SkyscraperPage Forum

SkyscraperPage Forum (
-   City Compilations (
-   -   MEMPHIS | Development News (

Johnny Ryall Apr 25, 2010 11:28 PM

Developer begins talks on revitalization of historic Pinch District
The Commercial Appeal | By Amos Maki

Pinch District businesses like Red Fish Gallery, where a pedestrian pauses to window shop, could get a boost if Poag & McEwen Lifestyle Centers follows through on plans to develop a retail district near The Pyramid. Photo by Mike Brown

A portion of the Pinch District adjacent to The Pyramid could be transformed into a retail and entertainment hub that complements Bass Pro Shops' planned flagship store in the vacant arena. Memphis-based Poag & McEwen Lifestyle Centers, the original developer of Saddle Creek in Germantown, is talking with Bass Pro about developing part of the historic district. Bass Pro and Poag & McEwen have partnered previously on projects in California and Texas, and the Springfield, Mo.-based retailer approached Poag & McEwen a year ago about improving the area around The Pyramid, said Bob Rogers, chief operating officer and general counsel for Poag & McEwen, a privately owned company. "Basically, we're talking about retail, restaurants and entertainment," Rogers said. "Bass Pro for a long time has wanted a district, a major project, adjacent to The Pyramid," he said. Rogers would not describe the location of the targeted area, saying it is early in the process and there were few details he could reveal. Bass Pro and city officials are considering an initial 20-year lease on The Pyramid, with seven renewal periods of five years each. Bass Pro plans to turn the arena into a regional center with retail shops, restaurants, offices and a Mississippi River exhibit. News of Poag & McEwen's involvement came to light when Memphis Mayor A C Wharton mentioned it in a recent letter to Bass Pro officials. City Housing and Community Development director Robert Lipscomb said the city would likely have to assemble some property for the project. "Yes, we have to acquire property," said Lipscomb. "We are in discussions with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the primary property owner, regarding potential acquisition of their property. Eminent domain is not contemplated at this point."

Poag & McEwen's lifestyle centers generally combine the traditional retail functions of a mall, with extensive landscaping and amenities oriented toward upscale consumers. The centers often have a mix of uses, such as restaurants and office and residential space. In November, the State Building Commission's executive subcommittee approved a 10-year lease agreement between the University of Memphis and Poag & McEwen for a project called Highland Row. The multi-purpose commercial and residential complex on Highland south of Central would include a Barnes & Noble-operated U of M bookstore. Clues about what could happen in the Pinch District, one of the oldest settlements in the Bluff City, can be gleaned from a Center City Commission master plan for the area and the Wolf River Harbor.

After The Pyramid closed, the Pinch district lost momentum. Downtown officials say the Bass Pro and Poag & McEwen projects could help restore the area. Photo by Mike Maple

When Bass Pro began expressing interest in The Pyramid five years ago, and as St. Jude Children's Research Hospital continued to expand its landholdings west of its campus, the Downtown development agency in 2008 studied how to create a framework for sustainable development in the Pinch District. The study of a 23-acre, 10-square-block portion of the district includes the area directly across Front Street from The Pyramid, a likely spot for the Poag & McEwen project. The master plan calls for a mixed-use "retail and entertainment destination" on Front Street near Overton Avenue, including a hotel. Heading east to Main Street and beyond to St. Jude's campus, the plan suggests more high-density, mixed-use development, including ground-floor retail with residences above.

After The Pyramid closed and other entertainment areas like Cooper-Young and South Main Street gained steam, the Pinch lost much of the momentum it had started to develop in the 1990s. Downtown officials say the Bass Pro and Poag & McEwen projects could infuse new energy into the area. "No question in my mind," said CCC president Jeff Sanford. "The Bass Pro project will rekindle interest in development throughout the Pinch." Land owners in the area want to learn more about the project and how it would impact their properties and businesses. On Thursday, a group of 10 business and property owners in the Pinch sent Wharton and City Council members a letter asking to be more involved in the planning process. "My concern is that decisions are being made and none of the business owners or property owners are being told about what is going on or being asked for input," said Greg Ericson, president and CEO of Ericson Group Inc. at 400 N. Front. "To me, development like this is good for the city of Memphis as long as everybody is included."

