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VOL. 130 | NO. 26 | Monday, February 9, 2015

Daily Digest

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Developer Seeks Permit to Renovate The Horizon

The new owner of The Horizon condominium tower on Riverside Drive Downtown is moving forward with renovating the tower.

Dawn Properties Inc. has applied for a $2 million building permit to begin construction on the first three floors of the 155-unit tower.

“We’re starting to phase into the construction process,” said Walker Thrash, principal of Dawn Properties. “I’m excited and I’m ready to launch this product. We think there is strong demand Downtown.”

Over the next 30 – 60 days Thrash said the company also will unveil a new name and exterior look for the 16-story tower. Currently, five floor plans are available at The Horizon, averaging in size from 1,498 square feet to 1,590 square feet. The site also includes land for the development of 141 additional high-rise units and 54 terrace homes

Dawn Properties acquired the uncompleted tower, located adjacent to the white-hot South Main Historic Arts District neighborhood Downtown, for $13.5 million on Oct. 10.

Development of the property began in 2007 and after completing most of the first phase of the project, the original developer, the Bryan Co., defaulted on a $58.6 million loan in 2009. Since then, the tower overlooking the Mississippi River has remained vacant.

Source: Memphis Daily News Online & Chandler Reports.

– Amos Maki

Botanic Garden Names New Executive Director

Scott McCormick has been named the new executive director of the Memphis Botanic Garden Foundation.

McCormick brings extensive leadership experience in for-profit and nonprofit settings – including four years as the executive director of the Plough Foundation and more than 29 years in management in the private sector. Most recently, McCormick was with Duncan-Williams Inc. as a financial advisor.

A native Memphian, McCormick graduated from White Station High School and received his BBA in Finance from the University of Memphis.

McCormick was a member of the City Council from 2004 to 2008 and is currently a member of the Shelby County Schools board. He also serves as vice chairman for Shelby County Healthcare Corp., which operates Regional One Health.

McCormick follows Jim Duncan, who retired at the end of January.

– Don Wade

Redbirds Unveil 'Birds on the Bat' Logo

Now owned by their parent St. Louis Cardinals, the Memphis Redbirds will look the part in 2015 with a new primary logo that more closely resembles the “birds on the bat” logo worn by the major-league club.

“The new logo ties together the rich tradition of the Cardinals organization and Memphis’ role in developing the future of Cardinals baseball,” Redbirds general manager Craig Unger said.

The redesigned uniforms will make their debut in the Redbirds’ Friday, April 3, exhibition game with the Cardinals at AutoZone Park. The stadium is undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation during the off-season.

The Redbirds’ home and away jerseys this year will feature “Memphis” and the “birds on the bat” logo across the front. Matching pants with red belts, red socks and red shoes will remain a staple of the uniforms. The birds’ beaks on the uniforms are changing from red to yellow to match the color of the bat.

In addition to the jersey changes, the team will wear red caps with the white home uniforms and blue caps with the gray road uniforms. The Redbirds also will have an alternate red-and-blue batting practice cap. All three hats will feature an updated “M” logo centered on the front.

– Don Wade

St. Jude Scientist Honored for Immunology Work

The American Association of Immunologists has named Dr. Thirumala-Devi Kanneganti of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital the recipient of the 2015 AAI-BD Biosciences Investigator Award.

The award recognizes an early career scientist for outstanding research contributions to the field of immunology.

Kanneganti is internationally known for research that has advanced understanding of the innate immune system. In his nomination letter, Nobel Laureate Dr. Peter Doherty, a St. Jude Immunology Department member, called Kanneganti an extraordinary research investigator and praised her for having a broad view of biology and an understanding of the significance of scientific research.

Kanneganti joined St. Jude in 2007 and is now a member of the Department of Immunology.

– Andy Meek

Smith Enters Race for Council District 7

Thurston Smith, a manager at the Memphis Veterans Affairs Center, announced Thursday, Feb. 5, that he will be running for the District 7 Memphis City Council seat in the October city elections.

Smith told supporters at a gathering on Mud Island after setting the stage for the bid over several months with an exploratory campaign.

Smith is seeking the seat currently held by businessman Berlin Boyd.

Boyd was appointed to the seat following the resignation of Lee Harris, who left the council following his election last year to the state Senate.

Boyd is also running for a full four-year term for the District 7 seat in October.

Candidates can begin pulling qualifying petitions in April.

– Bill Dries

Tigers Promote Three Assistant Football Coaches

University of Memphis football coach Justin Fuente has promoted assistant coaches Galen Scott, Darrell Dickey and Brad Cornelsen.

Scott has been named the Tigers’ defensive coordinator and will continue to coach the team’s linebackers. Dickey has been elevated to assistant head coach. He will continue to serve as co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach. Cornelsen will assume the role of co-offensive coordinator while continuing to coach Memphis’ quarterbacks.

All three played a role in the Tigers winning the American Athletic Conference championship last season, the team’s first league title since 1971, along with winning a record 10 games and capping the year with a 55-48, double-overtime win over BYU in the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl.

Scott, who enters his sixth season at the University of Memphis, was a member of a defensive coaching staff in 2014. The defense was ranked 11th nationally in scoring defense.

– Don Wade

County Pension Fund Remains Above $1.1 Billion

The value of the pension fund that pays benefits to Shelby County retirees remained above $1.1 billion in December, new figures show.

The fund’s value was almost flat between November and December (it slipped from $1.12 billion to $1.10 billion), and December marked the 22nd straight month its value has topped $1 billion.

As of Dec. 31, the largest percentage asset allocation in the plan consisted of U.S. stocks. The domestic equity component of the county’s portfolio is up 5.6 percent year to date.

– Andy Meek

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 51 328 20,960
MORTGAGES 58 387 24,132
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 6 54 3,101
BUILDING PERMITS 170 842 43,435
BANKRUPTCIES 50 288 13,468
BUSINESS LICENSES 34 90 6,712
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 16 110 7,899
MARRIAGE LICENSES 32 91 4,734