The Port of Memphis received more than $1.7 million in grant funding from the State of Tennessee and an additional private local match to expand rail access and opportunities on Presidents Island. The rail project will be part of an overall redevelopment of the 58-acre public terminal facility.
In February 2019, GMACWorkforce hosted a 20-member delegation from Jobs for the Future (JFF) Congressional Staff Network on Economic Advancement. Participating Congressional staff included members of the United States Senate HELP Committee, House Education & Workforce Committee, Senate Finance Committee, and House Committee on Ways & Means.
EDGE joined with State and local officials to help FedEx Logistics move its headquarters to the vacant Gibson Guitar manufacturing plant in downtown Memphis. The 190,000 square foot facility will soon be home to 662 FedEx employees – 323 current Memphis staff plus 339 new positions. The jobs will average more than $80,000 per year excluding benefits.
In January 2019, EDGE worked with representatives from Riviana Foods, Inc. to secure a seven-year Jobs Payment-In-Lieu-of-Tax (PILOT) that will create 43 new jobs with an average salary of $43,000 and assist the company’s expansion in Memphis and Shelby County. If successful, total employment at the Memphis facility will top more than 400 full-time workers.
With assistance from EDGE through its Payment In Lieu of Tax (PILOT) program, transportation and logistics company, Power Transport plans to revitalize a vacant and underutilized collection of buildings on 8.5 acres near the Memphis International Airport and expand its operations.
The International Port of Memphis was awarded a $1.7 million Competitive Rail Connectivity Grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation. The grant will help expand rail service on Presidents at the 58-acre public terminal facility.
The Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) awarded EDGE the 2018 Distinguished Development Finance Local Agency Award. EDGE was recognized for tackling particularly complex and challenging financing concerns and the innovation of financing tools.
For the fourth consecutive year, EDGE/IDB PILOT recipients outperformed the anticipated minority/women/locally owned small business spend. PILOT recipients spent nearly $286 million with minority/women/locally owned small firms from 2012-2017, exceeding their commitments by almost $20 million.
Presented at a joint meeting of the Memphis & Shelby County Port Commission and EDGE, a new master plan for the Port of Memphis calls for infrastructure upgrades to Presidents Island and a short, middle, and long-range plan to help maximize the impact of 2,300 acres of under-developed industrial land in the adjacent Frank C. Pidgeon Industrial Park.
Developed by a team of Memphis-based investors, the Parkside at Shelby Farms Park project was approved for a 20-year TIF. The project is one of the largest private development projects in the City and County in recent decades and will generate substantial tax revenues to local governments, while helping stem outmigration of population to other areas.
South Memphis residents will soon have another grocery store option from which to choose. Cash Saver, operated by Memphis-based Castle Retail Group, is set to open its fifth grocery location at Southgate Center in South Memphis by late August 2018.
JNJ Logistics LLC was awarded a 15-year Expansion PILOT to encourage the company to invest $20.5 million at 5000 and 5050 American Way for a new corporate headquarters to accommodate their growing business.
The Poplar Corridor Business District is a 400+ parcel area located along Poplar Avenue in the City of Memphis, from immediately west of Interstate 240, east to the City line.
Working with the City of Memphis, the EDGE Board of Directors created a new program to help real estate developers offset the added cost of installing offline sewer storage and pumping facilities, in areas with inadequate sewer capacity during normal business hours.
The EDGE Board of Directors approved five projects for economic development incentives at the June EDGE board meeting. The five projects are: Broad Avenue Tower Mixed Used Development Residential Payment in Lieu of Tax (PILOT), Thrive at The Park Residential PILOT, Southgate Center Community Builder PILOT, Hollywood Feed Jobs PILOT 2nd Amendment, and Parkside at Shelby Farms Tax Increment Financing (TIF).
On Monday, June 11 at the 2018 Tennessee Municipal League Annual Conference, EDGE Senior Economic Development Specialist, John Lawrence served on a panel discussing the necessity of tax incentives, particularly Tax Increment Financing and Payment In Lieu of Tax programs.
In December 2014, the EDGE Board of Directors approved a 15-year PILOT for Cummins, Inc. The goal was to retain the company as they outgrew their Memphis facility. Now, in its third year of the EDGE PILOT program, Cummins is thriving and has exceeded its commitment for jobs, wages, and capital investment.
