition.

84. Redesigned and Rebuilt -

David Schuermann, president of Architecture Inc., said his 16-year-old Downtown firm specializes in renovations and restorations to existing buildings.

85. City Leaders Roll Out Red Carpet for Pinnacle -

The opportunity to convince Pinnacle Airlines Corp. to bring its Memphis headquarters Downtown has presented the first opportunity for several important figures to coordinate their efforts on a major economic development deal.

86. Pinnacle Board Gets Downtown Hard Sell -

Pinnacle Airlines Corp. executives, after listening to a coordinated, Downtown-focused pitch from developers, businessmen and political leaders, will now take about a month to finish deciding where to relocate their corporate headquarters.

They’re considering sites Downtown, near Memphis International Airport as well as beyond the city. Mississippi has made what Pinnacle acknowledged is a “generous” offer for the company to move to Olive Branch.

Pinnacle executives are in town this week for the Memphis-based regional air carrier’s regular board meeting. Backers of the proposal to make Pinnacle the anchor tenant at Downtown’s One Commerce Square took that opportunity to make their case directly to the company in a private meeting Tuesday evening on the 29th floor of the landmark tower.

After about an hour, Pinnacle executives descended to the One Commerce lobby, where Memphis’ business elite were gathered, refreshments were served, and projected onto a screen were the words “Pinnacle Land Here” against a backdrop of the city.

Guests included a handful of political leaders, representatives of the Greater Memphis Chamber, EmergeMemphis, the Center City Commission and the heads of Memphis two largest locally-based banks, First Tennessee and Independent Bank, among other people.

Contrasting with the traditional nametags everyone else wore, the nametags of Pinnacle board members were brightly colored. All the better, Downtown supporters pointed out, for identifying them and laying on the charm.

“We’re going to fill this building,” exclaimed Karl Schledwitz, one of the partners with Southland Capital president Terry Lynch involved in buying the tower and working to lease a significant portion of it to Pinnacle.

As guests mingled, a marketing video produced by the Center City Commission was played on one wall that featured Downtown workers talking up the neighborhood. The same video was shown earlier that evening during the private pitch to Pinnacle’s board.

Making the case to the board were Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.; incoming Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and representatives of the investors buying One Commerce, as well as the Center City Commission and the Looney Ricks Kiss architectural firm.

Pinnacle Airlines Corp.’s board of directors participated in a walk-through of One Commerce Square, hosted by members of the Center City Commission, the investors who are buying the building, and key business and government leaders,” said Phil Trenary, Pinnacle’s president and CEO, in a statement released Tuesday night. “This visit gave our board an opportunity to get a firsthand look at the building.

“Pinnacle has not selected a new site and still has to complete an in-depth analysis on this and other sites. We appreciate the interest and enthusiasm that the City of Memphis, the CCC, the Chamber and the ownership group have shown as we move through this process.”

Tuesday was the culmination of a months-long synchronized attempt at deal-making among several entities working to keep Pinnacle from being lured away from Memphis.

Details of the multimillion-dollar incentive package business and civic leaders have pieced together to cement the Downtown location for Pinnacle also began to trickle out Tuesday.

Coupled with that, a series of well-timed dominoes still needs to fall into place before a deal sweetened with a variety of incentives comes together.

Lynch confirmed Tuesday afternoon that several things have to happen more or less simultaneously.

The city, or perhaps an entity like one of the Center City Commission’s affiliated boards, would need to buy a nearby parking garage at the same time the investors buy One Commerce Square and at the same time Pinnacle signs a lease. Plans in the works now call for leasing the nearby parking garage back to One Commerce Square's new owners and giving Pinnacle parking there. More Pinnacle parking would be available at 250 Peabody Place.

Lynch said a memorandum of understanding has already been making its way around to various people involved in the deal. Wharton, outgoing Shelby County Mayor Joe Ford and CCC President Paul Morris have all signed a memo outlining the proposed incentives.

Lynch said U.S. Bank, the current owner of One Commerce Square, has accepted the investment group’s bid, but plenty more moving pieces need to fall into place.

“We have a letter of intent and we’re working through a contract right now. We’re just going back and forth. That’s the status of it right now,” Lynch said.

