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VOL. 130 | NO. 14 | Thursday, January 22, 2015

Daily Digest

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$42 Million Permit Sought for Target Distribution Center

A third-party vendor has applied for a $42 million building permit to build out Target’s planned Memphis online fulfillment center.

Innotrac, which will manage the Southeast Memphis facility for Target, applied for the permit through the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement.

Target will turn the 900,000-square-foot building at 5461 Davidson Road into an online fulfillment center that will employ 462 people and service the entire southeastern U.S.

In December, Target was awarded a 15-year tax break for the project, which will support the Minneapolis-based retailer’s booming online business. The incentive would save Target around $12 million over 15 years while producing a local tax benefit of $27.2 million, according to city-county Economic Development Growth Engine.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Amos Maki

Sears Crosstown Will Receive New Name

The team behind the redevelopment of the Sears Crosstown site will unveil a new name for the development during a Feb. 21 community groundbreaking ceremony.

“Until now, when Memphians have talked about the building, they’ve called it Sears Crosstown,” the development team said in a statement announcing the groundbreaking ceremony, which will be held 88 years to the day after the initial groundbreaking in 1927. “But Sears is long gone, and the surrounding neighborhood proudly claims the name Crosstown. Now it’s time for something new.”

The Crosstown development team recently secured a senior loan of $80.5 million from SunTrust Bank, bringing the total amount of investment into the project to more than $200 million.

The Crosstown team is seeking to redevelop the vacant Crosstown building into a “vertical urban village” through arts, education and health care.

General contractor Grinder, Taber & Grinder was given the greenlight to begin construction Dec. 30. The Kemmons Wilson Cos. will oversee the project. Memphis-based LRK Inc. and Dialog of Vancouver partnered on design. SunTrust Bank is the largest financing source.

Projected to open in 2017, the building will create 800 jobs and generate more than $37 million in new wages annually, according to an economic impact analysis requested by the city of Memphis.

– Amos Maki

Hospitality Company Buys 400 Union

A hospitality company has acquired a key piece of Downtown property for $440,000.

Suna Hospitality LLC purchased the office building at 400 Union Ave. Downtown from Judy Sossaman Brantley, according to a Jan. 12 warranty deed. The property, formerly home to Sullivan Branding after cs2 and Thompson & Co. merged, is strategically located on the north side of Union between South Lauderdale Street and Danny Thomas Boulevard.

The 16,525-square-foot property sits on less than an acre, and the Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2014 appraisal is $813,300. The property was listed on real estate websites as being up for auction in December.

The buyer, Suna Hospitality, lists its principal address as 4300 American Way, which is a Studio 6 Hotel. Jatin Kumar is the registered agent for Suna Hospitality and lists his mailing address as a home in Germantown. The front desk agent at the Studio 6 Hotel said she was unfamiliar with Kumar, whose local business interests have included hotels, cabs and restaurants.

The 400 Union location is the second property on that side of Union to be purchased in recent weeks by entities associated with hotels.

On Jan. 13, just one day after the 400 Union purchase, GCG Hospitality Inc. purchased the property at 310 Union, located at the northwest corner of Union and Danny Thomas, from Sandy and Sage LLC for $1.2 million, according to a warranty deed.

For more information on that transaction, see the Daily Digest in the Wednesday, Jan. 21, Daily News.

– Amos Maki

Lakeland Fires City Manager

On a 3-2 vote Tuesday, Jan. 20, the Lakeland Mayor and Board of Commissioners voted to fire city manager Chris Thomas.

The resolution and action followed a stormy working session earlier this month in which some commissioners complained that there were no standards in place to judge Thomas’ performance in the post.

Defenders of Thomas claimed the complaints were politically motivated.

Thomas was hired in December 2013 by Lakeland Mayor Wyatt Bunker following his election over incumbent Mayor Scott Carmichael.

Thomas, a former Shelby County Probate Court clerk, served on the Shelby County Commission with Bunker.

The mayor’s position in Lakeland is a part-time role, with the city manager or administrator hired on a full-time basis to run the town’s affairs day to day.

“God has closed the door for me as City manager in Lakeland,” Thomas posted on Facebook after the decision. “I can’t wait to see what great things He has in store.”

– Bill Dries

Radian Partners Announces Acquisition

Wealth management firm Radian Partners LLC has announced the acquisition of the independent investment advisory practice of Gregory Gibson of Memphis.

Gibson has joined the Memphis office of Radian Partners, merging the operations of his firm with Radian Partners in a deal for which terms were not disclosed. Gibson brings with him longstanding client relationships as well as more than $13 million in assets under management.

The latest acquisition follows Radian Partners’ purchase of a privately owned wealth management practice in Union City, Tenn., in 2013. The firm also is looking to extend its range of services and regional footprint.

– Andy Meek

City Council Delays Beale Street Vote

The Memphis City Council on Tuesday, Jan. 20, delayed a vote for two weeks on the resolution that would create a Beale Street Tourism Development Authority to oversee the future direction of the entertainment district between Second and Fourth streets.

Council member Harold Collins argued major transactions the nine-member authority board might make should be subject to council approval. Other council members cited their longstanding reservations about the long-term agreement made through the nonprofit Beale Street Development Corp. with Performa Entertainment for the revitalization and reopening of the district starting in late 1983.

In planning and development items Tuesday, the council voted down on 0-12 vote a special use permit for a used-car lot on Winchester Road east of Elvis Presley Boulevard.

The plan drew opposition from Belz Enterprises, which owns property at the busy intersection.

The decision marked the second time in three months the council has rejected plans for a used-car lot for the Elvis Presley Boulevard area.

In November, the council rejected plans by the owners of the Hot Wheels car lot to relocate from Graceland-owned property to a lot further north on the Boulevard near the $90 million, 450-room resort-hotel Elvis Presley Enterprises is building.

– Bill Dries

UTHSC Professor Honored by National Academy of Inventors

Duane Miller, professor and chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, has been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Miller will be inducted March 20 during the organization’s fourth annual conference in Pasadena.

The honor is given to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development or the welfare of society. Those elected to the rank of NAI Fellow are named inventors on U.S. patents and are nominated by their peers.

Miller, who was nominated by the UT Research Foundation, has collaborated on a number of successful research efforts since he joined the UTHSC faculty in 1992. He estimates that he and his collaborators have roughly 400 patents or patents pending for synthetic medicinal structures to attack diseases.

– Don Wade

PROPERTY SALES 128 339 21,916
MORTGAGES 76 240 16,657
BANKRUPTCIES 36 136 6,853