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VOL. 132 | NO. 185 | Monday, September 18, 2017


Bill Dries

Last Word: HOT, Post Secondary Meets High School and Downtown Home Prices

By Bill Dries

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Even a power outage Downtown didn’t stop the Bruno Mars show at FedExForum Sunday that capped an eventful and HOT weekend around the city. The forum was not affected by the outage.

The Tigers took care of business and UCLA Saturday at the Liberty Bowl. Here’s our recap.

More to come as the week goes on about the future of Tigers football and I haven’t seen any story line for our Friday sports section at this early point. But I’m pretty sure there will be a piece on the future of UT football coach Butch Jones after the loss to Florida Saturday.

The annual Cooper-Young Festival was already packed even as the game crowd left if they came to the festival early or came after the game.

In El Paso Sunday, the Memphis Redbirds became the Pacific Coast League champions by beating El Paso 3-1 to take the best of five series.

As the weekend began, plans for an Overton Square hotel on Cooper frontage between Hattiloo Theater and Bar Louie surfaced on the agenda for the next EDGE meeting on Wednesday. Loeb is proposing a $24.2-million 100-room hotel on 1.3 acres that is now parking. It had once been a solid row of restaurant frontage from Gertrude and Gonzalez to Public Eye way back when.

Also on Wednesday’s EDGE agenda is a Canadian elevator company that wants its first U.S. plant to be in Hickory Hill and Graceland makes its move at EDGE on the financing for the $50-million arena it has planned.

Here’s the rest of the week ahead including the official arrival of fall or autumn, whichever you prefer. Disclaimer: The beginning of a season by the calendar can mean next to nothing around these parts or it can mean the previous season comes to a screeching halt and the new season goes to its most extreme behavior.

The cover story in our weekly, The Memphis News, is about the next big push for public education statewide and locally. It comes as new schools are being built and in the process the way students are taught in these new environments is being re-examined. That is the case in Germantown and Collierville where Collierville’s new $90-million high school comes with a push toward earning college credit or associate degrees or workforce certification during high school. Collierville superintendent John Aitken says it is moving high school culture closer to post secondary. In Germantown, the addition to Riverdale K-8 replacing 22 portable classrooms, was also a chance to not just build more classrooms but give 21st century students a more current environment to work in and also pursue that same drive toward post secondary. For Shelby County Schools, our conversation with superintendent Dorsey Hopson found a different side of this question as he weighs whether the school system should continue to have Career Technical Education centers in several locations or move to a model of comprehensive high schools able to offer college prep alongside CTE. He also told us he hasn’t seen enough of a result in the way of workforce certification for the efforts the school system has taken toward the goal to date.

When you think about Downtown residential, you might think about apartments or condos for rent. It’s hard to miss all of the apartment action. But home sales Downtown, condo and single family, are up along with the price. Downtown had bet hard on condos just before the onset of the recession about 10 years ago. And the Artesian high rise on Riverside was the poster boy for that and the high price of the recession as it sat vacant.

The Artesian posted sales of 95 units in 2016 at an average price of $295,682, according to our Chandler Reports Neighborhood Report, built on information from the real estate information company that is part of The Daily News Co. Inc. Those same numbers show condo sales prices up 3 percent from last year. Single-family home sales prices Downtown are up 17 percent from a year ago with an 11 percent increase in prices in South Bluffs year over year.

Here’s a recap from The Daily News Seminar on small business that focused on the city’s dynamic food scene. The owners of restaurants and a restaurant/brewery pointed to the rise of that food scene in recent years as part of the path to a better sense of community. They also stripped away some of the sentiment around running these kind of businesses. Attorney Alan Crone reinforced that message from his side of these businesses by warning that a restaurant isn’t a part-time job when you are in charge and it requires professionals as part of a team in making the business a success.

Speaking of beer. There is a new ale out of Nashville, State Parks Blonde Ale, made by a nonprofit whose proceeds go to the Tennessee State Parks Conservancy.

When he was here Aug. 30 to speak to the Germantown Rotary Club, U.S. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee told reporters asking about a fractious Tweet by President Donald Trump about Corker that it was no big deal and that he had contact with Vice President Mike Pence after it with the knowledge of the President. It wasn’t until this past Friday that Corker and Trump actually met and spoke to each other face to face. “Wide ranging and extremely constructive” is the word from Corker’s staff on what was discussed. Meanwhile, there is the open and still unresolved question about Corker’s next move politically.

The Memphis News Almanac: Inca Closing, Iggy and the Dolls come to town and Crump splits with Overton.

PROPERTY SALES 100 375 3,773
MORTGAGES 63 202 2,481
BUILDING PERMITS 392 651 8,607
BANKRUPTCIES 38 117 2,021