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VOL. 130 | NO. 13 | Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Daily Digest

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Hotel Owner Buys Union Avenue Property

A business affiliated with a local hotel operator has purchased a key piece of Downtown real estate.

GCG Hospitality Inc. has purchased the property at 310 Union Ave., located at Union and Danny Thomas Boulevard, from Sandy and Sage LLC for $1.2 million, according to a Jan. 13 warranty deed.

The buyer lists its address as 42 S. Camila St., which is currently a Quality Inn Hotel in the Memphis Medical Center area. The registered agent for the buyer is listed as Gopal Govan, according to state records. Govan, owner of the Quality Inn Hotel, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

The 14,656-square-foot building was home to a New York Suit Exchange store and sits at the entrance to the Downtown core, one block east of AutoZone Park. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2014 appraisal is $775,300.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Amos Maki

Keller Named President of Baker Donelson

Jennifer P. Keller is the new president and chief operating officer of the Baker Donelson law firm, effective April 1, the law practice announced Tuesday, Jan. 20.

Keller succeeds Jerry Stauffer in the position. Stauffer has held the position for 10 years, during which the Tennessee-based firm has grown to more than 650 attorneys in 19 offices in seven states and Washington, D.C.

Keller comes to the COO’s position from being a shareholder in the Tri-Cities office of Baker Donelson and a member of the law firm’s board of directors. She is chairwoman of the firm’s labor and employment department, an employment litigator and a graduate of the University of Tennessee School of Law.

– Bill Dries

Haslam Stumps for Insure Tennessee

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is stumping for his Insure Tennessee Medicaid expansion proposal with a stop in Frayser Wednesday, Jan. 21, ahead of the Feb. 2 special legislative session on the proposal.

Haslam will lead a discussion of the proposal Wednesday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. at Christ Community Health Services’ Frayser Health Center, 969 Frayser Blvd.

The governor is scheduled to hold a similar forum earlier in the day Wednesday at West Tennessee Healthcare Medical Group in Jackson.

– Bill Dries

St. George’s Names New Head of School

J. Ross Peters, the upper school head of the Westminster Schools in Atlanta, is the new head of school for St. George’s Independent School of Memphis, effective in July.

The board of trustees of the prekindergarten-12th grade coeducational school selected Peters to succeed William W. Taylor after a national search with help from the search firm Educators’ Collaborative.

Peters will come to St. George’s after the spring term at Westminster Schools is completed.

St. George’s, founded in 1959, has elementary school campuses in Germantown and Memphis as well as a middle and upper school in Collierville.

– Bill Dries

Century Wealth Management Shortlisted for Award

Century Wealth Management in Memphis has been shortlisted for the 2015 Family Wealth Report Awards.

The Family Wealth Report Awards showcase “best of breed” providers in the wealth management and family office industry. Century Wealth Management has been selected as a finalist in the Regional Multi-Family Office category.

The winners will be announced on March 12 at an awards gala in New York City.

– Andy Meek

Church Health Center to Hold Walk April 11

Walking as One, the Church Health Center’s annual community event celebrating wellness in action in Memphis, will be held April 11 at 9 a.m. at Church Health Center Wellness, 1115 Union Ave.

Funds raised through Walking as One go toward the organization’s Faith Community Nursing ministry. Faith Community Nurses are licensed, registered nurses who practice using nursing knowledge combined with spiritual care, and the Church Health Center serves as the headquarters for more than 15,000 nurses worldwide.

Visit WalkingAsOne.org for more information on registering a team and other ways to get involved.

– Don Wade

Elton John Foundation Awards Grant to Friends for Life

Friends For Life has received a $75,000 grant from The Elton John AIDS Foundation. The Foundation tackles the most difficult issues related to HIV and has raised more than $300 million since its inception in 1992.

The grant will allow Friends For Life to focus on a Youth Leadership Initiative to provide advocacy for issues of concern to youth, including LGBT youth, comprehensive sex education, health care coverage and access to appropriate health care.

Friends For Life is the oldest and largest HIV/AIDS service agency in the Mid-South. Its mission is to help people affected by HIV/AIDS live well. Founded in 1985, Friends For Life provides comprehensive, client-centered services, including HIV and STD testing and case management, housing, food pantry and healthy life skills support.

– Don Wade

SeaPort Airlines to Begin Memphis-Greenville Route

SeaPort Airlines plans to begin passenger service in mid-March between Greenville, Miss., and Memphis.

The airline has agreed to a lease that allows it to fly into Memphis International Airport’s main terminal.

Scott Brockman, the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority’s chief executive officer, tells the Delta Democrat-Times it will take a couple of weeks to get everything in place.

SeaPort will offer three round-trip flights between Greenville and Memphis weekdays, beginning at 6 a.m. March 16. The airline also will offer two round trips on Sundays and one on Saturdays.

SeaPort flights between March 16 and April 30 will cost $39, including fees and taxes, and must be purchased by March 31.

Subsequent fares will cost between $49 and $79 depending on how far in advance they’re purchased.

– The Associated Press

Harwell Shuffles House Committee Assignments

Two chairmen and an internal challenger have been moved out of leadership positions by Republican state House Speaker Beth Harwell.

Rep. Matthew Hill of Jonesborough was removed as chairman of the Local Government Committee and fellow Republican Rep. Judd Matheny of Tullahoma was replaced as chairman of the Government Operations Committee.

And Republican Rep. Rick Womick of Murfreesboro, who unsuccessfully challenged Harwell for the Republican nomination for speaker this session, is no longer vice chairman of the Civil Justice Committee.

Hill famously cast the deciding vote against Harwell’s signature measure to allow wine sales in grocery stores in 2013. The measure passed the following year and was approved in referendums in 78 communities in November.

Matheny in 2012 mulled a challenge to Harwell for speaker before abandoning the bid.

– The Associated Press

Homebuilder Confidence, Sales Outlook Slip in January

Homebuilders are feeling slightly less confident in their sales prospects ahead of the spring homebuying season, traditionally the peak period for home sales.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Tuesday slipped this month to 57, down one point from a revised reading of 58 in December. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good rather than poor.

Builders’ outlook for sales over the next six months and a measure of traffic by prospective buyers both declined, while a view of current sales conditions held steady.

Sales of new homes grew at a sluggish pace for much of 2014. Just 399,000 new homes were bought in the first 11 months of the year, a 0.2 percent improvement from the same period in 2013. That’s still far off from the annual rate of 700,000 seen during the 1990s.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 0 133 1,342
MORTGAGES 0 131 1,047