Johnny Ryall Apr 25, 2010 11:40 PM

Carlisle Corp. Files $1.5M Building Permit

Carlisle Corp. has filed a $1.5 million permit application with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement to renovate the former One Beale sales center at 263 Wagner Place in Downtown into the company’s new headquarters. Carlisle, whose wholly owned subsidiary Wendelta Inc. is a Wendy’s restaurant franchisee, will depart its currently leased space at 100 Peabody Place. The company’s chairman and founder is Gene Carlisle. Plans call for the company to convert the building that once housed the former Joe’s Crab Shack into a 16,000-square-foot Class A office space.

Operating as Carlisle Landing LLC, the company bought the property in 2004 and converted it into a temporary sales center for the now-shelved One Beale mixed-use development. The Center City Revenue Finance Corp. earlier this month awarded a six-year tax freeze for the project, with an extra year contingent on the presence of certain design elements, for a seven-year tax freeze.

The CCRFC incentive will save the company more than $200,000 on its projected $2.7 million redevelopment of the property. Design upgrades in documentation submitted to the Center City Commission include lighting along Wagner Street and the upgrade of a plaza garden at the end of Linden Crossing. Carlisle’s company, which currently employs 35 people at its current office, will almost double its space at Peabody Place, where its current lease expires in July.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports – Eric Smith

Johnny Ryall Apr 26, 2010 3:48 PM

Barboro Flats: Construction Update Pics

Johnny Ryall Apr 26, 2010 6:25 PM

The new Le Bonheur Children's Hospital expansion tower is shaping up quite nice.

Johnny Ryall Apr 26, 2010 6:25 PM

In the shadow of Methodist/ Le Bonheur's new $340 Million investment, development of Legends Park continues.

Johnny Ryall Apr 26, 2010 6:26 PM

Harrah's Hope Lodge (next to Sun Studio)

Johnny Ryall Apr 26, 2010 6:27 PM

I noticed the AT&T communications building is getting new exterior while enjoying a baseball game with our PCL Champion Memphis Redbirds. They're putting some windows on that thing too.

Johnny Ryall Apr 28, 2010 4:58 PM

Work is under way to demolish most of the remaining structures at the Fairgrounds. Angelo Jones is tearing the buildings down for P&E Enterprises. Jones says work began on April 14 and is well ahead of deadline. This area was the old hog and sheep barns. The Arena Building has already been taken down and the Horticulture and one other building west of it will be coming down soon, according to Jones. Photo by Dave Darnell.

Johnny Ryall Apr 28, 2010 4:58 PM

Front Street garage in line for upgrade
The Commercial Appeal | By Wayne Risher

The Downtown Parking Authority is negotiating with hotel developer Greg Averbuch about possibly upgrading a time-worn Front Street parking garage to jointly serve hotel guests and the public. Averbuch and a partner, MEM Valet Services LLC, formed Main Street Parking to submit one of six proposals received by the DPA for an operator of the Shoppers Garage on Front between Adams and Jefferson.

Officials at the DPA and its parent organization, the Center City Commission, liked Averbuch's proposal because they think the hotel operator would take a keener interest in making sure the facility is well-kept and secure. "They would be so self-interested in the operation of the garage that the public would benefit," Center City president Jeff Sanford said. However, Averbuch estimated that the facility would need nearly $900,000 in capital improvements, paid for by DPA, to be brought up to Marriott hotel parking standards. Jerome Rubin, vice president of operations for Center City, said the second- and third-ranked proposals were from Republic Parking and Premier Parking, respectively.

The DPA asked companies submitting proposals to assess the garage's condition and recommend capital improvements. Republic, at $269,415, and Premier, at $250,212, were well below Main Street Parking's $887,499 estimate for improvements. Main Street Parking proposed guaranteed payments of $180,000, while Republic projected CCC revenues at $223,637, and Premier projected revenues of $72,320. The authority voted Monday to authorize Rubin and his staff to continue negotiations. The vote came with the caveat that Main Street Parking hasn't run a public garage and didn't meet certain other criteria.

