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VOL. 132 | NO. 157 | Wednesday, August 9, 2017


Bill Dries

Last Word: Megasite Prospect, Crosstown Opening Plans and New Chandler Numbers

By Bill Dries

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Tennessee is pursuing the new $1.6 billion assembly plant Toyota and Mazda announced just last week to turn out 300,000 vehicles a year and there is that regional megasite in nearby Haywood County that isn’t being used. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says he wants to add the joint facility to the state’s auto industry.

And Haslam’s commissioner of Economic and Community Development, Bob Rolfe, has told business leaders here before this all came up that Haslam has made it clear to him that he wants Rolfe to consider finding a tenant for the megasite his top priority from now until Haslam leaves office at the end of 2018. The megasites, one for each of the state’s grand divisions, were something Haslam inherited from his predecessor, Gov. Phil Bredesen. Memphis tried for the General Motors factory that went to Spring Hill in middle Tennessee in 1990 as a Saturn plant. The move seemed to cement Middle Tennessee as part of an auto corridor that takes in parts of Alabama.

Meanwhile, city council chairman Berlin Boyd has said he wants the state to consider making the old Firestone plant site in North Memphis a megasite.

Trouble afoot in Grizz land Tuesday. Meanwhile, more of the back story on the origin of “grit and grind” from the Grindfather himself.

The $73 million mixed use development centered on the old Wonder Bread factory on Monroe cleared the first of several hurdles Tuesday – the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. and a 20-year PILOT. Next stops include the Downtown Parking Authority, Land Use Control Board etc.

And rock climbing in East Memphis at Humphreys Boulevard and Walnut Grove.

A short Memphis City Council session Tuesday led by approval of the five-year Liberty Bowl lease for the University of Memphis and approval of a new Beale Street hotel, outside the entertainment district.

About a week away from the formal opening of Crosstown Concourse, a lot of people who have watched the landmark come back to life from the outside are getting curious about the inside and how it is being used. And the formal opening will satisfy that curiosity as well as emphasize the arts.

Mortgage lenders like what they see in the new Chandler Reports numbers for July. Chandler Reports is the real estate information company that is part of The Daily News Publishing Co. Inc. Mortgage volume in Shelby County by those numbers grew by $8.1 million compared to last July. One of the lenders we talked with at BankTennessee tells us sellers are getting their asking price typically and some have competing offers with homes on the market a few days. Pinnacle, Community Mortgage and IberiaBank are the top lenders for July by volume.

The Chandler numbers on home sales for July show a price dip – a slight one. The number of homes sold in Shelby County is up 14 percent compared to a year ago. This is a slower time of year with the return to the school.

A guest column on efforts to repeal the federal Obama era DACA or Dreamers executive action that include the state of Tennessee.

An update on Shelby County Schools investigations into grade changing and other allegations by the former principal of Trezevant High School.

Some changes in the ownership of the Tennessee Titans, per Bloomberg.

While we are over Nashville way, British Airways nonstop service between London Heathrow and Nashville announced Tuesday in Nashville. It starts in May 2018, five days a week.

Wildwood Farms in Germantown and Clayborn Temple in Memphis are now on the National Register of Historic Places.

PROPERTY SALES 56 295 6,392
MORTGAGES 26 180 4,035
BUILDING PERMITS 128 840 15,361
BANKRUPTCIES 31 153 3,270