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VOL. 122 | NO. 75 | Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Daily Digest

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Memphis Pentecostal Begins Building Family Life Center

     The three-year-old Memphis Pentecostal Assembly (MPA) is moving ahead with its five-year expansion plan as it begins construction of a family life and worship center. A $1.4 million building permit application has been filed with the city-county Department of Construction Code Enforcement for the facility.
     MPA, which has about 150 members, currently meets in a 4,000-square-foot house at 8963 E. Shelby Drive, said Alvin Ray, pastor of congregational life. Ray said that building will remain.
     "It's going to be used for probably a youth building, for the youth to congregate on Friday nights and things like that," he said. "We already have in there television sets, big-screen stuff and musical stuff (and) they can work with computers right now."
     Ray said MPA bought 10 acres around its Shelby Drive property last year. The church held a groundbreaking ceremony for its family life center in August, and construction is expected to be finished in about a year. The architect is Memphis-based Self Tucker Architects Inc. and the contractor is Memphis-based Nelson Contracting, Ray said.
     He added that as part of the master plan, the church expects to build a $2.5 million assisted-living senior center within the next five years that will include 30 to 40 800-square-foot units.

Downtown Parking Authority To Consider 'Hole in Ground' Property

     The Downtown Parking Authority (DPA) appears poised to select one of four development proposals for the "hole in the ground" at the corner of Main Street and Gayoso Avenue.
     The DPA board of directors will meet Friday at 2 p.m. The plans include a combination of multi-story hotel, apartment and retail uses for the site, and all the proposals have a large amount of minority participation and an ownership interest. The discussions came about after a previous group of developers wanted to build a 28-story apartment tower and garage there but hit a financing snag.

The proposals being considered at Friday's meeting are:
· Henry Turley, Greenhat Partners and Slovis & Associates are proposing a five-story development that includes a 215-space, three-floor parking garage, 96 apartment units and 9,800 square feet of commercial space. Total project cost is $18.9 million.

· Riverside Partners LLC is proposing a 20-story development that includes a 390-space, six-floor parking garage, 202 apartment units and 14,000 square feet of commercial retail space. Total project cost is $43.1 million.

· Nelson CNC LLC is proposing a 24-story development that includes a 400-space, five-floor parking garage, a 176,631-square-foot Kimpton Hotel and 7,411 square feet of commercial space. Total project cost is $36.9 million.

· EFO Residential Partners is proposing a 26-story development that includes a 361-space, six-floor parking garage, a 138-room Aloft Hotel (a Starwood Hotel brand), 160 apartment units and 7,815 square feet of commercial space. Total project cost is $61.1 million.

Thomas & Betts Reports Q1 Earnings of $37.1 Million

     Memphis-based Thomas & Betts Corp. reported first quarter 2007 earnings of $37.1 million, which included the negative impact of $7 million of pre-tax expenses related to a legal settlement.
     A Feb. 23 10-K U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing details information about what the company calls "Kaiser litigation." The settlement stems from a July 2000 incident involving an explosion at a Kaiser Aluminum facility in Louisiana.
     The $37.1 million first quarter earnings are down from the $38.8 million that was reported in first quarter 2006.
     First quarter 2007 net sales rose 7.4 percent to $474.6 million, compared to $441.8 million in the prior-year period. Price increases to offset higher material and energy costs and volume improvements contributed to the sales increase. Foreign currency benefited sales by about $5 million in the quarter.

Wilson Air Wins Top Facility For Eighth Straight Year

     Wilson Air Center-Memphis recently was named the No. 1 Corporate Aviation Support Facility in the 2007 Aviation International News survey for the eighth consecutive year, becoming the first center in history to achieve that streak.
     "I'm extremely proud of our team and what we have accomplished," said Rob Hartwein, general manager, Wilson Air Center-Memphis, in a statement. "This exemplifies the quality of our staff who consistently strive to exceed customer expectations. We appreciate the vote of confidence from our customers and will continue to focus on service and safety excellence."
     It wasn't the only accolade for Wilson Air Center-Memphis, which is located at Memphis International Airport.
     Along with other locations in Houston and Charlotte, N.C., Wilson Air Center was named the No. 1 Corporate Aviation Support Facility Chain in Professional Pilot magazine's 2007 Preferences Regarding Aviation Services and Equipment (PRASE) survey.
     "Memphis serves as the front door to our fine city," said Dave Ivey, vice president, Wilson Air Center, in a statement. "Decision makers, business leaders, celebrities, political clientele and professional sports associates all associate our corporate aviation facility as their first and last impression of Memphis."
     Wilson Air Center-Memphis opened in late 1996. It was the first of three locations in the Wilson Air Center chain and is home of one of the world's largest aircraft canopies.

Southern Steel Supply Co. Granted Eight-Year PILOT

     Southern Steel Supply Co. was granted an eight-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) freeze last week by the Memphis and Shelby County Industrial Development Board. The steel company is planning a $3.9 million expansion of its facility at 475 N. Dunlap St. just south of North Parkway.
     The company also is under contract to purchase a 3.7-acre tract of land just south of its current facility. A 75,000-square-foot building is planned for that area, which currently is occupied by an auto salvage yard.
     Michael Wexler, chief financial officer of Southern Steel, said the expansion eventually would provide the company with manufacturing abilities.
     "Don't get me wrong, we're not melting steel and doing what steel mills do," Wexler said. "What we're talking about is first-step processing for our customers, things like cutting the length with saws, punching, shearing (and) burning with a computer-controlled plasma burning table."
     In the PILOT application, the company said the expansion would necessitate the addition of 34 jobs to the facility's existing 30. These new jobs will provide a median wage of $29,975, plus full benefits.
     "These additional capabilities will allow us to better serve our customers in the Memphis and Mid-South area," Wexler said.
     The PILOT tax benefit is expected to save the company $725,214. The expansion could break ground by the end of 2007.

Mueller Industries Announces Q1 Net Income of $18.9 Million

     Mueller Industries Inc. announced Tuesday net income in first quarter 2007 as $18.9 million, which compares with $33.4 million for the same period of 2006.
     First quarter net sales for 2007 were $609.8 million compared with $551 million in 2006. The increase in net sales primarily was attributable to acquired businesses. The change in net sales also was affected by the increased cost of copper, the company's principal raw material, which was largely passed through to customers, offset by lower unit volume.
     During first quarter 2007, the company's capital expenditures were $8.7 million.
MORTGAGES 0 79 1,199
BUILDING PERMITS 146 146 2,571