Central Parking operates the Shoppers Garage and the aging Riverfront Garage at Front and Monroe. Central's management contract for the Riverfront Garage runs through October, at which time the DPA would presumably entertain proposals for it as well. The Shoppers Garage recently came off a long-term lease dating back to a land swap related to construction of the Mud Island parking garage, said Jim Street, senior vice president of finance and administration. The Shoppers Parking Network, a New Jersey company, received most of the garage's revenues under a city lease that predated the DPA. Street said the DPA received fixed payments of $458.31 a month from the garage before the lease ended Dec. 31. The monthly check after Jan. 1 was about $11,000, Street said.

Averbuch's Summit Management Corp. developed and operates the Court Square Sleep Inn, SpringHill Suites and the newly opened Courtyard by Marriott. He has plans to build an Embassy Suites on vacant land, currently surface parking, next to the Morgan Keegan Tower.

Johnny Ryall Apr 28, 2010 8:50 PM

Southwest Opens Building At Macon Cove Campus
Memphis Daily News – Tom Wilemon

Southwest Tennessee Community College will celebrate the completion of an academic building at its Macon Cove Campus with a 10 a.m. ribbon cutting followed by an open house on May 7. The two-story structure, which encompasses 106,000 square feet, is a combination of three buildings bridged by two glass atriums. It contains classrooms, laboratories, conference rooms, a presentation theater and faculty areas. Looney Ricks Kiss Architects Inc. designed the structure.

Johnny Ryall Apr 28, 2010 8:50 PM

Two Locals Among Three Finalists for Top CCC Job
ANDY MEEK | The Daily News

Two Memphians are among the three finalists for the soon-to-be-open job of Center City Commission president. Andy Kitsinger, senior vice president of planning and development for the CCC, and Paul Morris, a Memphis attorney and former CCC chairman, are in the running. So is Thomas Chatmon, Executive Director of the Downtown Development Board and Community Redevelopment Agency for the City of Orlando, Florida. Current CCC president Jeff Sanford is stepping down from the job in at the end of June.

Johnny Ryall Apr 28, 2010 8:51 PM

Corner Rebirth
October to mark new era for Downtown intersection
ANDY MEEK | The Daily News

Thompson & Co. is about five months away from moving into new digs at the corner of Main Street and Union Avenue. “We’ll be in the new space Oct. 1,” said Michael Thompson, the founder of the advertising agency that’s moving from 50 Peabody Place to 85 Union Ave. The Center City Development Corp. awarded the agency a $15,000 grant last week to pay for improvements at its new space, paving the way for Thompson & Co. to move into the property once home to Smooth Moves.

A development team is pouring $1.6 million into upgrading the site, with construction starting in May and wrapping up in October. Thompson said his agency decided the possibilities in that new space and the opportunity to have a say in its design were too good to pass up. And while the move represents a new chapter for the 33-year-old agency, it was important to the company’s founder to remain Downtown.

The company’s current 15-year lease expires in December. Thompson said relocating to the new space will save a few hundred thousand dollars in the long run. Money from the Center City Commission’s affiliate board is what clinched the deal. The CCDC also approved a $200,000 development loan for the team bringing the long-vacant space at Main and Union back to life.

“I went to look at a great space out east. I’m not going to say where, but it was very cool,” Thompson said. “It was something I had to consider. “The thing about it is what the CCDC is doing is bringing new people and keeping people (Downtown). And it was the loan to the developer that made it work.” That pair of financial incentives – Thompson & Co.’s $15,000, plus the development team’s $200,000 – will also help revive a key Downtown intersection that has endured vacancies at all four corners for years.

The ad agency’s relocation will follow the opening in a few more months at 66 S. Main St. of an upscale grocery – City Market – that adds another boost to that centrally located juncture. Owners of the grocery are still plugging away on construction details. And they’re using a Facebook page as one way to build interest in the store, which is going in on the ground floor of Radio Center Flats. Last week they began soliciting ideas from followers of the page for items on the store’s breakfast menu.

“I think that corner is getting ready to wake up,” Thompson said. The agency’s new space will have a roof deck where employees can work on laptops. The space will be lit at night with the help of “gobo” lighting. The term is a contraction of “go between” and often refers to an object placed in front of a light source. Playhouse on the Square’s new facility in Midtown has used gobo lighting at night, where images and various messages have been beamed onto one of the building’s outer walls. “Fifteen years is a long time to be in one space,” Thompson said. “We really needed a new space to invigorate everybody and start a new era.”

