VOL. 113 | NO. 140 | Friday, July 23, 1999
By LAURIE JOHNSON
Downtown construction represents good year for CCC
By LAURIE JOHNSON
The Daily News
Try to drive from Beale Street to the Convention Center, and youre likely to wind up fighting for space with bulldozers and construction crews.
While this may prompt despair among drivers, the activity which ranges from Peabody Place to the AutoZone baseball park to the Cook Convention Center gives the Center City Commission cause for celebration.
At the conclusion of fiscal year 1999, the list of confirmed Downtown development projects represented $2.3 billion in investment capital, $1.9 billion of which is private and $400 million of which is public.
CCC president Jeff Sanford said the CCC helped to add more than $200 million in projects to the roster.
"So, despite some obstacles, the year has ended on a high note," he said.
Mike Lewis, chairman of the CCCs board of directors, characterized the state of the CCC and the status of Downtown revitalization as "solid as a rock."
"It has been a year of self-examination for the Center City Commission, but amid all this change, our redevelopment activities have stayed on track and continued to grow," he said.
The largest private development project on the roster is the $1 billion expansion of St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital, which will include constructing five new buildings, as well as a 500,000-square-foot patient care center and research facility, a nine-story research center and renovations to two former St. Joseph Hospital buildings. These projects are now in the design phase.
Other projects include the $50 million AutoZone baseball stadium; $100 million development of South Bluffs that will include 450 residential units, both apartments and single-family homes; $200 million, seven-phase Peabody Place complex; $50 million Marriott Hotel expansion; and conversion of the William R. Moore Building into corporate headquarters for Storage USA and the Memphis Redbirds.
Public projects on the list include the $79 million expansion and reconstruction of the Cook Convention Center, which is being funded by both the city and county; a $75 million upgrade and reconfiguration of the I-40/I-240 interchange, a project funded by the state; and a $62 million Veterans Administration project that includes construction of a new hospital and renovation of its existing facility.
During its annual meeting Thursday the CCC also outlined some of its accomplishments for the year which included naming a new president and chief financial officer; opening all CCC meetings to the public; developing personnel and operating policies and procedures manuals; creating formal financial management policies and procedures; implementing an annual program and budget planning process; signing a multi-year contract with an advertising/public relations firm; and conducting an Affordable Housing Summit in conjunction with the city and county.
"I believe the Center City Commission measured up, has met its challenges and made its contributions through the last year," said Sanford, who served as president on an interim basis starting in June 1998 before being named to the post permanently April 1.
"It has installed the polices and practices and system of checks and balances needed to create a blueprint for the future, and, most importantly, committed to openness to earn back the communitys respect."
At Thursdays luncheon, the CCC also unveiled its new interactive Web site, dubbed "Definitely Downtown The Heart and Soul of Memphis." The site is located at www.memphisccc.com.
Sanford also presented the CCCs first Vision Awards, designed to recognize individuals or organizations for their "exemplary contribution to CCCs goals and objectives."
The inaugural awards were presented to Philip and Terry Woodard, who have invested $1.5 million to tranform deteriorating properties in the South Main Historic District, and Calvary Episcopal Church, for investing $2.4 million in the renovation of the Federal Reserve Building into New Hope Academy, a school that is not owned by Calvary but by a local Methodist church.