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VOL. TMN-11 | NO. 28 | Saturday, July 14, 2018
Weekly Issue

Heat Wave

Inside Memphis’ hot commercial real estate market

After what was a banner year in many ways for Memphis commercial real estate in 2017, projections for this year were bullish. But at the halfway point of 2018, have expectations in the area risen with the temperatures or have they begun to dry out under the sweltering summer heat? 

EDITORIAL

Editorial: Early-Voting Clash Shows Need for Refresher Course

The ruling by Chancellor JoeDae Jenkins in the early voting lawsuit shows a need for those doing the public’s business to rededicate themselves to being open and transparent.

THE MEMPHIS NEWS ALMANAC

July 13-19, 2018: This week in Memphis history

2017: Rachel Heck, a 15-year-old rising sophomore at St. Agnes Academy, makes the cut at the U.S. Women’s Golf Open, finishing the tournament at 2-over when she shot even par 72 for a second consecutive day.

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Pastor Dr. James Netters Sr. Receives Spirit of ALSAC Award

ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, has awarded its annual Spirit of ALSAC award to Dr. James LaVirt Netters Sr., pastor emeritus at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church-Westwood.

2018 TENNESSEE ELECTIONS: ISSUES & ANSWERS

Despite Innovative Approaches to Education, Tennessee Children Are Still Lagging Behind

During the past five months the major candidates for governor of Tennessee and U.S. Senate have shared their ideas on several crucial issues facing Tennessee. This month, in the final installment of the series, candidates address education. Early voting for the Aug. 2 primaries and county general elections begin July 13.

What Do Statewide Candidates Say About Education in Tennessee?

Gov. Bill Haslam and the General Assembly have invested in education during the last eight years. Has that been a good investment and should it continue? What do the candidates propose for the next four to eight years?

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

Early Opening

Early voting begins Friday at five locations across Shelby County; more sites open Tuesday

Early voting in advance of the Aug. 2 Election Day opens Friday, July 13, at five locations across Shelby County. On Tuesday, 22 additional sites will be open through July 28. Between the Shelby County Election Commission and Chancery Court there were three other sets of early-voting locations and hours in a three-week period before Chancellor JoeDae Jenkins signed off Tuesday afternoon on a fourth set.

Lenoir-Harris Debate At NAACP-Sponsored Forum Illustrates Political Divide

David Lenoir and Lee Harris brought the Shelby County mayor’s race to the National Civil Rights Museum Tuesday, July 10, after all. In his opening statement, Lenoir, the Republican nominee, talked about his request for a different moderator at the forum sponsored by the Memphis Branch NAACP.

Late Entry, Different Strategy Set Tone In Harwell’s Run for Gubernatorial Nomination

Her campaign got a later start than her rivals seeking for Republican nomination for Tennessee governor.

Democratic State Sen. Reginald Tate Faces First Challenge in August Primary

Democratic state Sen. Reginald Tate opened his campaign headquarters in the Mendenhall Square shopping center in a storm.

Fitzhugh Challenges Dean’s 'Pragmatism'

Democratic contender for Tennessee governor Craig Fitzhugh is challenging the idea of rival Democrat Karl Dean’s “pragmatic” view of coexisting as governor with Republican supermajorities in the state House and Senate.

NONPROFIT SECTOR

Meritan Bike Tour Plans Big Changes For 2018

Memphis-based social services provider Meritan Inc.’s biggest fundraiser, the Moonlight Classic Bike Tour and Tailgate, has big changes this year, including a new presenting sponsor, a new venue, a new time and a new route.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

DMC Steering Committee Recommends Consultant for Downtown Master Plan

In an effort to create a master plan for all of Downtown Memphis that will complement the administration’s Memphis 3.0 plan, the Downtown Memphis Commission staff has issued its recommended consultant for the project. 

More Detailed Fairgrounds Plan Includes Smaller Garage, Lower Priced Sports Site

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland plans to take a more specific $95 million to $100 million plan for Fairgrounds redevelopment to the City Council and Shelby County Commission in two weeks and the state building commission in Nashville in the fall.

