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VOL. 8 | NO. 12 | Saturday, March 14, 2015

Daily Digest

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Preserve at Forest Creek Sells for $51.3 Million

The Preserve at Forest Creek Apart- ments in Southeast Memphis has been sold for $51.3 million.

Forest Creek Apartment Associate LLC and Forest Creek Land Associates LLC, affiliates of Carter Hastin Real Estate Services Inc., sold the 414-unit apartment complex at 9230 Thornbury Boulevard to BRE Piper MF Forest Creek TN LLC, an affiliate of Chicago-based LivCor LLC, ac- cording to a Feb. 27 special warranty deed.

The purchase was financed with a $44.2 million loan filed with Wells Fargo Bank NA, according to a multifamily deed of trust. The purchase price breaks down to $123,913 per unit.

The Shelby County Assessor of Proper- ty’s 2014 appraisal for the apartment com- munity located just off Forest Hill Irene Road near Tenn. 385 is $43.5 million.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Amos Maki

Sun Sets on Memphis in May’s Annual Symphony

Sunset Symphony will take its final bow this year.

Memphis in May International Fes- tival announced Monday that the 2015 AutoZone Sunset Symphony would be the last, ending a 39-year run.

The event, scheduled for May 23 in Downtown Memphis’ Tom Lee Park, will feature special guests and an expanded fireworks show as part of its grand finale celebration.

Memphis in May will announce next year plans for a new Memorial Day week- end event set to take Sunset Symphony’s place.

Sunset Symphony will begin this year at 6 p.m. with an air show by the Com- memorative Air Force. The Memphis Sym- phony Orchestra – led by music director Mei-Ann Chen – will perform along with opera star and Memphian Kallen Esperian and local soloist Richard Todd Payne, who will reprise “Ol’ Man River.”

MSO president and CEO Roland Valliere said the organization “deeply ap- preciates” its partnership with Memphis inMay.

“We look forward to a spectacular grand finale with many special elements that will take place during this May’s culminating performance,” Valliere said in a statement.

Memphis in May CEO Jim Holt said the decision to launch new event program- ming in 2016 was made by the board of directors after studying event trends and program popularity.

“While we’re sad to close the chapter on the Sunset Symphony as we know it, we’re excited about the spectacular and fitting grand finale program that’s in place for 2015, and we’re very excited to create future event opportunities in its place for our community,” he said in a statement. “Our goal is to broaden community en- gagement and participation with our new event.”

Sunset Symphony tickets are $10 and will go on sale through Ticketmaster Thursday, March 12.

– Jane A. Donahoe

East Memphis Chick-Fil-A Getting $501,000 Remodel

A Chick-Fil-A restaurant in East Memphis is getting a makeover.

The fast food chain has applied to the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for a $501,000 building permit for “interior renovation.”

Louise Craver is listed as the architect and Stuart Anderson is listed as the engineer.

The Chick-Fil-A is located on the north side of Poplar between Briarcrest Avenue and W. Massey Road.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Amos Maki

EFCO Corp. Leases West Memphis Industrial Space

A large supplier of shoring for the concrete construction industry is opening a manufacturing facility in West Memphis, Ark., snatching up the last vacant industrial space in the city just across the Mississippi River.

Des Moines, Iowa-based EFCO Corp. announced Thursday, March 5, that it will open a re-fabrication manufacturing facility in what is known as the old Superior Building at the end of South Avalon.

EFCO, a leading provider of engineered formwork and shoring to the concrete construction industry, will use the new facility to service the south central region of the U.S.

West Memphis officials said EFCO’s arrival builds on the community’s $150 million in business and industrial expansion and relocations in 2014 and drops the vacancy rate for industrial space there to 0.

Ward Wimbish, economic development director for West Memphis, said in a statement that EFCO’s operation would help raise the city’s profile as a distribution hub.

– Amos Maki

Shaffer Joins District 5 Memphis City Council Race

Local labor leader Paul Shaffer has joined the field of declared candidates for the District 5 seat on the Memphis City Council.

