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VOL. 132 | NO. 213 | Thursday, October 26, 2017

Dries

Bill Dries

Last Word: Pinnacle's Drive-Through, Back to Work On Beale and Tea Time

By Bill Dries

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The Grizz lose 103-94 in Dallas Wednesday to the Mavericks. The Mavericks are here Thursday. And Thursday is also the day the two minority owners of the Grizz can begin a process to possibly buy the team from Robert Pera. ESPN outlines an unusual process that if it comes into play could take a while to sort out.

Pinnacle Bank wants to build a new branch in Midtown on Union where the building that had been Sean’s Café burned to the ground last year – Union west of Belvedere. But the Nashville-based bank with a big presence in the Memphis market has put the plans on hold because the neighbors want the Midtown Overlay enforced. That is the set of development rules that among other things governs how close to the street developments must be and how their drive-through lanes are situated. Those two parts of the overlay are in play here.

There is some precedent for this in the University District overlay which has similar rules for drive-throughs that the McDonald’s at Southern and Highland wanted an exception to. McDonald’s didn’t get it, resulting in a delay and a longer life for the old McDonald’s further south on Highland. Utlimately McDonalds reconfigured its drive-through to get the building closer to the sidewalk and the corner.

The Tennessee Appeals Court ruled this week on the four-year old controversy over the city council’s decision to rename the city’s three Confederate-themed parks. And that should give you an indication of just how long it might take to get a legal resolution to the Confederate monuments controversy that is likely heading for court as well. The appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Sons of Confederate Veterans didn’t have a case and the council was within its legal rights to change the names of Confederate, Forrest and Jefferson Davis Parks to Memphis, Health Sciences and Mississippi River Parks, respectively. SCV could seek an appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court. But such an appeal is not automatic. In fact, the odds are against the Supreme Court hearing it based on the low percentage of cases that make it to the state’s highest court.

Mickell Lowery’s return to politics and Harold Byrd considering a new bid for county mayor 15 years after his first effort ended early.

Phil Bredesen’s possible bid in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and how that might work with Tennessee’s Republican leaders pledging allegiance to Trump in the “View From The Hill” column of our Nashville correspondent Sam Stockard.

Among our permits listings, a $300,000 permit for a restaurant at the Universal Life Building at Danny Thomas and MLKSweet Potato Baby. The whole building is undergoing a $6.2 million renovation with other tenants in this architectural gem and symbol of black business enterprise’s long arc in our city’s history. Having been in this building several times when it was still Universal Life Insurance, its frosted window pane office doors and high ceilings always reminded me of the movie “Double Indemnity” – very film noir.

Earlier this month, it looked like the Beale Street Task Force at City Hall was done – for about a day. The day after the task force settled on recommendations to keep the district’s summer Saturday late night cover charge to get on Beale, council member Jamita Swearengen proposed doing away with it. And her call was based on what is in the leases the merchants have. They are responsible for paying the cost of security in their businesses and on the street. With that backdrop, the task force got together at City Hall Wednesday with Swearengen and two other council members as well as council chairman Berlin Boyd, who appointed and is chairing the task force. Bottom line: scrap the move toward recommendations by the task force at least for now and the council may hire a security consultant to make recommendations.

The CEO of International Paper offers more details of his company’s decision to turn over its consumer packaging business in North America to Atlanta-based Graphic Packaging with IP buying a 20.5 percent ownership interest in Graphic.

Tea time in Orange Mound where the brands of tea have Memphis names and come custom packaged including gift baskets. “My Cup of Tea” is the creation of a family business that is in packaging and when we say it hires local, we mean it hires workers starting in The Mound.

Checking in on the status of Fair Trade goods at First Congo in Cooper-Young, which is probably the capitol of Fair Trade in Memphis.

A family business in Southaven, Whitmor Inc., which does home organization products, has taken an important step with an acquisition. This is a business that started in New York, moved to Earle, Arkansas and after a tornado there destroyed Whitmor’s HQ, it moved to Southaven.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 56 437 16,061
MORTGAGES 76 508 18,556
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 8 56 2,461
BUILDING PERMITS 241 876 33,390
BANKRUPTCIES 64 301 10,314
BUSINESS LICENSES 15 125 5,303
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 17 125 6,273
MARRIAGE LICENSES 19 98 3,511