With help from EDGE, Mimeo.com is bringing 171 new jobs to Memphis – which includes relocating their headquarters from New York City. Mimeo will also relocate a production facility from Newark, NJ, and add sales positions, while retaining their existing Memphis location and its 284 jobs.
When the William R. Moore College of Technology (Moore Tech) and the Greater Memphis Automobile Dealers Association needed help to launch a new school to train auto technicians, they turned to EDGE.
EDGE/IDB PILOT recipients spent $240 million with minority/women/small local firms from 2012-2016, exceeding their commitments by more than $10 million.
The Northwest Company, LLC was awarded a ten-year EDGE Fast Track Payment-In-Lieu-of-Tax (PILOT). The project will bring 25 new jobs to Memphis with an average base salary of $34,250 excluding benefits and invest $5.7 million to the facility located at 4755 Southpoint Drive.
Ayele Akibulan, dba Kemet Nu Enterprises, was awarded a $15,000 Inner City Economic Development (ICED) Loan to help improve the exterior appearance, replace the roof, and install an HVAC system at 988/990 Mississippi Boulevard. Total project costs are $90,000 and project costs qualified for forgivable Inner City Economic Development Loan funds are estimated to be $59,700.
In cooperation with GMACWorkforce and HopeWorks, nine area businesses joined together to participate in the Mid-South Employer Resource Network (MSERN) initiative. The employer-based model joins an association of small- to mid-size businesses to provide job retention services, work support and training opportunities for employees.
While Memphis is knowns for its strengths in distribution and logistics, for the past twenty years Shelby County has emerged as the second largest county in the U.S. for medical device manufacturing. And since 1999, the Memphis medical device manufacturing industry employment has grown nearly 50%– more than four times the national rate of growth.
Family Multiplex Center(1025/1029 Whitney Avenue) was approved for a $20,000 ICED Loan to help improve the exterior appearance, upgrade electrical, and install an HVAC system for three new businesses located at 1025/1029 Whitney Avenue. Family Multiplex Center is owned and operated by Mr. Steven S. Dortch, Jr., a general contractor.
EDGE Board Member, Dr. Florence Jones was selected by the Murray State Alumni Association as one the 2018 recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award.
GMACWorkforce is pleased to announce 100% of the trainees participating in the inaugural Earn While You Learn skills training program graduated and received opportunities to interview for permanent positions at area manufacturing facilities.
Gwendolyn Louise Smith, dba Lula’s Frozen Treats, was awarded an $18,000 Inner City Economic Development (ICED) Loan to help remodel the interior, add a patio, and install ADA compatible restrooms at 1750 Frayser Boulevard. Total project costs are estimated to be $37,211.
After previous approval by the EDGE Board in April 2017 for a JOBS PILOT, Ebrofrost North America, Inc.’s PILOT agreement was amended to include an increase of Net New Jobs with a higher annual salary component, an increase in occupied building percentage, and an increase in real property investment.
Across the next decade, it is estimated that nearly 3.5 million U.S. manufacturing jobs will be needed with 2 million of those jobs expected to go unfilled due to manufacturers’ inability to find talent with the required skills, according to the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) launched recruitment for its 2018 Emerging Leaders executive-level training initiative. The SBA Emerging Leaders Initiative is a federal training initiative that specifically focuses on executives of businesses poised for growth in historically challenged communities. The initiative provides these executives with the organizational framework, resource network, and motivation required to build sustainable businesses and promote the economic development within urban communities.
With 18 PILOT project approvals, nine Inner City Economic Development Loans, three bond issues and nearly $683 million of projected capital investment, 2017 was an outstanding year for EDGE. In 2017, with a record number of PILOT approvals, EDGE encouraged more than $284 million of projected tax revenue and the creation/retention of nearly 3,800 jobs.
EDGE staff welcomed Ms. Tracy Buckley as the organization’s Manager of Economic Development Programs. Ms. Buckley will manage project compliance and the back office responsibilities associated with EDGE's PILOT, TIF, and ICED Loan programs.
