Restaurants Bid Farewell to Morgan Keegan Employees

Today’s news that 68 Memphis employees were handed pink slips as a result of the Morgan Keegan/Raymond James merger has pulled at the heartstrings of many, including local restaurants whose clientele is made up of a healthy portion of those who are now jobless.

This afternoon, Bardog is hosting a “Morgan Keegan party” for all those being let go.

And 2 Guys Café, a small eatery located on the second floor of Morgan Keegan Tower, posted earlier on Facebook, “All tough we have only been here for just over a year…. Our focus as been inward, looking to the people of Morgan Tower. We have gotten very close to a bunch of folks and it very sad to see some of you go……
You will be missed, even as God has closed the door on this chapter of your walk through life…… I promise you He is lighting a path for those who seek Him. Thank you all for sharing a part of your life with us…”

CMOM Wins Statewide Museum Excellence Award

The Children’s Museum of Memphis has won the 2012 Award of Excellence from the Tennessee Association of Museums for its educational programming in the Safety House Mobile Learning Lab.

The award is given for an outstanding accomplishment by an institution or organization in Tennessee whose primary purpose includes preservation and/or interpretation in natural history, cultural history, folklore, art or science.

The Safety House Learning Lab and its accompanying fire safety program were designed to teach children life-saving lessons through the joy of hands-on play. The project was a collaboration of The Assisi Foundation, ReadyShelby and The Children’s Museum of Memphis intended to teach children safety awareness and disaster preparedness.

Memphis Ranks in Top 3 for Most Hiring in 2011

Here’s a list we can be proud of. Not only did Memphis dodge Forbes’ most miserable cities list last month, but the city was ranked in the top three for most hiring in 2011 amongst the top 50 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the nation, according to the Thursday, March 29 Gallup Job Creation Index.

Memphis employers increased hiring by 38 percent last year. Other metro areas to report the most hiring include San Antonio and Houston.

In 2011, the Greater Memphis Chamber Economic Development Team, including Memphis Light, Gas & Water, the City of Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee Valley Authority and the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development, secured over $1.1 Billion Dollars in new capital investment commitments and the commitment of 3700 new jobs in Memphis and Shelby County.

“2011 was a record-breaking year for economic development and growth in Memphis and Shelby County,” the Greater Memphis Chamber’s president and CEO John W. Moore said in a statement. “We are building on this momentum with more than 30 projects in the pipeline. The chamber and its partners are dedicated to keeping Memphis and Shelby County in the forefront for creating jobs and growing our economy.”

Earlier this week, The Brookings Institute ranked Memphis MSA third in the United States during the fourth quarter of 2011 for job growth.

“We are very proud of the recognition we have received in Memphis for new job growth,” said Ted Townsend, regional director of Greater Memphis for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. “Thanks to Governor Bill Haslam and Commissioner Bill Hagerty, we’ve been rebuilding our program and enhancing the incentives to both relocating and existing companies.”

To read the New York Times blog post which states that “the cities with the highest proportion of employers hiring were San Antonio and Memphis,” click here.

Early April Fools

Yellow Cab of Memphis has jumped the gun slightly with a press release today announcing the company plans to paint the Hernando DeSoto Bridge the same yellow-orange color of its cabs and rename the bridge Yellow Cab of Memphis Bridge.

 

Ham Smythe IV, company president also had a few lines in the press release about how well the bridge will show up in photographs, calling it a service for partygoers.

“If you can’t see the bridge in this bright color, you know you’re too drunk to drive.”

And with that the annual tradition begins. We await word of the new plans for The Pyramid and the unveiling of the plans to turn the Mississippi River blue as well as … well, you know by now about Graceland don’t you? If not, just ask Mayor Herenton the next time you see him. What?

 

 

Nylon Net building owner challenges highest and best use

Tuesday’s real estate focus featured the renovations at Cherokee Arms Apartments to bring the 30-unit complex at 1508 Madison Ave. up to code.

Memphis native and California resident Dana Gabrion bought the building in 2010. She also owns a pair of rental properties in Midtown, as well as the Talbot Heirs hotel and the Nylon Net Building at 7 Vance Ave. Downtown.

She snatched up the latter this time last year for $110,000, adding to her portfolio of assets that need a little TLC.

“It’s a pipe dream right now because honestly I’ve been so busy and overwhelmed with this Madison renovation that right now I’m fixing the roof leaks and just sort of stabilizing it,” Gabrion said. “Honestly, my dream come true would be a hotel. I don’t know if I can pull that off. It’s early and it’s a big undertaking. It’s either going to be mixed-use, multifamily or hotel.”

Gabrion candidly admits that she wasn’t in the position to buy the Class D warehouse when it became available, but just as with Cherokee Arms, she saw the building as one of her “orphan children.”

“I looked into for probably a year or two and when I reached out to the Center City Commission, they told me the best use for that building was to raze it,” Gabrion said. “And I just thought, ‘Oh my God, please don’t level that building.’ Once again, I didn’t want anyone to tear it down, so I bought it.”

Dansette

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