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VOL. 129 | NO. 48 | Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Daily Digest

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Global Ministries Pays $12 Million for Serenity Towers

An affiliate of Cordova-based Global Ministries Fellowship has paid $12 million for the Serenity Towers retirement center at 400 S. Highland St.

GMF-Serenity Towers LLC bought the 324,021-square-foot high-rise facility in a March 5 special warranty deed from Serenity Towers at Midtown Memphis LLC, an affiliate of Orlando, Fla.-based Elevation Financial Group.

Built in 1964, the Class C high-rise retirement center sits on 2.8 acres on the east side of Highland Street between Norriswood and Watauga avenues. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal was $3.9 million.

GMF-Serenity filed a $14.5 million deed of trust, assignment of rents and security agreement March 1 through The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Co. The property is under a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) program through the Shelby County Health, Education and Housing Facility Board, which is listed on the deed.

Richard L. Hamlet signed the trust deed as president of GMF-Serenity Towers. Hamlet is president and CEO of Global Ministries Fellowship, which supports ministry programs on five continents that build churches, educate children, combat hunger and perform other humanitarian deeds. The organization also owns affordable multifamily housing developments in the U.S.

Serenity Towers at Midtown Memphis LLC had bought the property in 2010 for $1.8 million from Seattle-based New Wesley Highland Towers Associates.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

East Memphis Lost Pizza Opens March 21

Lost Pizza Co. is opening next week inside the former Ronnie Grisanti’s location in Chickasaw Crossing.

Along with its opening March 21, the business is donating a percentage of proceeds from its grand opening week to the Junior League of Memphis, an amount that will range between $5,000 and $10,000.

Will McPherson, president of JJ Brothers LLC, bought the Memphis-area franchise rights for Lost Pizza, which will offer lunch, dinner, a full bar and a large outdoor patio, as well as a menu that includes pizza, salads, pasta, fresh vegetables and more. The dough and sauces also are made fresh daily, the meats and cheeses are all natural with no preservatives, and the restaurant’s atmosphere will surround patrons with art and music relics from the Delta.

– Andy Meek

Conduit Global Hosts Recruiting Fair March 18

Conduit Global, which announced in January that it is opening a call center in Cordova, is hosting a job recruitment fair Tuesday, March 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Memphis Cook Convention Center.

Also helping in the job fair are the Workforce Investment Network, JobLINC and BRIDGES.

Conduit plans to hire 200 call center agents initially and then begin working on the next round of hiring, with the goal being 100 additional hires.

Those who have already submitted resumes, taken assessment tests or been prescreened by phone do not have to attend the fair.

– Bill Dries

Collierville Reviews School Attendance Zones

Collierville Schools board members meet Tuesday, March 11, to discuss attendance zones for the upcoming academic year as well as an interlocal agreement among the six suburban school systems for planning services.

Most of Tuesday’s agenda is a set of 26 proposed new policies that are the basics of an infrastructure for business policies of the new district.

Those policies range from managing student activity funds to payroll procedures and salary deductions to investment earnings and line-item transfers.

– Bill Dries

Twist Hosts St. Patrick’s Event at Overton Square

Twist is hosting a St. Patrick’s Day shindig at Overton Square.

The Shamrock Mingle and Go Green Event will be held in the new Tower Courtyard at Overton Square on Sunday, March 16, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Twist, an events company designed to provide alternatives to the typical adult social scene, hosts regular outings that center around activities from salsa lessons to scavenger hunts.

For this event, Twist has teamed up with Clean Memphis and Project Green Fork to provide an afternoon of eco-friendly fun. The Shamrock Mingle will feature beer sponsored by Bar Louie, the artwork of Sir Walt of Mudworkz, live music and jewelry made of recycled materials.

Attendees can indulge in vegan-friendly food offered by Fuel Café. Prizes will be given to the winners of the best costume and best Irish jig contests.

Cost for the Shamrock Mingle is $20, or $15 with a recyclable item. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Clean Memphis. Advance tickets can be purchased at sociallytwisted.com.

– Amos Maki

Tennessee Bill Shields School Religious Displays

The state House is scheduled to take up legislation Monday evening that would protect schools from lawsuits for allowing traditional winter celebrations, or religious displays.

The Senate version of the bill was unanimously approved 30-0 last month.

The legislation says schools can display scenes or symbols associated with such celebrations on school property, if the display includes more than one religion, or one religion and at least one secular scene or symbol. Messages that encourage adherence to a particular religious belief are prohibited.

The proposal also allows students and school staff to offer traditional greetings regarding the celebrations, such as "Merry Christmas," ''Happy Hanukkah" and "Happy holidays."

Sponsors say some groups have threatened to sue over such displays and greetings, and the legislation would protect schools.

– The Associated Press

American Airlines, JetBlue Ending Agreement

American Airlines and JetBlue Airways Corp. are ending an agreement that allowed travelers to add connections to their itinerary on each other's aircraft.

The termination of the interline sales agreement is effective Monday.

The companies also said that they are ending a reciprocal frequent flyer program accrual agreement. Travelers won't earn miles or points when traveling on eligible routes run by the other airline beginning April 1.

All American AAdvantage miles or JetBlue TrueBlue points already accrued through the partnership will be credited to customers' accounts and are not affected.

Last month Delta announced changes to its frequent flier program. Starting next year, Delta customers will earn miles based on how much they spend, not just miles flown.

American Airlines Group Inc. is the holding company for American Airlines and US Airways.

– The Associated Press

Arkansas Lands $165 Million Poultry Operation

Alabama-based Peco Foods announced plans Monday for a new poultry plant, hatchery and feed mill in northeast Arkansas, a $165 million operation expected to create 1,000 jobs in two rural counties.

"We are extremely pleased to formally announce this new project today," said Mark Hickman, president and chief executive officer of Peco Foods. "Arkansas is an excellent place to do business, and we look forward to providing new jobs and an economic boost to Randolph and Clay counties."

Based in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Peco Foods is the eighth-largest poultry producer in the country. The company processes about 24 million pounds of poultry each week and specializes in boneless breast products for grocers and food-service markets.

Peco Foods will receive more than $4.5 million in state and local incentives, with additional tax breaks planned, according to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.

The company plans two phases of construction: groundbreaking for the feed mill site in Corning is set for next month, while initial work on the hatchery and processing plant site near Pocahontas is set for July. The company now has operations in Alabama and Mississippi, along with a processing plant in Batesville and a feed mill in Newark.

"As we have experienced firsthand with our complex in Batesville, this state is home to an outstanding workforce that shares the goals and values of our company," Hickman said.

Peco Foods acquired the former Townsends Poultry Complex in Batesville in 2011.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 50 389 12,758
MORTGAGES 21 248 8,003
BUILDING PERMITS 295 813 29,934
BANKRUPTCIES 35 164 6,064