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VOL. 132 | NO. 149 | Friday, July 28, 2017


Bill Dries

Last Word: More Intermodals, 20 Years After the Oilers In Memphis and New Path

By Bill Dries

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The "skinny" repeal of Obamacare comes up short in the U.S. Senate in an after midnight Friday vote in D.C. And it appears U.S. Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee voted for the repeal measure that came up short. Here are the basics early Friday morning from The New York Times.

No shipping containers at the Levitt Shell in Overton Park, at least for now, by this week’s vote by the Board of Adjustment – which is becoming what amounts to the trial court for the use of intermodals as commercial structures in Midtown. Levitt Shell wanted to use one of the containers for merchandise and beverages in place of an original plan to convert a trolley for the purpose. That drew opposition. But there will likely be talks aimed at some kind of compromise.

And that raises an important point about the nature of these kinds of cases. There is almost always going to be some kind of effort at compromise once the Board of Adjustment or the City Council knows there is more than one side to a proposal. And the warning to all of the sides is that they can work out a solution to this or if they can’t the BOA and/or the council will with an up or down vote. And the ability to mediate these kinds of disputes has become an essential skill for a city council member to have – especially a council member representing a single member district. It just so happens that a lot of the recent disputes have reflected how hot Midtown is right about now in terms of development and that has meant a lot of mediation work by council member Worth Morgan, whose latest assignment was the Overton Gateway compromise.

The second quarter in bar graphs and charts, the hard data and a listing of the quarter’s biggest business deals in The Memphis News Q2 Economic Overview, which you can find here and see in all of its graphic glory and color.

Another opening at Crosstown Concourse, this one Friday by the Southern College of Optometry, which will have a clinic that shares space with Church Health Eye Care and has 3-D scanning and printing of eyewear and an app for what happens after the appointment or between appointments.

In our Friday Sports Section:

The journey of Donald Gray Jr. from White Station to Mississippi State and a longer view of the journey from Donald Gray Sr.

It’s been 20 years since the Tennessee Oilers came to the Liberty Bowl on their way to a permanent home in Nashville and no one here cared … at all. David Climer with the backstory from the Nashville perspective, specifically how anyone connected to the Oilers-turned-Titans thought something different would happen. I would argue that 20 years later, the Titans are still Nashville’s team but not the state’s team. And you have to conclude that’s the way they want it just like you have to conclude that it doesn’t make a bit of difference to us.

A Q&A session in Don Wade’s Press Box column.

Dave Link on taking basketball to Vietnam.


Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell has endorsed Randy Boyd for Governor and will be campaigning with him in the region. Meanwhile Boyd says he favors Medicaid block grants with per capita limits for the state. Boyd also talks about his run next month from Bristol to Memphis over a 100 day period.

Lots to unwind this week revolving around Juvenile Court. So our final story this week on all of this is about the New Path juvenile detention center and school former Mayor Willie Herenton wants to build where the old city auto inspection station now stands Downtown.

“Behind The Headlines” is a reporter’s roundtable with Ryan Poe of The Commercial Appeal, Bernal Smith of The New Tri-State Defender and Toby Sells of The Memphis Flyer. We talk about the ICE raids, the grants to sanitation workers and other topics. The show airs Friday at 7 p.m. on WKNO TV.

The cover story of our weekly, The Memphis News, is a rundown by Patrick Lantrip of all that is happening in the different sectors of commercial real estate in the region – and there is a lot from office space to industrial to multi-family. The PDF of the entire new issue is up now on this website. The hard copies are in the racks Friday morning and the online cover story goes up Friday afternoon.

PROPERTY SALES 57 280 1,209
MORTGAGES 55 244 916
BUILDING PERMITS 158 699 2,751