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VOL. 8 | NO. 29 | Saturday, July 11, 2015

Daily Digest

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Monogram Buys $100 Million Frozen-Appetizers Maker

Memphis’ reigning meat maker is moving forward with a huge acquisition that will boost revenue by 25 percent, employment by more than 30 percent and add frozen appetizers to its product portfolio.

Monogram Foods was the successful bidder for Plover, Wisc.-based Golden County Foods. The transaction is expected to close in mid-July.

Golden County filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May, according to media reports, and Monogram surfaced as a potential buyer shortly after.

Golden County counts annual revenue of $100 million, employs 550 people and operates two production facilities, according to a statement from Monogram announcing the acquisition. Once the deal closes, Monogram Foods will employ more than 2,300 people with annual revenue of more than $500 million.

“This acquisition helps to strengthen our position and commitment to the frozen foods category,” Monogram’s chairman and CEO Karl Schledwitz said in the statement. “The acceptance of our bid marks another important milestone in the growth of Monogram Foods and our commitment to not only save but also to create jobs in the markets in which we operate.”

Monogram Foods is a manufacturer and marketer of beef jerky, corn dogs, pre-cooked bacon and other meat products. It owns manufacturing plants in six states, all of which have been acquired over the past nine years. The company was founded in 2004 with the purchase of King Cotton and Circle B brand meats from Sara Lee Corp.

– Daily News staff

Portion of Farms at Bailey Station Sells

Retirement Cos. of America LLC has taken a new step in its plan to bring a retirement development called The Farms at Bailey Station to South Houston Levee Road in Collierville.

The company transferred 2.9 acres of property in the Ballard Property Outline Planned Development from one entity, PSALMS Inc., to another, Luke Inc., for $1.5 million, according to a June 30 special warranty deed.

Memphis-based Retirement Cos. of America owns 36 acres in the area and plans to develop a sprawling community that includes garden homes and luxury apartments for seniors. RCA, which has been working on the retirement community for more than 10 years, built the 2,800-square-foot model center located at 10013 Grand Central Circle East in 2012.

The Farms at Bailey Station will have multiple components, including a 259-unit apartment building, room for 63 single-family homes, a 60,000-square-foot commons area (within the apartment building) and a medical clinic.

The commons area will feature a food court, theater, performing arts center, library, health club and pool, bank, beauty shops, gift shop and financial center.

The retirement community will sit on the east side of South Houston Levee Road, north of the Life Time Fitness Inc. health club. Luke Inc. also owns 10 acres south of the development where the company plans to build a medical complex with a nursing home, assisted-living facility, Alzheimer’s center, medical office building and physical/occupational rehab area.

The Farms at Bailey Station is a sister community to Kirby Pines Retirement Community, which is owned by PSALMS Inc. Both properties are managed by RCA.

Luke Inc. filed three loans at the time of the June 30 transfer, including an $8.1 million loan through Iberiabank, a $3.5 million loan through PSALMS Inc. to finance 9.3 acres of the development, and a $1.5 million loan through Retirement Cos. of America. All three are due June 30, 2018.

– Chandler Reports & Daily News Online

GTx Names New Medical Director

Dr. Diane C. Young is the new vice president, chief medical officer, of GTx Inc.

The Memphis-based biopharmaceutical company announced Young’s appointment Wednesday, July 8.

Young is an oncologist with 25 years of clinical development experience in the industry, most recently at Novartis, where she spent 12 years in global and regional leadership roles in oncology clinical development and medical affairs. She also spent a decade at Johnson and Johnson, serving as vice president of global development at R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute.

In her new role, Young will help oversee the clinical development of GTx’s product candidates, including its selective androgen receptor modulator, enobosarm.

Her appointment is effective July 13. She will report to CEO Marc Hanover.

– Bill Dries

Calvary Mission Raises Money for New Shelter

The Calvary Rescue Mission, a shelter for the homeless for almost 50 years, is launching a appeal to raise $2.9 million to build a new shelter on its current site, 960 S. Third St.

The mission already has raised 60 percent of the amount, according to Steve Gibbs, a consultant for the effort.