Johnny Ryall Apr 29, 2010 7:21 PM

Riverfront Development Corp. to install pedestrian bridge in Downtown Memphis
Memphis Business Journal

A 200-foot long pedestrian bridge slated to span Court Avenue will be delivered and installed Thursday. The bridge will cross Court Avenue near its intersection with Riverside Drive, connecting the University of Memphis’ Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law to Confederate Park. The project is part of the Law School/Confederate Park Public Access Project led by the Riverfront Development Corp. The $1.77 million project was paid for through a partnership between Hyde Family Foundations, the City of Memphis and the RDC.

The bridge will arrive in four sections, each being delivered on a separate 18-wheeled, flatbed tractor trailer. Rising 24 feet above street level, the all-steel, box truss design will have custom hand railing and Ipe wood decking. The bridge will feature artistic lighting by Electroland, through a partnership with the UrbanArt Commission. Ritchie Smith Associates designed the project and Zellner Construction Services is the contractor. RDC is a nonprofit organization which focuses on developing Memphis’ riverfront.

Johnny Ryall Apr 29, 2010 7:22 PM

Lease Agreement Appears Close For Bass Pro
BILL DRIES | The Daily News

Lease negotiations for The Pyramid are going so well, an e-mail may seal the deal, said Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. City leaders and Bass Pro Shops executives are scheduled to meet Thursday in Springfield, Mo., at the headquarters of the outdoor retailer. Talks on specific lease terms began this month and are moving at such a rapid pace Wharton told The Daily News there may be no need to travel to Springfield. “I’m reading e-mails and drafts everyday. We’re hoping that meeting will not be necessary,” Wharton said. “We might be close enough to an agreement that it would not be fruitful to go all the way up there.”

Meanwhile, Wharton has linked the redevelopment of The Pyramid to another riverfront project, Beale Street Landing. In a letter Monday to City Council chairman Harold Collins, Wharton said $1 million in federal community development block grant (CDBG) money will be reallocated to complete the current phase of the project. Private contributors will match the CDBG funding with $1 million. “It is clear to me that Beale Street Landing will have an iconic status similar to The Pyramid, but what remains for us to decide is if the icon is positive or negative,” Wharton wrote. “If we modify the design … we erode the important impact that Beale Street Landing promises for the future of our riverfront.”

The project to create a landing for excursion boats and a park-like setting for access to the river and Memphis harbor is approximately $6.7 million short of the funding needed to complete it. The $2 million allows a contract to be awarded to build a structure with a grass roof at the landing as well as a park connection to the boat docking facility now under construction.

Wharton said his letter does not rule out possible changes to the project that began during former Mayor Willie Herenton’s administration. “There will be a re-examination of the premise,” he told The Daily News. “You always retest your premise, particularly when you have a plan that’s getting some age on it. I am getting a number of requests from folks not saying abandon it – they’re saying test what you’re doing.” Riverfront Development Corp. President Benny Lendermon told The Daily News he welcomes a re-examination of the project.

“Can there be many more significant changes to the park that is built to be the last phase – the centerpiece of this project? I really don’t think so,” he said. “Does that mean we’re not going to continue to look? We will. Are we going to get other people involved? Certainly. “But there’s no low-hanging branches there that are easy pickoffs in terms of changes that can be made.”

Johnny Ryall May 1, 2010 2:52 AM

Technicolor expands, will add 150 jobs
Leading third-party distributor adds 1.36 million square feet
Memphis Business Journal - by Andy Ashby LEE SWETS | MBJ

Technicolor SA, formerly known as Thomson Multimedia, is expanding its Memphis operations by 1.36 million square feet at Summit Distribution Center and plans to create 150 new jobs. This leasing activity continues Memphis’ march toward new industrial development and solidifies the Paris-based company’s claim as one of the largest third-party logistics operators in Memphis. Technicolor is leasing 580,131 square feet at Summit I at 5155 Lamar and all 789,291 square feet at Summit II at 5215 Lamar. Technicolor officials were not available for comment.

