VOL. 133 | NO. 145 | Tuesday, July 24, 2018
MAAR CEO Stepping Down
Memphis Area Association of Realtors CEO Melanie Blakeney has announced she is resigning from her post effective Oct. 8.
Blakeney has been with MAAR for the past 19 years, including a stint heading up the MAAR Commercial Council. She’s served as CEO since Dec. 1, 2011.
“I have a lot of great memories working with some tremendously dedicated professionals,” Blakeney said in a statement. “It was not an easy decision to leave, but I know MAAR will continue to thrive.”
MAAR’s board of directors will start a search committee to choose the next CEO.
“Change is inevitable in every industry and we will treat this change as an opportunity for further growth in service to greater Memphis,” Lauren Wiuff, MAAR president, said.
– Patrick Lantrip
TIF Designation Could Bring Improvements to Poplar Ave.
With several office, hotel and mixed-use projects planned along the Poplar Corridor, a group of property owners want a public financing subsidy to help pay for infrastructure improvements.
The Poplar Corridor Business District Association of Owners, a nonprofit formed by several Poplar Avenue property owners for the purpose of “improving the economy, aesthetics and quality of life within the Poplar Corridor Business District,” is asking the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County board to establish a tax increment financing district immediately east and west of Interstate 240, according to documents made publicly available Monday, July 23.
The nonprofit wants to facilitate several projects within the Poplar Corridor Business District, including a mixed-use development consisting of office, retail and a hotel on Briarcrest Avenue; an office development on International Place; an office development at 860 Ridge Lake Blvd.; a senior living apartment development at 6300 Briarcrest Ave.; and a mixed-use development consisting of office, retail and hotel at 5900 Poplar Ave.
According to the resolution document to be considered by the EDGE board Wednesday, July 25, the projects and future development are not feasible without significant investment in new and improved infrastructure in the area, including road improvements, new pedestrian walkways, traffic signalization, utility pole replacement, street lights, gateway signage and streetscapes.
The revenues from the TIF district, which captures the property tax revenue increase after the base year of a defined set of parcels, would be used to pay for a portion of infrastructure construction and installation costs.
Wednesday’s EDGE board meeting begins at 3 p.m. at Memphis Bioworks Foundation.
The Poplar Corridor Business District Association of Owners also plans to present its proposal to the Memphis City Council and the Shelby County Board of Commissioners.
– Daily News staff
Early Voting Tops 32,000 Through Saturday
More than 32,000 Shelby County citizens had cast an early vote through Saturday, July 21, in advance of the Aug. 2 election day.
The 32,472 early voters compares to 37,168 early voters through the first eight days in 2014 for this same election cycle and 41,310 at the same point in 2010. In 2010 and 2014, there were 21 early voting sites compared with today’s 27.
The Downtown location was the only site open for the first two days of those early voting periods compared to five of the 27 sites open for the first three days of the current period.
Of the 32,472 early voters so far, 18,751 voted in the Democratic primary and 13,573 voted in the Republican primary. The remaining 148 voted only in the Shelby County general election on the ballot.
Early voting continues through Saturday, July 28.
– Bill Dries
Grizzlies Sign Watanabe, Waive Myke Henry
The Memphis Grizzlies have signed rookie forward Yuta Watanabe to a two-way contract.
Watanabe (6-foot-9, 205) joined the Brooklyn Nets’ summer league team after going unselected in the 2018 NBA Draft. He averaged 9.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.60 blocks in 24.0 minutes in five games (two starts) during the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2018 in Las Vegas.
A native of Kagawa, Japan, the 23-year-old came to the United States in 2013 and played four years (2014-18) at George Washington University, where he became the first Japanese-born student-athlete to earn a NCAA Division I men’s basketball scholarship.
Watanabe was named the 2017-18 Atlantic 10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a senior after starting all 33 games and averaging 16.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.64 blocks in 36.6 minutes.
The Grizzlies also have waived guard/forward Myke Henry. Henry, 25, came off the bench in 20 games as a rookie for the Grizzlies last season and averaged 5.4 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.55 steals in 18.9 minutes after being signed to a two-way contract Jan. 13.
The Grizzlies also have been talking with veteran free agent guard Shelvin Mack about a one-year deal, according to espn.com. Mack has played for five different teams in seven seasons, averaging 6.4 points, 3.1 assists and shooting 32.6 percent from 3-point range.
– Don Wade
IP, Civil Rights Museum Seek Junior Equal Rights Advocates
Memphis-based International Paper Co. and the National Civil Rights Museum are looking for Memphis-area teens who are demonstrating a commitment to ensuring equal rights and opportunities for all.
Applications are open for this year’s Keeper of the Dream award through Sept. 8. Now in its 16th year, the award mirrors the National Civil Rights Museum Freedom Award, which recognizes men and women for their work in the struggle for civil and human rights, but for 6th-12th grade students.
“The Keeper of the Dream award recognizes students who are role models for all of us,” said Bathsheba Sams, International Paper’s vice president of human resources and board member of the National Civil Rights Museum. “Their enthusiasm for making a difference in the community is contagious and reinforces that we can make a difference at any age.”
Each winner will receive $500, a trophy and a one-year family membership for up to five people to the National Civil Rights Museum. There will be two winners in grades 6-8 and two in grades 9-12.
The application form, requirements and other details are available on the museum’s website, civilrightsmuseum.org. Relatives of International Paper and museum employees are not eligible.
The Keeper of the Dream award will be presented at the Freedom Award Student Forum on Oct. 17, the opening event for the National Civil Rights Museum Freedom Award celebration, which honors individuals worldwide for their work in the advancement of civil and human rights.
The forum allows students and educators the opportunity to hear from trailblazers fighting for civil rights.
– Daily News staff
O’Neill Hits 3 Home Runs In Redbirds Victory
Outfielder Tyler O’Neill blasted three home runs in the Memphis Redbirds’ 7-4 win over the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Brewers) Sunday afternoon, July 22, at AutoZone Park. Memphis is 64-37 on the season and in first place in its division in the Pacific Coast League.
O’Neill launched home runs in the first, third, and seventh innings in the win. In the first, Luke Voit hit a home run with one out, his eighth, before O’Neill followed suit with his 21st homer of the season. In the third inning, O’Neill came to the plate with two outs before launching his second bomb of the game. Adolis Garcia followed him two pitches later by launching his 13th homer of the season. It was the second time this season the Redbirds have gone back-to-back multiple times in one game.
The game was knotted up heading into the seventh when Memphis put it away. Patrick Wisdom led off the inning with a single, and moved to second on a sac bunt. Wisdom came around to score on Voit’s RBI single, giving the Redbirds the lead for good. O’Neill was up next, and launched a no-doubter over the left field wall to give him his first-career three home run game.
O’Neill is now one of six players in Memphis history to hit three home runs in a game. He joins Chris Haas, Bill Selby, Rick Ankiel, Josh Phelps and Jamie Romak as the only players to accomplish the feat.
O’Neill has 23 home runs with Memphis and three with St. Louis this season. He is now tied with Jabari Blash of Salt Lake for the most home runs in the PCL.
– Don Wade