Plans for the new mission north of Gaston Park include classrooms, rehab counseling on site, job training and mental health assessments. The new center will also meet American with Disabilities Act standards and feature dormitories, a kitchen, and showers and restrooms.

The current building is a church that Holiday Inn sold to the ministry for $1. The mission moved in April of 1972 after having several other locations in the city, including its original location at 863 Jackson Ave.

The mission was founded by Milton Hatcher, a Memphis barber, in 1967 and is operated with private donations. Hatcher pressed a used hearse into service to pick up those who wanted to go to the shelter.

– Bill Dries

18th Annual Corporate Knowledge Bowl Scheduled

This competition for the title of "Smartest Company in Memphis" at the 18th annual Corporate Knowledge Bowl will be held in a few months at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar Ave.

Preliminary rounds take place Sept. 28 through Oct. 1, with finals on Oct. 2. Companies may register their teams now and until Wednesday, Sept. 9.

In addition to the title and trophy for “Smartest Company in Memphis,” representatives will compete for “Most Creative Team Name,” “Most Team Spirit,” and “Biggest Fans.” Last year’s Corporate Knowledge Bowl winner was St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

– Andy Meek

New Restaurant to Open at Carriage Crossing This Fall

A casual American restaurant brand is opening its first Tennessee location at Collierville’s Carriage Crossing this fall.

Hickory Tavern currently operates 20 restaurants in North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama. In addition to traditional American fare, it offers a full bar, 40 wine selections and 100 beer selections. It also shows a variety of sporting events.

“With the exciting things that are happening in Carriage Crossing we felt that it represented a golden opportunity for us,” said Brad Smith, founder and CEO of Hickory Tavern.

Hickory Tavern’s Collierville location also will feature an indoor and outdoor patio with flat screen televisions.

– Daily News staff

Christ Community Health Gets $1.8 Million in Federal Funds

Christ Community Health Services in Memphis has won nearly $1.8 million in federal funds to help train more primary care doctors, with the goal of increasing access to health care services in the Memphis area.

This funding comes through the Health Resource and Services Administration’s $230 million nationwide Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education program, which was created as part of the Affordable Care Act.

To help achieve the program’s goal of increasing the number of primary care residents and improving access to health care services for the economic and medically vulnerable, the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education initiative provides help and funding for medical education expenses for training residents in new or expanding community-based primary care residency programs.

Seventy-five percent of Teaching Health Centers are in underserved communities.

– Andy Meek

University of Memphis Athletics Communications Staff Honored

The University of Memphis athletics communications staff received 12 national awards for its publications and posters for the 2014-15 academic year. That led the nation as the College Sports Information Directors of America announced its final results for its annual publications contests.

Also recently, the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators recognized the Memphis marketing staff with two awards – a silver award in video board segment and a bronze award in radio commercial spots.

In the final standings for CoSIDA publications awards, Kansas and Oklahoma tied for second in total number of national honors, each earning eight.

Among Memphis’ 12 awards were six “Best Cover” designs for publications. Designed by assistant athletics communications director Brandon Kolditz, Memphis’ baseball, women’s basketball, cross country, rifle and men’s soccer guides were all singled out as having the nation’s best cover design in respective categories. Memphis’ Olympic sport game-day programs also were recognized as having the “Best Cover” design in the Single Sport Program category.

In addition to earning “Best Cover” recognition, Memphis’ 2014 Men’s Soccer Guide was distinguished as the “Best in Nation.” Five other publications were recognized with second-place recognition in a variety of categories.

– Don Wade

Belz Sells Office Building for $4 Million

Belz Enterprises and a partner have sold a Memphis office building to Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare for $4 million.

Belz Investco GP and Bico Associates GP were listed as the sellers in the transaction, which included two parcels.

The property’s address in a June 30 warranty deed is 5865 Shelby Oaks Circle. The Shelby County Assessor of Property lists an address of 5865 Summer Trees Circle that is owned by Bico Associates in care of Belz Enterprises.

The 64,294-square-foot, Class B office building was built in 1988. The assessor’s 2014 appraisal is $2 million. The building is located inside Belz’s Shelby Oaks corporate park near Interstate 40 and Sycamore View.

