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VOL. 129 | NO. 234 | Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Daily Digest

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Highland Row Developer Acquires 13 Acres

Indianapolis-based developer Milhaus Ventures has acquired several vacant parcels for the long-awaited Highland Row project near the University of Memphis for $4.3 million.

Milhaus, operating as Highland Row LLC, acquired the properties at 443 S. Highland St. and 366, 374 and 380 Ellsworth St. from Worthington Hyde Partners, operating as Highland Row Land Partners LLC, according to a Nov. 26 warranty deed.

The addresses listed on the warranty deed did not match addresses on the Shelby County Assessor of Property site. The tax parcel numbers listed on the deed returned addresses of 0 Ellsworth and 0 S. Highland. The 0 S. Highland address contains 10 acres and the assessor’s 2014 appraisal is $2.4 million. The assessor’s 2014 appraisal of the 0 Ellsworth address is $210,300.

The mixed-use Highland Row development will include 354 apartments, 35 townhomes, a parking garage and 26,000 square feet of retail space. Memphis-based Poag Shopping Centers, then operating as Poag & McEwen Lifestyle Centers, originally planned to develop Highland Row, but those plans were shelved following the recession.

Worthington Hyde acquired the four addresses listed on the warranty deed, a total of 13 acres, from Poag & McEwen Lifestyle Centers in 2011 for $2.6 million.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports
– Amos Maki

Commerce Center Auction Doesn’t Attract Buyer

An auction of the former FedEx and Holiday Inn headquarters failed to produce a buyer.

The Commerce Center complex on Lamar Avenue is back up for sale after not receiving a minimum bid of $2.5 million for the 313,843-square-foot, three-building campus on 33 acres. Sperry Van Ness’ SVN Auction Service had put the property on the auction block for the owner, which had been seeking $7.5 million for the property.

The facility was constructed and occupied by Holiday Inn and subsequently FedEx, which utilized the campus for its global operation command and control center. FedEx reportedly spent in excess of $7 million on improvements from 1995 to 2004, when it left for the company’s new headquarters.

Malmo Memphis Real Estate is currently representing the owner.

– Amos Maki

Lauten Resigns as Fincher Aide

The communications director for U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher resigned Monday, Dec. 1, following controversy over a Facebook post criticizing President Barack Obama’s daughters.

Elizabeth Lauten, who worked in Fincher’s Washington office, criticized Sasha and Malia Obama for their appearance at the president’s annual turkey pardoning, urging them to “show more class.”

Lauten later apologized, and Monday morning told NBC News she would resign from Fincher’s staff effective immediately.

Fincher, a Republican from Frog Jump, Tenn., represents the 8th Congressional District, which includes rural West Tennessee as well as parts of East Memphis and East Shelby County.

– Bill Dries

Former St. Jude CEO to Receive Claes Nobel Award

Dr. William E. Evans, former president and CEO of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, will receive a 2014 Claes Nobel World Betterment Award on Saturday, Dec. 6, in Atlanta.

Claes Nobel, senior member of the Nobel family and founder of the National Society of High School Scholars Foundation, will present the 2014 Claes Nobel World Betterment Award to Evans, as well as to Laura Turner Seydel, chairperson of Captain Planet Foundation, and Arne Duncan, former CEO of Chicago Public Schools and current U.S. Secretary of Education.

The award was established in 2013 to honor outstanding role models for today’s millennials, recognizing individuals who are making exceptional contributions to the promotion of global unity and cultural understanding in their own particular area of influence. Through the award, the NSHSS Foundation seeks to inspire leadership and value for humankind among diverse young people around the world.

Evans retired as president and CEO of St. Jude in July and returned full time to his laboratory to continue research on the pharmacogenomics of anticancer agents with an emphasis on childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

– Don Wade

MassMutual Sponsors New JA BizTown Shop

Junior Achievement of Memphis and the Mid-South Inc. has announced MassMutual Life Insurance Co. as its newest shop sponsor for JA BizTown.

JA BizTown is a fully interactive simulated town facility in which students work together and put to the test lessons they learned over a four-week period using a curriculum provided by Junior Achievement. Students hold town meetings, write and execute business plans, deposit paychecks and even open their own savings account, which they may spend at shops within the model city.

The MassMutual Shop focuses on education related to financial services, including life insurance, retirement plans, supplemental insurance and other financial offerings.

MassMutual’s commitment brings JA BizTown to a total of 17 shop sponsors, including AutoZone, Baptist Memorial Health Care, Chick-fil-A, City of Memphis, The Daily News Publishing Co., FedEx, First Tennessee, iHeartMedia, International Paper, MassMutual, Memphis Grizzlies, Orgill, Power & Tel, ServiceMaster, Smith & Nephew, SunTrust and Target.

– Don Wade

Elvis Costello to Play Minglewood in March

Later this week, tickets go on sale for an Elvis Costello performance in Memphis at Minglewood.

He’s playing the Midtown venue March 10, and tickets go on sale Friday, Dec. 5.

Costello has announced 13 new North American tour dates that will take him through the Midwest and Southern U.S., kicking off March 1 in Boulder, Colo. The Courier-Journal in Louisville has described Costello’s solo tours as giving him the "opportunity to dig deep into one of modern music's deepest and most intensely satisfying catalogs."

– Andy Meek

Shelby County Sees Drop in Unemployment Rate

The unemployment rate in Shelby County dropped in October but remains above the state average.

The preliminary unemployment rate for Shelby County in October was 7.9 percent, down from 9.8 percent in October of 2013 and 8.3 percent in September, according to the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Tennessee’s unemployment rate for October was 7.1 percent, two-tenths of one percentage point lower than the 7.3 September revised rate. The U.S. preliminary rate for October was 5.8 percent, down from 5.9 percent in September.

The overall unemployment rate for the Memphis region in October was 7.5 percent, down from 9.2 percent a year ago and 7.9 percent in September.

The Fayette County unemployment rate was 7.8 percent, down from 9.7 percent a year ago and 8.1 percent in September. The unemployment rate for the Tipton County portion of the region was 7.8 percent in October, down from 8.9 percent a year ago and 7.7 percent in September.

The unemployment rate for the Arkansas portion of the region was 8.6 percent in October, down from 9.6 percent a year ago and 9.8 percent in September. The unemployment rate for the Mississippi portion of the regions was 5.8 percent in October, down from 7.1 percent a year ago and 6 percent in September.

Knox County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate in October at 5.1 percent, down from 5.4 percent in September. Davidson County was 5.2 percent in October, down from 5.5 percent in September. The Hamilton County October rate was 6.2 percent, down from 6.6 percent in September.

– Amos Maki

VHA Southeast Reaches Agreement With CPS

VHA Southeast Inc., a regional healthcare network based in Tampa, Fla., has entered into a three-year preferred provider agreement with Memphis-based Comprehensive Pharmacy Services.

The preferred provider agreement provides VHA Southeast members access to CPS' suite of services, including inpatient and outpatient pharmacy management solutions, consulting services, 340B software and remote order entry services.

"We are honored to have this relationship with VHA Southeast Inc.," said Don Nickleson, CEO of Comprehensive Pharmacy Services, in a statement. "We are looking forward to demonstrating the role pharmacy services can and should play in helping hospitals achieve the clinical, quality, safety and cost performance metrics that drive improved outcomes and reimbursement."

– Don Wade

PROPERTY SALES 56 94 12,852
MORTGAGES 23 50 8,053
BUILDING PERMITS 285 422 30,356
BANKRUPTCIES 23 67 6,131