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VOL. 127 | NO. 6 | Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Daily Digest

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Permit Application Filed for S. Main District Project

Greenbrier Partners has filed a $1.5 million building permit application with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for construction of a mixed-use building at 436 S. Front St.

The project has been in the works for more than a year. Greenbrier filed a $2.1 million loan in September 2010 to build at the site, which is at the corner of Front and East Nettleton Avenue and is part of a 10-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreement with the Memphis Center City Revenue Finance Corp.

The PILOT application agreed upon in May 2010 included demolition of a current building and construction of a three-story, 29,000-square-foot mixed-use building with 1,500 square feet of retail space, 25 apartment units and 25 underground parking spaces.

Vince Smith, chief manager of Greenbrier Partners LLC, told The Daily News in October 2010 he wanted to break ground in January 2011 but needed CCRFC “to help work with us on a few other items in order to get it done, but I think we can get there.”

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Velsicol Chemical Lays Off 35

Velsicol Chemical Corp. has laid off 35 employees at its Memphis operation, according to a notice filed by the company with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

The layoffs occurred from July 1 to Dec. 15 and the company notified the state agency Thursday, Jan. 5, according to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining report.

Velsicol Chemical LLC is headquartered in Rosemont, Ill., with a manufacturing operation in Memphis. Velsicol Chemical Corp. re-branded as Genovique Specialties Corp. and Velsicol Chemical LLC in October 2008.

The company, a subsidiary of Arsenal Capital Partners, produces hexachlorocyclopentadiene, an intermediate used in agriculture products, and chlorendic anhydride, used as a flame retardant in reactive coatings.

Products based primarily on cyclopentadiene are manufactured at Velsicol’s Memphis plant.

– Sarah Baker

Overton Park Conservancy Seeks Executive Director

With its nonprofit status official and pledged grants beginning to come in, the Overton Park Conservancy is seeking a permanent executive director.

The conservancy that operates and maintains the park under contract with the city of Memphis is forming a search committee to fill the leadership position.

George Cates, who, along with Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare CEO Gary Shorb served as co-chairman of the effort as it moved toward conservancy status, has been serving as interim executive director.

Meanwhile, a $500,000 grant from the Hyde Family Foundations is the latest contribution to the nonprofit group.

The $500,000 will be paid in three installments through 2014 and goes to the growing fund the conservancy has established for operation of the park as well as a list of $2.3 million worth of capital projects.

The Hyde Foundations were among the first donors to pledge to the effort.

The conservancy has raised $3.2 million in private donations toward its goal of a five- year, $6 million operating and capital budget.

The city is putting up $1.1 million over the next five years, as well.

The other donors include the Plough Foundation, which put up $1.5 million, as well as individual citizens, who together have pledged more than $1 million so far.

The Burch, Porter & Johnson PLLC law firm, which helped the conservancy get its nonprofit status, made a year-end cash donation of an undisclosed amount.

– Bill Dries

Leadership Acad. Secures $50K Matching Gift

The Leadership Academy surpassed its year-end Challenge Grant fundraising goal by more than $7,000. The nonprofit, which is at 22 N. Front St. Downtown, provides emerging leaders with the tools, experiences and connections they need to help make Memphis a city of choice and improve the quality of life for its residents.

A $50,000 matching gift was secured after The Leadership Academy raised $57,596 in donations during the last three weeks of 2011.

– Aisling Maki

Lifeblood Offers Tickets to Civil Rights Museum

Lifeblood is partnering with the National Civil Rights Museum to offer donors free admission to the museum in honor of the life of Martin Luther King Jr.

Lifeblood will hold a mobile blood drive from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday, Jan. 16, at the museum, 450 Mulberry St. Those who donate blood that day will be given a voucher that entitles the donor and three family members free admission to the museum through Jan. 23.

Those who donate at any of Lifeblood’s donor centers in the Memphis area from Jan. 16 to 23 will be given a voucher good from Jan. 16 to 23.

In addition, January is National Volunteer Blood Month, and Lifeblood is encouraging community members to share stories of how blood donations have touched their lives. This includes donors, recipients, their family members and friends, health care providers, medical professionals and more.

The stories can be submitted through Jan. 31 to lifestories@lifeblood.org; 529-6330; mail to Jennifer Stanley/LifeStories, c/o Lifeblood, 1040 Madison Ave, Memphis, TN 38104; or in person at any of Lifeblood’s six donor centers. Stories will be posted at www.lifeblood.org/lifestories.

– Taylor Shoptaw

In-Synk Book Club to Review 'Great by Choice'

Leadership Memphis’ In-Synk book club will meet Friday, Jan. 13, at Triumph Bank, 5699 Poplar Ave., to review the new book by Jim Collins, “Great by Choice.”

The book by Collins, who also wrote the 2001 business bestseller “Good to Great,” explores why some companies thrive in uncertain times while others don’t.

The meeting begins at 8 a.m. Cost is $20 for Leadership Memphis alumni and current class members and $25 for the public. Reservations and payments must be made at in-synkgreatbychoice.eventbrite.com.

– Andy Meek

Amazon Expanding Chattanooga Center

Amazon.com plans an expansion of its Chattanooga distribution center that will eventually add hundreds of jobs.

The manager of the center, Sanjay Shah, told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that work will start this month.

The distribution center’s operating area is currently the size of 17 football fields and will be expanded to the equivalent of about 28 football fields. The cost wasn’t disclosed.

Currently the Seattle-based company has more than 2,000 workers at its round-the-clock operation in Chattanooga.

“We’ll have 5,000 (workers) at some point this year” at Amazon’s facilities in Chattanooga and neighboring Bradley County, he said.

The company said centers that are planned in Rutherford and Wilson counties, combined with existing facilities in Wilson, Hamilton and Bradley counties, have Amazon investing more than $270 million in Tennessee.

Amazon last year agreed to start collecting Tennessee sales taxes in 2014.

With over 50,000 employees worldwide, Amazon has distribution centers in 10 states.

– The Associated Press

CVS Caremark Buys Medicare Part D Biz

Health Net Inc. said Monday it will sell its Medicare Part D stand-alone prescription drug business to CVS Caremark for $160 million.

Health Net said the business has about 400,000 members in 49 states and Washington DC, and it brings in approximately $490 million in annual revenue. The deal is scheduled to close during the second quarter, pending approval from antitrust regulators.

The Woodland Hills, Calif., managed care company will continue to provide prescription drug plans as part of its Medicare Advantage offerings.

CVS Caremark Corp., based in Woonsocket, R.I., is one of the largest pharmacy benefits managers in the U.S. It is expanding its Medicare Part D business because as the population ages, more Americans will get their prescription drug coverage from Medicare.

CVS runs more than 7,300 drugstores.

– The Associated Press

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 57 94 2,713
MORTGAGES 16 37 1,820
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 10 23 298
BUILDING PERMITS 303 621 6,322
BANKRUPTCIES 138 138 1,115
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 68 559
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0