VOL. TMN-10 | NO. 30 | Saturday, July 22, 2017
How the arts landscape in Memphis is changing
The sprawling mixed-use complex opening next month on North Cleveland in Midtown is a high-profile example of where Memphis’ art community finds itself at the halfway mark in 2017.
The Riverfront concept plan now in the hands of the Mayor’s Riverfront Task Force is easy to be cynical about if you have even a casual acquaintance with the dozen or more riverfront studies the city and others have conducted since 1980.
Shelby County Democrats selected 102 citizens Saturday, July 22, to the local party’s new Democratic Grass Roots Council and 26 of those 102 to the local party’s executive committee in a local party convention at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church.
Lately I’ve been asking myself a question, “What would it take for Memphis to reduce poverty by 50 percent in the next 15 years?” Furthermore, “What would it take for Memphis to be the size of New York in 50 years?”
They say retail is a numbers game, and for some communities, when those numbers don’t add up they can get left behind by developers.
The Malco Powerhouse Cinema proposed for Downtown’s South Main Historic Arts District is still a go, despite delays that have already pushed it well past its expected opening day.
Sterigenics International LLC recently wrapped up a $16.8 million expansion to its West Memphis facility, nearly tripling the site’s gamma sterilization capacity. The company is a global provider of contract sterilization, lab services, gamma technologies and medical isotopes.
THE MEMPHIS NEWS ALMANAC
2003: Hurricane Elvis, a storm featuring straight line winds that damages more than 300,000 homes and cuts power to 750,000 households in Memphis. Seven people die as a direct or indirect result of the storm, and property damage is estimated at more than $500 million. Approximately 1,000 utility poles are snapped in the storm that clocks a top wind speed of 102 mph Downtown. Three-fourths of the traffic signals in Shelby County are out or malfunctioning and the Northwest Airlines hub at Memphis International Airport closes.
MEMPHIS-AREA GOVERNMENT & POLITICS
Shelby County Commissioners closed the books Wednesday, July 19, on another budget season with approval on third and final reading of a county property tax rate of $4.11.
Shelby County commissioners were still calculating Monday, July 17, after they passed a compromised, $4.11 county property tax rate that appears will stay put long enough for the commission to take a final vote Wednesday at a special meeting.
The Shelby County Election Commission could hold a public mock election of what is called Ranked Choice Voting in 2019, ahead of city of Memphis elections that year.
The White House called it the “fifth wave” of federal judicial nominees. Among the 11 nominees announced by President Donald Trump Thursday, July 13, were two for the Memphis federal court bench. And the wave comes with a few political undercurrents.
Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean is making exactly the same observation in his bid for the Democratic nomination for Tennessee governor that Republicans are making on their side of the 2018 race.
TRANSPORTATION & LOGISTICS
It looked like another day at the Interstate 40-240 interchange Wednesday, July 19, from the roof of a building by the state’s tallest interchange.
The prominent role investors play in buying single-family homes in Memphis to rent them out is part of the city’s significant problem with blight.
First Tennessee Bank’s parent company saw net income climb 61 percent in the second quarter and First Tennessee itself announced the largest merger in its history, but company chairman and CEO Bryan Jordan characterized the period for analysts pretty much the way he always does during earnings presentations.
Memphis-based Monogram Foods has tapped a woman who joined the company in 2013 to fill a newly created position of chief information officer.
AutoZone’s stock price is pointed in the opposite direction it’s been accustomed to for years now. Shares of the Memphis-based auto parts retailer are down more than 30 percent since the end of January. Needless to say, that’s an unusual place for the company, which continues to open new stores at a steady clip.
From the time in college when Kevin and Kristi Bush first started dating, the now husband-and-wife team of chefs who run their own local catering business were in love with the idea of food as an experience to savor – not a commodity to be consumed before simply moving on to the next thing.
The Guest House at Graceland has been sold out for Elvis Week in August for quite a while, with bookings even before the Whitehaven hotel-resort opened last October.
One of the philosophies behind Dr. Kendra Hotz’s career as a health care-related researcher and scholar is the notion that a person’s ZIP code casts a much longer shadow over their health care than their genetic code does.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. So Frank Sinatra famously sang of New York City.
AP – Mississippi football coach Hugh Freeze resigned Thursday, July 20, after university officials found a "pattern of personal misconduct" that started with the school's investigation into a call to an escort service.
