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VOL. 8 | NO. 7 | Saturday, February 7, 2015

Daily Digest

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Fogelman Moves Forward with Poplar Retail Center

A company affiliated with Robert F. Fogelman II is moving forward with plans to build a new retail center on a key piece of land in the heart of East Memphis.

Crown Centre LLC has applied for a $3.2 million building permit to build the “shell” of a 29,000-square-foot, single-story retail building on the site of the old Cozymel’s Mexican Grill site at 6544 Poplar Ave., near International Paper’s campus in East Memphis.

Linkous Construction Co. Inc. is listed as the general contractor on the project.

The old Cozymel’s restaurant was razed in 2013. A 2012 plan approved by the Land Use Control Board indicated Fogelman, who is listed as manager of Crown Centre LLC, was seeking to develop a three-story mixed-use building with retail on the ground floor and office space on the upper floors, but the project is now firmly retail-oriented. The site is just east of International Paper’s expanding headquarters at Poplar and International Drive.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2014 appraisal for the property is $1.9 million. In December, Crown Centre LLC filed a $6.1 million loan on the property with Financial Federal Bank.

$2.2M Permit Filed for Downtown Reuse Project

An adaptive reuse project Downtown is moving forward.

Cendown Ltd. LP, which is redeveloping 85, 87 and 91 S. Second St. into 16 apartments and ground-floor restaurant space, has applied for a $2.2 million building permit for interior renovation work at 85 S. Second.

The application, filed with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement, lists Montgomery Martin Contractors LLC as the contractor.

In November, the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. unanimously approved Cendown’s request for a 10-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILOT, tax incentive for the redevelopment of the buildings, which are on the west side of South Second between Union and Gayoso avenues.

Cendown owns the row of five buildings between 77 S. Second and 91 S. Second, about half of which have been redeveloped, according to a Downtown Memphis Commission staff report from November. Buildings housing existing tenants, including Automatic Slim’s, D. Canale & Co. and Huey’s, are not part of the development and will remain unchanged, the report states.

Cendown received a 15-year PILOT for the buildings at 79 S. Second and 81 S. Second in 1986. That PILOT is currently in an extension period, with the buildings set to return to the tax rolls in December 2016, according to the report.

Zach Randolph Named Player of the Week

Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph has been selected as the Western Conference Player of the Week for games played from Monday, Jan. 26, through Sunday, Feb. 1. His week included a 21-point, 18-rebound effort in a Jan. 31 home win over the rival Oklahoma City Thunder.

“I’m in my prime,” Randolph said afterward. "The way I play, I keep my body staying in shape. Shoot, I can play this way a long time.”

The award is Randolph’s fourth career weekly honor after having been named Player of the Week for weeks ending on Jan. 9, 2011, Jan. 30, 2011, and April 3, 2011. With four Player of the Week Awards, Randolph surpasses Pau Gasol for the most such honors in franchise history.

Randolph (6-9, 260) led Memphis to a 4-0 week with averages of 20.5 points, 13.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 33.6 minutes, making .516 percent from the field (32-of-62 FG) and .818 from the free throw line (18-of-22 FT). Randolph ranked second in the conference in rebounds per game and was the only player in the league to average at least 20 points, 10 rebounds and three assists per game.

Southwest Airlines Adds Memphis-Dallas Flights

Southwest Airlines will offer two additional flights between Memphis International Airport and Dallas Love Field starting April 8.

The Memphis flights are part of Dallas-based Southwest’s expansion at Love Field in the wake of the expiration of the Wright amendment.

The federal legislation had permitted flights out of Love only to Texas border states and other Texas cities to protect Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport’s nonstop traffic. The amendment was revised in 2006 to loosen the restrictions on Love, and the revisions expired along with the Wright amendment in October.

Nonstop international flights are still banned at Love Field by federal law.

