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VOL. 131 | NO. 166 | Friday, August 19, 2016

Daily Digest

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Archer Malmo Expands In Cotton Exchange Building

Archer Malmo is growing again.

The agency has taken on the entire third floor of the historic Cotton Exchange building on Union Avenue and renovated the space to better suit its employees, of which there are 175 in Memphis and 205 firm-wide.

The firm’s PR and digital strategy teams are housed in the new space on the third floor.

The space was designed to encourage interaction and collaboration between team members. Features include offices along the exterior that have glass panels that let in natural light from windows.

There are three breakout meeting areas, including two large meeting tables and a “mini living room,” complete with a sectional and coffee table for informal meetings and co-working. There’s also a hotel-style workspace that functions as an office for non-Memphis employees, such as visiting Archer Malmo team members from Austin, Texas.

The expansion brings the agency’s total footprint in The Cotton Exchange to more than 48,000 square feet. The agency added 4,000 new square feet for a total of 7,000 on the third floor.

– Andy Meek

U of M Receives $242,500 Clean Tennessee Energy Grant

The University of Memphis has been selected to receive a Clean Tennessee Energy Grant of $242,500 for enhancements at the Ned R. McWherter Library.

The project will consist of replacing a 330-ton, water-cooled chiller with a new variable-speed, high-efficiency chiller and a conversion of the existing cooling tower to variable speed at the library. The current chiller operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week; the new system will provide significant energy and cost savings.

The project enhancements are estimated to reduce energy consumption by 345,215 kilowatt hours annually and reduce maintenance and energy costs by $31,879. Annual CO2 equivalent reductions are estimated to be 270 tons.

Grant recipients were chosen through a process that gave consideration to projects that best met the selection criteria and expressed the greatest local need. Funding for these grants are from a federal court settlement of an enforcement action under the federal Clean Air Act, which resulted in a consent decree with the Tennessee Valley Authority.

– Don Wade

Boyd Seeks to Remove Jail Time for Minor Pot Bust

Memphis City Council member Berlin Boyd is proposing a change in city ordinances that would make possession of less than a half ounce of marijuana in the city an offense that wouldn’t involve jail time.

The decriminalization proposal would mean an offender would pay a $50 fine, and Boyd wants the council to include an option for someone to perform community service work in lieu of the fine.

Council members discuss the proposal Tuesday, Aug. 23, in council committee sessions, with a vote on the first of three readings likely in September.

Boyd’s proposal surfaces the same week that Nashville’s Metro Council approved a similar ordinance on the first of three readings.

The Nashville version has drawn some criticism from police brass there that want the proposal to include more discretion for officers in the matter.

– Bill Dries

Federal Lawsuit Contests Beale Street Cover Charge

A pro se lawsuit filed in Memphis federal court this month seeks to end the Beale Street Entertainment District’s practice of charging a $10 entry fee for the district after 10 p.m. on Saturdays during the street’s summer peak.

The lawsuit filed by Lucille Catron, the widow of Beale Street Development Corp. leader Randle Catron, also claims that the BSDC still holds the master lease with the city for the district.

Catron has disputed the settlement of years of litigation in which the Beale Street Tourism Development Authority was created and became the entity that has the master lease with the city. In the settlement, BSDC was supposed to become an organization focused on the history and culture of Beale Street.

Catron seeks an end to the cover charge for admission to the street as well as $5 million in punitive damages for the practice. It also seeks to uphold terms of the old master lease.

– Bill Dries

South Main Artspace Lofts Sets Sept. 29 Groundbreaking

The South Main Artspace Lofts will be moving in to South Main this year. The $17 million project, first announced in December 2011, has secured its final round of financing and has set a formal groundbreaking for Sept. 29.

Montgomery Martin Contractors recently filed $10.5 million in building permits for construction of the affordable, arts-centric apartment building.

The 58-unit complex will be split between the existing United Warehouse at 138 St. Paul Ave. and 30,230 square feet of new construction at 120 St. Paul.

The design of architects Looney Ricks Kiss includes 58 live/work residential units. The lower level of the United Warehouse building will be converted into 7,000 square feet of commercial, gallery and community space.

The new four-story building bears an industrial design with metal paneling and steel canopies. The area between the building and St. Paul Avenue will be turned into a plaza with an outdoor arts garden and space for seating and gathering.

Construction will continue for 12 months, said Heidi Zimmer, senior vice president of real estate development with Artspace. In January of next year, Artspace will hold information sessions for interested artists looking to reserve an apartment.

Rents will range from $550 for a studio to $850 for two- and three-bedroom units. The rent is determined by both income level and unit size, Zimmer said. Those rates will remain capped for a minimum of 15 years.

“One of the benefits of this porject, even in South Main, is quickly reviatlizing a property,” Zimmer said. “I think rents are going up as a whole in that area, and rents at Artspace are locked in on affordability.”

Zimmer said a commitment from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency pushed Artspace’s fundraising effort to the finish line. The state/federal agency is supplying bond financing, low-income housing tax credits and a $500,000 trust fund grant. Hyde Family Foundations, Pyramid Peak Foundation, AutoZone and Loeb Properties are among some of the other local groups that contributed to the project.

– Madeline Faber

Free Tax Workshop Set Sept. 1 in Memphis

The Tennessee Department of Revenue will hold a series of free tax workshops for new businesses in cities across Tennessee during September.

In Memphis, the workshop will be held Sept. 1 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Renaissance Business Center, 555 Beale Street, in the Memphis Training Room.

The free workshops are designed to assist those encountering business-related taxes for the first time. Tax specialists from various local and state agencies will provide basic information, answer questions and distribute materials about tax responsibilities. Areas of discussion will include business tax, sales and use tax, and tax enforcement procedures.

Space is limited and registration is required. For more information, call 800-342-1003 or 615-253-0600.

– Daily News staff

Two Team Slots Left For Annual Burger Fest

Only two slots for competitive teams remain for the fifth annual Best Memphis Burger Fest on Sunday, Aug. 28, at Tiger Lane, benefiting Memphis Paws Inc.

More than 40 teams will compete in categories including Classic Cheeseburger, Veggie Burger, Anything Goes Specialty Burger, and Epic and Over-Garnished Bloody Marys.

Burger Fest is a certified qualifying event for the World Food Championships held every year in Las Vegas.

“We’re honored to donate our proceeds to Memphis Paws, and continue building upon our legacy of providing more than $30,000 in funds that promote local responsible pet ownership,” said Seth Agranov, co-founder of the festival.

In addition to burger and Bloody Mary competitions, Best Memphis Burger Fest also offers live music, a Kids’ Zone area presented by Jack Pirtle’s Chicken, a catered VIP area, an official Corn Hole tournament, food trucks, a vendor merchandise area, pet adoptions, and more.

Admission is $10 for adults, free for kids 12 and under. VIP access passes are available for $50. Visit www.bestmemphisburgerfest.com/buy-tickets to purchase tickets in advance.

– Daily News staff

PROPERTY SALES 21 82 6,474
MORTGAGES 7 53 4,088
BUILDING PERMITS 240 353 15,714
BANKRUPTCIES 38 58 3,328