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VOL. 131 | NO. 219 | Wednesday, November 2, 2016


Bill Dries

Last Word: Timing The Recovery, The Problem With Car Lots and UT Bricks

By Bill Dries

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The recovery from the worst national economic downturn since the Great Depression has been slow and long. Any optimism about the growth we are seeing, particularly in commercial real estate, is tempered by thoughts about when the recovery might take another inevitable dip – even if it’s not as bad as what we saw starting in 2008 and 2009.

That concern will be a theme at The Daily News Seminar series Thursday at the Brooks starting at 2 p.m. with a forecast from the Urban Land Institute. The ULI senior vice president who will make the presentation also tells us he will talk about housing affordability as a big issue. And here in Memphis there are few development issues that seem bigger at the moment.

Many of us in the media got a look around the Ikea store in Cordova Tuesday and we’ll have more in the Thursday edition on what goes into one of these stores to make it a retail destination.

Here are some pictures from the tour that show the store moving toward its Dec. 14 opening with probably more of the showroom in place than the marketplace but that is changing rapidly. Along the way we got a really good look at a retail concept whose goal is to get you thinking about more than an item or two.

The Tennessean goes looking for complaints of sexual harassment in state government and finds 460 complaints since 2010 and the doors barred to records of such complaints in the Tennessee Legislature, despite these complaints being public record by state law.

First Tennessee had a hardware problem Tuesday that has caused a delay in posting some transactions to accounts. The problem prompted the bank to keep its Tennessee branches open a bit longer Tuesday and announce that the bank will not charge any fees caused by the delay in posting.

Memphis-based Verso Corp. lays off 190 employees at a paper mill in Maine – the latest event of its kind recently for Verso.

More on the county commission marijuana debate which, like the city council debate before it, pits the push for reform of the local criminal justice system against the possibility of a misunderstanding about what writing a ticket for half an ounce of pot really means about law and order.

The commission debate also featured some discussion about whether it is really a good idea to give law enforcement this kind of discretion especially with there already being concerns about disproportionate racial contact. If law enforcement officers who are already more likely to stop and arrest an African-American with a small amount of pot has a choice to make between writing a civil summons or ticket with a $50 fine or make a misdemeanor arrest, won’t they carry the disproportionate contact over into the new policy?

Speaking of the city council, it was a rather lackluster council day Tuesday at City Hall. And that is the perfect point to talk about car lots and why they get such scrutiny from the council lately. The council had three of them on Tuesday’s agenda and rejected two. We also return to the DROP plan and some changes to it about a year after the council approved a freeze designed to keep the police force above the 2,000 mark. This time around the amendment was aimed at the top city division directors, specifically Police Director Michael Rallings.

It’s been four years since the West Tennessee Solar Farm opened up alongside Interstate 40 in Haywood County. And when it opened there was lots of talk about a welcome center at the solar array. Four years later, construction is about to start on the center with a groundbreaking earlier this week.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam prepares for budget hearings in Nashville.

Here is the rundown of who took what honors at the 23rd annual Vox Awards by the Public Relations Society of America’s Memphis Chapter.

Rhodes College and Christian Brothers University have  Food Recovery Network programs that are taking food that would otherwise be wasted and thrown away on campus to places that feed the hungry in Memphis.

Don Wade on UT Football’s “brick-by-brick” approach after losing three straight.

Gannett gives up on a Tronc takeover.

PROPERTY SALES 51 334 9,936
MORTGAGES 41 330 10,946
BUILDING PERMITS 348 1,216 22,173
BANKRUPTCIES 43 348 6,311