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VOL. 132 | NO. 33 | Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Daily Digest

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New Germantown Restaurant Gets OK for Construction

The Germantown Board of Mayor and Aldermen has voted to approve a development agreement for MW Ventures to move forward with the construction of a restaurant called Farm and Fries.

Mark and Marie Waugh, the owners of both Farm and Fries and MW Ventures, plan to build a 2,639-square-foot restaurant at 7724 Poplar Pike in Old Germantown.

Last July, the Germantown Design Review Commission approved a change of use on the property from residential to restaurant use.

Then in early October, the Germantown Board of Zoning Appeals OK’d a variance on the property, and two weeks later the DRC approved the building elevations and site plan for Farm and Fries.

Now that the Project Development Contract has been approved, Farm and Fries will be able to move forward with construction plans for the actual development of the project.

– Patrick Lantrip

Lawmakers File Bills To Protect Memphis Aquifer

State Sens. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, and Lee Harris, D-Memphis, have filed legislation in the Tennessee General Assembly that would set up a Memphis Sands Aquifer Regional Development Board to protect water supplies in West Tennessee.

The Senate bill also would require board approval to pump more than 10,000 gallons of water from the aquifer to ensure its long-term viability.

The legislation is sponsored in the state House by Rep. Ron Lollar, R-Bartlett, and Rep. Curtis Halford, R-Dyer.

The action follows approval given to the Tennessee Valley Authority to pump about 3.5 million gallons of aquifer water each day to cool its new power-generating plant in southwest Memphis. Under the bill, the board would have all of the powers, rights and privileges necessary to manage, conserve, preserve and protect the aquifer, and to increase the recharge of, and prevent the waste or pollution in, the aquifer.

The nine-member board would include the mayors of Shelby County and two other West Tennessee counties overlying the aquifer. The governor would appoint the remaining members, with two from the agricultural community, two from commerce, and two from the environmental-research community.

In addition, Senate Bill 886, sponsored by Harris and Kelsey, requires anyone planning to drill a well to give at least 14 days’ advance notice to the state commissioner of the Department of Environment and Conservation with the notice published on the department’s website.

– Andy Meek

Luxury Apartment Complex To Undergo $17M Expansion

Fieldstone Apartment Homes, a gated community in southeast Memphis, is in the process of another massive expansion.

More than $9.7 million in building permit applications have been filed with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement to expand the complex by 139 units and add seven apartment buildings, several detached garages, a dog park and a fourth pool.

The permit applications list Patton & Taylor Construction as the contractor, Estes Parker & Associates as the engineer, and Kelly Grossman as the architect.

Lightman Majestic Retail Co. was listed as both owner and tenant.

According to developer Michael Lightman Jr., the permits are part of a roughly $17 million expansion effort that will begin construction in the spring.

“Once we break ground, generally a project of this size will take just a little bit over a year,” Lightman said.

This latest phase of construction is set to begin just as Fieldstone wraps up its previous 118-unit expansion.

Lightman said it is important that this expansion effort maintain the heavily wooded complex’s country feel by reducing the density of the units to allow for more trees.

“We really wanted to work with the natural topography,” he said.

The luxury apartment complex, which started off in 1998 with 324 units, has since grown to 1,142 units. It sits on 120 acres on Hacks Cross Road between Players Club Parkway and Tournament Drive, which is less than one mile from TPC Southwind and FedEx’s world headquarters. The latest round of construction will bring Fieldstone up to 1,399 units.

– Patrick Lantrip

Cohen Appointed To House Ethics Committee

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis has been appointed by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and the House Democratic Caucus to the House Committee on Ethics.

Cohen and Pelosi announced the appointment Tuesday, Feb. 14, in Washington.

It is the second high-profile appointment for Cohen, who is serving his sixth term in Congress.

Cohen was also recently appointed to the House Democratic caucus steering policy committee. The group sets priorities of Democrats in the House. Cohen’s assignment marks the first time since 1987 that a Memphis Democrat in the House has been on the influential group.

“The longer you are in Congress, the more opportunities you have to serve,” Cohen said Saturday, Feb. 11, in announcing that appointment and hinting at the ethics committee assignment to come.

In a written statement Tuesday, Cohen said he came to Congress “to fight against the culture of corruption in Washington.”

“I strongly advocated for and vote for the strongest ethics and lobbying reform since the Watergate era and for the creation of the nonpartisan, independent Office of Congressional Ethics that Republican sought to dismantle earlier this year,” he added in the statement.

– Bill Dries

Local Students Get Chance To Attend Memphis Open

In celebration of the Memphis Open and its importance to the community, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland has officially proclaimed the tournament week, Feb. 11-19, as Tennis Week in Memphis.

On Monday, the tournament and the mayor joined with BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, Shelby County Schools and the United States Tennis Association for a special event that included a friendly game of junior tennis between executives and school officials against the recent graduates of a tennis-in-the-schools physical education program at John P. Freeman School (grades 1-8).

“The USTA and Shelby County Schools have been dedicated to bringing tennis back into the schools as a platform for health, discipline and fun since 2014,” said Erin Mazurek, tournament director for the Memphis Open. “This year, enabled by a sponsorship by the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation and the Memphis Open, that program has been greatly enhanced with the Memphis Open All Stars.”

Under the program, schools that had completed the tennis curriculum in their physical education classes, which is supported by USTA Tennessee through training for the teachers and equipment loans, could apply for a field trip to the Memphis Open.

Up to four schools are being allowed to attend each day this week, for a total of about 500 students in attendance. All the schools that earned a field trip spot also will receive a permanent tennis equipment kit for their school to continue to offer tennis to their students beyond the two-week program.

– Don Wade

Gateway Project Partners Holding Info Session

The city of Memphis, Shelby County and a number of other partners will host an open-house-style informational session about the Memphis Bicentennial Gateway Project on Thursday, Feb. 16, from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the lobby of the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts, 255 N. Main St.

The Gateway Project is being developed as Memphis celebrates the 200th anniversary of its founding in 1819 with a new, high-impact, highly visible sense of arrival for the most traveled gateway in Tennessee.

The Gateway Project is comprised of a number of components, including the revitalization of the Pinch District, expansion of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, redevelopment in Uptown and Carnes, modernization of the Memphis Cook Convention Center, a reimagining of Mud Island and an activated riverfront.

The public, property owners, and other community stakeholders are invited to Thursday’s open house to learn about the vision for various components of the Bicentennial Gateway Project.

Stakeholders will be present to answer questions and present preliminary visions, although renderings are conceptual only at this point. Representatives from the Memphis 3.0 Comprehensive Planning Team also will be in attendance.

For more information, contact Livia Carter at 901-576-7341 or Livia.Carter@memphistn.gov.

– Daily News staff

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 57 57 1,266
MORTGAGES 48 48 964
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 10 10 161
BUILDING PERMITS 85 85 2,836
BANKRUPTCIES 34 34 652
BUSINESS LICENSES 10 10 286
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0