Corporate Avenue Building Sells for $1.2 Million

The 35,097-square-foot industrial facility at 1721 Corporate Ave. next to the Nonconnah Corporate Center has sold for $1.2 million to Mid South Tech Services LLC.

The company bought the property Oct. 26 from KSH Family LLC, which paid $1.1 million for the building from Edwards Lifesciences LLC in 2005 and whose chief manager Kerry S. Hirschman signed the warranty deed.

Built in 1981, the Class B warehouse storage facility sits on 5.45 acres along the south side of Corporate Avenue, which runs parallel and to the south of Interstate 240 between Millbranch Road and Airways Boulevard.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2012 appraisal is $1.3 million.

The building houses Focus Services, which provides a variety of services from commercial printing to distribution to promotional products.

Mid South Tech Services filed a $1.2 million deed of trust through Iberiabank in conjunction with the acquisition. Stuart W. Bassett signed the deed as member of the buying entity.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Cash Clashes With State on Charter Schools

Memphis City Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash warned countywide school board members Tuesday, Oct. 30, of what could be a second front in the clash between local school systems and Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration over charter schools.

Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman sent a letter to the school board and Cash earlier this month, saying the state wants charter school providers to be paid for new students they enroll this year instead of later.

When charter schools get the passed through state funding has long been a difference of opinion between the school system and charter operators.

Cash told school board members he doesn’t believe Huffman’s letter is an accurate interpretation of state law.

“It veers from the philosophy of the money follows the child,” Cash said, referring to the state education funding that comes through the school system to the charter operators. “It is not what state law currently says. … We have to make sure that we make a reasoned response in this matter.”

Earlier this year, Huffman, with Haslam’s backing, withheld $3 million in state funding for Metro Nashville Schools when that school board rejected a charter school application the state ordered it to accept. The Nashville school board is considering a lawsuit against the state over the issue.

– Bill Dries

Ubiquiti Gets High Marks From Leading Service Provider

Ubiquiti Networks Inc. announced Tuesday, Oct. 30, that it’s the official hardware provider for Florida-based Sling Broadband, a leading Internet service provider in more than 30 major markets nationwide.

Ubiquiti, a next-generation communications technology company, was founded by Robert Pera, a California businessman who finalized a deal in recent days to buy the Memphis Grizzlies. Pera will be introducted in Memphis at a 10 a.m. press conference Monday, Nov. 5, at FedExForum.

Sling Broadband uses Ubiquiti hardware and software to provide Internet solutions to the American Airlines Arena in Miami, and it also provides Internet infrastructure for organizations and events like the U.S. Department of Justice, NASCAR and Super Bowl XLIV. In addition, Sling is using Ubiquiti hardware and software to be the official Internet service provider for all campaign activities in Florida for President Barack Obama.

The company attributes its “99.999%” uptime guarantee and three- to five-day installation process in large part to Ubiquiti’s high-performance products. Sling CEO and co-founder Addiel Lopez said Ubiquiti has been instrumental to Sling’s rapid growth into being a nationally ranked Internet service provider.

– Andy Meek

Baker Donelson Adds Five Attorneys in Memphis

Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC has added five attorneys to its Memphis office.

They are Luke Cantrell, Kristin Clay Dunavant, William O’Connor, Sarah Pazar and Mary Wu.

Cantrell joins the firm as an associate in the advocacy department, where he assists clients in various business-related litigation matters.

Before joining Baker Donelson, Cantrell clerked at both the Shelby County Public Defender’s Office and the Homeless Experience Legal Protection (H.E.L.P.) Clinic.

He also worked as an engineer in the oil and gas industry prior to entering law school.

Dunavant, who joins Baker Donelson as an associate in the securities/corporate governance group, concentrates her practice in the areas of corporate and securities laws and mergers and acquisitions. She has experience in public and private offerings of equity and debt securities, Exchange Act compliance, New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ regulatory compliance, corporate governance, business planning and organization and representation of both public and private companies in merger and acquisition transactions.

O’Connor joins the firm also as an associate in the securities/corporate governance group.

Before joining the firm, he served as an extern for David Kennedy, chief judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court. He also worked as a systems manager and technology officer prior to entering law school.

Pazar, who joins Baker Donelson as an associate in the advocacy department, focuses on business-related litigation matters. Pazar has served as a judicial extern for Jon McCalla, chief judge of the Western District of Tennessee, and for Charmaine Claxton, magistrate judge of the Western District of Tennessee.

Wu joins Baker Donelson as an associate in the advocacy department, where she concentrates her practice on business litigation and health care litigation issues. She is a 2012 magna cum laude graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law, where she was the notes editor and managing board member of the “Alabama Law Review.”

– Andy Meek

Early Voting Coming to Close in Tennessee

Tennessee election officials are hoping to break another record when the early voting period ends on Thursday, but they acknowledge remnants of superstorm Sandy could affect voter turnout in the northeastern part of the state.

As of Tuesday, more than 1.2 million voters had cast their ballots since the start of early voting on Oct. 17 for the Nov. 6 presidential election. In November 2008, there were about 1.5 million early voters in Tennessee.

However, wintry weather spinning off the edge of Sandy caused snowfall in several East Tennessee counties on Tuesday, including up to 22 inches in the higher elevations of Sevier County and 17 inches on the mountaintops of Carter County.

Meteorologists predicted the snow would taper off early Wednesday, but low temperatures meant slow melting for that on the ground, which could cause voters to stay inside.

“Of course you can’t really predict the weather,” said state elections coordinator Mark Goins. “They’ve had some rough weather in parts of East Tennessee recently.”

Overall, Goins said, voter turnout has been strong this early voting cycle, and the state could set another record.

“It really comes down to whether East Tennessee hurts us,” he said.

Goins said the unpredictability of the weather is one reason for voters to cast their ballots early, because who knows what the weather is going to be like on Election Day next Tuesday.

The record numbers indicate more Tennesseans are taking advantage of the early voting period.

Goins said early voting is also beneficial to poll workers. For instance, he said if a voter needs to change his or her address, “we can handle it a lot better than being slammed on Election Day.”

“When these people are doing a change of address on the spot, it can create long lines,” Goins said. “So administratively, it’s a lot better to spread the voters out.”

Last year, lawmakers passed Republican-backed legislation to make changes to the early voting process.

One bill trimmed two days off of early voting in presidential primaries and the other allowed municipalities with fewer than 500,000 people to forgo early voting in uncontested elections.

“It’s common sense and good government at work,” Goins said of the bills.

– The Associated Press