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VOL. 125 | NO. 198 | Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Daily Digest

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U of M Files $3.7M Permit to Renovate Robison

The University of Memphis has filed a $3.7 million building permit application to renovate Robison Hall, a former men’s dormitory, to house the School of Public Health. The dormitory was built in 1964, is about 40,000 square feet and has not been used as a dorm for at least 10 years, said Curt Guenther, the U of M’s director of communication services. The School of Public Health is about a year old and does not currently have its own building.

Guenther said plans are for the building to be ready for use by fall 2011.

The Tennessee Board of Regents is in charge of the bids process, which has not begun for an architect and contractor. Likewise, a construction start date is still unknown, Guenther said.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Kate Simone

One Commerce Investors Ask CCRFC for 20-Year PILOT

The Memphis investors who are buying One Commerce Square and, with the help of an incentive package from governmental agencies worth several million dollars, bringing Pinnacle Airlines Corp. to the tower, want to extend a tax freeze they’ve been awarded for the project.

The investors will ask the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. on Tuesday to extend the 15-year tax freeze that’s been awarded up to 20 years.

The CCRFC meets at 9 a.m. in the Center City Commission Office, 114 N. Main St.

Karl Schledwitz, one of the investors behind the deal, has written a letter to CCRFC chairman Lucy Shaw explaining the reasons why.

To secure an intent from Pinnacle to negotiate a long-term lease at One Commerce, Schledwitz said the investors had to make “substantial and significant modifications” to their plans.

“In aggregate, these concessions exceed $2,500,000 over the life of the lease,” Schledwitz wrote.

He said the concessions include reducing the rent by 50 cents per foot on a 150,000-square-foot lease. That amounted to $975,000 over 13 years.

Schledwitz said the investors also had to remove two floors – 30,000 square feet – for two years from Pinnacle Airlines’ requirement. That resulted in a $400,000 loss of income.

And he said the tenant improvement allowance has been increased by $4 per square foot, resulting in an additional $600,000 of up-front costs. The investors also are providing 10,000 square feet for storage and common space to Pinnacle for no additional charge.

– Andy Meek

Civil Rights Museum to Be Renovated

An updated National Civil Rights Museum will include a redesigned auditorium, a new floor plan, more interactive technology and a mezzanine overlooking the lobby.

Those are among the changes to be previewed Tuesday evening at the museum at 6 p.m.

The public meeting caps a year of planning and designing for the first renovation of the 19-year-old museum built on the site of the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

Howard+Revis Design Services of Washington is the designer. Self Tucker Architects Inc. of Memphis is the architect.

The plans will also include an education center and more use of videos to explain the history of Memphis as well as the civil rights movement.

– Bill Dries

CCIM Panel Discussion Planned for Tuesday

The Memphis Metro Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) Chapter plans to hold a panel discussion on new directions in commercial real estate Tuesday.

The panel is composed of professors from the department of finance, insurance and real estate of the University of Memphis, including Ronald W. Spahr, Grant I. Thrall, Mark Sunderman and Richard D. Evans.

Memphis Metro CCIM will learn how the U of M commercial real estate program’s new direction will influence the manner in which business is conducted in the Memphis market.

The meeting is at noon at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis, 3700 Central Ave.

The next CCIM meeting will be a joint meeting with the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) on Nov. 17 at Memphis Country Club with keynote speaker Bill Logue, president of FedEx Freight.

– Sarah Baker

Digital Bookmobile to Visit Memphis

The Digital Bookmobile National Tour will make a stop in Memphis Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar Ave.

The Bookmobile will showcase the free e-Audiobook download service available from the Memphis Public Library & Information Center’s website.

Readers can learn how to download digital books from the library through demonstrations and instructional videos.

The Digital Bookmobile is housed in an 18-wheel, 74-foot tractor-trailer.

For more information, visit www.memphislibrary.org.

– Taylor Shoptaw

Kallen Esperian Performs at Calvary

Kallen Esperian, a soprano who has sung at every major opera house in the world, will perform at noon Wednesday at Calvary Episcopal Church.

She is one of several artists featured during the 2010 Calvary & the Arts Season.

The 45-minute, noon-hour concerts are followed by a $7 lunch at the Downtown church.

The concerts, which are held in memory of Dottie Jones, are sponsored by John Paul Jones, The Tudor Group of Geenwich, Conn., The Daily News Publishing Co. Inc. and Calvary Episcopal Church. Additional support is provided by Resource Entertainment Group.

– Tom Wilemon

Ronald McDonald House Asks for Pop Tabs

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis is encouraging families, school groups, churches, social groups and other organizations to collect soft drink and other can tabs for its second annual Pop-Tab-Palooza.

Tabs can be collected from soda and beer cans, canned fruits and vegetables, and soup and pet food cans.

Pop tabs can be delivered to Schnucks, 799 Truse Parkway, Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Schnucks employees will host a barbecue cookout for visitors.

The Ronald McDonald House sells the tabs to local recycling plants. The price of aluminum averages 33 cents per pound. All money raised will go directly into the yearly operating budget of the Ronald McDonald House.

For more information, call Keaton Williams at 312-7479 or visit www.rmhmemphis.org.

– Taylor Shoptaw

UTMG Presents Health Seminar

UT Medical Group Inc. will present a free seminar on diabetes and heart disease.

Dr. Ahmed Al-Absi, a nephrologist, will be the featured speaker at the event, which is set for 6:30 p.m., Nov. 11, at Methodist South Hospital, 1300 Wesley Drive.

More than 10 percent of Shelby County adults have diabetes, which increases the risk of chronic kidney disease and kidney failure.

To reserve a seat for the event, call 866-8095.

– Tom Wilemon

Wal-Mart Ends Profit Sharing

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the nation’s largest private employer, plans to end automatic profit-sharing contributions for its employees in a revamp of its benefits package that it says will give workers more chance to share in its financial success.

The Arkansas-based discounter will replace profit-sharing starting in February with retirement plan contributions of up to 6 percent of pay — as long as workers sign up and contribute an equal amount, Wal-Mart said in a memo it provided The Associated Press.

The payments added up to 4 percent to the compensation of employees who’d worked more than 13 months for the world’s largest retailer.

Wal-Mart also is setting aside up to $1,000 for each employee’s health care account to cover eligible medical expenses before employees have to pay any deductible coinsurance.

– The Associated Press

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PROPERTY SALES 82 82 19,655
MORTGAGES 75 75 22,989
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 7 7 8,311
BUILDING PERMITS 138 138 40,167
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UTILITY CONNECTIONS 52 52 13,048
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