Wyatt Aiken, executive vice president of Commercial Advisors LLC, has been representing Technicolor locally. He could not comment on Technicolor operations inside these properties. “From a real estate perspective, these two leases by Technicolor are giving a huge boost to the local industrial market,” Aiken says. As of November 2009, Technicolor’s local footprint was 3.43 million square feet, with a leases at 4155 Holmes, 4010 Holmes and 4926 Southridge, according to Memphis Business Journal research. The Summit leases will bring its presence to 4.79 million square feet in Memphis.

In February, Technicolor entered into a long-term contract with Warner Bros. to replicate and distribute its DVD and Blu-ray discs. Cinram International Inc. formerly handled those operations for Warner Bros. out of Nashville. The company approached the Memphis and Shelby County Industrial Development Board in February, seeking to amend its existing 15-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes incentive, started in 2002, to include potential new warehouse space and personal property. The board approved these amendments for three potential properties: 5155 Lamar, 5215 Lamar and 5200 Tradeport.

The project could create 150 jobs with a median wage of $25,000, according to IDB documents. “The business-friendly attitude we’ve seen at the (Memphis and Shelby County) Industrial Development Board went a long way to making this happen,” Aiken says. “Two years ago, companies like Technicolor were wary of expanding in Memphis because of the signals local government was sending.”

B&B Specialty Contractors Inc. has already pulled permits to do $3 million in tenant improvements to 5215 Lamar. Tommy Jackson, vice president at CB Richard Ellis Memphis, represented the landlord, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, in the leasing of Summit I. The building still has 128,401 square feet vacant after the Technicolor lease. “I think we’ll have enough activity in the market to get that leased in short order,” Jackson says.

Commercial Alliance Management LLC senior vice president Mark Jenkins and senior leasing associate Phil Dagastino represented the landlord, USAA, in the leasing at Summit II. “It’s a huge deal for both our owners as well as Memphis,” Jenkins says. “It’s not taking business from across town or across the street — it’s new business and jobs for our city and our market.” Hewlett-Packard Co. had occupied both Summit I and II until vacating in mid-2009. Technicolor did sign a 500,000-square-foot lease at Summit I for six months.

Johnny Ryall May 1, 2010 2:53 AM

Uptown Memphis digs mixed-use project
The Commercial Appeal | By Tom Bailey Jr.

Bulldozer operator Tommy West clears land on Thursday at Danny Thomas and North Parkway, north of St. Jude's, for a mixed-use project to serve Uptown Memphis. Photo by Kyle Kurlick

A curious Uptown resident sent her e-mail at 10:34 a.m. Thursday to the Uptown Memphis official Tanja Mitchell: "What's all the digging? The earthmoving means more stores -- within walking distance -- are in store for the vast, 100-block Uptown Memphis neighborhood. Site preparation has started on a mixed-use development of commercial, residential and office buildings near the northwest corner of Thomas and A.W. Willis. The site is across Willis from the back gate of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The first tenant will be a SunTrust bank branch, for which construction should start this summer, said Alexandra "Alex" Mobley, vice president of Henry Turley Co. But the partnership of Turley and Belz Enterprises, working with the City of Memphis, is seeking to recruit a pharmacy, medium-size grocery and other tenants.

The new development sits on the southern edge of Uptown, bordered by Willis on the south, Mill on the north, Seventh on the west, and a new extension of Uptown Street on the east. The SunTrust branch will be at the corner of Willis and the newly lengthened Uptown Street. Uptown is the redevelopment of what had been one of the city's poorest neighborhoods, once anchored by a blighted Hurt Village public housing project. It's a varied-income community of public housing, market-rate homes and affordable rental units for low-income families.

Robert Barnes works on new curbs and walkways Thursday for a mixed-use development in Uptown Memphis near Thomas and A.W. Willis. Photo by Kyle Kurlick

Since work started in 2004, 268 single-family homes, 549 apartments, a 69-unit senior facility and $12 million in infrastructure have been built, Mobley said. The mixed-use site sits at the highly visible, southern entrance to Uptown, where thousands of cars a day pass through the Thomas (U.S. 51) and Willis intersection, Mobley said. Single-family homes lining the north side of Mill overlook the mixed-use site. Buffering those residents from the bank and future businesses will be a row of more dense residential housing, perhaps town homes, on the south side of Mill.

