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VOL. 130 | NO. 42 | Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Daily Digest

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Highland Row Developer Approved for $11 Million Permit

The developer of the mixed-use Highland Row project won approval for for an $11 million building permit from the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement.

Highland Row LLC, an Indianapolis-based Milhaus Ventures affiliate, received the permit to construct a four-story, wood-framed building at 395 S. Highland St. The permit lists Milhaus Construction LLC as the general contractor.

The $61 million Highland Row project is slated to include 354 apartments, 34 townhomes, a parking garage and 26,000 square feet of retail space. The 395 S. Highland parcel has been the heart of the development since a church on the land was demolished several years ago. At the time, Highland Row was a project of Memphis-based Poag Shopping Centers, then operating as Poag & McEwen Lifestyle Centers, but its plans were shelved following the recession.

Milhaus has filed multiple permits since reviving the project last year. In October, the company applied for a $20 million building permit for construction of a four-story apartment building at 387 S. Highland. The next month, it applied for a $6.8 million permit toward the project.

Then, in late November, Milhaus acquired several vacant parcels totaling 13 acres along Highland and Ellsworth Street from an affiliate of Worthington Hyde Partners for $4.3 million.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Kate Simone

Morris to Leave Downtown Memphis Commission

Paul Morris will leave his post as president of the Downtown Memphis Commission late this year to become president of his family’s business, Jack Morris Auto Glass.

Morris told the board and staff of the Downtown development agency Friday, Feb. 27.

“I told them that my father’s advice to me always was to get very heavily involved in community service, but always get your paycheck from the private sector,” Morris said. “I didn’t take his advice and took this job anyway. But I took it saying and knowing that in so many years, I would be returning to the private sector.”

Morris became president of the DMC five years ago after serving on the DMC board, and as board chairman, before succeeding Jeff Sanford as the organization’s president.

Under Morris’ leadership, the agency weathered the worst of the Great Recession. Development projects sidelined by the economic downturn have reemerged in the last year, including One Beale, the Chisca Hotel redevelopment and Bass Pro Shops’ retail destination at the Pyramid.

“I didn’t define the number of years,” Morris said. “I just said, ‘My plan is to get in here, have a sense of urgency, know I’m only in here temporarily, try to make a difference. And when I know I’ve made a difference, return to the private sector.’”

The Downtown Memphis Commission also became the day-to-day manager of the Beale Street Entertainment District for the city of Memphis in January 2014 when the city regained control of the district. The DMC remains in that role as city leaders discuss forming a Tourism Development Authority to guide long-term development on Beale Street.

Morris also is project manager for the Main to Main Intermodal Connector Project, which is set to be completed in 2016. Morris will remain in that role as project manager.

– Bill Dries

Sweet Potato Baby Wins SCORE Championship

Sweet Potato Baby is a winner of the American Small Business Championship by SCORE, a national organization that provides mentorship to entrepreneurs and small businesses.

The local boutique catering and baked-goods company was one of 102 companies to receive the award, which is supported by a $700,000 grant from Sam’s Club.

Each winner will receive a $1,000 Sam’s Club gift card, an all-expenses-paid trip to a training event, a year of SCORE mentoring, and promotion throughout the year to showcase its story.

Sweet Potato Baby, owned by Aryen Moore-Alston, offers items ranging from seasonal pastries and cakes to international cuisine and full-service catering. The company also was recently selected among the Greater Memphis Chamber’s “10 to Watch” in 2015, a list of 10 companies and organizations that stood out in 2014 for leadership in the community, whether through driving the local economy, inspiring innovation or embracing change.

SCORE, a nonprofit that started as the Service Corps of Retired Executives, has an active Memphis chapter that serves entrepreneurs in Shelby, Fayette and Tipton counties, as well as adjoining counties in Arkansas and Mississippi.

– Kate Simone

Community Foundation Scholarship Deadline Set

There is still time for students to apply for college scholarships from Community Foundation of Greater Memphis

In 2014, the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis made 93 scholarship awards from 26 different scholarship funds, totaling $124,205 to 89 students. Awards supported young people ranging from community volunteers to string musicians.

In 2015, the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis is accepting scholarship applications from area students in a variety of categories. The application deadline for the Don Poier Memorial Scholarship has been extended to March 13. All others are due on April 1.

Scholarship award amounts average between $500 and $1,500. There are opportunities for graduating seniors from Shelby County Schools, charter schools, Achievement School District schools, the municipal high schools, and independent schools.

Applicants must demonstrate academic achievement, economic need, and be attending an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational program. Students may apply for more than one scholarship, and there is no application fee. As with all charitable grants, recipients are not required to pay back the funds. All scholarship awards are for one year only but several funds allow recipients to re-apply.

For a complete list of 2015 funding opportunities and more information about the Community Foundation’s scholarship program, visit cfgm.org/scholarships.

– Don Wade

Nimoy Cut Check to St. Jude Before Passing

A month before he died last week at age 83, Leonard Nimoy – the actor famous for his role as Spock on “Star Trek” – sent a $10,000 check to St. Jude.

That’s according to Marlo Thomas, who serves as St. Jude’s national outreach director. She acknowledged the donation on her Facebook page.

“We got to know him a little bit through our friends, the Pogrebins,” Thomas wrote. “Always warm and gentle, good company. Just a month ago he sent me $10,000 for the kids of St. Jude. Even in his very hard, last days he was thinking of how to help others.”

– Andy Meek

Hickory Hill Nightclub Remains Closed As Nuisance

A Hickory Hill nightclub where undercover police officers allegedly bought marijuana – and with a history of recent violence including a murder – remained closed as the week began.

A-Game Bar and Grill, 6642 Winchester Road, near Kirby Parkway, was closed under terms of a court order from General Sessions Environmental Court Judge Larry Potter declaring it a nuisance.

The Shelby County District Attorney General’s office filed the petition with Potter for an injunction that took effect Saturday, Feb. 28, at the club operated by Otis Braxton.

Undercover officers with the Memphis Police Organized Crime Unit allegedly bought marijuana at A-Game Thursday, according to the petition for an injunction. The petition claims club employees watched the drug deal and took no action.

Prosecutors also cited police calls recently at A. Game to break up large fights as well as robberies, assaults and shootings including a homicide and another shooting in which police found 41 shell casings in the parking lot.

Braxton was due in Environmental Court Monday, March 2, for a preliminary hearing on the injunction.

The preliminary hearing is usually followed by negotiations between the owner of a business declared a nuisance and prosecutors toward an agreement on measures the owner will take to reduce crime on his or her property.

– Bill Dries

PROPERTY SALES 28 290 16,197
MORTGAGES 33 165 10,087
BUILDING PERMITS 184 608 38,544
BANKRUPTCIES 33 125 7,597