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VOL. 128 | NO. 16 | Thursday, January 24, 2013

Daily Digest

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Memphis College of Art Files Renovation Permit

Memphis College of Art has filed a $661,000 permit application with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for apartment renovations.

The address listed for the property is 1969 Poplar Ave., directly across from Overton Park, where the main Memphis College of Art campus is located.

Montgomery Martin Contractors LLC is listed as the contractor. No architect is listed on the permit.

The permit calls for interior renovations. Memphis College of Art owns and operates apartments along Poplar Avenue and along neighboring Midtown streets for student housing.

Montgomery Martin has done work for the college before, including renovations to the college’s Downtown campus on South Main Street and construction of the four-story, 24,000-square foot Fogelman Hall in Midtown.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Nineteenth Century Club to be Auctioned

The historic Nineteenth Century Club will sell to the highest bidder on Thursday, Jan. 24, during an auction by Morris Auction Group.

Built in 1890, the 15,813-square-foot house at 1433 Union Ave. was purchased in 1926 by The Nineteenth Century Club, a philanthropic women’s organization. The two main floors add up to about 10,000 square feet, in addition to the basement’s 6,000 feet.

The three-story wood frame structure is commercially-zoned and sits on 1.2 acres in Midtown. Its 2012 appraisal from the Shelby County Assessor of Property was $664,800.

Crye-Leike Realtors Inc.’s Dick Leike and Robert Gorman previously had the Nineteenth Century Club property listed for $1.5 million. Leike told The Daily News in August that the building was structurally sound.

“The architecture in the home is fabulous, with limestone columns and limestone cornice,” he said. “The first floor of the house has just really magnificent rooms and is untouched basically.”

A portion of the sales proceeds will go to a special project at the Children’s Museum of Memphis. Visit http://www.morrisauctiongroup.com/auctions/item/410-union_1433 for more details.

– Sarah Baker

Work Under Way On Memphis Mellow Mushroom

Mellow Mushroom has applied for a building permit for its second Memphis-area location at 5138 Park Ave.

A $750,000 building permit was filed with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for converting the existing 7,854-square-foot building into a restaurant with a patio for Mellow Ventures LLC.

Belz Enterprises is listed as the owner of the property in Eastgate Shopping Center, although Belz sold the 445,907-square-foot shopping center for $31.5 million in January 2011 to Dallas-based Arrow Retail. The Shelby County Assessor of Property lists the owner as Eastgate Center LLC out of Dallas.

Mellow Mushroom’s original Memphis location is at 3075 Village Shops Drive in Germantown. For its second local operation, the Georgia-based pizza franchise will join other pizzerias in the East Memphis area such as Memphis Pizza Café, Hog and Hominy and the soon-to-be second location of Broadway Pizza at Poplar Avenue and Mendenhall Road.

– Sarah Baker

State Honors Meritan with Three-Star Recognition

Memphis-based Meritan Inc., a not-for-profit organization that provides social and health care services to people with special needs, has been recognized by the state of Tennessee for providing outstanding service to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The “three-star” recognition from the state Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities identifies Meritan as a leader among service organizations that help citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities to improve their quality of life.

In December, Meritan also was identified by the Council on Accreditation for its commitment to quality management and improvement.

Meritan is a nationally accredited social service agency serving a four-state area focusing on the needs of seniors, visually and developmentally disabled individuals and special-needs foster children.

– Andy Meek

MCS Administration Against MASE Charter Renewal

Memphis City Schools administrators are recommending the countywide school board not renew the charter school Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering at the board’s voting meeting next week.

The alternative to accepting the administration’s recommendation would be to extend the charter of the school for another 10 years.

Memphis City Schools superintendent Kriner Cash said at a Tuesday, Jan. 22, board work session that he and his staff recommend non-renewal because the charter school is in the state’s bottom 5 percent of schools in terms of student performance.

Board members had lots of questions about where students at the charter school would go and if the schools in their attendance zones are also among the bottom 5 percent.

More debate is likely on the issue at next week’s meeting before the board votes.

The board also reviewed plans to demolish the old Lincoln Junior High School gymnasium in South Memphis, which has been vacant for five years.

Demolition contractor David Moore Inc. has agreed to demolish the building at no cost to the school system in return for the external bricks and any copper that may be left in the building. Moore is also demolishing Graceland Elementary School for the school system and agreed to do the Lincoln gymnasium as part of a package deal, according to school system administrators.

The school board votes on the demolition next week as well.

– Bill Dries

Council Delays Forrest Park Discussion

The Memphis City Council delayed to its first meeting in February a committee discussion about a proposal by council member Myron Lowery to rename Nathan Bedford Forrest Park to include the name of Ida B. Wells, the anti-lynching crusader of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Lowery was out of town for Tuesday, Jan. 22, committee sessions.

That didn’t stop council members Bill Boyd and Janis Fullilove from exchanging words about the Confederate general, slave trader and first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Boyd contends Forrest’s title did not make him a founder of the group.

In other action, the council approved a planned development for The Pyramid that includes its redevelopment as a Bass Pro Shops retail center.

The council approval, necessary to include a hotel in the plans, came with no debate.

Approved on third and final reading was an ordinance that creates a caterer’s permit for the storing, selling, manufacturing and distribution of “light alcoholic beverages.”

Also approved was a special use permit for an outdoor flea market at the old Imperial Bowling Lanes, 4700 Summer Ave.

– Bill Dries

James Lee House B&B Granted Development Loan

The conversion of the longtime vacant James Lee House into a luxury bed-and-breakfast inn is moving along in Victorian Village.

The Center City Development Corp., an arm of the Downtown Memphis Commission, granted developers Jose Velazquez and J.W. Gibson a $130,000 development loan for The James Lee House Bed & Breakfast at 690 Adams Ave. at its Friday, Jan. 18, meeting.

The plans are to convert the 8,100-square-foot James Lee House into a five-suite, luxury bed-and-breakfast inn, an investment of about $2.3 million. The mansion, built in the 1840s at Adams and Orleans Street, is designated by the Library of Congress and has been vacant since 1959.

The project was awarded a 10-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes term from the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. earlier this month. The design plans will be presented to the DMC’s Design Review Board in February.

Construction is scheduled to begin in February and be completed by November. The architect for the project is Fleming Associates Architects PC and the contractor is Montgomery Martin Contractors LLC.

– Sarah Baker

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