– Amos Maki

Le Bonheur Awarded $1.2 Million Federal Grant

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded a $1.2 million grant to Le Bonheur Community Health and Well-Being in Memphis.

The grant will help fund Le Bonheur’s “Be Proud! Be Responsible! Memphis!” program, a collaboration between community centers, schools and churches working to reduce and prevent teen pregnancy.

Le Bonheur’s partnerships with organizations like the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have helped it build a reputation for teaching and discovery in Memphis and Shelby County.

– Andy Meek

Shelby County Commission Approves Stable Tax Rate

Shelby County Commissioners approved a stable $4.37 county property tax rate Monday, July 6, on third and final reading and wrapped up other loose ends from its budget season.

That included passage of $1.3 million in grant spending to be divided equally among the 13 commissioners at $100,000 each.

The grant spending could be used for nonprofit organizations or for road repairs most likely in the form of a grant to the city of Memphis or other municipal governments if the repairs are within their respective city limits.

Several commissioners already have indicated they plan to use their share of the funding for road repairs.

The full commission would vote on the specific use of the funding proposed by each commissioner and some commissioners could combine their shares for larger projects.

The proposal by commissioner Reginald Milton passed on a 10-3 vote with commissioners David Reaves, Mark Billingsley and Heidi Shafer voting no.

All three indicated they would have preferred to use $1.6 million to instead take a penny off the property tax rate, but lost the vote on that.

– Bill Dries

Collierville Self-Storage Facility Sells for $3.7 Million

The Simply Self Storage located at 651 South Rowlett Street in Collierville has sold for $3.7 million.

SSSP South Rowlett Collierville LLC, a Delaware limited liability company based out of Los Angeles, purchased the property on June 29.

SSTN 651 South Rowlett Street was the prior owner of the property, which it bought in October 2014 for $3.9 million.

The 10-building facility sits on four acres at the southeast corner of South Rowlett Street and Cowan Road.

The 2015 tax appraisal value of the property is $2.2 million, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property.

A $3.5 million loan was issued at the time of sale by Barclays Bank PLC, a public company registered in England and Wales. The five-year loan matures on July 6, 2020.

– Wendy Greenlaw, Chandler Reports

Dogwood Trace Apartments Sell for $1.2 Million

The Dogwood Trace Apartments, located at 4635 Forest Oak Way in Parkway Village, have sold for $1.2 million.

Saddle Vineyards LP, a Tennessee limited partnership, purchased the complex July 1 from Dogwood Trace LLC, according to a special warranty deed filed July 2. Dogwood Trace LLC paid $3.4 million when it purchased the complex in February 2007.

The property sits on 9.5 acres between Knight and South Perkins roads just north of Winchester Road. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2015 appraisal is $1.5 million. A $2.5 million loan was filed with First National Bank of Eastern Arkansas at the time of sale. The five-year loan matures on July 1, 2020.

– Wendy Greenlaw, Chandler Reports

Lifeblood Receives Grant for New Bloodmobile

Lifeblood has been awarded a $250,000 grant through The Plough Foundation for the purchase of a new bloodmobile.

The organization, Memphis’ only local, nonprofit volunteer blood center, collected more than 42,000 units of blood in 2014, with 60 percent of collections coming through mobile blood drives.

“We are grateful that The Plough Foundation recognizes the critical importance of a safe and stable local blood supply,” said Jennifer Balink, vice president of donor relations for Lifeblood. “As a community, Memphis has more patients who need blood than local donors providing it on a regular basis, so reaching more donors in the Memphis area is critically important for treating trauma victims, premature babies, cancer, and sickle cell disease.”

Lifeblood, which annually supplies more than 100,000 units of blood and blood components to area hospitals for local patient transfusions, anticipates delivery of the new, custom-built bloodmobile in early 2016.

– Daily News staff

Council Approves Pinch Building Permit Moratorium

Memphis City Council members approved a 120-day moratorium Tuesday, July 7, on new building permits in the Pinch District as they also approved a planned development Downtown.

The moratorium proposed by councilman Berlin Boyd allows the council to grant waivers on a case-by-case basis during the four-month period. During that time, the Memphis-Shelby County Office of Planning and Development will come up with suggested guidelines for future development of the district bordering The Pyramid.

Boyd proposed the moratorium after he said unnamed “stakeholders” in his council district appealed for some sort of better planning in the Pinch.

The concern came as several development proposals – including a gas station and an extended-stay hotel – surfaced after Bass Pro Shops at The Pyramid opened in late April. The moratorium would not apply to those projects and others already in the pipeline of seeking approval.

The mixed-use planned development by Pinch Partners LLC is on the southeast corner of Jackson Avenue and North Main Street, within sight of Bass Pro Shops.

The parcel comprises several lots, including the Balinese Ballroom banquet hall, a duplex and Ferraro’s Pizzeria & Pub. The two surface parking lots also include a billboard that would be moved to a corner of one lot to make the redevelopment possible.

“If not for this planned development, nothing could happen on this property,” said Brenda Solomito-Basar, Pinch Partners’ representative.

– Bill Dries

Social Security Office Building Sells for $1.5 Million

The office building occupied by the Social Security Administration at 3461 U.S. 61 S. in Westwood sold for $1.5 million, according to a special warranty deed filed July 6.

Rainier GSAP I-Memphis, LLC, a Dallas-based limited liability company, purchased the 11,000-square-foot building from Justin Barton.

The building, built in 2005, sits on 1.5 acres just south of East Mitchell Road.

The United States of America has leased the building since April 2005 and recently renewed the lease agreement through April 2019. The annual lease amount is $223,000, according to the U.S. General Services Administration’s lease inventory.

Justin Barton had owned the property since December 2004, when he purchased three vacant parcels of land for $1.9 million.

Wells Fargo Bank Northwest N.A. secured a $1.5 million loan at the time of sale for Rainier GSA Portfolio I, LLC. The 21-year loan matures on June 15, 2036.

The property is valued at $1.1 million, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property.

– Wendy Greenlaw, Chandler Reports

US Postal Service Previews ‘Elvis Forever’ Stamp, Album

The U.S. Postal Service is giving Elvis fans a preview of what they can look – and listen – for when the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s Forever stamp comes out next month.

The Postal Service on Thursday, July 2, previewed the Music Icons: Elvis Presley Commemorative Forever stamp and also announced a CD titled “Elvis Forever” that will be available starting Aug. 12.

That’s the same day Priscilla Presley and Postmaster General Megan Brennan will dedicate the stamp at a Graceland ceremony coinciding with Elvis Week.

The 18-song “Elvis Forever” album, which will retail for $9.99, includes a new performance of “If I Can Dream” that was selected from an Elvis Presley album debuting this fall.

The new Forever stamp features a 1955 black-and-white photograph of Presley taken by William Speer. In the bottom left corner, between the words “Forever” and “USA,” is a small gold crown – a nod to Presley’s nickname. His signature, in gold ink, also is featured along the right side of the stamp.

The Postal Service previously honored Presley on a stamp in 1993. The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum calls that stamp the most popular U.S. commemorative stamp of all time.

– Daily News staff

Orpheum to ‘Roast’ Halloran to Benefit Namesake Center

The Orpheum Theatre plans to recognize longtime president and CEO Pat Halloran Sept. 24 with a roast benefiting his last and largest project, the Halloran Centre for Performing Arts & Education.

Halloran is set to retire Dec. 31 after 35 years of service to The Orpheum. Tickets for the special night of anecdotes are $250 and go on sale to the public July 23.

The Pat Halloran Roast will take place in the Peabody Hotel’s Grand Ballroom and will include a sit-down dinner. Dr. Scott Morris will act as the Master of Ceremonies for the event, and six “roasters” will take turns honoring Halloran’s illustrious career with humorous stories, sarcastic reflections, and witty character descriptions. The evening’s entertainment will also include a special performance by local students, all of whom have participated or are currently taking part in The Orpheum’s education programming.

The Memphis Development Foundation, which operates The Orpheum Theatre, is quickly closing in on its $14.5 million capital campaign goal for the construction of the Halloran Centre. Scheduled to open in August, the 39,000-square-foot expansion is the largest capital project in MDF history and will allow The Orpheum to expand its education programs and community services.

– Daily News staff

Mid-South Community College, ASU Merger Official

Mid-South Community College in West Memphis is now a part of the Arkansas State University System and is now known as Arkansas State University Mid-South.

ASU System President Charles Welch said Thursday that the merger became official with approval from the Higher Learning Commission.

The merger was approved in January by the boards of both ASU and Mid-South Community College.

Officials have said ASU will benefit from Mid-South’s workforce training programs and Mid-South would benefit from Arkansas State’s support for funding workforce training programs

ASU Mid-South has about 2,000 students and the ASU System now has about 23,000 students at campuses statewide.

– The Associated Press

Dresden Site Certified as Shovel-Ready

A “pad ready” greenfields site on Swanson Drive in Dresden, Tenn., is one of three across the state named Thursday, July 9, as a Select Tennessee Certified Site” by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

The site, along with ones in Tullahoma (Middle Tennessee) and Kingsport (East Tennessee), meet a set of state standards geared toward what site consultants for companies building new facilities are looking for and consider “shovel ready,” or ready for development to begin immediately.

The three sites named Thursday join 34 other greenfield sites across Tennessee with the same designation since the program began in 2012.

“Companies interested in locating or expanding on one of these sites can feel confident that a lot of work has already been done on the front end by a group of committed leaders backed by a community that is serious about attracting new investment,” said state site development director Leanne Cox.

State officials have partnered with Austin Consulting to administer the program.

– Bill Dries

After 52 Years, SRVS Closes Workshop

After 52 years, a Memphis nonprofit that offers residential, educational and employment services to those with disabilities has closed its sheltered occupational workshop at 3592 Knight Arnold Road.

SRVS Industries closed the facility June 26.

The closing marks a transition for the organization to community-based integrated employment for those it serves.

The workshop began in 1962 with outsourcing jobs that included in recent years labeling paint cans for Sherwin Williams and preparing welcome kits for FedEx.

The workshop also worked in shrink wrapping, hand assembly and packaging for companies including Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. and Medtronic.

Since 2013, 26 citizens in the program had been placed in jobs with local employers as a result of their work at SRVS Industries.

– Bill Dries

Varsity Spirit Honored With American Tradition Award

The National Federation of State High School Associations has selected Memphis-based Varsity Spirit as the 2015 recipient of the American Tradition Award.

The NFHS is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities, and presents the American Tradition Award to an individual, organization or company that has supported high school activities on a national level. Varsity Spirit executives accepted the award July 1 during the organization’s summer meeting in New Orleans.

The selective award isn’t given every year – Varsity Spirit is only the eighth recipient in 30 years, following companies such as T-Mobile, Kodak and the Walt Disney Co.

Varsity Spirit has been an NFHS partner since 2003, with both organizations collaborating closely on coaches’ education and writing safety rules and guidelines.

The partnership was founded on the common belief that cheerleading, dance team and other school spirit activities contribute in a significant way to the positive school climate in education-based sports. Varsity Spirit is dedicated to partnering with educators to promote school spirit and participation in cheerleading, dance and other activities.

Varsity Spirit and the NFHS also have been partners in efforts to minimize the risk of injury to all cheer and dance participants, and collaborate on the annual NFHS Spirit Rules Book.

– Don Wade

Grizzlies Reach 3-Year Deal With Brandan Wright

Free agent Brandan Wright has signed a three-year contract with the Memphis Grizzlies, reportedly worth $18 million.

Wright, the eighth overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft out of North Carolina, started last season with Dallas but was traded to the Boston Celtics and then the Phoenix Suns. He has also played for the Golden State Warriors and the New Jersey Nets.

Wright, a 6-foot-9 forward, has averaged 7.1 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.0 blocks over seven NBA seasons.

A deal with the Grizzlies brings Wright back to his home state; he grew up in the Nashville area and played at Brentwood Academy.

– Don Wade

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