Weekly Update

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This was an impressive week for some of our most exciting projects in Memphis. Governor Bill Lee announced his budget priorities on Tuesday. He has allocated $20 million to our Memphis Harbor Docks project that will fund two dock expansions—Beale Street Landing and Greenbelt Park; $10 million to the National Civil Rights Museum; $2.5 million to the new Leftwich Tennis Center; and $2.5 million to the new Brooks Museum.


Thank you to the Governor and his team for always keeping Memphis top-of-mind.


This funding must now be approved by the state legislature. Once that happens, it will go a long way towards helping us to complete these projects.


Let’s talk paving: When we came to the mayor’s office in 2016, our focus was to dramatically improve the core, basic functions of city government. One of those was paving.


I think we can all agree it doesn’t get more basic than paving our city streets.


It’s not sexy and you’re not going to see it on the news each day or read about it in the newspaper, but as I am out and about in the community, it is one of the most frequent requests I often hear.


Below is a chart that demonstrates our administration’s commitment to this core function, and we’re committed to doing even more before I leave office.


paving graph


Project roundup: Last week, we reached a significant milestone on the 227,000-sq. ft. Memphis Sports & Events Center in Liberty Park: The “Topping Out” Ceremony.




A tradition in the construction industry, this celebration honors the moment when the last beam—which we ceremoniously signed together—is placed atop a structure during its buildout. This November, the state-of-the-art facility will draw families and visitors from around the country to compete in one of the most unique and newest youth sports facilities in the nation. Keep following the progress over in Liberty Park.


Additionally, the new Leftwich Tennis Center construction is well underway, and slated for completion early next year. The new Leftwich Tennis Center will be the largest tennis facility within hundreds of miles, with 24 outdoor and 12 indoor courts — replacing the current facility of eight outdoor and four indoor courts.



The new Leftwich will be well positioned to host United States Tennis Association regional and national tournaments, bringing visitors to Memphis year-round. It will also be a competitive host site for national, regional, and conference-level collegiate tournaments hosted by the U of M.


Slated for a grand opening very soon, the new Ed Rice Community Center will be the crown jewel for the Frayser community. This is the first project for City of Memphis to be designed to meet LEED Silver accreditation. The new Ed Rice will be over 27,000 sq. ft. and include: a basketball court with stage for community activities; an updated pool house (locker rooms and storage area) with heated showers; three community meeting areas, including a larger room that can be split into smaller rooms; an art studio; a workout room; a fitness studio with mats; a computer Lab; and a game room.


ed rice


All that to say, the City of Memphis and particularly residents of the Frayser community will have a state-of-the-art facility that will raise the bar for all city-owned assets.


A changing of the guard: Few people in the history of the world have had the distinction of changing it. Our city has been lucky enough to have one such individual among us and to call Memphis his home.


Fred Smith by far has had the largest and most positive impact on Memphis than any other person in our City’s history. He revolutionized a worldwide industry by creating 30,000 jobs in our community and generously supporting the University of Memphis, as well as, almost every community asset we have.


Thousands of families in Memphis have achieved the American Dream because of Mr. Smith.


As the mayor and a person who loves this city, I am so thankful for the remarkable contributions Fred Smith has given to the world, and especially Memphis. I wish him well as he moves into the next phase of his life.


Western Conference Playoffs: I have to say going in as the number two seed in the Western Conference Playoffs feels pretty good. Congrats to the players, coaches and back office staff.


Now, keep the momentum going!


Be sure to watch the game tonight, and GO GRIZZ!!



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