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Editorial Results (free)

1. Events -

Memphis Branch NAACP will host its Centennial Freedom Fund Luncheon on Saturday, June 24, at 11:30 a.m. at the Memphis Hilton, 939 Ridge Lake Blvd. Wake Forest University professor Melissa Harris-Perry and former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr. are the guest speakers at the luncheon, themed “Reflecting on the Past, Remaining Focused on the Future: 100 Years of Civil Rights and Human Rights Advocacy.” Tickets start at $100. Visit naacpmemphis.org for details.

2. Chuck Berry's Influence on Rock ‘n’ Roll Was Incalculable -

Rock n' roll was more than a new kind of music, but a new story to tell, one for kids with transistor radios in their hands and money in their pockets, beginning to raise questions their parents never had the luxury to ask.

3. Convention Center Hotel Plan Hinges on Financing -

For years the Memphis convention and tourism industry has known which comes first in the chicken-and-egg argument about drawing more convention business. More hotel rooms with meeting space take top priority in an environment where there is just enough political will for a $60 million renovation of the Memphis Cook Convention Center but not enough to build and finance a new convention center.

4. Convention Center Hotel Proposal Surfaces -

A Denver financier whose work in the last 15 years is in developing and financing convention center hotels has very general plans for a 600-room Memphis Convention Center hotel at Front and Poplar where the Mud Island parking garage is currently.

5. Convention Center Hotel Proposal Surfaces -

A Denver financier whose work in the last 15 years is in developing and financing convention center hotels has very general plans for a 600-room Memphis Convention Center hotel at Front and Poplar where the Mud Island parking garage is currently.

6. Last Word: The Grizz Are Back, Bass Pro Shops Buys Cabela's and Stein at Amurica -

Some of you will remember the late George Lapides, whom I worked with for a time at WREC, had a policy about pre-season baseball games or what he called the “Grapefruit League.” It was that they didn’t exist. He wouldn’t acknowledge the games much less the scores.

7. Bass Pro Shops to Acquire Rival Cabela's for $5.5B -

Bass Pro Shops, the iconic outdoor retail company that last year opened a destination store in Memphis’ Pyramid arena, has announced plans to acquire publicly traded rival Cabela’s Inc. in a roughly $5.5 billion deal.

8. 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.

9. The 5 Applicants for Mud Island Redevelopment -

Each company that applied to redevelop Mud Island River Park has a month to submit its detailed proposal, including specific plans and how they would be financed, to the Riverfront Development Corp.

10. Five Mud Island Proposals Go Public -

A Memphis resort hotel group headed by mortgage banker and hotel manager Paul Westphal is proposing a 500-room resort hotel and spa in Mud Island River Park that would incorporate the island’s River Walk in its lobby.

11. At Long Last -

It’s taken the city of Memphis 10 years to reel in Bass Pro Shops at The Pyramid, and business owners in the nearby Pinch District hope it will be a catalytic force they’ve been waiting for.

12. Pyramid Promises -

It took about 25 years for an elevator ride to reach the top of The Pyramid.

That’s how long several generations of political leaders – three county mayors and three Memphis mayors as well as a changing group of city council members over seven elections – have been seeking a Pyramid with a ride to the apex.

13. Bass Pro Announces Opening Week Lineup -

Bass Pro Shops has unveiled the celebrity lineup and schedule for its opening festivities, kicking off with a free Evening for Conservation event Wednesday, April 29, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Here is the press release from Bass Pro:

14. Bass Pro Shops Merchandise Begins Landing at Pyramid -

The first boxes of duck decoys, fishing rods and other outdoors supplies and equipment have arrived at The Pyramid in anticipation of the May 1 opening of Bass Pro Shops’ destination store and attraction.

15. Hook, Line & Sinker -

In May, when the first guests at Big Cypress Lodge inside The Pyramid open the French doors in their rooms, they’ll be able to walk onto a patio overlooking the sprawling interior of the Bass Pro Shops store and attraction, including a re-creation of Delta cypress swamp and 600,000 gallons of water features.