Downtown Board Approves Tax Breaks for South Main, Beale Projects

A pair of potentially place-changing projects were approved for PILOTs by the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. on Tuesday, July 10.

LAW & THE COURTS

Early-Voting Plan Takes Final Turn In Court

Plans changed once again Tuesday, July 11, leading up to the Friday opening of the early-voting period in advance of the Aug. 2 Election Day.

Early Voting Schedule Changes Again as Court Order Signed

UPDATE: The court order governing early voting in advance of the Aug. 2 election day changed again Tuesday, July 10, as Chancellor JoeDae Jenkins amended his Monday order to permit all 27 early voting sites to open Tuesday -- keeping the previous plan to open five of those sites Friday when the 14-day early voting period begins this Friday.

DOWNTOWN

Say Cheese

Build-your-own cheese board festival taps unfilled niche in Memphis

A new food festival is coming to Memphis this summer, and it’s already a sold-out event. The inaugural Butcher Board Festival will be held at the South Main Market on Sunday, July 22, and will feature charcuterie, cheeses, brews, and more, all of which are sourced from local vendors.

REAL ESTATE & DEVELOPMENT

Cycling Back

They say everything comes full circle. Especially when it comes to bicycles. So it seems fitting that even though the Bikesmith is changing ownership, its business model is shifting back to its beginnings – its mobile operations. The Bikesmith started as part of the MEMMobile program in 2014, which was a small-business incubator designed to launch a fleet of mobile retail trucks.

New Beale Street Hotel, A Vehicle ‘Vending Machine,’ and New Life on Former Buccaneer Site

380 Beale St., Memphis, TN 38103 -
Plans for a five-story, 120-room hotel on the northeast corner of Fourth and Beale Street go to the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. Tuesday, July 10, seeking a 15-year tax break for the $16 million project.

FINANCIAL SERVICES

Bank of Bartlett Eyes An Expanded Footprint to Meet Consumer Demand

Bank of Bartlett will soon consolidate its two Germantown branches into one enhanced location at Poplar and Kirby, and is eyeing Midtown and Arlington as areas for additional brick-and-mortar branches.

TRANSPORTATION & LOGISTICS

City Looks Broader for Shared Mobility Services

In its first 19 days of operation, the Bird system of electric scooters has averaged 1,200 rides a day for a total of 24,000 total rides an average distance of 1.9 miles and 8,600 individual riders.

THE TIPPING POINT

Leslie Finch’s Desire to Unite People Leads to Sports Career

Growing up playing sports didn’t necessarily mean Leslie Finch, Partnership Development Manager for the Memphis Hustle and Grizz Gaming, dreamed of a career in sports stadiums and arenas. The irony of it isn’t lost on her that she was rarely allowed to play video games as a child. Now, she connects brands to the Grizzlies eSports team as part of her day job.

SPORTS

Grizzlies’ TV Voice Pete Pranica Loving his Dream Job

As the tip-off of another Memphis Grizzlies game nears, television play-by-play announcer Pete Pranica will tell viewers on FOX Sports Southeast, “We have three officials, and they have been assigned by the NBA …”

Redbirds’ Third Baseman Finds New Success By Staying In The Moment

He’s not a kid anymore. And that’s not being negative, that’s just an undeniable truth when you’re a 26-year-old baseball player in your third season in Triple-A.

Preds Pay High Price For ‘Win-Now’ Mindset

By the time the Predators made their first selection of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft last month, 110 prospects had been chosen by rival teams. Nashville had previously traded away its picks in the draft’s first three rounds, with two of the deals adding experienced players to the Preds’ talented core last season.

Lawson Ups Game, On and Off the Court

Kara Lawson provided plenty of assists for the University of Tennessee on the basketball court during her career. The former All-American point guard is hoping to do the same in a new role.

