Highwoods Buys Land for International Paper Expansion

Highwoods Realty LP has bought two parcels of East Memphis land totaling about 5.1 acres that will be used for International Paper’s headquarters expansion.

The partnership, an affiliate of Raleigh, N.C.-based Highwoods Properties Inc., paid $4.8 million for part of two parcels from Robert F. Fogelman, Trustee of the Robert F. Fogelman Revocable Trust Dated September 14, 1989.

The sale closed in a March 25 special warranty deed.

Highwoods earlier this week signed a deal in which the real estate investment trust will deliver a $56.1 million build-to-suit tower for Memphis-based International Paper next to its campus.

Highwoods will develop a 241,000-square-foot, nine-story Class A office building with structured parking. That new building will sit directly across the street from International Paper’s world headquarters and main campus, and construction is expected to start in the fourth quarter, with completion by the end of the second quarter of 2015.

The sale included two parcels. The first was part of 9.4-acre vacant property on the east side of International Place, north of Poplar. The entire parcel has a 2013 appraised value of $5.9 million, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property.

The second is a 1-acre property that houses a Trust One Bank branch built in 1997, due south of the aforementioned vacant parcel and due north of the former Cozymels Restaurant. The bank property has a 2013 appraised value is $862,000.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Agricenter Breaks Ground on Two New Projects

Bayer CropScience and Helena Chemical Co. have committed to separate investments at Agricenter International totaling nearly $20 million.

Executives from the two companies will be at the East Memphis center Monday, April 1, with Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam to break ground on the research laboratory and greenhouse facilities.

Bayer CropScience will build a $17 million greenhouse, including 40,000 square feet of greenhouse space plus open office space. All are part of Bayer’s research and development of cottonseed and cotton.

Helena Chemical has had a presence at Agricenter for 20 years. Its latest addition will be a $2.2 million new research formulation laboratory as well as some improvements to existing facilities at Agricenter.

– Bill Dries

Society of Entrepreneurs Inducts New Members

In a ceremony next month at the University of Memphis-Holiday Inn, the Society of Entrepreneurs will induct five new members.

The April 13 event will see added to the society Duncan Williams, president of investment firm Duncan-Williams Inc.; Neely Mallory Jr., chairman of logistics business The Mallory Group; David Andrews, CEO and owner of City Enterprises LLC, the parent company of several auto-related businesses; William Courtney, CEO of Classic American Hardwoods; and Dick Leike, a co-founder of Crye-Leike Realtors.

The society was founded in 1991 to foster the development of the entrepreneurial spirit locally and to recognize entrepreneurs in the community. Membership is comprised of Memphis-area business owners, presidents and other key executives, and members are chosen annually by their peers.

– Andy Meek

Visible Music College Opens Atrium Downtown

At Visible Music College next week, the Deborah Welsh Parrott Visible Community Atrium will open with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The event on April 3 will showcase the recently redesigned atrium on the ground floor of Visible’s Madison Avenue campus. It will be an outdoor area for students to meet and socialize as well as a venue for the community to enjoy.

A small stage designed for open-air concerts will be available, and the space also will be available to rent for events.

The ribbon cutting happens April 3 at 4 p.m. in the atrium at 200 Madison Ave.

– Andy Meek

Herbi-Systems Adds Irrigation Service

Herbi-Systems Inc., the largest privately owned lawn care company in the Memphis area, is adding irrigation maintenance and repair service for residential and small commercial business clients.

According to Herbi-Systems owner and president Kenny Crenshaw, the new service is something customers need for the overall health of their lawns. Herbi-Systems will use existing staff to manage the new service, which includes obtaining proper state certification each year to monitor backflow prevention, as well as repairing and replacing sprinkler heads and controllers, and installing rain and moisture sensors to conserve water for residential and commercial lawns with sprinkler systems.

Locally owned since 1984, Bartlett-based Herbi-Systems has 32 employees and serves nearly 8,000 clients in the Memphis area, representing homeowners as well as industrial, governmental and commercial industries.

– Andy Meek

Cooper-Young Auction Celebrates Arts

The Cooper-Young Community Association’s annual auction will showcase the work of local artists and benefit the Cooper-Young community.

The Art for Art’s Sake Auction, which is set for 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on April 13 at the Young Avenue Deli, will raise money to install solar panels to power the Cooper-Young Trestle Art Gateway. Already, the association has replaced the standard light bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs. Designed in 2000 by artist Jill Turman, The Cooper-Young Trestle Art Gateway welcomes visitors at the community’s entrance on Cooper Street.

“We’re proud of the community association because they are pioneers when it comes to doing things like this,” said Tamara Cook, executive director of the Cooper-Young Business Association. “The trestle art, when they put that on old ugly train trestle, that was huge news.”

An artist reception will be held at Otherland’s Coffee Bar on Thursday, March 28, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Many of the pieces of artwork that will be sold at the auction will be available for advance viewing by the public. The artists will be available to discuss their work and meet guests.

– Jennifer Johnson Backer

Easter Travelers Won’t Face Road Work

Tennessee transportation officials are shutting down highway construction for the Easter weekend.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation has told contractors and its own crews to knock off work no later than 6 p.m. Thursday, in anticipation of increased holiday travel.

Transportation Commissioner John Schroer encouraged travelers to download the department’s SmartWay Mobile App to get current traffic information as they travel. It’s available at the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store for Android devices.

Travel information is also online at www.tn.gov/tdot/tdotsmartway.

Long-term lane restrictions will remain in place and lower speed limits in construction zones still apply.

Construction will resume at 6 a.m. April 1.

– The Associated Press

Signed Contracts to Buy US Homes Dips Slightly

Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes in February, but the level stayed close to a nearly three-year high. The report suggests sales of previously occupied homes will keep rising in the coming months.

The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that its seasonally adjusted index for pending home sales dipped to 104.8 in February. That’s down from January’s reading of 105.2 – the highest since April 2010, when a homebuyer’s tax credit was boosting sales.

Signed contracts are 8.4 percent higher than a year ago. There is generally a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed sale.

In February, completed sales of previously occupied homes rose to a seasonally adjusted pace of 4.98 million, the fastest in more than three years. The gains in both signed contracts and completed sales point to a housing recovery that is strengthening, although re-sales remain below the 5.5 million that are consistent with healthy markets.

Pending home sales rose 0.4 percent in the Midwest and 0.1 percent in the West last month. They fell 2.5 percent in the Northeast and 0.3 percent in the South.

– The Associated Press