FedEx Warehouse Slated for Renovation

The FedEx Global Supply Chain Services Inc. warehouse at 5025 Tuggle Road in Oakhaven/Parkway Village will undergo a $1 million renovation, according to a building permit filed with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement. The owner of the building, The Harbin Group, filed the permit last week.

Metro Construction LLC is listed as the general contractor for the renovation. A call to the company for details on the project, including the timeline and total cost, was not immediately returned.

The 449,262-square-foot, Class A warehouse was completed in 1996. It sits on 16.49 acres where Tuggle Road meets Lamar Avenue, southeast of the Lamar and East Shelby Drive intersection.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2009 appraisal is $13.9 million.

The property formerly was part of a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes program through the city-county Industrial Development Board. In 2002, the IDB quitclaimed the property to Harbin in a termination of the PILOT lease agreement.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

The MED Mulls Employee Benefit Changes

The management team and board of directors for the Regional Medical Center at Memphis is considering employee benefit changes that could save the county-owned hospital $3.89 million a year.

The changes would trim $1.3 million in costs from the medical plan, $812,000 from paid time off expenses and $1.7 million from the retirement plan. The MED would put a cap on sick leave pay, shift to a single medical health plan carrier and reduce retirement match contributions. The changes are being discussed with employees in town hall meetings, MED officials said.

Adams & Reese Ranks High In Law Firm Diversity

Adams & Reese LLP has been ranked among the Top 200 law firms in diversity, according to the 2009 “Diversity Scorecard,” an annual ranking compiled by the Minority Law Journal.

The law firm this year was ranked 150th. Last year, Adams & Reese ranked 159th in the same list.

The Diversity Scorecard formula measures a law firm’s diversity by combining its percentage of minority lawyers with its percentage of minority partners, which is how the law journal evaluates a firm’s progress in the area of diversity.

The diversity survey was sent to the 252 largest and highest-grossing firms in the country – firms that qualify for inclusion in The Am Law 200, The NLJ 250 or both.

Indie Memphis Launches Fundraising Campaign

Any financial contribution made to Indie Memphis, the nonprofit organization that promotes independent movie making with an annual film festival, will be doubled thanks to a $20,000 challenge grant from an anonymous donor.

Anyone who donates between now and June 30 will have their money matched with the challenge grant, which was funneled to the organization through ArtsMemphis.

Indie Memphis hopes to raise a total of $80,000 by Dec. 1 to build a broad base of support for continued financial stability and long-term sustainability, said Erik Jambor, executive director of Indie Memphis.

This year’s Indie Memphis Film Festival is scheduled for Oct. 8-15.

Tenn. Receives $99 Million To Lower Home Utilities

A Tennessee program that works to help homeowners lower their utility bills is expected to receive a tenfold increase over its current budget.

The Tennessean reports the federal government will inject $99 million into the state’s Weatherization Assistance Program this summer.

The program pays contractors for improvement projects such as laying insulation and caulking windows to make homes more energy-efficient and reduce homeowners’ utility bills.

The Department of Energy estimates every $1 spent on home weatherization saves $1.83 in energy costs.

“You would be surprised at the number of homes that don’t have insulation in the floors, in the ceilings. We get in there and help them tighten the house up,” said Joe Cain, development director of Nashville’s Metropolitan Housing and Development Agency.

Funds were so tight that weatherization assistance could help only people living at or below 125 percent of poverty, about $22,000 a year for a family of three, with highest priority going to the elderly, the disabled and families with young children.

The Department of Human Services has asked the state Legislature to expand the eligibility requirements for the program to 200 percent of poverty, or a family of three living on $36,600 a year, to make weatherization assistance available to more people.

The 18 agencies that administer the program are appealing to Tennesseans to apply before the federal government takes back leftover funds in September 2010.

State Rural Opportunity Fund Receives Nat’l Award

The Tennessee Rural Opportunity Fund has been honored for its economic development achievement with the Business Retention and Expansion International’s 2009 Multi-Community Program Award for populations of more than 100,000.

The Tennessee Rural Opportunity Fund is a $10 million revolving loan fund that provides growth capital to businesses in rural Tennessee.

The statewide fund was launched in 2007 and is a public-private partnership between the state of Tennessee, the Tennessee Bankers Association member banks, and Southeast Community Capital Corp. It is expected to generate $25 million in loans, finance more than 350 small businesses and create more than 600 new jobs.

Wilkes & McHugh Launches New Web Site

Wilkes & McHugh PA, a national law firm with a Memphis office, has launched a new Web site geared toward trucking, safety and trucking-related accidents.

The site features data, commentary and information about improving road safety.

Wilkes & McHugh won three multimillion-dollar settlements in cases involving trucking accidents during the first quarter.

The firm was founded 20 years ago and focuses its practice on full-service civil litigation and personal injury cases.

The new site is

Faith-Based Forum To Focus on Economic Crisis

A forum Thursday at the Holiday Inn-University of Memphis will focus on how faith-based community groups are responding to the economic crisis and how their efforts can stabilize neighborhoods.

The goal is to give participants of the event, which lasts from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., information on things they can put into practice immediately. Speakers and presenters include Alan Mallach, non-resident senior fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based Brookings Institute, and several local ministers.