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VOL. TMN-10 | NO. 41 | Saturday, October 7, 2017
Weekly Issue

Connecting The Pieces

St. Jude expansion paves way for Gateway Project, Pinch District redevelopment

The Pinch District – a Downtown mini-neighborhood of only a few blocks sandwiched between the Memphis Cook Convention Center, Uptown, The Pyramid and the campus of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – has been a neglected donut hole of development for years, as investments have poured into other areas of Downtown around it.

County Readies Complete Renovation of 201 Poplar

With Memphis Police brass moved into the Civic Center Plaza from their long-time headquarters on the top floors of the Criminal Justice Center, Shelby County government is preparing to begin a total renovation of the CJC at 201 Poplar Ave.

Amazon Planning Memphis Distribution Center, Sources Say

Memphis is poised to land a massive Amazon distribution facility just north of the state line in Southeast Shelby County, according to multiple sources familiar with the project.


Editorial: Ways Forward in the Age Of the Active Shooter

When the word “numb” starts to show up a lot as the reaction to a mass shooting in which 59 people were slaughtered even as time passes – when the incident very quickly goes into the timeline of such incidents and is then filed away for the next time it happens – we have a problem.

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Living Beyond Breast Cancer will host its “Sharing Wisdom, Sharing Strength” national conference Friday through Sunday, Oct. 6-8, at The Peabody hotel, 149 Union Ave. The conference, held in partnership with the Memphis Breast Cancer Consortium and the Common Table Health Alliance, will convene national experts, survivors and caregivers for a weekend of information, yoga and support. Limited walk-up registrations available. Visit lbbc.org for details.

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Good Shepherd, Transplant Foundation Team to Provide Low-Cost Medication

Because of the high cost of their medications, transplant patients frequently are confronted with difficult-to-impossible choices in figuring out how to obtain and pay for the drugs they need.

ACA Sales Tax to Impact Businesses, Employees Starting In January 2018

With ongoing premium increases small and large businesses and their employees normally experience each year, the added cost of a new sales tax on health insurance premiums that goes into effect on Jan. 1 is expected to hit particularly hard.

Monica Wharton Starts New Role As Methodist’s Chief Legal Officer

When Monica Wharton came to the Glankler Brown law firm, she specialized in employment law. She was good at it.


October 6-12, 2017: This week in Memphis history

2016: On the cover of The Memphis News, the opening of the $52 million “Heart of the Park” project at Shelby Farms Park turns a lot of heads and prompts a lot of new traffic on land that was once a prison farm and had been slated in the 1970s for residential construction. “I feel like it’s a city that’s reinvented itself,” Shelby Farms Park Conservancy director Jen Andrews says in the cover story. “It didn’t change who it was, but it reinvented itself – a sprawling city that chose to reconnect itself. … Memphis has become a city that believes in making things better for the public realm.”


Brooks Museum Eyes Downtown Fire Station Site

Brooks Museum officials are considering relocating to a Downtown site at Front Street and Union Avenue that is currently occupied by the Memphis Fire Department headquarters.

Beale Street Task Force Outlines Two Cover Charge Options

A Beale Street Task Force assembled this summer to consider the future of a spring and summer cover charge Saturday nights after 10 p.m. in the district is recommending the cover charge stay.


Memphis Readies Red Carpet to Land Amazon

With 50,000 jobs and $5 billion in capital expenditures at stake, it stands to reason that cities hoping to land Amazon.com’s second U.S. headquarters will do whatever it takes to close the “once-in-a-lifetime” deal.


Outdoors Retailer REI Planning First Memphis Store

Seattle, Washington-based sporting and camping goods retailer REI has filed a $900,000 building permit application for tenant improvement in the former Sports Authority building at 5895 Poplar Ave. in the Ridgeway Trace shopping center.

Positive Absorption Streak Continues in Industrial Market

For the 17th straight quarter, the Memphis area industrial market continued its positive absorption streak, as it wrapped up Q3 2017 with more than 800,000 square feet of positive net absorption, according to commercial real estate brokerage firm CBRE’s Memphis Industrial MarketView Report.

Pinch District Redevelopment Discussion On Tap

The nine-block area between the Pyramid and the campus of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital known as the Pinch District is set to be remade in transformative fashion as part of the city moving closer to its bicentennial in 2019.