16. Lakecrest II Sells for $4.6 Million -

The Lakecrest II office building in East Memphis has changed hands again.

Southland Primacy LLC acquired the 129,104-square-foot office building at 6055 Primacy Parkway from Jefferson-Pilot Investments Inc. Feb. 28 for $4.6 million.

17. Tour Shows Work Progressing in Pyramid -

The opening date for Bass Pro Shops at The Pyramid is still tentative.

But it appears to now be in December depending on who you talked with this week as the outdoors retailer offered a look inside The Pyramid.

18. Council Tours Pyramid, Weighs City Offices In Two Malls -

Memphis City Council members heard Tuesday, Feb. 18, that the administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. wants to move some city government offices into the Soulsville Town Center in South Memphis and is weighing whether to renovate or tear down and build anew on the site of the Southbrook Mall in Whitehaven.

19. New Ideas for Fairgrounds Emerge As Bass Pro Project Moves Ahead -

A C Wharton Jr. noted last week that as Shelby County mayor he signed the paperwork selling Shelby County government’s partial ownership interest in The Pyramid to the city of Memphis. And as Memphis mayor, he signed the paperwork making the city’s exclusive ownership of The Pyramid official.

20. ‘Unique Setting’ -

Bass Pro Shops executives and city leaders marked the beginning of Bass Pro Shops construction inside The Pyramid Thursday, June 21, with a fish fry in the iconic Downtown landmark before the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World begins to take shape.

21. Bass Pro’s Pyramid Plans Shaken by Seismic Concerns -

It’s always been about the chance of an earthquake.

The biggest hurdle three Memphis mayoral administrations in five years have had to clear was a seismic retrofitting of The Pyramid for its redevelopment by Bass Pro Shops.

22. Pyramid Problems Could Move Bass Pro Shops Project -

Bass Pro Shops is still committed to a super store and other attractions Downtown, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. told the Memphis City Council Tuesday. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the outdoors retailer is still committed to a conversion of The Pyramid.

23. Bass Pro Founder Sees Vital Partnership with DU -

Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris said this week he hopes Ducks Unlimited will be a partner with his company in the planning of attractions for The Pyramid.

24. Salazar Promotes Conservation Funding During Memphis Visit -

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar made a strong push during a Memphis visit this week for full funding of the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund for what he described as “Gulf Coast restoration on steroids.”

25. Pyramid to Become ‘Cypress Swamp’ -

Memphis City Council members seem ready to put Bass Pro Shops in The Pyramid, as the council will vote on a lease between the company and the city next month.

The council this week got its first detailed look at the lease as well as some new drawings for what The Pyramid would look like with the outdoor retailer calling it home.

26. Wharton Hagale Sign Bass Pro Shops Lease For Pyramid -

There is a lease agreement to reopen The Pyramid as a Bass Pro Shops superstore with other attractions in the structure and around it.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. and Bass Pro Shops CEO and President Jim Hagale signed the 20 year lease with seven renewal options of five years each Wednesday at the end of a City Hall press conference to announce the deal five years in the making.

27. Bass Pro’s CEO To Meet With Wharton -

Bass Pro Shops CEO Jim Hagale is due in Memphis Friday.

Hagale’s name turned up on Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s list of public meetings and appearances for this week.

Hagale is scheduled to meet with Wharton as well as City Attorney Herman Morris.

28. Pyramid, Bass Pro Talks Move to Lease Terms -  

City of Memphis leaders and executives from Bass Pro Shops meet Tuesday to begin talking lease terms for The Pyramid.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. included a draft lease in an April 13 letter to Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris and president Jim Hagale.

A city delegation was in Nashville Monday to review the project for the State Building Commission. The commission’s executive committee approved an extension of the use of revenue from the Downtown Tourism Development Zone (TDZ) to include The Pyramid.

The resulting tax increment financing will help finance the public infrastructure improvements around the site.

Before Monday’s expansion of how the tax money within the zone was used, it could only be used to retire the debt of the Memphis Cook Convention Center over 30 years. The financing is in its eighth year.