Shelby Farms Conservancy Goes Over Capital Goal

The Shelby Farms Park Conservancy topped its goal of raising $100,000 by the end of January, with an ending total of $115,000 raised from contributors who made their donations online and at several businesses during January. The donations ranged from $4 to $5,000 and help trigger a $1 million challenge contribution from an anonymous benefactor.

During February, the conservancy is seeking to raise another $160,000 on the way to the challenge contribution and to close out a capital campaign totaling $70 million to fund park improvements.

Those improvements include an expansion of Patriot Lake that is already underway as well as a new visitors center and other facilities.

Monogram Foods to Give $100K to Local Charities

Memphis-based Monogram Foods is marking its 10th anniversary by donating $100,000 to 10 local charities at $1,000 a year for the next decade.

The Impact 10 effort involves charities picked randomly by the company, with nominations being submitted through the effort’s website, www.impact10.com.

The campaign can also be followed on social media at @MonogramFoods or #IMPACT10.

Monogram will also perform 10 acts of kindness in the area as part of the effort.

Monogram was founded with a Memphis headquarters when its partners bought King Cotton and Circle B Brand meats in 2004 from Sara Lee Corp. Since then, the company has acquired other meat food brands and manufacturing facilities in Virginia, Texas, Iowa and Minnesota.

City Council Endorses Insure Tennessee

As Tennessee legislators continue their special session on the proposed Medicaid expansion, Memphis City Council members approved Tuesday, Feb. 4, a resolution urging the Legislature to approve Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee plan. The council resolution is a companion to a similar resolution approved by the Shelby County Commission last month.

In other action, the council approved a hotel waiver for King Signature Hotel at 1471 E. Brooks Road. The hotel has been under new ownership since December, requiring a new waiver.

The council also approved a lease agreement for land on Presidents Island between the Memphis-Shelby County Port Commission and Center Point Terminal Co. LLC, which has a tank farm nearby on Riverside Drive. The same lease was approved last month by the Shelby County Commission.

And the council approved on third and final reading an ordinance that allows the city to bill telecoms and other companies that damage sewer infrastructure when those companies access the city’s underground utilities. Under the ordinance, the city is authorized to make the repairs and then seek reimbursement.

The council again delayed action for two weeks on the two ordinances that would change regulations for taxi cabs in the city as well as the Uber and Lyft ride services. The pair of ordinances are awaiting votes on third and final reading.

Loeb Chosen as PRSA Communicator of the Year

The Memphis Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America has chosen Loeb Properties Inc. president Bob Loeb as its Communicator of the Year and will honor him at its monthly luncheon Thursday, Feb. 12, at the University Club.

Each year, the Memphis Chapter of PRSA presents the Communicator of the Year award to a member of the community who exhibits several qualities – the ability to communicate effectively to general or specific groups, public visibility as a communicator, being a respected member of the community and investing his or her time and talent communicating a specific message.

The recipient does not necessarily have to be a public relations practitioner. Loeb was chosen for his leadership in the transformation of Overton Square.

Officials at Loeb Properties say they expect the square will be visited by more than 1 million people in 2015.

CMOM Hopes to Open Carousel in 2017

The century-old Grand Carousel that was once in the old Libertyland amusement park should be refurbished, reassembled and open to the public on the front lawn of the Children’s Museum of Memphis in two years.

The city of Memphis and the museum announced an agreement Monday, Feb. 2, to uncrate the historic carousel that was taken apart in 2009 as Libertyland was being prepared for demolition.

The Children’s Museum has already raised the private funding to refurbish the carousel itself over the next two years, according to Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s administration.

The museum has another capital campaign underway to build a glass building on its Central Avenue frontage to house the carousel, also according to the administration.

Wharton's office puts the restoration work on the carousel at $1 million and the work on the glass house at $3 million.

In its statement, museum leaders said there are no specific cost estimates on either part at this point. The fundraising efforts will include naming rights on the 48 horses and two sleighs on the carousel.

By the museum's timeline, the project design should be completed by this fall. The restoration work will be done by Carousels and Carvings of Marion, Ohio, with a goal of the carousel reopening to the public in 2017.

