VOL. 130 | NO. 181 | Thursday, September 17, 2015
Methodist Files Permit for Campus Near Bartlett
Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare has filed a $2.6 million building permit application for changes to a 64,294-square-foot Class B office building it recently acquired.
Methodist plans to turn the building into a campus for the health care provider’s information systems and biomedical and clinical engineering departments.
In June, Methodist bought the former Anthem Career College facility at 5865 Shelby Oaks Drive from Belz Investco GP and Bico Associates GP for $3.9 million.
The newly-filed permit will go toward interior renovations of the property to be overseen by Belz Construction Services LLC. Looney Ricks Kiss is the project architect, and Allen & Hoshall is the engineering firm.
– Madeline Faber
Memphis City Council Delays Vote on Subdivision in The Village
The Memphis City Council delayed a vote Tuesday, Sept. 15, on an appeal of a two-lot subdivision at the northeast corner of Williamsburg Lane and Village Road.
Neighbors of the development are appealing the Land Use Control Board’s approval of the project proposed by Biffco GP and Investor Nation LLC.
The dispute involves how far the new homes should be set back from the road. The pre-World War II neighborhood has, in most cases, 100-foot setbacks for homes. The developers are proposing a 50-foot setback.
Before the council delayed the vote, councilman Reid Hedgepeth appeared to make some limited progress in getting the two sides to compromise. The council approved the delay until its Oct. 6 meeting to give both sides another chance to resolve their differences.
The council also approved an expansion of the Kirby Pines Estate planned development at Winchester Road and Kirby Parkway. That approval included the closing of Kirby north of Winchester.
– Bill Dries
FedEx St. Jude Classic Director Moving Into Advisory Role
Phil Cannon’s long association with the FedEx St. Jude Classic is changing effective Nov. 1, when he relinquishes his role as tournament director
Cannon, who had been in that position since 2000, was diagnosed with cancer in 2014 but continued to serve as director of the tourney the last two years. He will remain as a senior adviser to Darrell Smith, who will move from tournament manager to tournament director.
“We’ve been planning this transition for many months,” said Cannon, who has been involved with the tournament for the last 50 years. “I have no doubt the tournament will continue to grow and prosper under Darrell’s leadership.”
Smith, 32, joined the FESJC staff in 2006. In 2010, he became director of operations for the AT&T Bryon Nelson Championship in Dallas, but he returned to the FESJC in 2011.
Next year’s tournament is slated for June 6-12 at TPC Southwind.
“Phil Cannon personifies all that is good about our great city,” said Jack Sammons, general chairman of the tournament’s board.
– Don Wade
Memphis Library Formally Launches Cloud901 Teen Lab
Cloud901 – a free, state-of-the-art teen lab that’s packed with technology and creative tools – is now officially open.
It’s housed inside the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar Ave., and has been in the works for a few years now, according to libraries director Keenan McCloy.
“There is good news in every single corner of Memphis, Tennessee,” she said, calling the new space a “game-changer.”
“We have pretty much everything one could possibly need here,” she added. That includes an art studio, video production lab with a green screen, 3-D printers, a gaming lounge, audio production lab and more.
– Andy Meek
In Wake of Lipscomb Scandal, MHA Board Addition OK’d
The Memphis City Council Tuesday, Sept. 15, approved the appointment of Laura Harris to the Memphis Housing Authority board. The item was added to the agenda to have Harris on the MHA board in time for a Wednesday, Sept. 16, meeting.
Harris is a research evaluator at Data For Good LLC, a research organization she founded to consult for public and nonprofit organizations and measure the impact of their programs.
She also served on the graduate faculty of the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Memphis.
At the meeting, the MHA board was to consider further action on suspended executive director Robert Lipscomb. The board suspended Lipscomb with pay earlier this month pending the outcome of a police investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct.
MHA board chairman Ian Randolph said the housing authority has not completed an independent audit of its finances or an investigation of Lipscomb’s conduct.
Lipscomb resigned as the city’s director of the Housing and Community Development division, another appointed city position he held, also as a result of the sexual misconduct allegation.
– Bill Dries
Edge Exhibit to Showcase New Approach to Public Art
A new approach to public art projects and funding in Memphis will be presented at an art exhibit next week at Marshall Arts, 639 Marshall Ave., in the Edge District.
The event, on Sept. 25, is “The Collaboratory: The Edge Survey,” an initiative conceptualized by artist Catherine Peña and funded by the Downtown Memphis Commission. It will showcase public art ideas for the Edge neighborhood proposed by a coalition of eight local artists.
The concepts that will be presented are the culmination of six months of collaboration by the artists, along with a study of the neighborhood’s environment, history, characteristics, challenges and assets. The artists included are Kristi Duckworth, Lester Merriweather, Cedar Lorca Nordbye, Marco Pave, Cat Peña, Robin Salant, Kiersten Williams and Anthony Lee.
Since May, the artists have blogged about their investigation and exploration of the Edge and have shared artistic concepts for neighborhood enhancement. In early October, artists will present their concepts to a DMC committee for funding consideration.
Any pieces selected for funding by the committee will be installed throughout the Edge in the months ahead.
The public is invited to the Sept. 25 exhibit at Marshall Arts from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. to meet the artists and to learn about their process and concepts.
– Andy Meek
Election Day Arrives in Arlington and Lakeland
Voters in Arlington and Lakeland go to the polls Thursday, Sept. 17, to decide two sets of municipal elections in the suburban cities.
The polls are open in both cities from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Early voting in both places ended Saturday Sept. 12.
A total of 302, or 2.6 percent of Arlington’s 11,563 voters, cast early ballots. In Lakeland, 808, or 10.1 percent of the city’s 7,967 voters, voted early.
Lakeland voters are electing two city commissioners and two school board members. They also have two ballot questions, one to allow wine to be sold at food stores and one to permit liquor stores in Lakeland.
Lakeland couldn’t vote last year on wine in food stores along with Memphis and Shelby County’s five other suburbs because it had never approved liquor by the drink. Lakeland voters approved liquor by the drink in the 2014 referendums.
Lakeland voters will choose two commissioners from four candidates – Michele Dial, Larry Pardue, Joshua Roman and Justin Smith – all of whom are newcomers. The top two vote-getters take seats on the commission.
The setup is the same in the school board race, which also has four candidates: Teresa Henry, Geoff Hicks, Susan Miller and Mica Partain. Henry is the only incumbent among the four.
This is Lakeland’s second election of the year. In April, voters there defeated a $50 million school bond issue.
In Arlington, both mayor Mike Wissman and school board member Kay Williams are running unopposed. In the other school board race, Robert Elliott Sr. is challenging incumbent Barbara A. Fletcher.
Three of the six Arlington alderman positions are on the ballot as well. Larry Harmon Jr. and Brian Groves are running for the seat currently held by Glen Bascom, who is not seeking re-election. Lee Mills is challenging incumbent Gerald McGee, and Harry Scooter Spore is challenging incumbent Jeff McKee.
– Bill Dries