Remarkable Recovery

Redbirds pitcher Daniel Poncedeleon survived line drive to head to become All-Star

The dream had come true, at least part of it. Thirteen months after being struck in the head by a line drive while pitching for the Memphis Redbirds at Iowa, Daniel Poncedeleon was in the majors wearing a St. Louis Cardinals uniform. He hadn’t just recovered from a career-threatening injury, a life-threatening moment, he was in the big leagues.

Former Redbird Jacob Wilson Makes Appearance in Triple-A All-Star Game

Jacob Wilson could be forgiven for doing something a bit out of the ordinary this past weekend. Like stepping to the plate encased in bubble wrap, or every piece of body armor in his dugout, or maybe a suit of medieval armor.

Pitcher Earns All-Star Start With Great First Half

As a high school senior in Dunlap, Tennessee, Dakota Hudson showed enough promise as a pitcher for the Texas Rangers to select him in the MLB First-Year Player Draft. And although the Rangers didn’t take him until the 36th round, Hudson says he was tempted to go.

Former Football Player Mario Reed Spreads Message of Never Losing Hope

It took relatively little time for Mario Reed to figure out that to survive in a life without the use of his arms and legs – taken from him in a split second during a high school football game in 1997, he would have to look inward – as deep as he could go.

VIEW FROM THE HILL

Unpopular Bill? Just Rebrand It With TRUMP

Using what could be the political acronym of the year, two Republican state lawmakers with expertise in pain treatment are playing on the popularity of President Donald Trump to pass medical pot legislation.

LOCAL COLUMNISTS

Shared Steps

CONSIDERING SHOES: We’re in Florence – the one in Italy – and I’m on my own. The rest of the family has gone one way, and I’ve gone another – a fairly normal occurrence on trips at the time of day when I’m looking for an interesting place to have a drink and Nora is looking for one more interesting museum/garden/church to wander through.

Treasury Bonds, Savings Bonds are Gifts That Keep on Giving

Ray’s Take: U.S. savings bonds were once considered the ugly duckling of personal investments. It seemed the only time people bought them was when they were feeling super patriotic or when you couldn’t think of a better gift to give someone. Growing up, I remember them being a popular gift for newborns – the thought being that as the baby grows so does the money.

Memphis Ophthalmologist’s Journey To Help Others Takes Her, Husband to Africa

The positive habits we form during our lives are the foundation of self-control, will power and our life’s purpose. Having a vision of what you want to do is the easiest part. Having the perseverance and courage to bring that vision to life, and following it where it leads you, is the difficult part. Living your purpose is the reward.

Glassdoor Announces 2018 Top CEOs

It’s often said that employees don’t quit jobs. They quit bosses. Can you relate? If you’ve ever left a job, there’s a good chance you might agree with this idea.

Offline Marketing is Not Off-Target

In marketing today, it seems it’s all about digital. You’ve no doubt seen buzzwords like SEO, re-targeting, link building and content strategy in nearly every marketing blog you’ve read this year. And that’s not surprising – these are among the top tactics in the modern marketer’s toolkit.

Fixing Sports: A Remedy for Chronic Ills

Here’s a bad idea: Play a game for more than two hours and then, if it’s tied, decide who wins by playing a different game. That’s what happened in the World Cup on Sunday when Croatia and Russia’s tied match was settled by a penalty kick shootout. Croatia won its previous game the same way a week ago against Denmark, as did Russia against Spain.

What If? Preparing For The Future

Do you know what the future will hold? How do you plan for future opportunities and challenges that may not be known and might not materialize? Is it a waste of time, or important work?

Curiosity is the Common Denominator Among Our Best, Most Systemic Thinkers

I have a question. I really do. Why have there been so few formal studies on curiosity and its immense power to create value in the for-profit and non-profit sectors? Even on most of the professional assessment, strength finders, and behavioral audits, curiosity is not codified and measured. I don’t understand. Do you?

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 68 321 13,763
MORTGAGES 79 340 15,906
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 20 44 2,183
BUILDING PERMITS 265 765 28,522
BANKRUPTCIES 49 227 8,877
BUSINESS LICENSES 28 113 4,678
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 25 118 5,511
MARRIAGE LICENSES 16 73 2,967

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