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VOL. 131 | NO. 93 | Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Bill Dries

Last Word: The Airport and Hotels, Loans and Musicians and Underground in Town

By Bill Dries

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That didn’t take long. Fired one day, hired the next for Dave Joerger now formerly of the Grizz.

Meanwhile, Tigers football box office numbers show about 10,000 more people average per game at the Liberty Bowl last season compared to the seasons before.
That’s second only to Temple’s increase among the college programs measured by the National Football Foundation.

A pretty grim forecast for an Airport area hotel that in the early 1970s was considered quite a posh hotel. Today it’s the Holiday Inn but originally it was a Hilton.
It’s at Airways and Democrat Road and it has been in foreclosure twice since 2011 all while owners have spent millions to upgrade it.
The experience raises questions about the area and whether it is still the right fit for hotel development.

Elsewhere in our commercial real estate emphasis: The biggest industrial sector lease of the first quarter of 2016 was also the largest single transaction in the history of the market.
It’s Tire and Battery Corp.’s 1.5 million square foot lease at Panatonni’s Gateway Global Logistics Park that straddles the Tennessee-Mississippi stateline.
Tire and Battery is on the Fayette County side of the line.
Also of note is Nike’s 700,000 square feet of leased space in Memphis at the Summit Distribution Center on Lamar.

It’s been quite a ride for the local condo market going back a decade when condos were sprouting all over the south end of Downtown, changing what had been a warehouse landscape.
Lots of those condos became rental property when the recession came to stay for a while and the values aren’t completely back yet.
The result is a new kind of property management for condos that reflects the different ownership scenarios that came about just before the boom got bad.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland on Behind The Headlines came to talk budget with his Chief Financial Officer Brian Collins and the chairman of the council budget committee Edmund Ford Jr. And they did. But Strickland also talked about Mud Island River Park’s future, which he sees as one without city funding.

Finance has probably always had a difficult relationship with musicians. Stax and Union Planters is a part of both the city’s business history as well as the city’s musical heritage. And bring it up with the right people and you will quickly discover it’s still a kind of third rail in the reaction you will get even 40 years and running after the relationship ended acrimoniously.
On a much smaller and more hopeful scale, a new financial loan fund has made its first loan -- $5,000 at 5 percent interest for the Eric Hughes Band to complete their latest album.
It’s a partnership between the Memphis Slim Collaboratory in South Memphis and River City Capital Investment Corp.

The Common Table Health Alliance’s annual meeting takes a look at where the national effort to fight childhood obesity is. The keynote speaker says the corner is being turned but that it’s not as simple as one effort aimed at more exercise for children or filling food deserts or better school lunch programs.

We’ve all learned a lot about Harriet Tubman beyond the few paragraphs in high school history texts since the word last month that Tubman would be going on $20 bills replacing Andrew Jackson.
And the producers of WGN America’s television series “Underground” must be thinking there is something serendipitous about the timing of all of this.
The show about a group of slaves escaping on the Underground Railroad is enough of a hit that it’s getting a second season in 2017.
And Memphis is the most popular market in the country for the show.
Three stars of the Sony and Tribune produced drama are in the city Tuesday for a panel discussion at the National Civil Rights Museum.


It looks like Gannett, the new owners of The Commercial Appeal, will be busy with an attempted hostile takeover of Tribune Publishing. The Tribune management has put the poison pill strategy into play.

J.C. Penney expands into major appliances for half of its stores this summer.

The number of independent bookstores is on the rise for a seventh straight year. But the 1,775 bookstores that are members of the American Booksellers Association and the yardstick for measuring this growth compares to a membership of more than 3,000 once upon a time.

PROPERTY SALES 23 23 1,365
MORTGAGES 21 21 1,068
BUILDING PERMITS 117 117 3,173