Shafer, leader of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 474, said in a written statement Thursday, March 5, that he intends to run for the council seat on the October ballot.

Shaffer is running on the belief that city government favors business interests too much.

“I firmly believe that the community as a whole is not being served on an equal basis,” he said in the written statement. “And I intend to push for a change to this culture once elected to the city council.”

It is the third time Shaffer has sought a council seat. He ran for one of the three council seats in Super District 9 in a 2010 special election and unsuccessfully challenged Kemp Conrad, who won the special election, in the 2011 city elections..

Jim Strickland, who is not seeking re-election in order to run for mayor on the October ballot, currently holds the District 5 council seat.

Shaffer joins Mary Wilder, Dan Springer, Charles “Chooch” Pickard and Worth Morgan in the still-forming field for the seat.

– Bill Dries

Council Honors Streets Ministries Founder Bennett

The founder of Memphis Streets Ministries has been awarded the Memphis City Council’s annual Humanitarian Award, the highest award the council gives.

Ken Bennett, Streets Ministries’ self-described director of soul, founded the nonprofit ministry in 1987 with a mission of working with and encouraging young Memphians growing up in poverty in the city’s toughest and most blighted neighborhoods.

Streets Ministries operates recreation centers and after-school programs as well as recruits volunteers to act as “room adopters” to assist teachers in local elementary schools.

The organization also hosts a “ready readers” program at Kingsbury Elementary School that pairs adults with students to improve the students’ reading skills.

Streets Ministries reaches 1,200 students a week through its various programs.

The council began the Humanitarian Award in 1993 as its way of commemorating the legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The award also served initially as the council’s way of coming to terms with the role of the 1968 council in that year’s sanitation workers strike that brought King to Memphis where he was assassinated.

Dr. Arun Gandhi, founder of a non-violence institute at Christian Brothers College and the grandson of non-violence icon Mohandas Gandhi, was the first honoree.

– Bill Dries

Texas Roadhouse Building Sells for $2.8 Million

An Arizona-based real estate investment trust has a purchased a Texas Roadhouse restaurant for $2.8 million.

Spirit Master Funding II LLC, an affiliate of Phoenix-based Spirit Capital Realty, acquired the restaurant property at 2810 New Brunswick Road from Spirit Master Funding LX LLC, according to a Feb. 26 warranty deed.

The purchase was financed with a $2.8 million loan from Citibank, according to a Feb. 26 warranty deed.

The 7,111-square-foot building was built on two acres just south of New Brunswick and U.S. 64 in 2005.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2014 appraisal is $1.8 million.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Amos Maki

Paggio’s Salon Moving to Broad Avenue Arts District

Paggio’s Salon is moving to the Broad Avenue Arts District later this month.

The salon is moving to 454 Bingham Street, next to T Clifton Art Gallery. All of the services the salon currently offers will be offered at the new location. The salon also has been in touch with filmmaker Willy Bearden about a photography show at the salon, and it’s been in talks with Memphis Yelp about “future events.”

Paggio’s owner Courtney McCollum said she’s been thinking about moving to a new space for a while. The revitalization in and around Broad prompted the salon’s move to the area.

A grand opening date for the salon will be announced soon.

– Andy Meek

Tour de Grizz Scheduled for April 4

The Memphis Grizzlies and the Memphis Zoo will continue their annual tradition of encouraging Grizz fans to tour the city by bike and take part in the Seventh Annual Tour de Grizz. The event is scheduled for Saturday, April 4, before the Grizzlies tip-off against the Washington Wizards at 7 p.m.

Tour de Grizz participants will receive general admission tickets to the Memphis Zoo (good for entire day) before hopping on their bikes for the five-mile ride to FedExForum. Riders will depart from the zoo at 5 p.m. Memphis Police escorts will accompany the group as it makes the trip to and from FedExForum.

