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VOL. 116 | NO. 56 | Thursday, March 21, 2002

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Non-profit formed to direct Rhodes-Jennings building Non-profit formed to foster redevelop of Rhodes-Jennings By SUE PEASE The Daily News In ongoing efforts to spur redevelopment of the vacant and dilapidated Rhodes-Jennings building Downtown, a Center City Commission board formed a non-profit entity Wednesday to direct redevelopment of the Main Street structure. The Center City Development Corp. approved the formation of Rhodes Jennings Inc. and gave the leasehold interest of the buildings to it. The buildings came under the citys control last week, after no one bid on them during a tax sale. The building and an adjacent structure on Court Street were offered by auction for back taxes and fire department code fines totalling $804,885. With the building now owned by the city, the CCC will send out a request for proposals for a redevelopment plan. The CCDC also approved the formation of a subcommittee, which will review developers proposals. Board members John Stokes, Joseph Lee and Christine Munson make up the subcommittee. A plan to revitalize the structures has been under consideration for some time, said Jeff Sanford, CCC president. CCC staff has worked "diligently to try and break what has been a logjam to create an opportunity, maybe the last opportunity to put (the buildings) into good use," Sanford said. Board members were happy to see action involving the buildings, but warned that depending on what structural engineers found inside, they could be torn down. An RFP will be issued March 27 and advertised in local newspapers and on the CCCs Web site, www.downtownmemphis.com, said Myron Hughes, CCCs vice president of planning and development. Developers will have 45 days to return proposals. CCDC along with the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. have put in place a long-term plan to bolster the chances for redevelopment, said CCC attorney James McLaren. The city gave a 30-year lease, with the option of a 20-year renewal, on the buildings to CCRFC, who approved a 20-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes Monday. CCRFC then transferred the lease to CCDC, which put it into the hands of the newly formed Rhodes Jennings Inc., which will hold the interest in it during the RFP period. Once a developer is chosen, the CCRFC and CCDC boards must approve the transfer of the lease from Rhodes Jennings Inc. to the developer, who will take over the 20-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes. The PILOT freezes taxes on the structures at predevelopment assessment levels. In other business, the board approved an additional role for it to be the transfer agent between the state of Tennessee Community/Corporate Partnership Child Care Grant and the Peabody Place Child Care LLC. The day care, which previously gained a loan through CCDC, had applied for the state grant to purchase equipment and supplies for the new child care program at 125 Gayoso Ave. For funds to be granted, they must be funneled through a public entity, CCC officials said.
PROPERTY SALES 81 201 16,108
MORTGAGES 40 104 10,026
BUILDING PERMITS 130 336 38,272
BANKRUPTCIES 28 56 7,528