Tuesday’s meeting in Memphis will also include representatives of developers Poag & McEwen. The firm is involved, Wharton said, because Bass Pro executives want to see some kind of plans for developing the surrounding Pinch District.

The outdoor retailer plans to build a super store within The Pyramid and develop other attractions, including a hotel either inside The Pyramid or attached to the former arena.

Other items on the agenda are defining terms in a lease agreement, a list of landlord contributions for the city to accomplish, a task list for Bass Pro Shops, construction standards and timelines for construction as well as the flow of money into the project.

The goal of both sides is to complete the deal and sign a lease in the next month.

A signing could come as early as an April 29 meeting in Springfield, Mo., at Bass Pro Shops headquarters. The meeting there is scheduled to “draft the final versions of the lease/development/improvement agreements,” according to the city’s letter.


29. City, Bass Pro Clear Hurdles For Pyramid Store -

When Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. sits down next week with executives from Bass Pro Shops, The Pyramid will be the central topic.

But developers from the Memphis firm Poag & McEwen also will be at the table to talk about developing the surrounding Pinch District.

30. Bass Pro Shops Sets Nov. 2011 Pyramid Opening -  

Bass Pro Shops executives have set a November 2011 opening date for their planned renovation of The Pyramid as a retail store with other attractions.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. announced the date to City Council members this afternoon.

During the council’s executive session, Wharton circulated a letter he sent today to Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris and CEO Jim Hagale.

The city and Bass Pro Shops could have a lease for the redevelopment of The Pyramid signed by the end of April with work beginning almost immediately.

The letter from Wharton includes a draft lease agreement between the city and the outdoors retailer.

“As we have jointly identified and removed … critical barriers, we are now prepared to move forward and finalize the lease terms relative to this key redevelopment project,” Wharton wrote.

The city and Bass Pro executives are to meet April 20 to “discuss and finalize our negotiations of the business terms for the project.

Wharton told the council developers from Poag & McEwen also will be involved in the meeting next week to answer questions about possible development of the surrounding Pinch district.

An April 29 meeting is also set in Springfield, Mo., at Bass Pro headquarters to draft final versions of all of the agreements.

The “barriers” cleared this week include:

•An agreement that the floodwall system and maintenance program around The Pyramid are “sufficient” to protect it in the future.

•Using FM Global standards as the benchmark for seismic efforts as specific plans for the building are designed.

•An expansion of the Tourism Development Zone (TDZ) that now covers the Memphis Cook Convention Center. The TDZ status is essential for tax rebates or refunds to finance the Pyramid project.

The city of Memphis will remain the owner of The Pyramid.


31. UPDATE: Bass Pro Shops Sets Nov. Opening Date For Pyramid -

Bass Pro Shops executives have set a November 2011 opening date for their planned renovation of The Pyramid as a retail store with other attractions.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. announced the date to City Council members this afternoon.

32. Braverman Joins The West Clinic -

Dr. Aliza Braverman has joined The West Clinic as a rheumatology specialist. She is the first rheumatologist to join the team.

Mike Jackson has been named president and CEO of Memphis-based Verso Paper Holdings LLC. He succeeds LH Puckett, who is retiring but will remain a member of the board of directors. Jackson previously served as a senior vice president at Weyerhaeuser Co. in Federal Way, Wash. He was with the company for 29 years.

33. Archived Article: Memos - William H William H. Masters joined the electrical department of Askew Hargraves Harcourt and Associates as an electrical project manager. He earned his bachelors degree from Vanderbilt University and masters degree from the University of Memphis. M...

34. Archived Article: Calendar - Oct Oct. 7 The Quality Center will sponsor an ISO 9000 implementation workshop through Oct. 8. For more information, call 543-3530. The Business Emergency Preparedness Council will meet at 11:45 a.m. at the Ridgeway Inn, 5679 Poplar Ave. The speaker...

35. Archived Article: Econ Brd Lj - lj 10/5 cates Economic board holds inaugural meeting By LAURIE JOHNSON The Daily News A new board that is responsible for developing strategies for improving economic development into the next century is now in place. The newly-formed Tennessee Boar...