Tax-increment financing is paying for the site work, Mobley said. That lets cities obtain development bonds to fund infrastructure improvements and to use taxes generated by the development to pay off the bonds. "Our objective was to get the basic services that pretty well have abandoned a lot of areas of the inner city," Henry Turley said. "One is a grocery. We don't have a grocery deal made yet, and that would be an objective," he said. "And there needs to be a drugstore." The ideal place for a 25,000-square-foot grocery would be on the west side of Thomas, where the long-closed Chism Trail grocery once operated, Mobley said.

Johnny Ryall May 6, 2010 3:21 PM

AirTran launches regular service out of Tunica airport
The Commercial Appeal | By Wayne Risher

AirTran Flight 1578's arrival at Tunica Municipal Airport this morning is cause for celebration in a gambling mecca that wants more well-heeled air travelers. It should give Tunica a leg up in efforts to land more commercial flights and better serve private planes ferrying international passengers like Canadian gamblers and German manufacturers, officials say. A single flight won't position Tunica's airport to compete with its northern neighbor in Memphis, but it could become an attractive alternative for some travelers. "We have great support from the private sector that will help us grow our airport and grow our tourism product," said Webster Franklin, president and CEO of Tunica Convention & Visitors Bureau. "This will also benefit citizens. In Greenwood, Greenville, Clarksdale, Helena, they will have another opportunity, a closer, more hassle-free airport when they make their travel plans."

The round-trip service from Atlanta on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays is made possible by a $4.5 million investment by Harrah's Casino Tunica in a partnership with Orlando-based AirTran. "The Atlanta market has always been a good market when you look at the (air) charter program," Franklin said. "It's a large number of people, and it's an untapped gaming market." With AirTran, travelers get easy connections to Tunica from nearly 50 cities in the carrier's network. Memphis airport officials aren't worried. AirTran operates four daily round-trips between Atlanta and Memphis and is credited with moderating historically high air fares out of Memphis. "The flight, as is the case with previous charter and airline flights (serving Tunica), is very limited in scope and is subsidized by Tunica casinos," said Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority president and CEO Larry Cox. "I wish them well, but there will be no impact on Memphis."

Cliff Nash, Tunica County Airport Commission executive director, said in terms of additional commercial flights, "What we would like is something that is unique and is not available in the Memphis market. We do anticipate there will be lot of folks who, instead of driving into Memphis if they're south of here, would come here instead." Internet prices for selected flights in June were higher out of Tunica than Memphis. However, there were attractive package deals out of Atlanta, such as round-trip air fare plus three nights at Harrah's Casino Tunica or Gold Strike for under $400. Nash said AirTran service, coupled with expected volume of 80,000 to 85,000 boardings this year, should help lift the facility into an FAA classification called primary airport status. That means better odds of gaining FAA grants for future improvements.

As Tunica rolls out the red carpet today for passengers on a next-generation Boeing 717-200, a $1.5 million, 10,000-square-foot terminal building is on track for completion in August. It will help meet expansion goals that include accommodation of foreign travelers. A gaming charter from Toronto had to stop in Memphis to get passengers through customs before it proceeded to Tunica, Nash said. With a German company building a 500-employee steel pipe plant in Tunica, on-site customs processing would become more advantageous. The current building project was conceived as an addition to a proposed 40,000-square-foot main terminal that was put on hold when the national economy soured. After Harrah's officials revealed they were boosting charter programs 20-30 percent and negotiating to bring in AirTran, airport officials decided to build the addition first as a temporary fix. "We're really excited about AirTran and we're really happy Harrah's is supporting the community and helping us with this project," Nash said. "I hope as an airport we can impress AirTran so much they'll say, 'Hmmm, Tunica is a pretty good market.' "

Johnny Ryall May 6, 2010 3:22 PM

Storm-damaged Shelby, Tipton counties named federal disaster areas
Among 10 in state that will get aid; body found near bridge in Raleigh
The Commercial Appeal | By Staff

On the day a body was recovered from the area's worst storm in years, the federal government declared Shelby and Tipton counties disaster areas. The declaration, requested by Gov. Phil Bredesen, clears the way for federal aid to areas damaged by flooding. It brings to 10 the number of Tennessee counties declared disaster areas. Four of the counties are in West Tennessee -- Dyer and McNairy were also added Wednesday -- which was hit hard by flooding and wind. The other six to receive the designation -- Cheatham, Davidson, Hickman, Montgomery, Perry and Williamson -- are in Middle Tennessee.

