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VOL. 127 | NO. 131 | Friday, July 06, 2012

Daily Digest

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Praxair Files Permit App for Pidgeon Construction

Praxair Inc., an industrial gases company that operates an air separation complex in Frank C. Pidgeon Industrial Park, has filed a $2 million building permit application to lay a foundation at its facility, 3587 Paul. R. Lowry Road.

The application, filed with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement, lists W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Co. as the general contractor.

Praxair opened the Pidgeon park facility in June 2008.

In March 2011, Danbury, Conn.-based Praxair announced plans for doubling the capacity of the complex to produce oxygen and nitrogen supplies for Nucor Corp. and Valero Energy Corp. The expansion, Praxair said, would add 400 tons per day of liquid production capacity.

The Memphis-Shelby County Industrial Development Board in July 2011 approved a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes application for the project. The decision, which came at the IDB’s final meeting before the board became part of the Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE), granted Praxair an 11-year PILOT toward the $46.4 million project, which created 25 jobs.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

FedEx Completes Purchase of Brazil Transport Company

FedEx Corp. said Wednesday, July 4, that it completed the purchase of Brazilian transport and logistics company Rapidao Cometa as part of its plan to expand in Latin America and the Caribbean region.

Financial terms were undisclosed. FedEx announced the deal in May. It said it has worked with Rapidao Cometa for 11 years.

FedEx says the acquisition will allow it to strengthen its network in Brazil. Rapidao Cometa is based in Recife, Brazil. It has 45 branches, 145 distribution points, a fleet of 770 vehicles and trailers and 9,000 staffers in Brazil. It took in more than $500 million in revenue in 2011.

– The Associated Press

Council Approves Overton Square Land Acquisition

The Memphis City Council has approved the resolution key to the construction of an Overton Square parking garage and a new Hattiloo Theater on what is now an open parking lot for the Midtown entertainment district.

The city will acquire and lease the land to Loeb Properties through several limited liability corporations.

Meanwhile, two ballot questions for the Nov. 6 elections were advanced Tuesday, July 3, by the council. A proposed 1-cent gas tax city charter amendment was approved on the first of three readings.

And a proposed half-percent local option sales tax hike charter amendment was approved on the second reading.

A third ballot question won’t be going to the November ballot. Council member Kemp Conrad amended his call for a vote on a charter amendment to require the city go to a six-year consolidated budget process. The city will move to the process by agreement of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s administration without a referendum vote.

In other action, the council started the count for buildings with barriers on streets and/or sidewalks. The ordinance that provides for $200 a day fines for every day after 14 days that the owners of a building have such barriers up takes effect with the approval of the minutes including that item at Tuesday’s meeting. The item was approved last month on final reading.

It applies to buildings with no construction or renovation under way.

– Bill Dries

Chamber Receives Award for Communications

The Greater Memphis Chamber was recently awarded the American Chamber of Commerce Executives’ Award for Communications Excellence (ACE).

The annual competition, now in its 28th year, recognizes excellence in all areas of communications, and continues to be a vehicle for the chamber community to promote effective chamber communications. This year’s competition drew 83 entries from chambers across the nation.

In addition, The Greater Memphis Chamber’s website, www.memphischamber.com, and Memphis Crossroads Magazine’s 2011 Young Memphis issue received a Silver Award for work that surpassed the fundamental standards and criteria of communications excellence.

The Greater Memphis Chamber is a private, nonprofit, membership-driven organization comprised of 2,300 business enterprises, civic organizations, educational institutions and individuals.

Established in 1914, the American Chamber of Commerce Executives serves the professional development needs of individuals managing chambers of commerce throughout the United States and Canada, representing more than 7,000 chamber professionals.

– Aisling Maki

Haslam Honors Local Orgs in Environmental Stewardship

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has recognized two winners in Shelby County for his Environmental Stewardship Awards.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis won the Excellence in Building Green category, chosen for its Sustainable Building Program. During 2011, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis was the top builder of single-family, EcoBUILD-certified homes in Shelby County.

All Memphis Habitat for Humanity homes are built to this standard, and they are 33 percent more energy efficient, use 30 percent less lumber and generate 75 percent less construction waste than traditional homes. Homes also incorporate sustainable features such as Energy Star windows, appliances, lighting and ceiling fans; low-flow toilets, faucets and showerheads; recycled drywall and carpet; brick and cement-fiber board siding; OSB sheathing and house wrap; radiant roof decking; and low-VOC paints and coatings.

Habitat homes are sold at no profit, with zero-interest mortgages to qualified homebuyers who earn at or below 80 percent of the area median income. Projects through the Memphis Habitat infused nearly $3 million into the local economy during 2011, providing 60 steady construction jobs while making affordable home ownership possible for 44 low-income families.

Also receiving an Environmental Stewardship Award was the University of Memphis’ Tigers Initiative for Gardening in Urban Settings for the Excellence in Environmental Education and Outreach category.

The TIGUrS program serves as a model to students, staff, faculty and the community for demonstrating responsible, affordable environmental stewardship through urban agriculture methods. The program is the first and only student-grant funded program of its kind offered at no cost and without restriction by a state university in Tennessee.

– Sarah Baker

Walgreens to Buy Arkansas-Based USA Drug

Walgreens says it’s acquiring Arkansas-based drug store chain USA Drug from Stephen L. LaFrance Holdings.

USA Drug is the same company that in 2010 sold Memphis Ike’s and Super D stores to Walgreens, which subsequently closed 17 of the stores, then bought and kept open the two remaining Ike’s at Union Avenue in Midtown and Park Avenue in East Memphis.

Walgreens says it will spend roughly $438 million to purchase USA Drug, which started with a single store opened in Pine Bluff, Ark., in 1968. The chain now has 144 stores in seven states.

Walgreens says revenue from its stores that have been open at least a year sank 10 percent last month, and that the company is also suffering from its split with pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts.

Walgreens says USA Drug locations will continue to operate under their current brand names after the transaction closes. After that, the company will decide how to integrate USA Drug stores into Walgreens.

– Aisling Maki

Memphis-Based XMC Adds Chief Financial Officer

Memphis-based XMC Inc. has added a new chief financial officer, David Weant, to its executive team.

Weant has 20 years of financial experience and will work out of XMC’s corporate office in Bartlett. Before joining XMC, Weant was vice president of The Evans Cos. and served as the CFO of Oak Hall in Memphis.

The Tupelo, Miss., native earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Mississippi State University, where he majored in accounting. Weant has served as the president of the Bubba Conlee National Jr. Golf Tournament, on the board of directors for the Ridgeway Country Club and a co-chair of a committee with the FedEx St. Jude Golf Tournament.

– Andy Meek

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 43 12,074
MORTGAGES 0 78 15,834
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 39 39 3,168
BUILDING PERMITS 292 292 29,124
BANKRUPTCIES 3 100 11,771
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 18 4,292
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 190 17,922
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 43 3,711

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