VOL. 130 | NO. 187 | Friday, September 25, 2015
August Traffic Flying High at Memphis Airport
The number of local passengers at the Memphis International Airport has increased over this period last year and is outpacing growth for 2014, according to the latest data from the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority.
August saw 153,785 origin-and-destination enplanements – an 8.7 increase compared with 141,420 in August 2014.
Year-to-date, O&D enplanements are up more than 9 percent, rising from 299,384 in fiscal year 2014 to 326,846 this year.
Load factors held steady at 77 percent for August, a strong showing as summer vacation travel wound down.
The higher volume of passengers helped airport revenue exceed expenses for August, a trend that should be bolstered by the recent announcement of Allegiant’s Memphis-Phoenix route, which starts in December.
– Madeline Faber
South Main Artspace Lofts Get Push Toward Finish Line
South Main Artspace Lofts is getting closer to its fundraising goal, thanks to a $500,000 challenge grant.
The Artspace Lofts, to be located at 138 St. Paul Ave. in the old United Warehouse building, hopes to be the city’s first affordable live/work space for artists. The 58-unit development has been in the making for five years, and the Minneapolis-based developer is close to the finish line of the $15 million goal.
The anonymously donated challenge grant will be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis until the end of the year. A total of $12 million in financing so far has come from private sources, the Hyde Family Foundations, the Assisi Foundation of Memphis, the Ford Foundation, the city of Memphis and several state-backed tax credit packages.
Once financing for the project has been secured, construction will begin in first quarter 2016 and continue until spring 2017.
– Madeline Faber
Lipscomb Remains on Suspension From MHA
The Memphis Housing Authority board made no change Thursday, Sept. 24, to the status of Robert Lipscomb, its suspended executive director.
The board suspended Lipscomb with pay following sexual misconduct allegations. Memphis police have been investigating the claims since August.
Lipscomb resigned his position as director of the city’s Division of Housing and Community Development and is on leave from his position as chairman of the LeMoyne-Owen College board.
– Bill Dries
Terence Patterson Approved as DMC President
Terence Patterson is the new president of the Downtown Memphis Commission.
The Downtown Memphis Commission board unanimously approved Patterson’s appointment Thursday, Sept. 24, just hours before its annual street party, held this year in the South Main Historic Arts District.
Patterson succeeds Paul Morris, who will leave the post later this year to work for his family’s business, Jack Morris Auto Glass. He has been at DMC’s helm for five years.
Patterson most recently served as treasurer of the Center City Development Corp., one of several subsidiary bodies of the DMC.
He is education program director for the Hyde Family Foundations.
Patterson was the recommended choice of DHR International, an executive search firm hired by the DMC to recommend finalists for the position.
– Bill Dries
Webcam Monitors Harahan Construction
A webcam is giving the public a live view of construction of Big River Crossing, the pedestrian and bicycle boardwalk on the northern side of the Harahan Bridge across the Mississippi River.
The webcam is filming from atop the Artesian Metropolitan Residences condo building, 717 Riverside Drive. Visit allworldpm.com and click the “live video” tab at the top of the page to view the online feed. The camera has been recording since June 22, and a slider beneath the picture frame shows past progress.
The current view shows the first 120-foot section of the boardwalk being pulled to the Arkansas side of the bridge.
OCCI Inc. of Fulton, Mo., began construction on the $17.5 million project in November 2014, with a completion date in the spring or summer of 2016.
– Bill Dries
New Event Center Coming to Memphis
Utah-based Noah’s Event Venue has filed a $1.1 million building permit application to construct a one-story building at 3243 Players Club Parkway in Southeast Shelby County.
Gabriel Management Corp. is managing the construction of the 8,700-square-foot facility, which will be located at the southwest corner of Players Club Parkway and Hacks Cross Road.
Construction is scheduled to begin at the end of the year, and the venue will open in 2016.
Customers will be able to rent out the whole facility or any of its four rooms individually; the location will have space to accommodate up to 350 people. There also will be a game room that features billiards, shuffleboard, ping-pong and more.
Noah Corp. has 22 locations in 11 U.S. states and an additional seven under construction. The locations can be rented out for weddings, corporate events and special occasions.
All of Noah’s locations have state-of-the-art audio-visual systems, free wireless Internet, hardwood floors and movable ceilings. The main halls also feature an electric stage that can rise out of the floor and accommodate a live band, DJ or presentation.
Tables, chairs and tablecloths are included with all rentals.
– Wendy Greenlaw, Chandler Reports
Ballet Memphis Celebrates 'Deconstruction Day'
Ballet Memphis will host a celebration to commemorate the start of demolition of the former French Quarter Suites and the site preparation for its future Midtown home.
The Oct. 10 Deconstruction Day will run from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the corner of Madison Avenue and Cooper Street, with a symbolic demolition at 10:45 a.m.
Groundbreaking is slated for 2016, and the building is scheduled to open in 2017.
In June, Ballet Memphis announced plans to buy the land at the Madison-Cooper corner, where the vacant French Quarter Suites currently sits.
The new facility will be designed by Memphis architecture firm archimania. It will be nearly 30,000 square feet with five studios that can be configured as needed, and also will include community spaces, a costume shop and administrative offices.
– Don Wade
Jerry Lee Lewis to Celebrate Big Birthday in Memphis
Legendary entertainer Jerry Lee Lewis is scheduled to blow out the candles this weekend in honor of his 80th birthday at his namesake honky tonk on Beale Street.
The event, at Jerry Lee Lewis’ Cafe & Honky Tonk, 310 Beale St., is set to take place Sept. 26.
What began as a birthday kick off on Sept. 7 at London’s Palladium, with Ringo Starr and Robert Plant serenading the musician with “Happy Birthday,” now returns to Jerry Lee Lewis’ hometown. The doors will open at 2 p.m.; the celebration is free and open to the public.
– Andy Meek
Grizzlies' Conley Hosting Bowl-n-Bash to Fight Sickle Cell
Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley is hosting his Seventh Annual Bowl-n-Bash on Saturday, Sept. 26, from noon to 4 p.m. at Billy Hardwick’s All Star Lanes, 1576 S. White Station Road.
The event is presented by City Auto and will benefit the Methodist Healthcare Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center.
The center provides a preventative outpatient clinic and is Memphis’ first dedicated emergency infusion unit specifically for adult sickle cell patients. It’s focused on delivering the most innovative clinical care and developing advanced treatment that will improve the quality of life for patients and their families living with sickle cell.
By taking part in the event, fans get a chance to spend time with Conley, Grizzlies teammates and other special guests.
Registration for the event is $125 for individuals or $400 for a team of four. All participants will receive a Bowl-n-Bash T-shirt and free refreshments.
Visit methodisthealth.org/bowlnbash for more information and registration.
– Don Wade