The EDGE Board of Directors approved a $327,500 contract for a comprehensive master plan study for the Port of Memphis. The study will include Presidents Island, the Frank C. Pidgeon Industrial area, and the McKellar Lake Harbor. A team led by the Pickering Firm will conduct the study.
In partnership with Community LIFT, a local community development intermediary, and River City Capital, its local Community Development Financial Institution, EDGE applied to the Kresge Foundation for a capital allocation through the Social Investment – Arts & Culture program. The team was selected to deploy up to $1 million through loans in Memphis’ Creative Corridors in the areas of Soulsville, Crosstown/Medical District/Edge District, South City, and Binghampton/Broad Avenue.
On Wednesday, October 25, led by the Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce (GMACWorkforce) and the Greater Memphis Chamber, more than 25 private companies met with representatives from Shelby County Schools and several municipal school districts to discuss how the two groups can work together to improve and support career readiness in education.
The project located at 1544 Madison Avenue was awarded a 15-year Residential Payment In Lieu of Tax (PILOT) that will enable the developers to build a new $24 million class-A multifamily living facility in Midtown that will help increase population density in a historic location.
Amazon.com.dedc, LLC was awarded a 15-year Jobs Payment In Lieu of Tax (PILOT) that will encourage the company to create 600 new jobs for a state-of-the-art “receive center” to support Amazon’s North American fulfillment network.
The public has a lot of questions about the Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE) and its Payment In Lieu of Tax (PILOT) program. People want to know what we are doing, how we are doing it and if we're effective. They also want to know whether companies are meeting their obligations and being held accountable.
EDGE Finance Committee approved two projects for the Inner City Economic Development (ICED) Loan Program, Stylist Salon (3240 N. Watkins) in Frayser and Soulsville Market (745 East McLemore) in South Memphis. The ICED Loan Program’s purpose is to spark revitalization of Memphis’ inner-city neighborhood business districts through small forgivable loans to assist with building improvements and business expansion.
AVT Beckett Elevators, Inc. was awarded a ten-year EDGE Fast Track Payment In Lieu of Tax (PILOT). The project will bring 25 new jobs to Memphis with an average salary of $35,992 excluding benefits and $3.5 million worth of capital investment to the facility located at 4949 East Raines Road. The Memphis location will be the company’s first facility located in the United States.
The EDGE FY2017 Annual Report is available for download and review on the EDGE website (http://www.growth-engine.org/sites/556/uploaded/files/Annual_Report_2017_FINAL.pdf)
EDGE has expanded its website to include an online PILOT application and a handy PILOT Incentive Estimator. The PILOT Incentive Estimator is a useful tool to help provide a quantifiable estimate of the potential financial benefit to both the Memphis and Shelby County community and PILOT applicant for a specific PILOT project.
Demographic growth is a key source of the workforce and a major driver for the local economy. The demand for public services reflects the size and composition of the local population. In general, slow steady growth communities like Memphis are stable and manageable. Economic fluctuations are minimized as a result of a broad and diverse employment base. Slow, steady economic and demographic growth stabilizes the housing market and minimizes the chaos associated with rapid growth or contractions.
In partnership with Grow America Fund (a Community Development Financial Institution licensed under the U.S. SBA Preferred Lenders Program), the EDGE Impact Fund will make SBA-guaranteed loans of $150,000 or more to small businesses throughout Shelby County.
Dr. Florence Jones was approved by both the Memphis City Council and the Shelby County Commission, having been nominated by Mayor Strickland, to serve on the EDGE Board of Directors. Dr. Jones is the CEO of Methodist North Hospital.
EDGE Board of Directors approved its first Residential Payment-In-Lieu-of-Tax (PILOT) project for a 108-unit multi-family development located at the intersection of Madison and McLean in Midtown Memphis. The intent of the Residential PILOT Program is to spark investment in market-rate multi-family residential rental projects in the City of Memphis and unincorporated Shelby County.
With assistance from EDGE through the Payment In Lieu of Tax (PILOT) program, Thomas & Betts, a member of the ABB Group, was awarded a fifteen-year Expansion PILOT that will enable the company to consolidate its corporate research and development operations from out-of-state into a new Memphis-based corporate headquarters location.
