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VOL. 131 | NO. 69 | Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Daily Digest

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New Restaurant, Venue Coming to Highland Strip

The Bluff, a new music venue and restaurant, is headed to the Highland Strip.

The 5,952-square-foot space will include two downstairs bars, a large stage and green room, a 1,300-square-foot mezzanine with an additional bar, outdoor patio seating area adjacent to the stage and a second patio on the Highland Strip.

Construction on 535 S. Highland St. will begin within the month. The space most recently was occupied by Newby’s, which opened in January its new, renovated location at 539 S. Highland.

Hudson Chadwick, who is behind Rafters Music and Food and The Corner Bar in Oxford, Miss., is one of the new owners. The menu will be “Cajun-inspired” and will source from local ingredients and suppliers “whenever possible,” according to a release from landlord Loeb Properties.

– Madeline Faber

Grizzlies' Mike Conley Reportedly Done for the Season

Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley most likely will not return to the court this season, sources told ESPN’s Marc Stein.

Conley, who has been sidelined with Achilles tendinitis in his left foot, has continued to wear a walking boot. Former Grizzlies backup point guard Mario Chalmers ruptured his Achilles this year, and with Conley a free agent at season’s end and the Grizzlies presumably wanting to sign him to a long-term contract, Conley’s return represented an unnecessary risk for both parties.

Conley, 28, was averaging 15.3 points and 6.1 assists this season.

The Grizzlies carried a six-game losing streak into their Tuesday, April 5, game at FedExForum against Chicago. They are trying to hang on to a playoff spot, and subpar play at point guard has been a factor during the skid. They still held a narrow lead over Portland for the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference going into Tuesday’s game, but if they were to lose their last five games they could still miss the playoffs.

– Don Wade

Lenoir Says County Collection Of City Taxes Delayed

Shelby County Trustee David Lenoir has delayed his office’s plans to begin collecting current city of Memphis taxes effective July 1.

Lenoir and city chief financial officer Brian Collins told Memphis City Council members Tuesday, April 5, that the planned July 1 start is being postponed because of problems converting the city’s system to the trustee’s system. Lenoir said more testing and planning is needed to ensure there isn’t a “hiccup” in the city’s revenue flow.

He also said the trustee’s vendor on the project wanted a delay in the roll-out.

The trustee’s office currently collects delinquent city taxes under a 2013 contract.

“We will not convert on July 1 as we originally anticipated,” Lenoir said. “It’s way too risky for us. It’s way too risky for the city.”

No new date for the conversion was set Tuesday.

“The conversion of city and county data is an enormous undertaking,” Lenoir added. “We are continuing to move forward to complete this project as soon as possible.”

– Bill Dries

Memphis Country Club Purchases Vacant Lot

The Memphis Country Club has purchased a half-acre lot from New Olivet Baptist Church. The parcel at 3120 E. Southern Ave. went for $1.5 million.

The land is on the eastern side of Terrell Pace, and the New Olivet church is on the western side at 3084 E. Southern. The Memphis Country Club, at 600 Goodwyn St., is a stone’s throw away from the lot.

The lot was most recently appraised at $92,000.

– Madeline Faber

Children’s Museum Plans New Carousel Building

The historic Memphis Grand Carousel is headed to the next stage in its move from the Memphis Fairgrounds to the Children’s Museum of Memphis.

Plans recently posted by the Memphis-Shelby County Office of Planning and Development depict a 100,000-square-foot single-story building at the northwest corner of the CMOM campus.

The semi-circle shaped building will house the more-than-century-old Grand Carousel, which was shipped to Ohio in 2015 for a two-year, $1 million renovation.

The new building will connect the existing CMOM building, 2525 Central Ave., and the adjacent administration building. The perimeter of the semicircle carousel lobby will have landscaping and sidewalks.

With origins of the carousel dating back to 1909, the new building for the restored carousel will be a museum in itself. The carousel was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 but lost the status when it was dismantled in 2009, four years after Libertyland closed.

Hours of operation for the carousel will match with the museum, and it will be available for special event rentals.

Plans for the additional building go before the Board of Adjustment on April 27. Plans need to be approved by the BOA because the site of the existing CMOM campus is zoned for urban residential. Any additions require a zone variance.

Private museum donors raised $4 million for the addition. Design Shop is the architect and Montgomery Martin Contractors will construct the new building.

– Madeline Faber

Art Students Paint Greenline Mural

Memphis College of Art’s 2016 ArtsZone Scholars spent the past weekend painting a mural on part of the Greater Memphis Greenline, located at the corner of Marble Avenue and Danny Thomas Boulevard.

Lead artist and MCA assistant professor Cat Normoyle directed the project for the third consecutive year. This year’s design was inspired by local geography and nature, expressed through abstract shapes and vibrant colors. The project was made possible by a grant from ArtsZone, a collaboration between AutoZone and ArtsMemphis to support public art projects in underserved areas of the city.

AutoZone’s funding for Memphis College of Art provided scholarships for five students from Shelby County: Dominique Carr, Elizabeth Hefner, Tomica Lake, Jacob Lambert and Cortez Totton.

– Andy Meek

ROCO Real Estate Makes Fourth Memphis Purchase

A Raleigh apartment community has sold for $6.7 million. Tennessee-based WE Stonegate LLC sold the property in a March 28 warranty deed to Michigan-based ROCO-Stonegate LLC.

According to the Shelby County Assessor of Property, the property at 2791 Coleman Road bears 208 units across 189,175 square feet. It was built in 1985 and is appraised at $5 million.

This is ROCO Real Estate’s fourth recent purchase in the Memphis area.

In 2015, ROCO purchased The Woods at Ridgeway Apartments, the Lakes at Ridgeway Apartments and the Reserve at Mount Moriah.

– Madeline Faber

Three Entities Pay $2.6M For Bartlett Apartments

A Bartlett apartment community has sold for $2.6 million. In a March 30 warranty deed, Summereast, an affiliate of the Robert and Martha Fogelman Living Trust, sold the property at 776 Bartlett Road. Three entities – TN Summereast LLC, Garden View LLC and WI Memphis LLC – jointly purchased the property.

According to the Shelby County Assessor of Property, the complex bears 64 units across 127,738 square feet. It was built in 1969 and was most recently appraised at $2 million.

– Madeline Faber

Exchange Club Raises $168K, Barbara King to Be Honored

The Exchange Club Family Center, an area nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the cycle of child abuse and domestic violence, has announced its Hands of Hope Auction Party held on Feb. 27 at the University Club of Memphis raised $168,000.

More than 500 guests were in attendance. Money raised will support the organization’s programs. During the event, former Memphis Mayor A C Wharton and Ruby Wharton announced that the center’s building on Union Avenue will be renamed in honor of Barbara King, who has been the executive director of the center for the last 22 years and is retiring in June.

“This year’s event was one of the best yet, and we’re forever grateful to the dedication and generosity of our staff, volunteers and guests,” King said. “The money raised will allow the Center to continue its mission.”

– Don Wade

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