That bit of good news was tempered by the discovery of a body in Raleigh, which may be that of a a 32-year-old man who disappeared in floodwaters Saturday morning. The body had not been positively identified late Wednesday. However, Memphis police issued a Mid-South missing-persons alert Wednesday morning for Terrance D. Williams, who abandoned his car in rising floodwaters at about 5 a.m. Saturday as he was driving near Raleigh-LaGrange and Parkview Drive. At about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, officers searching the area found a body near a bridge in the 2600 block of Northumberland, MPD Communications Supervisor Michael Spencer said.

Severe weekend storms and record rainfall inundated areas from Memphis to Nashville, and National Weather Service officials said Raleigh was one of the most heavily hit. Bob Nations, Shelby County Office of Preparedness director, told county commissioners Wednesday that there will be a high price to repair devastation caused by flooding in Millington and other parts of the county, with significant damage to public infrastructure such as electrical and sewage systems. "It's a multimillion-dollar loss," he said.

Bredesen plans to ask legislators to dip into state reserve funds by "tens of millions" of dollars to help hard-hit cities and counties pay for repairs that federal disaster relief does not cover. Local governments that are covered by a federal disaster declaration are expected to pay 25 percent of the costs of certain repairs to government buildings and other infrastructure while the federal government pays 75 percent. But state Finance Commissioner Dave Goetz said the state traditionally steps up and pays half of the local government's share, or 12.5 percent of the repair costs. The governor asked for a federal disaster declaration for 52 Tennessee counties. President Barack Obama approved the first four of those -- Nashville-Davidson County and three surrounding counties -- on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, at the Millington Crisis Center -- which was founded as a ministry in 1987 when similar flooding struck Millington -- Lois Wilber worried about the children of families driven from their homes by flooding. "When we think about devastation, we don't think about the emotional devastation that the kids have," Wilber said, pausing as she handled a steady influx of people seeking help and offering donations at the center at 8133 Wilkinsville. "We know that they are resilient, we know they can bounce back, but when you lose everything, they lose hope," she said. "And it's just becoming a reality to a lot of people that they really have lost everything."

First Baptist Church, 5010 W. Union, is hosting the American Red Cross Mid-South Chapter shelter, which housed about 70 people overnight Tuesday, said Millington Fire Chief Gary Graves. Graves said a preliminary estimate of flood costs for Millington government alone is $11 million.

Interim Shelby County Mayor Joe Ford led a briefing outside the church Wednesday, with Health Department officials providing assurances that the flooding triggered no threats from mosquitos, drinking water or tetanus for Millington residents. Carliss Chastain, 57, of Covington drove up to the shelter with $300 in cleaning supplies that she purchased to donate as president of the United Methodist Women. "When I read about it, I thought, 'Wow, I've got to do something,'" she said.

How to help

The Millington Crisis Center at 8133 Wilkinsville is accepting donations of items including new games, toys, diapers, blankets and toilet paper to help flood victims. Checks can be mailed to the Millington Crisis Center at P.O. Box 1541, Millington, TN 38083. Crosspointe Baptist Church, 8850 U.S. 51 in Millington, also is accepting perishable food items to help flood victims.

Staff reporters Daniel Connolly, Sherri Drake Silence, Kevin McKenzie, Richard Locker and Jody Callahan contributed to this article.

Johnny Ryall May 7, 2010 3:35 PM

The Commercial Appeal

Memphis/ Shelby Co. Photo by Mike Brown Photo by Mike Brown Photo by Alan Spearman Photo by John Sale Photo by Mike Brown Photo by Chris Desmond

Johnny Ryall May 7, 2010 3:36 PM

North Mississippi Photo by Mark Weber

Dyersburg/ Dyer Co. Photo by Jim Weber Photo by Jim Weber

All times are GMT. The time now is 2:10 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.