Once the riders have reached their basketball destination, they will have complimentary “Bike Valet Parking.” Following the contest between the Grizzlies and the Wizards, riders will leave FedExForum 20 minutes after the final buzzer and return to the zoo.

Packages start at $35 and include a Terrace Level ticket to the night’s game, admission to the Memphis Zoo the entire day of April 4 and a Tour de Grizz souvenir item to commemorate the event. Packages also may be purchased for $75 and include a First Tennessee Club Level ticket to the game, zoo admission and souvenir item.

All participants must be at least 10 years of age and must provide their own bike and safety equipment, including a helmet and lights. Tour de Grizz will take place rain or shine.

Call 901-205-1436 to reserve a spot. All participants must pre-purchase a package.

– Don Wade

Harbor of Health Doctor Closing Downtown Practice

Dr. Susan Nelson’s health practice at Harbor of Health is closing next month, as she prepares to move to the Church Health Center this summer.

Patients were sent a letter in recent days saying Nelson is moving to the Church Health Center, which told The Daily News she’ll come on board in June. Nurse practitioner Melody Breeden, meanwhile, is moving to Jackson, Tenn.

The Church Health Center worked 10 years ago with partners including First Tennessee and Methodist Healthcare to help establish the clinic in Harbor Town. Developer Henry Turley, who spearheaded the creation of the Harbor Town community, had approached the Church Health Center about starting the clinic there.

– Andy Meek

Shelby Farms Park Raises $70 Million in Capital Campaign

The Shelby Farms Park Conservancy has closed the books on a capital campaign that raised $70 million. Most of the money – $60 million – was raised from 387 private-donor gifts, led by a $20 million gift from the Hyde Family Foundations.

The last $140,000 was raised from a public appeal that brought in more than 300 donations ranging from $4 to $10,000.

Those public donations, in turn, trig- gered a $1 million challenge grant from FedEx Corp. pushing the total past $70 million.

The public funding consisted of $5 million from Tennessee state government, $3 million in capital funding from Shelby County government and $150,000 from the city of Memphis.

Shelby County government owns the park land. The conservancy manages and develops the land under contract with the county.

Some park developments under- taken in the capital campaign include the already-completed Woodland Discovery Playground, the Wolf River Pedestrian Bridge and signage and tree plantings.

The capital campaign also includes the $52 million Heart of the Park plan which takes in an expansion of Patriot Lake with new surrounding amenities.

Construction on the lake expansion began late last year. The entire Heart of the Park plan is scheduled to be completed in fall 2016.

– Bill Dries

Main Event Entertainment Acquires Land for $1.2 Million

A family entertainment center new to the Memphis market has acquired the land for its first center.

Main Event Entertainment LP purchased the land at Appling Road and Interstate 40 from Belz Investment Co. LP for $1.2 million, according to a March 6 warranty deed.

Main Event Entertainment is bringing its “Eat. Bowl. Play.” experience to Memphis with a 50,056-square-foot entertainment center and restaurant at Appling Road and Interstate 40.

With centers ranging from 48,000 to 75,000 square feet, Main Event locations offer more than 20 state-of-the-art bowling lanes, a multilevel laser tag arena, billiards and a gravity ropes course suspended over a game room with more than 100 interactive video games. Giant television screens are located throughout the centers.

Main Event, which has 19 centers in five states, also has private rooms for birthday parties, social gatherings and corporate meetings.

Main Event opened six centers in new and existing markets in 2014. In addition to Memphis, it plans to open centers in Fort Worth, Texas; Kansas City; Phoenix; Chicago; Orlando, Fla.; Tulsa, Okla.; and Albuquerque, N.M., by June 2016.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Amos Maki

Wyatt Tarrant, Medtronic Honored for Pro Bono Work

The Memphis office of the law firm Wy- att Tarrant & Combs and the regional legal department of Medtronic were honored this month in Nashville by the Tennessee Bar Association for their commitments to providing free legal service.

The honors were presented at the Ninth annual Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Ini- tiative Gala.

Wyatt Tarrant & Combs contributes to Memphis Area Legal Services, the nonprofit that provides free civil repre- sentation for residents of Shelby, Tipton, Fayette and Lauderdale counties.

The law firm also hosts the agency’s phone-a-thon fundraiser and sponsors a Saturday law clinic that provides walk-in legal assistance or referrals from attor- neys who volunteer their time.

The legal department of Medtronic’s Mid-South region was honored for its participation in a Wills for Heroes clinic that provides free wills and similar legal documents for first responders and their families.

The Medtronic attorneys also hosted an outreach clinic for senior citizens at the Bickford Senior Center in North Memphis.

And Medtronic has founded a medical- legal partnership initiative that makes civil legal aid available at health care centers. The partnership also trains medical staff to recognize legal issues.

– Bill Dries

Dates Announced for Creative Works Conference

Creative Works, a three-day conference for Memphis’ creative community, has announced the dates for what will be the follow-up to its inaugural conference in 2014.

This year, the conference is scheduled for Oct. 1-3.

Last year’s event included a speaking roster of design, illustration, typography and other creative heavy-hitters from around the country. Josh Horton, principal and founder at Memphis-based creative firm Hieroglyph, launched Creative Works.

– Andy Meek

Healthy Memphis Food Festival Coming to Broad

The first annual Healthy Memphis Food Festival is coming to the Broad Avenue Arts District next month.

The event, produced by event company Mocha Enterprises LLC, will happen April 11 and April 12. It will transform the Water Tower on Broad into a mini marketplace filled with things like healthy food vendors, music, art and wellness businesses.

Fitness classes and free blood pressure and cholesterol tests also will be available.

Admission to the festival is free. Bringing a full bag of non-perishable food allows guests to register to win prizes from participating vendors.

– Andy Meek

Visible Music College to Bring Back Music Week

Visible Music Week is returning this summer to Memphis and Chicago, offering a week-long music program for high school students that allows them to experience the college academic environment and challenges them to create, record and perform new original music.

The week involves Visible Music College condensing the elements of a semester into one week. Students will be taught music theory, have devotionals, be placed in bands and asked to work out a tune to record and perform live by the end of the week.

In week-long sessions in Memphis and Chicago, plus one weekend session for middle school-aged students, Visible Music Week will provide training in vocals, drums, bass, guitar and keyboard; hands-on seminars in worship leadership; music production and music business; and a microcosm of the student experience at Visible Music College.

The middle school weekend in Memphis is June 12 and 13. The high school week is June 14-June 20. Chicago’s music week is June 21-June 27.

– Andy Meek

Applications Open for Logistics Accelerator

Applications are now open for the 2015 EPIcenter Logistics Innovation Accelerator, a new entrepreneurship accelerator program sponsored by FedEx and created to help startups bring innovative logistics technology to market.

The accelerator focuses on technologies and products that enable and enhance logistics, leveraging the region’s strengths as the world’s distribution hub. The accelerator is operated by the Memphis Bioworks-led EPIcenter strategic initiative, and beyond the accelerator, participants also will have access to EPIcenter-led collaborations among entrepreneurial support organizations in Memphis, as well as expertise and support from the full ecosystem in the region.

Up to six companies will be chosen for the summer 2015 cohort and will receive $25,000 in initial seed capital from Memphis-based venture capital firm Innova.

Competition for participation in the program is open internationally. However, companies chosen must be based in Memphis for the duration of the program.

– Andy Meek

Founding Fathers Brews Now Available in Tennessee

Tennesseeans looking for a patriotic brew have a new option as Founding Fathers Brewing Co. lagers are now available throughout the state.

The Minneapolis-based brewing company will offer its amber, pale and light lagers in Tennessee through Lipman Brothers Distributing.

Founding Fathers produces a uniquely American product: Not only is it formulated, owned and brewed in the U.S., but the company also donates 50 percent of its proceeds to organizations that support American military families.

The two primary organizations that receive the funding are The Armed Forces Relief Trust, which aids active duty military across all service branches, and The American Legion, a veteran’s service organization.

“I founded the company to create a superior lager-style, American-made beer that supports American military families with what I consider to be a heroic level of giving,” said Founding Fathers CEO Phil Knutsen. “We hope Founding Fathers will become the beer of choice for patriotic, mainstream, domestic beer drinkers.”

Tennessee marks Founding Father’s seventh state. It also is available in Minnesota, North Carolina, Florida, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

– Jane A. Donahoe

Tennessee Unemployment Rate Up to 6.7 Percent in January

Tennessee’s unemployment rate inched in the wrong direction in January while remaining above the national average.

The state preliminary unemployment rate was 6.7 percent in January, according to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, one-tenth of a percentage point higher than the 6.6 percent revised rate in December.

The U.S. preliminary rate for January, which also gained one-tenth of a percentage point from December, was 5.7 percent. Over the past year, Tennessee's unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent, while the national rate declined from 6.6 percent to 5.7 percent.

Total nonfarm employment increased by 8,300 jobs from December 2014 to January 2015. The largest increases occurred in manufacturing, trade/transportation/utilities and professional/scientific/technical services.

Over the year, nonfarm employment increased by 71,700 jobs. The largest increases occurred in manufacturing, trade/transportation/utilities and professional/business.

– Amos Maki

Haslam to Talk Funding With School Districts

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says he will try to meet with the state’s four largest school districts as early as next week to discuss education funding.

The move comes as three of the four districts are actively considering a lawsuit against the state to get more funding for schools. Districts in Shelby, Knox and Hamilton counties are gathering information for a possible lawsuit. Metro Nashville Public Schools decided on Tuesday to wait at least 30 days before actively considering a lawsuit.

Word Thursday that Haslam wants to talk comes the day after the Shelby County Schools board canceled a special meeting to approve the hiring of an attorney specifically to represent the board in talks and a possible lawsuit involving state funding.

The large districts say they aren’t getting their fair share of funding and want the state to fully fund the Basic Education Program. The BEP is the state’s formula for the distribution of the funding is provides local school districts. The state and federal funding public school districts receive in Tennessee is the lion’s share of government funding they receive.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports Haslam told reporters on Wednesday that he understands the concerns of the districts.

“If you remember, the small schools threatened to sue us last year. I’m not certain it’s so much of a large school, small school issue,” he said.

He noted that he has proposed a budget that provides $100 million for teacher pay raises and nearly $50 million bolster the state’s Basic Education Program funding formula. He says resolving the issue “is not a matter of shifting (money), it’s a matter of having the funds to do it.”

“It’s not like we’re not being cognizant of the needs for K-12, if you look at how we’ve funded that compared to others (departments),” he said.

– The Associated Press and Bill Dries

Trezevant Officially Becomes Smoke-Free

A continuing care retirement community located at 177 North Highland St. has officially become smoke-free. Signs have been posted throughout the Trezevant campus to notify visitors and remind residents about the new smoke-free designation.

Trezevant was the first senior care facility in Tennessee to be named a flagship facility for the Arthritis Foundation. The Allen Morgan Health Center at Trezevant recently received a five-star quality rating – the highest possible designation for a nursing home facility – by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

– Don Wade

L’Ecole Culinaire Debuts Food Truck in Memphis

L’Ecole Culinaire is joining the food truck scene in Memphis.

The organization’s “Le Food Truck” will be staffed by chef instructors and students, serving up a rotating menu.

Instructors have designed a signature item for food truck diners called “Le Cone,” which combines grilled chicken, penne pasta, tomatoes and bacon tossed with a cheesy cream sauce inside a house-made bread cone. A variety of sandwiches also are on the menu.

– Andy Meek

PROPERTY SALES 38 38 12,796
MORTGAGES 27 27 8,030
BUILDING PERMITS 137 137 30,071
BANKRUPTCIES 44 44 6,108