Once the carousel is back up and running, school groups will ride for free, and low-income families will also have access to the museum free of charge through the "Yes To Every Child" program.

Weddle-West Approved as Memphis Provost

Karen Weddle-West have been approved as the new provost of the University of Memphis by Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan.

The announcement Monday, Feb. 2, follows her recommendation by University of Memphis president David Rudd.

Weddle-West became interim provost last May when Rudd left the position to assume the presidency of the city’s largest institution of higher learning.

Weddle-West previously served as dean of the graduate school and vice provost for academic affairs. Before that, she was vice provost for graduate programs starting in 2002.

Volunteers Needed for Book Distribution

Billed as the largest book distribution in Shelby County’s history, Literacy Mid-South and First Book are seeking volunteers to distribute 500,000 children’s books in the Mid-South this March.

One hundred volunteers are needed to help sort books and prepare them for distribution. Volunteers must be 18 years old, able to stand for long periods, and able to lift as much as 30 pounds.

Volunteer opportunities are available for individuals and groups March 9-13. To register, go to www.firstbook.org/get-involved/volunteer/national-book-bank-distributions/352. Or for more information, contact fbnbb@firstbook.org or 866-732-3669.

Musicians for Le Bonheur Looking for New Artists

Musicians for Le Bonheur is back for 2015 and looking for new artists to join its annual regulars.

The venture is a music project created by Angry Nerd Music dedicated to raising funds for Le Bonheur Children's Hospital. Musicians from in and around the Memphis area contribute to live shows and compilation CDs that help raise money for the hospital.

Musicians for Le Bonheur started in 2010 as a small college project featuring one CD. It’s since turned into a 40-song, two-disc compilation with live appearances on local news outlets and music venues as well as in front of the children of Le Bonheur.

Angry Nerd Music works in conjunction with The Grove Recording Studio at Hope Presbyterian Church.

For more information, contact info@angrynerdproductions.com or musiciansforlebonheur.com.

Girl Scouts Receive $10,000 for BizGirls

Girl Scouts Heart of the South has received a $10,000 grant from the Women’s Foundation of Greater Memphis. The grant will be utilized to launch a new financial literacy program called BizGirls.

The BizGirls Lounge at the Memphis Service Center will provide girls with a computer lab, research and learning materials, workshops and mentors to help them in their entrepreneurial endeavors. Girls will learn how to become financially literate by starting their own business or nonprofit in the lounge. They will look for future trends in business, identify a need for their business, create an endeavor and personalize it, and determine where innovation needs to happen.

“We are honored to be able to continue our wonderful partnership with the Women’s Foundation of Greater Memphis,” said Melanie Schild, CEO of Girl Scouts Heart of the South, in a statement. “They have been a longtime supporter of our program and mission. It is through continued partnerships like this one that we are able to ensure that all girls have the chance to better themselves.”

Eastern Heights Apts. Sells for $3.4 Million

An apartment development near Chickasaw Country Club has sold for $3.4 million.

Eastern Heights Partners, a Tennessee general partnership, bought the 130-unit Eastern Heights Apartments from Eastern Heights Apartments Ltd., according to a Jan. 23 warranty deed.

The Class D complex, built in 1946, is on the south side of Johnson Avenue west of North Holmes Street. The seller paid $2.8 million for the development in 1996.

Though the deed lists the general address of 381 Johnson Circle W., the purchase included a dozen parcels totaling more than 12 acres with addresses on Johnson Avenue; Johnson Circle North, South, East and West; and North Holmes. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2014 appraisal for the 12 parcels totals $1.8 million.

Eastern Heights Partners’ purchase was financed with a $3 million deed of trust, security agreement and assignment of rents and leases through Financial Federal Savings Bank. Robert D. Hyde signed the trust deed as president of ALCO Properties Inc., general partner of Eastern Heights Partners.

Brixmor Planning New Retail Building in Cordova

Brixmor Property Group is preparing to construct a new retail building on Germantown Parkway.

