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VOL. 126 | NO. 232 | Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Daily Digest

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Memphis in May Buys 56 S. Front for HQ

Memphis in May International Festival Inc. has bought a 14,600-square-foot building at 56 S. Front St. for $250,000, with plans to move its headquarters to the site. It’s the third planned use for the site, which formerly was slated to be converted into a hotel and, later, into apartments.

The organization filed a $1 million construction loan through First Tennessee Bank at the time of purchase.

The seller, Joe Sinkovich, sold the site under the name The Bull, Bear & Banker LLC. Sinkovich worked with Memphis in May International Festival Inc. to sell the property at below-market price, according to a statement from the organization.

The building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is on the east side of Front Street north of Union Avenue.

The nonprofit’s current offices are in a leased suite in the 88 Union Center building at 88 Union Ave., less than a block southeast of the new building. It hopes to occupy the new building by next summer, according to MIM’s statement.

The Bull, Bear & Banker LLC bought 56, 60 and 62 S. Front in two transactions in early 2008 for $950,000. At that time, plans were to convert the three addresses into The Grade Hotel, named for the cotton grading that once occurred in the building, according to the Center City Commission’s website at the time of the 2008 sale. The plans also included a restaurant, coffee shop and bookstore.

By December 2009, Sinkovich’s plan had changed to convert the building into 23 apartments and 12,000 square feet of street-level commercial space, according to plans he filed with the CCC. Those plans included a 5,000-square-foot pizza restaurant.

The building, which was built in 1875, has three stories and a basement. It has been vacant for more than a decade but formerly housed Prince Mongo’s Planet, which later changed its name to Saint Mongo’s Atonement Center. Mongo, whose real name is Robert Hodges, painted the building bright pink.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property, which quotes the building at 15,000 square feet, appraised the property in 2011 at $442,800.

The design is being managed by Architecture Inc., and the project is being led by firm principal Joseph P. Hagen, according to the statement from MIM. Construction will be handled by Grinder, Taber & Grinder.

The sale was handled by Jeb Fields of Commercial Advisors, according to MIM.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

DeWalt Joins Delta Board

Former McAfee Inc. CEO David G. DeWalt has joined the board of directors of Delta Air Lines Inc.

DeWalt’s position on the board of the airline, which is headquartered in Atlanta and has a Memphis hub, begins immediately.

DeWalt was CEO of the security technology company from April 2007 to February 2011, when McAfee was bought by Intel Corp. He currently is chairman of the board of Polycom Inc. and on the board of Jive Software. DeWalt also was appointed by President Barack Obama to the National Security and Technology Advisory Council.

– Bill Dries

New CVB iPhone App Offers Memphis Attractions Guide

The Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau recently announced the release of a new iPhone application dubbed Memphis Travel. It provides users with access to information on Memphis attractions.

The app features a location-based system that guides users to virtually any type of venue of interest. It also offers insider articles and guides to help users choose which locations to visit.

The Memphis Travel app is free and can be downloaded in the iTunes Store. An Android version is expected soon.

– John Lintner

City Auto Raises $35K for Susan G. Komen

City Auto launched a campaign titled Cars2Cure to raise money for the Memphis-MidSouth affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure in October and raised $35,000 for breast cancer awareness and research.

A donation was made to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure for every vehicle bought at City Auto in October.

City Auto contributed $25 per unit sold in the month of October and also received donations from employees, contractors and vendors. While the fundraiser officially concluded at the end of October, City Auto continued to receive donations throughout November.

Those not in need of a car but wanting to make a donation to the cause can visit HYPERLINK “http://www.cars2cure.com/” www.cars2cure.com or call Lynsey Freeman at 377-9502.

– Taylor Shoptaw

Obsidian Contests Offers Free PR for Nonprofits

Obsidian Public Relations has launched the PR 180° Project, a pro bono public relations initiative that will provide two Mid-South nonprofits with six months (about 180 days) of free PR to help the organizations achieve a 180-degree turn in publicity success. Obsidian is accepting nominations through Dec. 9 from profits in need of PR services.

Nominations must be submitted by someone in a leadership position at the nonprofit. The nomination must outline key organizational details, including mission, year founded and audiences served, and information on why the organization needs Obsidian’s PR support. Nominations should be emailed to insight@obsidianpr.com.

Obsidian will ask the public to vote on eligible nominated organizations through Obsidian’s Facebook page starting Dec. 12. Obsidian will tally the initial votes at the end of Dec. 14. The five organizations with the most votes will move on to a two-day runoff vote to determine the two winners. The final vote will be tallied Dec. 16, and winners will be announced Dec. 19.

Specific eligibility requirements are at www.obsidianpr.com.

– Aisling Maki

‘Miss Representation’ Doc to be Screened at Rhodes

Rhodes College’s Center for Outreach in the Development of the Arts will present “Miss Representation,” a documentary screening and discussion, on Tuesday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. in Blount Auditorium of Buckman Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

The 90-minute film explores how the media affects women’s and girls’ ability to see themselves – and to be seen by others in society – as leaders.

The screening will be followed by a student-led discussion about the themes in the film. Refreshments will be provided.

The event is co-sponsored by Rhodes’ department of anthropology/sociology and the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program.

For details, contact Huntley Hudgins at hudhs@rhodes.edu or 479-236-5481.

– Sarah Baker

OpenChime.com Service Comes to Memphis

OpenChime.com has brought its service connecting consumers with local service providers to Memphis.

The online service’s database has almost 2 million vendors – including thousands in Memphis – connecting consumers with everything from acting classes to zip lines.

Memphis-area vendors can register for free with the service. Once they’re in the system, OpenChime will alert them when local requests are submitted. The vendor can then connect with the consumers.

“We are proud to offer OpenChime free of charge to consumers in Memphis and give them a level of selection power and insight that has never before been available,” said OpenChime co-founder Erdem Kiciman in a statement. “Everything about OpenChime is designed to make it easy to find the services you need from trustworthy vendors in a timely manner.”

– Andy Meek

West Memphis Campus Names Bldg. for Berry

Mid-South Community College in West Memphis is naming a building for former U.S. Rep. Marion Berry.

The school said Monday, Nov. 28, it will name a new $9 million building the Marion Berry Renewable Energy Center. The building will be dedicated in the spring.

The school says Berry helped secure more than $55 million in funds for education and economic development in east Arkansas during his time in Congress.

Berry, a Democrat, is being treated for cancer and didn’t seek re-election last year. He says he’s “honored and humbled” that the building will be dedicated to him.

– The Associated Press

MORTGAGES 80 320 1,066
BUILDING PERMITS 120 590 2,248