2 Cooper St. Projects In Midtown Seek Incentives

Two separate Midtown projects, both located on Cooper Street, are seeking 11-year tax abatements from the Downtown Memphis Commission’s Center City Revenue Finance Corp. board.

CBRE Chosen To Lease Southwind Office Center

Group RMC Corp., the new owners of Southwind Office Center, have tapped CBRE’s Ron Kastner and Patrick Reilly to handle leasing services for the recently acquired asset.

DHL Planning New Memphis Distribution Facility

0 Tchulahoma Rd., Memphis, TN 38118 -
International shipping giant DHL Supply Chain is planning a massive new development just north of the Tennessee-Mississippi state line.


Seeking Relevance

Music director wants Memphis Symphony to take more chances

As he prepared to kick off his first season as the Memphis Symphony Orchestra’s music director with a pair of opening weekend concerts Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, principal conductor Robert Moody looked back on a career that’s taken him to some impressive highs, and acknowledged the power of serendipity.


Harris To Run For County Mayor, Leave State Senate

State Sen. Lee Harris is running for Shelby County mayor starting with the May Democratic primary and will not seek re-election to the Senate.

Lenoir Starts Bid for County Mayor with Mix of Optimism and Challenge

Shelby County Trustee David Lenoir’s campaign for Shelby County mayor will talk about the economic resurgence in Memphis and Shelby County as a challenge to address longstanding problems.

Harris Talks ‘Radical’ Action on Confederate Monuments to Build Pressure

City Council attorney Allan Wade says Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s administration and the council are not “in different places” when it comes to removing Confederate monuments from city parks.

Haslam Won't Run for Corker's Senate Seat; Blackburn Joins Race

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn announced her campaign for U.S. Sen. Bob Corker's seat on Thursday in a video that slams the "totally dysfunctional" Senate and Republicans in particular for their failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act.


Retired FedEx Exec Rodriguez Becomes City of Memphis CIO

Mike Rodriguez recently became the city of Memphis’ director of information services and chief information officer, a role he took on after retiring from a 27-year career at FedEx Corp. Rodriguez, who most recently served as FedEx’s director of information security, was nominated as city CIO by Mayor Jim Strickland and confirmed by the Memphis City Council Sept. 23.


Profound Effect

High school idea to support literacy takes on life of its own

The life of a college basketball walk-on tends to be an uneven equation. All those hours of practice, day after day after day. In return, precious minutes on game nights. Well, every few weeks.

Porter-Leath, Books From Birth See Merger as Win-Win

Shelby County Books from Birth has merged with Porter-Leath in a move that Porter-Leath vice president for development Rob Hughes said should be “seamless.”


St. Mary’s Plans New Athletic Mission

St. Mary’s Episcopal School plans to demolish its former middle school building and gymnasium as part of a new athletic mission for the independent all-girls school in East Memphis.

Harding to Move Lower Schools to Cherry Road in Consolidation

Harding Academy of Memphis is consolidating its senior-K through 12th grade students into one campus, moving lower-school students from campuses on Macon Road and Colonial Road to its upper-school campus at 1100 Cherry Road.

SCS Sees Summer Academy Success, Mixed Results on Blended Learning

With 90 days to put it all together, Shelby County Schools leaders came up with a set of summer learning academies to battle the summer slide – student retention and academic growth taking a few steps back between school years.


Moral Mondays Organized by Religious Leaders Who Talk of ‘Fragmentation’

A group of 25 local religious leaders plan three “Moral Mondays” gatherings over the next six months to discuss social justice issues before the April observances of the 50th anniversary of the sanitation workers strike and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


FDIC Report Shows Top Memphis Banks

With a few exceptions, the Top 10 banks in the Memphis metro area as ranked by deposits by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in its latest annual report hasn’t changed much this time around.


FedEx Holiday Hiring in Full Swing

As Black Friday and the holiday shopping season approaches, FedEx is preparing to add more than 50,000 employees throughout its network, including 2,600 people locally.

ServiceMaster Appoints Persson To Lead American Home Shield Spinoff

The ServiceMaster spinoff of American Home Shield will be overseen by a former Ingersoll Rand executive with experience in corporate spinoffs and their development


Fratelli’s New Owner Talks Plans For Botanic Garden Restaurant

The cafe inside the Memphis Botanic Garden, situated between the water and sculpture gardens, is going to be changing a bit over the coming weeks and months.


