VOL. 125 | NO. 121 | Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Webb Files $10M Permit For Beale Street Landing Project
Webb Building Corp. has filed a $10.4 million permit with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for work on the Riverfront Development Corp.’s Beale Street Landing project.
The company is beginning the next to last phase of construction on the boat landing, restaurant and gift shop at the foot of Beale Street at Riverside Drive. The formal address on the building permit is 251 Riverside Drive.
The council earlier this year approved a construction contract with Webb Building, a Memphis-based general contractor. The $10.5 million in funding is in the current fiscal year budget.
The final phase is a park at the foot of Beale Street that would cost an additional $6.5 million for which the city has no funding available currently.
RDC president Benny Lendermon told The Daily News for a report in May that some scaling back or different plans for the final phase are possible, but he added he was “not optimistic that there are huge savings that can be pulled out of it.”
Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports
– Eric Smith
Humdingers Restaurant Opens Cordova Location
Humdingers Restaurant will open its second Memphis location Wednesday at 1134 N. Germantown Parkway in the Town Center shopping center in Cordova.
Humdingers prepares freshly grilled fish, chicken and vegetables seasoned with sauces, marinades and spices created from the South African Piri Piri pepper.
The new restaurant and the original, located at 6300 Poplar Ave. in East Memphis, serve lunch and dinner.
Humdingers is the product of Robust Ventures, a Memphis-based restaurant group led by Chris Smith, chief operating officer of the University of Tennessee Cancer Institute; Alan Schlesinger, a McDonald’s Corp. veteran; and South African restaurateur Michael Devilliers.
The Humdingers ownership team plans to open 10 restaurants, including branching out to other markets, over the next five years.
– Taylor Shoptaw
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.
The city and Bass Pro Shops executives have been negotiating a lease to bring the outdoor retailer to The Pyramid since April after years of pre-development agreements.
Bass Pro Shops wants to build a store in The Pyramid along with other attractions including a multistory hotel.
The talks reached a critical point in April when Hagale and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris set an opening date of November 2011 for The Pyramid project.
Wharton and the Bass Pro executives hoped to have a lease agreement signed by the end of April.
That hasn’t happened but neither side has walked away from the bargaining table.
Since the April deadline passed, Wharton and others familiar with the talks have said the issue remains the specific terms of a seismic retrofit for the structure.
Because the city is leasing The Pyramid to Bass Pro Shops, the city would pay the tab for such a retrofit. The Wharton administration has already indicated it plans to use more than $41 million in federal recovery facility bonds to pay for the retrofit once the terms are agreed on.
Other parts of the talks involve a specific development plan for the Pinch and Uptown West districts that are east of The Pyramid.
– Bill Dries
County to Create New Pension Plans
Shelby County has decided to create one or more new pension plans and close off a current county pension plan, Plan C, to future county employees.
Rather than steering future employees into Plan C – which, among other things, allows county employees to retire after 25 years of service regardless of age – the county is creating a new plan or plans that will likely offer a benefit package that’s scaled down to some degree.
It’s unclear yet what the changes will entail – such as the possibility of a lowered final benefit payout, a raised retirement age, a hike in employee contributions or a combination of those and other changes.
– Andy Meek
Charter Commission to Report To Council, Commission
The Metro Charter Commission meets Thursday with Memphis City Council members and Shelby County commissioners in a rare joint session of the two legislative bodies.
The 4 p.m. session at the FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis is to fulfill a requirement that the charter commission report to both bodies on their work drafting a consolidation charter.
A writing committee of the charter commission is still working on the legal language of the proposed charter with more votes by the full commission to come. The body is required to complete its work by Aug. 10 under state law. The charter then goes to voters in a pair of referenda on the Nov. 2 ballot. The charter must win approval in the city of Memphis as well as the county outside the city of Memphis to turn the proposal into a new form of government.
– Bill Dries
Reidy Named CEO Of Mid-South Health Plan
UnitedHealthcare has named Gregory Reidy chief executive officer of Mid-South Health Plan, which serves 350,000 commercial health plan customers in Tennessee and Arkansas.
As Mid-South Health Plan CEO, Reidy will lead UnitedHealthcare’s commercial business, which offers employers and individual consumers health benefit plans and wellness programs.
Reidy previously served as UnitedHealthcare’s vice president of key accounts, Southeast Region, helping drive sales to mid-sized employers.
He has held various positions at UnitedHealthcare since joining the company in 1995.
– Taylor Shoptaw
Deadline Nears For St. Jude Dream Home Tickets
This is the final week to tour the St. Jude Dream Home and to reserve tickets.
The giveaway is set for Sunday. Tickets are $100.
The house will be open for tours from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily until Saturday.
The house, which is valued at $540,000, is located in the Harvest Oaks community of Collierville.
The winning ticket and other prizes will be drawn during a telecast at 3 p.m. Sunday on WMC-TV.
For more information or to reserve a ticket, call 1-800-224-6681 or visit www.dreamhome.org.
– Tom Wilemon
Brian Stephens to Speak To Small Business Chamber
Brian Stephens of Rebuild Government will speak Tuesday at the Small Business Chamber luncheon from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South, 3693 Tyndale Drive.
This is the second event in the “Doing Business with City and County Government” series. Rebuild Government is an organization of citizens involved with the new charter being written by the Memphis and Shelby County Charter Commission.
To register for the event, visit www.smallbusinesschamberofcommerce.com.
– Tom Wilemon
ACLU Wants Veto On Immigrants in Jail Legislation
The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee is asking Gov. Phil Bredesen to veto a bill that would require jailers to determine whether inmates are in the country illegally and report them if they are.
ACLU-TN Executive Director Hedy Weinberg said in a letter to Bredesen that the legislation would encourage racial profiling and create a “police state.”
The governor has until Monday to decide whether to sign the bill. Bredesen spokeswoman Lydia Lenker said Bredesen had not yet had a chance to study it.
Sponsors said the bill is necessary because not all jurisdictions are sharing information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement when they arrest someone they suspect is illegally in the country.
– The Associated Press