He said the timeline for next steps is fluid.

“If we don’t get past the first one, we can’t get to the second one,” Lynch said. “There’s various steps we have to get to.”

Wharton said Tuesday the city would like to commit $3 million from the $5 million economic development fund Wharton recently asked for the City Council’s approval to establish.

Wharton also mentioned Tuesday the possibility of applying for $15 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act bond allocations from the state to add to the pot of financing for the Pinnacle deal.

Another facet of the issue is how to pay for and fit into the package the acquisition of a nearby parking garage for Pinnacle’s use. The importance of that topic was discussed by Downtown officials with Pinnacle’s board Tuesday night.

“Landing Pinnacle Downtown would be a big boost in all kinds of ways,” said council member Bill Boyd.

U.S. Bancorp recently accepted the bid to buy One Commerce Square tower from a group of investors that includes Lynch; Schledwitz; and Gary Prosterman.

Lynch’s group is committing $25 million to $30 million on the building, which includes the purchase price and improvements to the building in the coming months. The group is now teeing up a deal to make Pinnacle the building's anchor tenant, something that Wharton has said will be an attraction to other businesses that have expressed interest in following suit if Pinnacle inks a deal.

Lynch wasn’t able to disclose the building's formal purchase price, but One Commerce Square was listed for $12 million.

Look for updates at The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com.

...

87. After Trading Hands, Marina Cove Now Ready for Redevelopment -

5505 Winchester Road
Memphis, TN 38115
Sale Amount: $1.6 Million

Sale Date:July 15, 2010
Buyer:The Power Center Community Development Corp.
Seller:Water Gardens LLC (in dissolution), and Optimal Partners LLC and National Community Development Association Inc. (which constitutes all members of Water Gardens LLC since its dissolution)

88. Lodging for Patients’ Families Increasing -

More hospitality options for out-of-towners seeking medical care in Memphis are on the way with the construction of two family lodging centers.

The $7.75 million American Cancer Society Harrah’s Hope Lodge is on schedule for an Aug. 27 finish date, while work on the $6.6 million FedEx Family House should be done by mid-November.

They will bring to five the number of hospitality lodges that offer people a free place to stay within and near the Memphis Medical Center district. The Memphis Grizzlies House, Ronald McDonald House of Memphis and Target House already serve families with children at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

But people who come here to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital have had to pay for motel rooms or sleep in patient rooms. The FedEx House will change that.

The Harrah’s Hope Lodge is for adult cancer patients receiving care at any Memphis hospital or oncology center.

“We did a needs assessment study in 2003,” said Leighanne Hart, capital campaign director for the Mid-South division of the American Cancer Society. “At that time, it was determined that we had over 2,000 patients coming into Memphis from the Mid-South and other areas to receive their cancer care and there was nothing for adult cancer patient care who have that need. We also learned that people were coming into Memphis and sleeping in their cars.”

Sixty- and 80-mile commutes can be a weary journey for patients receiving chemotherapy.

“The worst case is when a patient would just give up because they could not afford to come to Memphis and couldn’t afford a place to stay so they unfortunately did not receive their cancer treatment,” Hart said.

The Hope Lodge is already part of the Union Avenue streetscape. It is immediately east of Sun Studio.

The three-story structure was designed by Trivers Associates of St. Louis. The general contractor for the project is Brice Building Co. Inc. of Birmingham, Ala.

The first floor has common spaces including kitchens, a dining room, living room, patios and a screened-in porch. The second and third floors have a total of 40 patient suites for cancer patients and a guest/caregiver.

The American Cancer Society has raised $750,000 to cover the first three years of operating costs. Although the lodge is slated for completion at the end of next month, a date has not been set for when it will begin accepting guests.

“Our first position is a full-time director for the Hope Lodge facility,” Hart said. “We are currently looking for the right person for that job. It is a very important and a very big job.”

The American Cancer Society is looking to raise an additional $50,000 to cover construction add-ons to make the building more resistant to damage from earthquakes. The organization also expects to begin an endowment campaign for future operational funds once the building opens.

