Crosstown, Greensward, and U of M 

Crosstown open pushed back, money flows to Greensward project, and U of M board meets

Crosstown Concourse opening delayed
The official opening of Crosstown Concourse was pushed back three months last week to complete some construction projects in the massive building.

The original open date of May 13th was pushed back to August 19th as additional time is needed for office and retail tenants to complete individualized construction for their respective spaces.

The new open date falls in close proximity of the original opening date of the Sears, Roebuck and Co. distribution center, the building's original occupant, in August of 1927.

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University of Memphis board has first meeting
The University of Memphis (U of M) board of trustees met last week, marking the very first time that group has ever met.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam allowed six state universities to form their own boards last year. Previously, the Tennessee Board of Regents was responsible for overseeing those schools and 40 other postsecondary institutions in the state.

The U of M's board include Brad Martin, former interim president for the U of M and retired chairman and CEO of Saks incorporated, Alan Graf, executive vice president and chief financial officer for FedEx Corp., and U of M faculty member, Katherine Schaffzin.

"There are a lot of good universities around this country that would die to have this board," Haslam said at the meeting last week.

The board elected leaders, adopted bylaws, and heard proposals for an expanded nursing program and financing for a new football practice facility.

MPD surveys use of force
The Memphis Police Department (MPD) is asking the public's opinion on what is perceived as reasonable use of force when an officer encounters a resisting suspect.

MPD has partnered with an organization called Response to Resistance (RTR), which provides surveys for police departments across the nation to use as a tool for gathering community input on use of force by police.

The MPD's website shows five short reenactment videos that portray scenarios of a suspect who is being placed under a legal and lawful arrest. Each portrayal escalates in suspect resistance, and respondents are asked to rank what they feel are the appropriate and justified use-of-force tactics used by the arresting officer.

OPC readies Greensward funds

The Overton Park Conservancy (OPC) has come up with half of the funds needed for the design phase of a project that will ultimately end parking on the park's Greensward.

The OPC board voted recently to give the city $250,000 to pay for consultants to design a re-configured parking lot for the Memphis Zoo. OPC and the zoo agreed to pay the costs in a deal that would give the zoo the new parking spots and end Greensward parking. Designers with Memphis-based Powers Hill Design will begin the design phase in April.

"We are confident that the Powers Hill team will be able to deliver a solution that is practical, implementable, and sensitive to the importance of the park and the zoo to Memphians and visitors," OPC said.

Bike lanes on the way

Plans to repave 10 streets throughout Memphis could add to the number of new bike lanes here, and city officials want to hear from you.

A public meeting is planned for Monday, March 27th at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library to discuss the plans with the public.

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