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Memphis Fast Forward

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There is a big and very ambitious initiative in Memphis to raise the city to another level in competing with other cities for recruiting talent and growing the local economy. People say this effort is different than all the others that have preceded it. In the end, if it is successful, it is for the betterment of al those who life in the Memphis area.

Challenges for Memphis are:

a) the racial division and strife

b) poor public school education (as a whole)

c) crime

d) urban sprawl

e) lack of good public transportation

f) lack of greenspace

g) general public apathy in supporting things the city already has as the sense of Memphis identity is diluted by flight to the suburbs

There are positive signs

a) A potential aerotropolis (centered around FedEx and other distribution centers in the area)

b) Initiative to clean up the area around the Memphis airport and Brooks Road

c) Continued developments in downtown like Beale Street Landing and One Beale

d) Development of the area around Graceland to make it a tourist attraction

e) New ideas for improvements and enhancements to Shelby Farms

f) Proposed Memphis Greenline ()

g) The ability to attract a major sports team like the Grizzles (though it is questionable if Memphis will support the team long term)

h) The initiative to improve the area around The University of Memphis in the Highland area around the campus

Chamber event focuses on Memphis' future

http://memphis.bizjournals.com/memphis/sto...tml?jst=b_ln_hl

Chamber luncheon features big serving of ideas

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2007/...creative-force/

Memphis Regional Chamber leader pumped up about city's business future

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2007/...ader-pumped-up/

Memphis must certainly compete if it wants to remain relevant in the economy of the future. For Example, in the 80s and early 90s, Memphis was probably the most prominent city in TN. It was certainly the largest and most cosmopolitan. But Nashville has done a better job than Memphis since and has grown to be the largest metropolitan area in the state. Nashville is more likely to be able to recruit and retain talent of the future and at this point is generally regarded by most of that creative class as the better option. The city also is more economically wealthy and has the advantage of being the state capitol. Nashville surpassed Memphis in the mid 90s as the most cosmopolitan city in TN that would attract more people to want to live and work in the metro area. If Memphis does not change, it will fall further behind. Memphis has an ambitious plan as laid out in the articles but it has to if it is to be able to compete with cities like Nashville, Charlotte, Birmingham, and even Dallas and Atlanta. But is it reasonable to expect 49,395 jobs in 5 years?

I hope any discussion can be constructive that only leads to the betterment of the Memphis metro area.

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I am dismayed that the Memphis Chamber of Commerce and city leaders have again taken the bait of Richard Florida & Co. Florida is touting his "creative class" consulting to any city or organization who will buy it, no matter how large or small. His sole purpose is to make large sums of money for his services and he has succeeded brillantly in that regard. He is also the author of books, and gives speeches such as the one the Memphis Chamber paid for all over the US. Don't think for a minute he has any special soft spot for Memphis....all he really cares about his making money off of Memphis. Any ideas how much the Chamber paid Dr. Florida in total?

Nashville has surpassed Memphis in practically every possible area and trend is going to continue. Take a look at Nashville today...the place is booming with new construction, cranes all over downtown skyline, high-rise office bldgs, hotels and condos are sprouting up everywhere. And this does not even include the fast-growing suburbs of Nashville like Franklin, Cool Springs, Murfreesboro, Lebanon and Clarksville. With competition like this, it is impossible to expect nearly 50,000 new jobs in the next 5 years in Memphis.

The challenges for Memphis are formidable. Many HR Directors have told me that they are having an increasingly difficult time recruiting people to Memphis. This is not because of the jobs...it's just that people don't want to live in Memphis because they have seen the statistics about crime, schools, corruption. Where do we start is the question.

Chamber of Commerce officials would be wise to stop spending large sums of money on outside consultants such as Richard Florida and on throwing "feel-good" rallies like the one held recently. Someone at the Chamber and among corporate leaders in Memphis has been drinking Florida's kool-aid!

There is a big and very ambitious initiative in Memphis to raise the city to another level in competing with other cities for recruiting talent and growing the local economy. People say this effort is different than all the others that have preceded it. In the end, if it is successful, it is for the betterment of al those who life in the Memphis area.

Challenges for Memphis are:

a) the racial division and strife

b) poor public school education (as a whole)

c) crime

d) urban sprawl

e) lack of good public transportation

f) lack of greenspace

g) general public apathy in supporting things the city already has as the sense of Memphis identity is diluted by flight to the suburbs

There are positive signs

a) A potential aerotropolis (centered around FedEx and other distribution centers in the area)

b) Initiative to clean up the area around the Memphis airport and Brooks Road

c) Continued developments in downtown like Beale Street Landing and One Beale

d) Development of the area around Graceland to make it a tourist attraction

e) New ideas for improvements and enhancements to Shelby Farms

f) Proposed Memphis Greenline ()

g) The ability to attract a major sports team like the Grizzles (though it is questionable if Memphis will support the team long term)

h) The initiative to improve the area around The University of Memphis in the Highland area around the campus

Chamber event focuses on Memphis' future

http://memphis.bizjournals.com/memphis/sto...tml?jst=b_ln_hl

Chamber luncheon features big serving of ideas

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2007/...creative-force/

Memphis Regional Chamber leader pumped up about city's business future

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2007/...ader-pumped-up/

Memphis must certainly compete if it wants to remain relevant in the economy of the future. For Example, in the 80s and early 90s, Memphis was probably the most prominent city in TN. It was certainly the largest and most cosmopolitan. But Nashville has done a better job than Memphis since and has grown to be the largest metropolitan area in the state. Nashville is more likely to be able to recruit and retain talent of the future and at this point is generally regarded by most of that creative class as the better option. The city also is more economically wealthy and has the advantage of being the state capitol. Nashville surpassed Memphis in the mid 90s as the most cosmopolitan city in TN that would attract more people to want to live and work in the metro area. If Memphis does not change, it will fall further behind. Memphis has an ambitious plan as laid out in the articles but it has to if it is to be able to compete with cities like Nashville, Charlotte, Birmingham, and even Dallas and Atlanta. But is it reasonable to expect 49,395 jobs in 5 years?

I hope any discussion can be constructive that only leads to the betterment of the Memphis metro area.

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