VOL. 133 | NO. 136 | Tuesday, July 10, 2018
MATA Gets $20M For Electric Buses, Chargers
The Memphis Area Transit Authority will be buying 10 electric buses and adding electric charging stations for a new bus route serving Memphis International Airport and employers in the southeast Memphis area.
MATA announced Monday, July 9, nearly $20 million in grant funding from the Tennessee Department of Transportation over a three-year period through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality, or CMAQ, program.
Of the $20 million, $13.9 million goes to buying the 10 buses and building the charging stations. Another $6 million in grant funding is for the operation of the new route.
“These buses will be the first in the area to run entirely on electric power, which will significantly reduce the transit authority’s carbon footprint, improve air quality and reduce operating costs,” said MATA chief executive officer Gary Rosenfeld.
There is no specific timeline for buying the buses and building the charging stations. MATA leaders are also still working out the specific route targeting major employment centers.
– Bill Dries
Memphis Hustle Coach Leaves for Texas Tech
Glynn Cyprien, who coached the Memphis Hustle last season and has spent the last four seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies’ basketball operations department, has accepted an assistant coaching position with the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace, in a prepared statement, lauded Cyprien for his “tremendous contributions over the last four years.”
Said Cyprien: “Memphis holds a very special place in my heart.”
Last season the Memphis Hustle went 21-29 in their first season playing at the Landers Center in Southaven.
– Don Wade
Strickland Moves to De-Annex Southwind, Rocky Point
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland says his administration is set to begin the process of de-annexing the Southwind/Windyke area and the Rocky Point area, both in eastern Memphis.
City council member Bill Morrison, who headed the city’s de-annexation task force, will present the items to the council, most likely at the July 24 meeting.
“For too long, Memphis grew only by de-annexation,” Strickland said in a written statement Monday. “We must change that, and we must grow from our core and our neighborhoods. Right-sizing our city by this process helps us do that.”
The city’s de-annexation process includes an opportunity for those opposing de-annexation to petition to remain in the city. Otherwise the de-annexation moves forward.
As Strickland announced the plans for Southwind/Windyke and Rocky Point, he also announced the city will not move ahead with de-annexation plans for two other areas of the city explored by the task force:
• Frayser: 2.2 square miles of land along U.S. 51 and Old Millington Road east of Watkins that includes the city police and fire training academies with one home on the rest of the land.
• Raleigh: 4 square miles along New Allen Road north of Ridgemont Road along the Loosahatchie River, including residential subdivisions split between the city and unincorporated county. The area includes 1,739 homes and 3,671 residents, according to the city.
The council previously approved ordinances de-annexing two other area of the city – the portion of Eads within Memphis and river bottom land in southwest Memphis that is unpopulated.
The city is still considering de-annexation of an area of south Cordova that is south of the Rocky Point area and includes some subdivisions split by the city-county line. It contains 4,666 residents and 1,860 homes.
Strickland indicated earlier this year that the city wants to see legislation withdrawn in the Tennessee Legislature that would have allowed for de-annexation by referendum of areas taken in by the city as early as 1998 before completing the de-annexation moves.
Strickland’s statement Monday said the administration has been working with state Reps. Mark White and Dwayne Thompson as well as state Sen. Brian Kelsey on the latest de-annexation ordinances.
– Bill Dries
CBRE: Memphis Industrial Set for Strong Second Half
After 20 consecutive quarters of positive absorption, Memphis’ industrial real estate market is poised for a strong finish to 2018, according to the second-quarter report from commercial real estate brokerage firm CBRE.
In the second quarter, the Memphis market absorbed more than 800,000 square feet of industrial space, adding to the more than 27 million square feet of absorption since the third quarter of 2013.
“With various tenants actively looking for approximately 18 million square feet of space, we expect absorption to remain strong in the coming quarters,” Tony Argiro, vice president of CBRE, said in a statement. “Currently, there are five developers building speculative buildings, with a couple more making plans to do so. This reflects the confidence in the strength of our market.”
More than 5 million square feet of space is under construction, of which 3.3 million square feet is speculative. North Mississippi continues to show strength, with more than 40 percent of all development and 75 percent of all speculative development within the DeSoto submarket boundaries.
Looking forward, DeSoto 55 Logistics Center Buildings A and B in the DeSoto submarket, and Panattoni’s 554,040-square-foot Gateway Global Logistics Center Building V in the Marshall submarket, which is expandable to 1,569,000 square feet, are expected to wrap up construction in the third quarter.
Additionally, asking rates have increased 25 to 30 cents per square foot since the beginning of the year and vacancy decreased slightly from 7.1 percent to 6.9 percent in the second quarter.
– Patrick Lantrip
Mid-South Transplant Launches Donate Life ECHO
The Mid-South Transplant Foundation is raising awareness of organ and tissue donation in multicultural communities to kick off Donate Life ECHO (Every Community Has Opportunity to Donate Life).
Through July 21, MSTF is joining organ procurement organizations nationwide in engaging in activities centered on minority communities. Nationally, nearly 60 percent of the transplant waiting list are minorities, including African-Americans and Latinos. Additionally, transplant success rates for African-Americans are increased when the donor is African-American.
MSTF has partnered with local churches to present a summer movie screening series to discuss the crossroads of faith/religious beliefs and organ donation to provide insightful information about the impact of donation in the African-American community. The following churches will serve as host sites: The Place of the Outpouring at Olivet Fellowship, Friday, July 27, 6 p.m.; New Direction Christian Church, Sunday, July 29, 12:30 p.m.; and Brown Baptist Church, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 6 p.m.
“We have been committed to public education about organ and tissue donation, and we are elated that our faith-based partners continue to support this life-saving work,” Kim Van Frank, executive director of the Mid-South Transplant Foundation, said in a statement. “We never miss an opportunity to dispel myths and share stories of hope to raise awareness in our service area, especially in multicultural communities where the need for organ donors is the greatest.”
The public is invited to these screenings to enjoy a family-friendly movie and receive information about organ and tissue donation from MSTF representatives, including opportunities to register on-site.
Visit midsouthtransplant.org for more information on Donate Life ECHO and the movie screenings or to register to become an organ and tissue donor.
– Don Wade