Mr. Reid Dulberger, EDGE President, was invited to speak at the Raising Awareness: Urban Innovations for Equity Symposium sponsored by New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) on July 20th. Attended by New Orleans-area business stakeholders and government officials, the symposium’s goal was to introduce new and innovative strategies to accelerate growth among local minority and women-owned businesses.
As of June 29 according to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, there are an estimated 16,396 open and available jobs in the Memphis Metro area. There are dozens of online job postings and job boards littering the Internet. Yet, 22,999 Memphians remain unemployed. MemphisWorks, developed by the Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce (GMACWorkforce), hopes to help bridge this employment gap.
For the first time in four decades, a strategic plan will be developed to outline a new direction for Memphis and guide the City into its third century. The Memphis 3.0 plan is intended to create a City of great neighborhoods and maximize the City’s ability to improve the quality of life for all residents. Core focus areas of the Memphis 3.0 plan are connectivity, sustainability, livability, and opportunity.
With assistance from EDGE, a new grocery and retail shopping center will help lead the redevelopment of a nearly 20-acre parcel located in a blighted area of Frayser. With plans to construct a 97,300-square foot grocery anchored shopping center at 2571 North Hollywood, the Frayser Gateway project was awarded a 15-year Community Builder Payment in Lieu of Tax (PILOT) to G2 Venture Group.
Situated along on Summer Avenue in a former bank building, HopeWorks is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to serve the under-resourced through outreach programs that help develop individual worth, encourage personal responsibility, and promote the honor and value of work.
The Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE) Board of Directors approved a twelve-year Payment-In-Lieu-of-Tax (PILOT) project for NouriTech, Inc. located on Presidents Island.
The Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE) Board of Directors approved a 15-year Community Builder Payment-In-Lieu-of-Tax (PILOT) project for Neighborhood Docs. Neighborhood Docs plans to provide state-of-the-art healthcare services to the surrounding neighborhoods of Cherokee, Bethel Grove, and Orange Mound.
The EDGE Board of Directors authorized EDGE to move forward to prepare the appropriate policies and procedures for a PILOT test program for developers of multifamily residential. If these proposed policies and procedures are approved by the EDGE Board, the EDGE Residential PILOT test program will help encourage new and affordable multifamily housing within the City of Memphis and unincorporated areas of Shelby County.
The Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE) Board of Directors approved two Jobs Payment-in-Lieu-of-Tax (PILOT) requests from Ebrofrost North America, Inc., and Nucor Steel Memphis, Inc. Currently, both facilities are vacant. These PILOTs will help put vacant buildings back in use while introducing a combined total of 31 new jobs.
The Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE) Board of Directors approved two Jobs Payment-in-Lieu-of-Tax (PILOT) requests from Ebrofrost North America, Inc., and Nucor Steel Memphis, Inc.
Champion’s Pharmacy & Herb Store (2369 Elvis Presley Boulevard), a family-owned business started by Dr. Charles Champion in 1981 and now owned by his daughter, Dr. Carol Champion, was approved for a $20,000 EDGE Inner City Economic Development (ICED) Loan. The ICED Loan Program’s purpose is to spark revitalization of Memphis inner-city neighborhood business districts through small forgivable loans to assist with building improvements and business expansion.
River, road, rail and runway have long been recognized as strategic advantages for Memphis based companies. But now, several innovative manufacturers, including Sharp Manufacturing, Cummins, and Brother Industries, are using another source to maximize their presence in the world marketplace – Foreign Trade Zones.
Approved by the Memphis City Council, Shelby County Commission and EDGE Board of Directors, nearly 600 parcels of land surrounding the University of Memphis and the Highland Strip will be included in a tax increment-financing district that will raise an estimated $19 million across a 20-year term to help fund public improvements within the area, including safety, road, and public infrastructure.
Tucked away between a vacant warehouse and a busy retail strip is Social Suds Resource Center, a bustling Laundromat operated by the South Memphis Alliance. Just a mile away at Knowledge Quest, school-aged children busy themselves at the after-school urban garden while exploring possibilities within the culinary arts through the Jay Uiberall Culinary Academy. EDGE is proud to have assisted both programs as they work tirelessly to strengthen and revitalize South Memphis.
