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VOL. 132 | NO. 187 | Wednesday, September 20, 2017


Bill Dries

Last Word: The Brooks Question, Boyd's Answer and Tigers In the Polls

By Bill Dries

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Art as a real estate consideration. One of the more unusual of many considerations as the Brooks search for a new site – a possible new site, I should add, becomes the city’s favorite topic. So from the CRE vantage point – here are two more possible sites to think about if you haven’t already – Cossitt Library and the Fairgrounds, as well as right where it has been for the last century.

The Brooks search comes as the Overton Park Conservancy is undertaking a master plan for the entire park including the group of park institutions. And we talk with conservancy director Tina Sullivan about that and the timing of the Brooks question and that city maintenance yard the city is leaving on the East Parkway side of the park.

For a short agenda, the Memphis City Council session Tuesday had a lot going on, capped by council chairman Berlin Boyd’s conflict-of-interest controversy. Boyd said Tuesday he is ending his business’s consulting contract on fundraising events with the Beale Street Merchants Association but continued to insist he had no conflict of interest. And council attorney Allan Wade backed him on that. Also at City Hall Tuesday, invoking the specter of County Commissioner Terry Roland, a partial advance for Downtown’s two big projects and Golden India’s move off Overton Square is approved.

A very different kind of Beale Street discussion earlier this week – also at City Hall and also involving the $5 cover charge. This one by the Beale Street Task Force a day earlier focused on some lessons learned from Bourbon Street in New Orleans where the Memphis group actually got laughed at when they told some cops and a hotel manager that Beale charges a cover to get on the street.

No council votes taken Tuesday or decisions made -- but the discussion between council members and executives with Spectra – the company that manages the Liberty Bowl and other parts of the Fairgrounds for the city – during Tuesday committee sessions was not pleasant at all.

Council members wanted to know why the Liberty Bowl hasn’t had a concert since the 1997 U2 concert there – 20 years ago – and what Spectra was doing about it.

Council member Jamita Swearengen, whose district includes the Fairgrounds, said Spectra was taking credit for events locals had organized and pushed. Council member Philip Spinosa mentioned the venue running out of water during last Saturday’s Tigers-UCLA football game on what was a very hot day around the city … followed by a very bad Tuesday at City Hall for Spectra. More Thursday on this and the Fairgrounds and, of course, the Coliseum.

As the council session was underway, Shelby County Commissioner Van Turner kicking off his re-election campaign Tuesday with a fundraiser in Midtown. For those of you keeping score on the commission as a whole, commissioner Reginald Milton is also running for re-election. Memphis City Council member Edmund Ford is running for the commission seat his cousin, Justin Ford, is exiting because Justin Ford is among the five sitting commissioners who are term-limited. Another term-limited commissioner, Melvin Burgess, is running for Assessor – all of this activity among Democratic county commissioners. None of that starts to become formal for another two months when candidates in the 2018 county elections can begin pulling qualifying petitions.

In the race for Tennessee Governor, one of the Republican contenders is being deposed about a television ad.

And a Super PAC is launched to support a challenge next year of U.S. Senator Bob Corker, should Corker decide to run for re-election.

So the Tigers win over UCLA knocked UCLA out of the top 25 in the football polls but didn’t get the Tigers in the top 25. Don’t put too much stock in that, is the advice Don Wade has.

More pain at The Commercial Appeal.

FedEx puts the cost of the TNT cyberattack in June at $300 million and the company is still feeling the effects.

AutoZone posts a “mild” quarter that its executives say offers some encouragement after some previous quarters that not only broke a long string of beating analysts’ predictions but caused some concern.

Highwoods selling a lot of its Southwind holdings for $39 million to a New York investment group.

There were some real problems with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s investigation of the Holly Bobo murder. If that wasn’t apparent before, it became apparent Tuesday when the TBI’s lead investigator of the case at the outset testified for the defense in the Savannah trial of Zach Adams, who is accused of her murder. The Jackson Sun’s account of the day in court with Memphis prosecutors handling this case.

The new marketing and communications director of Youth Villages leads our Newsmakers segment. Travis Flee tells us about practicing his autograph when he wanted to be a professional athlete.

PROPERTY SALES 57 280 1,209
MORTGAGES 55 244 916