Forget the ugly recent past. Forget the final 19-13 record and surely forget those last two games of the season – the 103-62 humiliation at SMU and the 84-54 beat down from UCF at the American Athletic Conference Tournament.
The Memphis Grizzlies continue to walk dual trails. It is what they must do, even if such hedging threatens to constrain both their immediate and long-range future.
When it comes to Southeastern Conference football coaches, there are three kinds of seats – hot, hotter and hottest.
It was no surprise last week when Tennessee’s football team was picked to finish third by the media in the East Division at 2017 SEC Media Days.
On Monday, July 17, in Oklahoma City, the Memphis Redbirds pulled off their third win in their last at-bat as Patrick Wisdom hit a ninth-inning home run in a 5-3 victory. It was their seventh straight win and their 15th in their last 17 games.
Twice in the previous three years, SEC media correctly predicted the SEC champion. Both times, they did it by picking Alabama (2014, 2016). They went with Alabama again this year, predicting the Crimson Tide to defeat Georgia in the SEC title game.
REAL ESTATE & DEVELOPMENT
The Memphis riverfront is hardly a blank canvas. But you would never know that from the number of plans there have been over several decades to make it more of a “front door” for the city – to borrow a phrase from more than a few of those reports.
An Atlanta-based real estate investment firm has made its first purchase in the Memphis market with the acquisition of a 198,103-square-foot shopping center in the heart of Bartlett.
The old firehouse at the corner of B.B. King Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue has gone through many incarnations since the 1800s, including stints as a recording studio, nightclub and pop-up beer garden.
Makowsky Ringel Greenberg and Thomas & Betts were both awarded tax incentives to advance their respective projects by the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County on Wednesday, July 19.
REAL ESTATE RECAP
In this week’s Real Estate Recap, an 18-acre shopping center in the heart of Bartlett sells for $28.8 million, Ulta Beauty prepares to build out its space in Poplar Commons, and Dave & Buster’s continues work on its first Memphis location... -
A 198,103-square-foot shopping center in the heart of Bartlett has sold for $28.8 million.
Brian Wood is head golf professional at Memphis National Golf Club, a role in which he oversees a variety of functions related to the club's operations. Wood, a PGA professional and member of the Tennessee Section of the PGA of America, previously served as assistant golf professional at Windyke Country Club.
THE TIPPING POINT
“When you’re looking for a new outcome, you’ve got to change some things up,” says Bobby Meeks as he walks a loop of the GroundFloor @ ServiceMaster, an innovation hub opened last month in the former Peabody Place mall.
VIEW FROM THE HILL
If you think the state Legislature is full of gun nuts, Rep. Micah Van Huss begs to differ.
GOOD WHISKEY ISN’T DRUNK. IT’S REMEMBERED. Good whiskey and good stories age well. I wrote that a while back when I was hired to write a bit about whiskey. I thought about all of that on the porch looking at the night over a bit of whiskey with the dog. I was drinking whiskey; the dog was just looking at the night. We both liked the moment.
Ray’s Take: Sometimes, it’s tempting to try to beat the market through the excitement of stock picking or by choosing riskier investments with the promise of a higher return. It seems like everyone has a friend of a friend with a great investment story.
Calella de Palafrugell is an instance of pictures not doing a place justice, particularly the views from our Hotel Sant Roc perched on the rocks above the sea.
A reader recently wrote to me with an interesting question. He was seeking advice on how his teenage daughter might find an after-school job for her high school years. His logic makes sense. He wants her to learn discipline and to gain a work ethic. These are great qualities for a young student to develop. Although I respect this method of getting there, I also suggested an alternative path.
While the actual activities take on different forms, at the end of the day, I’ve come to the realization that I’m a change agent for companies dissatisfied with their current sales and marketing outcomes. I was taken back years ago by the clarity offered from an area CEO in this statement: “We can’t expect a different outcome if we aren’t willing to change what we’re doing.”
Summer is often associated with beaches, family vacations, hot sun and good fun. For those in the nonprofit sector, summer is also the season for retreats. These are times set aside to focus on programming, strategy, growth, partnerships and – many times – fundraising.
Editor’s note: This is the second in a three-part series. Full of fear my friend stares into the unknown, wondering whether or not to launch her own business. Only dark silence answers her unvoiced pleas. Like so many professionals in a monolithic system, she yearns for meaning and purpose in her daily work, which is lacking for her in health care social work.