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VOL. 133 | NO. 92 | Tuesday, May 8, 2018


Bill Dries

Last Word: Making Memphis Easier, Strickland on Graceland and Construction Jobs

By Bill Dries

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Some of the BSMF reviews in from this past weekend are thumbs up for the way Memphis In May has ramped up what you might call its infrastructure around Uber, Lyft and little items like muddy boots for the increasing number of Memphians and visitors who are ready to go no matter what the weather is doing. And they may opt for some other way into Downtown beyond driving a car and finding a parking place and walking, especially when there’s a drop off at the northern end of the music festival. Even a fire hydrant water flow to take the mud off your boots. We can make Memphis easier with less effort than we think at the outset.

A start on some big changes to the Riverside-Beale locale may be in the offing with word that parts of AutoZone are moving to two locales near its HQ on Front Street north of Riverside. One of the parcels comes with some new parking and that could – still tentative – free up the parking places AutoZone now has in the parking area at Wagner Place and Beale.

Last summer’s riverfront concept plan by Studio Gang that is now being pursued by the Memphis River Parks Partnership included the idea of using what is now the parking lot bordering Waterford Plaza’s riverfront side as a public plaza and giving the area a more gradual slope onto Beale Street’s down hill course to Riverside … or uphill depending on if you are coming or going. Stay tuned on this.

Council day at City Hall and more budget preparations. Meanwhile, the council is now taking applications to fill the vacancy in Super District 9 created by the resignation last week of first term council member Philip Spinosa. The deadline to apply is May 17 at noon and council chairman Berlin Boyd says the council will appoint its newest member no later than May 22.


Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, on “Behind The Headlines,” says there is still a deal to be made between the city and Graceland and it’s for the manufacturing facility that Graceland Holdings managing partner Joel Weinshanker has talked about recently. But it’s not for a Whitehaven arena or any other kind of entertainment facility that would be in addition to Elvis Presley’s Memphis and Guest House at Graceland. Strickland telling us those projects are off to a successful start with tax incentives from the city and county – and that good start is where the two local governments should leave things.

Also some comments from Strickland on what a rethinking of economic development strategies involving incentives for minority business contracts might look like. He told us a proposal by Greater Memphis Chamber Chairman’s Circle leader Richard Smith has been withdrawn. This is the idea that there shouldn’t be minority percentage goals on the front end of tax incentives on certain kinds of pursuits. From other quarters involved in the talks we are hearing the proposal wasn’t anything formal, more an idea being discussed. Those discussions continue by all accounts.

Troubles at Fred’s inbetween turnaround plans.

Turner Construction's work at Methodist University Hospital comes against a backdrop of a tough effort to provide training for construction jobs in two Memphis ZIP codes where unemployment is high and wages are low.

In our Commercial Real Estate Emphasis:

Memphs Rox in Soulsville features a 45 foot high climbing wall as part of a 28,000 foot climbing gym.

Lots of local discussion for quite a while now about unfilled jobs in Memphis across several industries and occupation. C. Richard Cotton writes about a construction jobs and trades training program by Turner Construction Co. aimed at two ZIPs 38106 and 38126 where unemployment is at 6.3 percent compared to 3.7 percent city wide and where the wages for those who have jobs are low.

3D Realty got a lot of attention recently for its involvement in the Broad Avenue water tower mixed use project. 3D is a partnership between Loeb Properties and M&M Enterprises. The principal of M&M talks about other mixed use communities his company is involved in.

And Memphis Rox, the Soulsville climbing wall and gym.

Jonathan Mattise of Associated Press takes a look at gun bills in the Tennessee Legislature this past session and finds that many of the efforts on both sides of the gun issue didn’t make it to the governor’s desk.

Marks, Mississippi is a flag stop for the City of New Orleans as of last Friday.

Maze featuring Frankie Beverly and special guest Regina Bell booked for an Aug. 3 date at the Orpheum.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in Gatlinburg Tuesday for a law enforcement training conference.

PROPERTY SALES 62 288 2,619
MORTGAGES 52 197 1,783