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VOL. 133 | NO. 170 | Tuesday, August 28, 2018


Bill Dries

Last Word: Firestone Developments, Commission's Busy Day and Main and Beale

By Bill Dries

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The Firestone plant site in North Memphis is one of nine across the city the Greater Memphis Chamber is seeking grant funding for as the chamber starts to role out an economic development policy shift on its part. Here is what it means on several levels as well as the eight other sites in the Memphis area that are on the grant applications.

We wrote about Firestone in our weekly, The Memphis News, just last week and its pending tax sale after it was briefly a “First Tee” youth golf site that had plans for a nine-hole golf course that never got done.

Busy day at the county building Monday at the last county commission meeting of the four-year term of office for the current commission. In addition to the ceremonial recognitions that come with the end of the term there were also plenty of current issues to keep the commission that gets a new majority next week busy. That includes a vote approving the Quinn Road development in Collierville’s annexation reserve area and an override of outgoing county mayor Mark Luttrell’s veto of an ordinance limiting the powers of him and future mayors to hire outside legal counsel. Here is the rundown with more to come.

Meanwhile, Tuesday is council day at City Hall and among the items on the city council’s busy agenda is the site where Tri-State Bank stood until recently. The plan is to use this as a surface parking lot for no more than 15 years until a longer term use comes up. There were plans for a hotel but that hasn’t panned out just yet. Meanwhile, there is a difference of opinion on this move proposed by Belz Enterprises. The Orpheum likes the idea of more parking. The Downtown Memphis Commission is opposed and says this is a bad precedent with a slippery slope.

Tuesday will also see the second meeting of county mayor-elect Lee Harris’s transition team with Harris, the new commission and most but not all of the countywide elected officials taking the oath of office in two shifts Thursday at the Cannon Center. Stay tuned to @tdnpols for any developments out of the transition group’s meeting Tuesday.

Also on our schedule, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is in town Thursday afternoon for a roundtable at Collierville Elementary School on TNReady testing that is the third in a series of such sessions across the state. Last week in Frayser, Haslam said he wanted to hear from educators and parents about the recent return of problems with the online TNReady testing and also expects to hear a lot as well about the whole issue of how much testing there should be for teachers and students.

The formalities of the Tigers football season opener are underway with Monday’s coach’s luncheon. And Mike Norvell confessed that for all of the attention given it – he’s not a fan of the season opener largely because of the surprises that can come up between practices and the real thing.

Saturday in also 901 Day because … it is September 1. And Explore Bike Share is part of the celebration of all things Memphis with special rates on bike rentals.

Paragon Bank posts second quarter earnings 25 percent higher than a year ago and 60 percent higher than the previous quarter.

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