Brixmor has applied for a $600,000 building permit for a new one-story, 10,720-square-foot retail building at 2825 N. Germantown Parkway. A phone number for Orlando, Fla.-based architecture and engineering firm Cuhaci & Peterson is listed on the application.

Located across Germantown Parkway from Wolfchase Galleria, the site is currently home to a 16,746-square-foot retail center built in 1996. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2014 appraisal is $1.6 million.

Brixmor owns the nearby Commons at Wolfcreek development near Interstate 40. Academy Sports & Outdoors opened its newest Memphis-area location in a new building at 7930 Giacosa Place inside the center, the former site of a Value City Furniture store.

Nonprofit ICHF Making 26 Medical Missions in 2015

The International Children’s Heart Foundation, a Memphis-based nonprofit dedicated to caring for and curing children with congenital heart disease in developing areas across the globe, has announced its schedule of 26 medical visits across seven countries in 2015.

Upcoming medical missions for the first half of 2015 include trips to Santiago, Dominican Republic; Guayaquil, Ecuador; and Asuncion, Paraguay. These missions, which have the potential to save many lives, are made possible by the support of hundreds of clinical volunteers from across the U.S., Canada and other countries.

Last year, more than 400 volunteers participated in these trips, accounting for more than $3.2 million in in-kind medical services. ICHF is well on its way to surpassing last year’s volunteer numbers after securing 75 new medical volunteers. In addition, ICHF is currently involved in negotiations to serve several new countries in Eastern Europe and South America this year.

ICHF will also begin this year’s journey with Dr. Rodrigo Soto as the new chief executive officer of clinical operations. Previously, Soto served as a volunteer pediatric cardiac surgeon from 2002 to 2012 before transitioning to staff surgeon in early 2013.

Joerger to Co-Chair Event Benefiting Tennis Memphis

Memphis Grizzlies Head Coach Dave Joerger and his wife, Kara Joerger, will co-chair the second annual “A Serving for Tennis” event Feb. 20 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Pink Palace Museum. The event will benefit Tennis Memphis and their National Junior Tennis and Learning program.

Tickets are $100 and can be purchased at tennismemphis.org or at the following Tennis Memphis Centers: Bellevue, Eldon Roark, Leftwich or Wolbrecht. For more information, contact Tennis Memphis by phone at 901-374-0603 or by email at slang@tennismemphis.org. All proceeds benefit Tennis Memphis NJTL.

About 20 local Memphis restaurants will be serving up their signature dishes, select wines and beers. There will be live music, raffle drawings, and silent and live auctions.

For more than a decade, Tennis Memphis has impacted the lives of Memphis’ youth through its NJTL Tennis Summer Camps and year-round youth development programming at municipal tennis centers and schools in the Memphis area. NJTL was envisioned and founded by tennis icon Arthur Ashe as a way to make tennis available to underserved youth. Today, thousands of Memphis-area children who otherwise would never have set foot on a tennis court have benefited from that vision.

Forensic Center to Collect Data on Sudden Deaths

The West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center, which is managed by the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, is one of four Tennessee locations participating in the new Sudden Death in the Young Case Registry, a national data collection project to learn more about the reasons for sudden and unexplained deaths of those under the age of 20.

The Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have funded the project in 10 states or regions. The Tennessee Department of Health will oversee data collection at the four centers in the state.

After consent is obtained, data from deaths that meet specific criteria will be collected using nationwide standards of practice. This will include information from death certificates, medical records, death scene and pathology reports, as well as DNA samples that will be stored in a national biorepository. All information will be entered into a database to provide a nationwide registry of information that can be analyzed.

It is estimated that more than 260 young people die each year in Tennessee without a known cause. Conditions such as heart disease and epilepsy may contribute to these numbers.

Archer-Malmo Starts 2015 with Batch of Hires

Memphis-based advertising agency archer-malmo has added 10 new hires to its ranks.