In November, EDGE approved a 10-year Fast Track PILOT for International Distributors USA (IDUSA) that resulted in bringing 40 new full-time jobs to Memphis. Previously based in Mississippi, IDUSA, an international supplier of auto parts distributed under the name Premium Guard, will spend nearly $6.5 million at the Memphis facility and generate nearly $2 million in local total tax revenues across the lifetime of the PILOT.
Across the next few years, a brand new $7 million retail center anchored by a national grocery store and home goods retailer will replace a once derelict, delinquent apartment complex situated on a busy urban corner in a USDA-classified food desert. The Binghampton Development Corporation was able to create this urban oasis in-part through EDGE’s Community Builder Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program.
Graceland, the third most famous home in the United States next to the White House and the Biltmore and one of Memphis’ most powerful economic engines, is the centerpiece to a $137 million, three-phase redevelopment project. The massive undertaking will also serve as the catalyst to the redevelopment of Memphis’s Whitehaven neighborhood.
Quietly operating from a small space on South Barksdale, Camy Archer had been serving a loyal Midtown and Downtown clientele tasty sandwiches, pizzas, and desserts for the past 23 years. However, after her lease was set to expire, Ms. Archer found herself without a location. Ms. Archer quickly reestablished Camy’s in a small 800 square foot commercial kitchen space at 2886 Walnut Grove, just a few miles east of the old location. The new location would enable Ms. Archer to continue serving her existing clientele along with expanding into the more eastern areas of Memphis.
In Fall 2016, EDGE helped W.M. Barr reshore manufacturing operations from China, which will result in 40 new full-time jobs. A manufacturer of specialty cleaning and home improvement products, Memphis-based W.M. Barr will invest nearly $12 million at its Presidents Island facilities.
On Wednesday, March 2, local dignitaries and hundreds of Elvis fans alike joined together to celebrate the opening of Elvis Presley’s Memphis, a 200,000 SF entertainment complex featuring museums, restaurants, gift shops, and more. Just part of a $137 million, three-phase development project for Graceland, collectively this project will serve as the catalyst to the redevelopment of Memphis’ Whitehaven neighborhood.
Mr. Fred Spikner never really considered himself an environmentalist. Since college, Spikner has been working as a commercial screen printer and embroiderer and opening his own facility in Midtown Memphis. It was not until a choice turn down the street in South Memphis in 2014 that Spikner became interested in cardboard recycling.
Memphis is home to 47 medical device companies that employ more than 16,800 employees according to the Greater Memphis Medical Device Council. Employment at medical device manufacturers ranges from assembly work to industrial engineering to sales representatives (TheMemphisEconomy.com, 2017) Collectively, these companies provide a $2.6 billion economic impact to Memphis and Shelby County.
Construction for the Binghampton Gateway Center broke ground on February 22. The Binghampton Gateway Center project is the first recipient of the EDGE Community Builder Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILOT). The EDGE Community Builder PILOT’s intent is to spark investment and job creation in distressed areas of Memphis and unincorporated Shelby County and tailored specifically to aid community development groups looking to tackle larger projects.
A recent report issued by government and corporate accountability watchdog, Good Jobs First, identified EDGE (identified as Memphis-Shelby County in the report) as one of the top ten organizations for transparency in incentive disclosures. EDGE scored 85 out of 100 points – tying for fourth place with Nassau and Suffolk Counties (NY) and Franklin County (OH) for incentive program transparency (http://www.goodjobsfirst.org/sites/default/files/docs/pdf/showusthelocalsubsidies2.pdf). EDGE was recognized for its accessible disclosure of incentive information and “robust company-specific disclosure site” (database.growth-engine.org).
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) launched recruitment for its 2017 Emerging Leaders executive-level training initiative, formerly known as e200, in the Memphis area. The SBA Emerging Leaders Initiative is a federal training initiative that specifically focuses on executives of businesses poised for growth in historically challenged communities. The initiative provides these executives with the organizational framework, resource network, and motivation required to build sustainable businesses and promote the economic development within urban communities.
The University of Memphis and the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County are pleased to announce the formation of a joint venture between the Sparks Bureau of Business and Economic Research (SBBER) at the University of Memphis and EDGE to develop a data warehouse, web portal, and associated editorial content.