Grabbing Air

Midtown skate park gets makeover with new murals

Kirkwood Vangeli, co-founder of Fluxus Skateboard Co., skates at AlTown, a DIY skatepark in Midtown. The park’s walls and ramps recently were repainted with murals during Paint Memphis 2017, a one-day festival that drew more than 150 artists from around the world to create the largest collaborative mural in Tennessee. Paint Memphis was founded in 2015 with the goal of bringing unconventional artists to Memphis to collaborate and expose the city to graffiti as an art form.


In No-Nonsense Business Of SEC, Bottom Line is Bottom Line

That red Pontiac Fiero. Texas A&M football coach Kevin Sumlin had one back in the day.


Life of a Quarterback

Basking in glory, taking the blame

Senior Austin Allen watched his older brother Brandon live the highs and the lows of the thrill ride that is being a starting quarterback for Arkansas in the SEC.

UT QBs, Receivers, Coaches Struggling So Far

Tennessee’s football players are on fall break this weekend during the open date. You’ve got to wonder how many players fifth-year UT coach Butch Jones will get back after the break.

Hiring Larry Scott As Offensive Coordinator Big Mistake For Jones

If/when Butch Jones is fired at Tennessee, a number of reasons will be cited. Among them:

Titans Will Struggle If Mariota Misses Time

The Tennessee Titans season might have flashed right before their eyes this past Sunday.

A Positive First Step For Grizzlies’ Mario Chalmers

Veteran point guard Mario Chalmers is on a partially guaranteed contract and that means what it sounds like it means. The Grizzlies wanted to give Chalmers, 31, a long look, but coming off surgery for an Achilles injury they didn’t believe it was automatic he would be ready to serve as Mike Conley’s backup as he did two seasons ago.


Above the Edge

In her monthly illustration of Memphis life for The Daily News, artist Martha Kelly depicts the growing Edge District, with Cat Peña’s public art installation “There’s More to Be Proud Of” waving overhead. The canopy of metallic streamers, which is on display above Monroe and Marshall avenues through February, recalls the car dealerships that once dotted the neighborhood.


Real Newspapers, Real News

“Real Newspapers, Real News” is the theme of this year’s National Newspaper Week (Oct. 1-7.) Indeed, there’s always been lots of “real” at newspapers. Real stories, real journalism, real work, real deadlines, real honesty, real facts, real changes and, now, real threats.


State Politicians in No Hurry to Fix Health Insurance

We don’t need no stinkin’ special session on Medicaid expansion.


Hey, Hope, How Are You?

“HEY, DAN.” I was attempting to visit a friend in extended care at Regional One. That’s in the Turner Tower. “The what?” the parking lot attendant replied, and then added, “Got to be one of those.”

Let It Go: Stress, Finances Don’t Mix Well

Ray’s Take: Worrying is a way that our brain prepares us for the next challenge or opportunity, and it’s healthy in low doses. But too many of us are consumed by worry, which creates stress. And stressful thinking can sabotage your finances. A 2015 study by the American Psychological Association found that money is the leading cause of stress for many Americans.

Jump Around With The Fans In Madison

Weather makes all the difference in making a destination a memorable or miserable experience. Chalk fall up as a fantastic time to visit Wisconsin.

Freedom At Work

One of the worst feelings you can feel at work is trapped with no way out. I meet professionals every day who feel chained to their job. They are very often in unhealthy situations that make them miserable each and every day. Some have an abusive boss. Others work for a company they no longer believe in. But because they rely on the income, they’re stuck. It feels like a dead-end road with no way out. It can be stressful and emotional.

LinkedIn Lead Gen Best Practices

According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2017, 63 percent of marketers find generating traffic and leads to be their biggest challenge. In that same report, sales representatives find identifying good leads as one of their primary struggles.

Execution Anxiety: Facing the Back End

After the thrill of a successful front end of innovation project, a company gains valuable insights and perspective. They also receive a portfolio of market-tested concepts that range from easy-to-launch to some that are totally new, a breakthrough for them as a company and their market.

Are You Too Busy To Fundraise?

A special column for nonprofit leaders. The most valuable gift may be the gift of time. While we give the gift of our time through our actions, we cannot actually give anyone an extra hour. We all get 24 hours a day. No more. Yet many of us are so busy it feels as if there isn’t enough time.

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PROPERTY SALES 98 238 15,862
MORTGAGES 122 284 18,332
BUILDING PERMITS 137 452 32,966
BANKRUPTCIES 62 178 10,191

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The Memphis News: Business, politics, and the public interest.