They include Samantha Blake and Dianna Davis on the account service team; Ben Colar, Megan Schmitt and Barry Wolverton on the creative side; Jeff Janovetz, Madeline Otto and Jonah Westbrook to digital; Cheryl Mathis to accounting; and Lisa Hawkins to media.

Russ Williams, archer-malmo’s CEO, said 2014 was a banner year for growth at the company, with more than 40 hires across agency disciplines and the firm’s second spot on the Inc. 5000 ranking. The firm also was named to Ad Age’s Best Places to Work and the Agency Post’s Top Agencies for Startups.

In 2015, according to Williams, the firm will continue to focus on attracting strong marketing, creative and technology talent.

Midtown Five Guys Property Sells for $950K

The Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurant property on Union Avenue in Midtown has been sold for $950,000.

The Caruthers Group LLC sold the restaurant property at 2100 Union Ave. to a partnership including Gary E. Goodman and Sylvia Cossich Goodman of the Goodman Family Trust, Judy L. Vann of the July L. Vann Living Trust and Wayne Jon Stambler, according to Jan. 28 warranty deed.

Built in 2012, the 2,704-square-foot restaurant sits on less than half an acre on the northern side of Union near Overton Square. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2014 appraisal is $554,600.

Traffic Camera Revenue Could Fund Scholarships

Democratic state Sen. Lee Harris of Memphis has filed legislation that would use revenue from municipal red light cameras to send students to college.

Harris said the proposal filed this week will create a new scholarship opportunity for students. Under the proposal, all revenue generated by new red light camera contracts after July 1, 2015, would go to the Drive to College scholarship.

According to a report by The Commercial Appeal, red light cameras have generated $3.1 million in camera-related fines in Memphis alone, but the Arizona-based contractor earned $4.8 million.

Last month, Republican state Rep. Andy Holt of Dresden said he plans to file legislation that seeks to ban speeding and red-light cameras in Tennessee.

House Speaker: Gas Tax Increase Unlikely This Year

House Speaker Beth Harwell says that Tennessee lawmakers are unlikely to take up a gas tax increase during this year's legislative session.

Speaking to a joint conference by the National Federation of Independent Business and the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association on Tuesday, Harwell said lawmakers are interested in discussing ways to "broaden the base" of transportation funding to make up for losses from vehicles with better fuel mileage and electric cars.

But the Nashville Republican said she doesn't expect an increase to be enacted this year.

A recent report from the state comptroller's office found Tennessee's fuel taxes are insufficient to maintain existing infrastructure and meet long-term transportation needs. The state's 21.4-cents-per-gallon gas tax hasn't been raised since 1989.

Tenn. Safety Dept. Creates Chief of Staff Position

Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons has named David McGriff to the newly created position of chief of staff to the agency that oversees the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

McGriff served as an interim deputy commissioner in the department in 2011, and as a consultant on the agency's driver services centers from 2013 to 2014. The position pays $122,000 per year.

As chief of staff, McGriff will serve as Gibbons' top adviser and oversee day-to-day operations for the department.

McGriff, a former marine, began his career as a police officer in Columbia in 1969 before joining the Memphis Police Department in 1974. He later worked for the Drug Enforcement Administration and as an investigator for the Shelby County District Attorney's Office.

US Consumer Spending Slips in December

U.S. consumer spending slipped in December, as the pace of motor vehicle sales slowed and more Americans saved their money.

The Commerce Department said Monday that consumer spending fell 0.3 percent in December, compared to a 0.5 percent increase in November. Cheaper gasoline and fewer auto sales accounted for most of the decline.

Energy prices tumbled 5.2 percent in December for the sixth straight monthly decline. The falling oil and gas costs caused consumer spending – before adjusting for price changes – to record the largest monthly decrease since September 2009.

PROPERTY SALES 68 162 2,781
MORTGAGES 60 97 1,880
BUILDING PERMITS 148 769 6,470
BANKRUPTCIES 61 172 1,149