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

Daily Digest

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Clayborn Temple Added To National Treasures List

Clayborn Temple in Downtown Memphis has been added to the National Treasures portfolio of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The designation means the privately funded nonprofit will work with Clayborn Reborn, the local partners operating and redeveloping the historic church, to identify future uses for the building, mark its history and work toward a sustainable future for the structure.

The church was a center of activity during the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers strike that was a major chapter in the national civil rights movement of the 1960s. It was where daily marches by the striking workers to City Hall began.

“Now more than ever, we are called to honor the stories of the many diverse people who sacrificed and achieved to make the world a better place for us all – and to tell the full American story in an inclusive way,” said David Brown, executive vice president and chief preservation officer of the National Trust. “Clayborn Temple gives us that opportunity and we are proud to include this important site among our portfolio of National Treasures.”

The partnership means technical assistance for Clayborn Reborn in creating a permanent ownership and financial structure for the property.

The church has been restored for basic use, but is awaiting a full restoration.

– Bill Dries

Memphis’ TJ Carter Earns Another Defensive Award

University of Memphis freshman defensive back TJ Carter has been named the FWAA/Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week. Memphis sophomore Austin Hall won the award the previous week.

The FWAA has selected a national defensive player of the week every Tuesday dating to the 2001 season and this marks the first time since that process started that teammates have won the award on back-to-back weeks.

Carter, the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week, played a crucial role in a 42-38 comeback win at Houston. After trailing 17-0 at halftime, Memphis reeled off six straight possessions with a touchdown to defeat the home-standing Cougars. Carter led Memphis with a career-high 14 tackles, including one tackle for loss, one forced fumble and also added a pass break-up before grabbing his fourth interception of the season on Houston’s final drive of the game.

A graduate of Stratford High School in Nashville, Carter has four interceptions on the season, a mark that ties for the most by a Memphis freshman. He also has two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble to his credit in seven career games.

– Don Wade

Memphis is 56th Best Baseball City in America

With the start of the World Series, WalletHub released its study of America’s best baseball cities, using 31 metrics to gauge more than 360 towns and cities across the United States.

The study considered MLB, minor league baseball and college baseball and everything from proximity and accessibility of stadiums, to average ticket price and how well the teams performed.

St. Louis ranked second overall, behind only New York City. The Cardinals ranked high for their performance in recent years and Busch Stadium was considered the second-most accessible MLB ballpark.

Memphis finished 56th overall, helped not only by AutoZone Park but the relative nearness of St. Louis and its high marks (the Cardinals are the parent club of the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds).

Starkville, Mississippi, home of Mississippi State University, was judged to have the second-most engaged college baseball fans.

– Don Wade

Sweet Potato Baby Café Files Permit for Downtown Location

Popular local catering company Sweet Potato Baby has filed a permit for a brick-and-mortar location within the Universal Life Building, which is currently going through a $6.2 million renovation.

The $300,000 permit to build out a Sweet Potato Baby Café at 480 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. lists Universal Life Building co-owner Jimmie Tucker of Self+Tucker Architects as the architect and Jeremiah Watson with Innovative Engineering Services as the engineer.

Earlier this month, owner and executive chef of Sweet Potato Baby LLC Aryen Moore-Alston announced she is opening a fine-dining restaurant called G. Alston on Oct. 27 at 8556 Macon Road, in the 1937 Farley House in Old Town Cordova.

G. Alston is named after Moore-Alston’s father, Gary Alston, an actor and vocalist for the U.S. Navy Band who performed all over the world. Alston taught his daughter how to cook from the age of 6 until his death when she was 11.

– Patrick Lantrip

Construction Continues On Hickman Building

Walk Off Properties, the new owners of the historic Hickman Building at 240 Madison Ave. in Downtown Memphis, are continuing their renovation of the property.

A $2.2 million permit application for office tenant improvements was filed with construction code officials Monday, Oct. 23, listing Montgomery Martin as the project’s contractor.

In March, a separate $12 million building permit application was filed to renovate the historic Hickman Building into a mixed-use development that will include the new headquarters of Memphis-based investment firm, SouthernSun Asset Management.

In addition to the new headquarters of SouthernSun, the $16 million project will include 40 apartments, 5,000 square feet of street-level retail and a connected parking garage.

Formerly known as the Medical Arts Building, the nine-story structure across the street from the Fogelman Downtown YMCA and AutoZone Park has been dormant since 1971.

In 2015, a group spearheaded by SouthernSun Asset Management CEO Michael Cook purchased the Hickman Building and its garage for $1 million. The company, Walk-Off Properties LLC, also bought an adjacent former American Legion building for $130,000.

SouthernSun currently is headquartered in the Triad Centre III building in East Memphis. Prior to its decision to relocate, the company said it facilitated a comprehensive research study of its employees and real estate options.

– Patrick Lantrip

MALS Hosts Fundraiser Ball at Ballet Memphis

On Saturday, Oct. 28, Memphis Area Legal Services (MALS) will host the second annual Justice for All Ball at the new Ballet Memphis facility in Overton Square.

The black tie (and cape!) optional event will feature music by the Soul Shockers and an open bar featuring local High Cotton beer, specialty cocktails by Michael Hughes, and wine from Cooper Mountain Vineyards.

Ball goers will dine on heavy hors d’oeuvres by Chef Kelly English, proprietor of Restaurant Iris and other dining establishments. Additionally, there will be a silent auction.

Last year’s inaugural ball raised almost $74,000, and was attended by more than 300 people, many of whom embraced the superhero theme, donning capes, masks and hero-inspired eveningwear.

“We are extraordinarily excited about the second Justice for All Ball and the ways in which it will help us continue to serve the needs of the Memphis community,” says MALS executive director Harrison McIver.

“The legal community already knows about the critical work being done by MALS,” says former Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Janice Holder, who is serving on the ball’s steering committee. “But it is time to increase awareness of the organization among the general public. I think this fun event will give MALS a wonderful vehicle to begin telling its story to a broader audience. Memphians need to know about the difference MALS is making in people’s lives.”

As Memphis’s only community-based legal firm, MALS has served low-income communities for more than 45 years.

“During that time we have provided services to thousands of individuals and families,” McIver says. “They include veterans who have served our country but who now face homelessness; families who have been victims of consumer fraud; our seniors who have been both physically and financially abused; women and their children who live every day in fear of abusive partners; and a child who is in Methodist Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital suffering from asthma due to mold in the family’s home.

“What do they have in common? MALS’ dedicated staff was able to assist them in resolving their legal problems.”

– Daily News staff

PROPERTY SALES 51 180 16,377
MORTGAGES 21 57 10,144
BUILDING PERMITS 103 665 39,209
BANKRUPTCIES 31 107 7,704