The Harrah’s Foundation, which is funded by the casino company Harrah’s Entertainment, gave $2 million to the building fund. The University of Tennessee Health Science Center donated the land.

The Plough Foundation and The Assisi Foundation of Memphis Inc. each gave $1 million.

“All hospitals and clinics within our community are supporting this very important endeavor,” Hart said. “There is nothing like this in Memphis, and this will be the 30th Hope Lodge in the country.”

The FedEx house is being built with donations from FedEx Corp., FedEx President Fred Smith and his wife, Diane Smith, and FedEx Chief Financial Officer Alan Graf and his wife, Susan Graf.

“This is really sort of a dream and vision of Susan Graf,” said Janet Phillips, executive consultant for Le Bonheur. “She is very involved with the Le Bonheur Club and has spent lots of hands-on time down here.”

The FedEx House is located on the north side of Poplar Avenue across the street from the new hospital. It is three stories and will have 24 suites.

Looney Ricks Kiss of Memphis is the project architect, while Montgomery Martin Contractors is the general contractor.

The FedEx House will be managed and operated by Wilton Hotel Management Co. Inc. The company also runs the Memphis Grizzlies House.

“The FedEx Family House is really going to offer such a great benefit in terms, not only a place to sleep, but in my mind a real nurturing environment,” Phillips said.

...

89. 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.

90. County Awards New Design Contract For Admin Building -

Shelby County government is drawing up a new contract for renovation of the Vasco Smith Administration Building, 160 N. Main St., after deciding not to work with the first vendor chosen for the project.

91. County Awards New Design Contract for Admin Building -

Shelby County government is drawing up a new contract for renovation of the Vasco Smith Administration Building, 160 N. Main St., after deciding not to work with the first vendor chosen for the project.

92. Southwest Opens Building At Macon Cove Campus -

Southwest Tennessee Community College will celebrate the completion of an academic building at its Macon Cove Campus with a 10 a.m. ribbon cutting followed by an open house on May 7.

The two-story structure, which encompasses 106,000 square feet, is a combination of three buildings bridged by two glass atriums. It contains classrooms, laboratories, conference rooms, a presentation theater and faculty areas.

93. State Files Permit to Replace Oakhaven Driver Service Center -

3200 E. Shelby Drive
Memphis, TN 38118
Permit Amount: $2.6 Million

Project Cost: $2.6 million
Permit Date: Applied April 2010
Completion: End of 2010
Owner: State of Tennessee
Tenant: State of Tennessee Department of Safety
Contractor: Mayer Construction Co. Inc.
Architect: Looney Ricks Kiss Architects Inc.

94. State Files Permit For DL Service Center -

The state of Tennessee Department of Safety has filed a $2.6 million permit with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement to build a driver service center at 3200 E. Shelby Drive in Oakhaven.

95. Institute of Classical Architecture Elects McClure to Chapter Board of Directors -

Mark McClure has been elected to the board of directors of the Tennessee Chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America. He will serve a three-year term.

96. Commission To Consider Gov’t Appointments -

Shelby County Commissioners will take up a slate of appointments to county and joint city-county boards at today’s full commission meeting.

The meeting will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the County Administration Building, 160 N. Main St. An agenda can be found at www.memphisdailynews.com.

97. Six Permits Issued to Airport For Ground Transportation Center -

2491 Winchester Road
Memphis, TN 38116
Permit Amounts: $89.5 Million

Project Cost: $121 million
Permit Date: Issued March 2010
Completion: Spring 2012
Owner: Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority
Tenant: Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority
Contractor: The Flintco Cos. Inc.
Architect: Walker Parking Consultants

98. Six Permits Issued For Memphis Airport -

Six building permits have been granted to the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority to begin work on the airport’s $121 million ground transportation center. The city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement issued the permits earlier this week.

99. Recession Pushes Looney Ricks Kiss Into Bankruptcy -

Looney Ricks Kiss Architects Inc., one of the city’s most recognizable and renowned architectural and design firms, on Tuesday filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition.

100. Recession Pushes Looney Ricks Kiss Into Bankruptcy -

Looney Ricks Kiss Architects Inc., one of the city’s most recognizable and renowned architectural and design firms, on Tuesday filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition.