VOL. 130 | NO. 135 | Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Cummins Begins Memphis Distribution Expansion
Cummins Inc. is retooling its current distribution center in Memphis as it prepares for a planned expansion.
Dan Walker Associates Inc. has applied for a nearly $2.2 million building permit to renovate the existing Cummins distribution center at 4155 Quest Way in southeast Memphis.
The renovation of the existing distribution center comes as Cummins prepares for a $6.7 million expansion that will see the Indiana-based company take over a 400,000-square-foot building at 5800 Challenge Drive, just across the street from the existing Cummins distribution facility on Quest Way.
Cummins and the state confirmed the expansion in May.
The board of the city-county Economic Development Growth Engine in February granted Cummins a 15-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes incentive to retain 897 local jobs and create 70 new jobs. The PILOT would save the company $12.9 million while producing a local tax benefit of $59.6 million.
The company received the PILOT after saying it was exploring relocating operations across the state line to Mississippi.
Cummins – a global power company that designs, manufactures, distributes and services diesel and natural gas engines and related technologies – has multiple operations in Memphis and has been involved with the Memphis community for more than 30 years.
– Amos Maki
Cooper Wants Citizenship Restored to Run for Council
Joe Cooper is already running for Memphis City Council this year. He’s campaigning for the Super District 9 Position 2 seat on the October ballot.
But before he can file his qualifying petition, Cooper has to have his citizenship rights restored in Shelby County Circuit Court.
The rights include not only the ability to vote but also the ability to run for elected office.
Cooper is a twice-convicted felon who went through the restoration process following his conviction on federal bank fraud conspiracy in 1977 that ended his career as a Shelby County Commissioner.
But Cooper’s citizenship rights are not yet restored from his 2007 conviction on federal money laundering charges.
As Cooper seeks to have his rights restored from the six-month prison term he served on that charge, he is encountering opposition from the Tennessee Attorney General’s office.
The attorneys for the state contend Cooper’s rights shouldn’t be restored. In court filings, the state contends the U.S. Attorney’s office for the western district of Tennessee also opposes restoring the rights.
Cooper, through his attorney, is seeking an expedited hearing Wednesday, July 15, on the matter. If granted, the hearing would be held the day before the deadline for candidates to file their qualifying petition to be on the Oct. 8 Memphis election ballot.
Meanwhile, mayoral contenders Mike Williams and Harold Collins have filed and join the forming field of contenders in that race.
Collins is a Memphis City Council member and Williams is president of the Memphis Police Association.
– Bill Dries
Grizzlies to Hold Public Press Conference Tuesday
The Memphis Grizzlies will make a “major announcement” Tuesday, July 14, at a public press conference inside the Grand Lobby at FedExForum.
Last week, All-Star center Marc Gasol agreed to a five-year, $113 million contract with the Grizzlies; Gasol holds a player option after the fourth year.
The team is inviting the public to attend the press conference and outdoor Plaza Party from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (The media Q&A session of the press conference is limited to accredited media only.)
The outdoor Plaza Party will include the Grizz Girls, food trucks, inflatables, the Grizzlies mobile merch truck, live performances from Grizzline and Grizzlies swag giveaways. Free parking is available in the Toyota Parking Garage all day.
A live stream of the press conference will be available at noon on grizzlies.com. Live and exclusive coverage on grizzlies.com will begin at 11:15 a.m. hosted by Grizzlies TV play-by-play announcer Pete Pranica.
– Don Wade
West Tennessee Home Builders Association Opens New Headquarters
The West Tennessee Home Builders Association is holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new headquarters.
The organization will host the ceremony Tuesday, July 14, at 5 p.m. to dedicate the new East Memphis location at 5400 Poplar Ave.
After spending years in Cordova, the homebuilding group acquired the building for $4.4 million in August to provide a central location within the city limits for members to meet and work.
The move also provided an opportunity for the association, which celebrated its 70th anniversary last year, to raise additional income through leasing of the building’s additional office space.
The association has since made around $600,000 in repairs and renovations and only 4,300 square feet of space remains available in the 43,000-square-foot building.
The association is hosting the event in partnership with the Greater Memphis Chamber and Paragon Bank, which is the chamber’s 2015 ribbon-cutting sponsor, a WestTNHBA event sponsor and a current tenant in the building.
– Amos Maki
Rockabilly Festival Planned for Memphis
Memphis is getting a rockabilly festival.
The first Memphis International Rockabilly Festival will take place August 15-16 in the Edge District near Downtown, outside of Sun Studio at 106 Union Ave. The festival, announced by Universal Fairs and In The Wings Productions, will span two stages and two city blocks, in addition to featuring a variety of Sun Records rockabilly legends along with other artists. The lineup will be revealed Wednesday, July 15.
Other attractions will include a Classic Muscle Car Hot Rod Show, a rockabilly tattoo parlor, VIP meet-and-greets, book signings and more.
– Andy Meek
Corky’s Offering Fresh Meals at New Germantown Kroger
The new Kroger store in Germantown will offer hot dishes of Corky’s Ribs & BBQ when it opens next month.
Kroger reached an agreement with Corky’s to serve select items, including ribs, pork shoulder and chicken prepared onsite, at the new store at 7735 Farmington Blvd., which is set to open Aug. 12. Corky’s beans, potato salad, cole slaw and banana pudding also will be available.
“Memphis is famous for its BBQ and we are delighted to provide our Kroger customers with hot, freshly prepared dishes from a great locally owned brand that has won the hearts and taste buds of the people of our great city,” said Tim Brown, president of Kroger’s Delta division, in a statement.
Corky’s began serving its products inside Kroger stores around 25 years ago and the deal at the new Germantown store is an extension of that relationship, Corky’s officials said in a statement.
Corky’s operating hours at the store will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
– Amos Maki
Third Redbird Honored as PCL Player of the Week
Memphis Redbirds outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker has been named the Pacific Coast League’s Player of the Week for the July 6-12 period.
Hazelbaker batted .429 (12-for-28) with two home runs, five doubles, one triple, and a league-leading 13 RBI in seven games during the week. The slugger also paced the league in extra-base hits (8) and total bases (25) and ranked third in slugging percentage (.893) and on-base plus slugging (1.341).
Since joining Memphis on July 3 from Double-A Springfield, Hazelbaker is batting .459 (17-for-37) with three home runs and 16 RBI in 10 games. The 27-year-old opened the season with Double-A Tulsa in the Dodgers organization and hit .245 (13-for-53) with two RBI in 14 games before being released May 1.
After signing with the Cardinals May 14 and assigned to Springfield, Hazelbaker hit .308 (44-for-143) with three home runs, three triples, 13 doubles, and 20 RBI in 40 games to earn a spot on the Texas League Mid-Season All-Star team.
Hazelbaker is the third Redbird player to win a weekly award this season, joining starting pitchers Tim Cooney (May 11-17) and Tyler Lyons (June 1-7).
Hazelbaker originally was selected by the Red Sox in the June 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Ball State University.
– Don Wade