Ikea Hires Memphis Contractor, Reaffirms Opening Date

Ikea has made it official, again, and has hired a Memphis contractor to handle the heavy lifting.

Linkous Construction Co. will serve as construction manager for Ikea’s Memphis project, which is set for a groundbreaking next month and a fall 2016 opening.

Ikea made the announcement Tuesday, Nov. 24.

After a property tax valuation hang-up with the Shelby County Assessor of Property, the Swedish furniture retailer reached a compromise last week with the Memphis-Shelby County Economic Development Growth Engine.

EDGE extended Ikea’s payment-in-lieu-of-taxes term by 11 months to offset the costs of a higher-than-expected land valuation.

Ikea has other local partners involved in its project including two Memphis-based law firms, Baker Donelson and Burch Porter & Johnson; CB Richard Ellis Memphis; Kimley-Horn & Associates; Pangean CMD Associations; and Brophy-Heineke.

The 271,000-square-foot store’s construction is expected to create 500 jobs. About 225 workers will staff the Ikea store when it opens.

“With a contractor onboard, plans can proceed towards opening the future IKEA Memphis,” Ikea U.S. president Lars Petersson said in a statement. "This store will provide a more convenient IKEA shopping experience for current and potential customers throughout Tennessee and the Mid-South, growing our IKEA presence in the Southeastern U.S.”

The Cordova store will be Ikea’s first in Tennessee; it opened a St. Louis store in September. The next-closest locations are in Atlanta and Frisco, Texas.

Ikea Memphis will feature nearly 10,000 exclusively designed items, 50 room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area, and a 350-seat restaurant serving Swedish specialties such as meatballs with lingonberries and salmon plates, as well as American dishes. Other family-friendly features include a ‘Children’s IKEA’ area in the showroom, baby care rooms, play areas throughout the store and preferred parking.

– Jane A. Donahoe

Crosstown Counts 1,000 Window Sections

Nine months into the renovation and redevelopment of the Sears Crosstown building, construction crews have installed 1,000 of Crosstown Concourse’s total 3,200 window sections.

The windows look like the windows they replaced in order for the project to qualify for $35 million in historic credits, which are a key part of the project’s complex financing structure.

Recreating the old windows was a major concern of developers at the outset because of their uniqueness. Window glass also makes up 65 percent of the exterior.

Quaker Window Products of Freeburg, Missouri, created the aluminum-frame prototype.

Visit vimeo.com/146346819 to view a video of the construction update.

– Bill Dries

GLO Launches Memphis-NOLA Flight This Weekend

New Orleans-based carrier GLO this weekend will launch its first flight between Memphis International Airport and New Orleans International Airport.

The inaugural nonstop flight will leave New Orleans at 2:15 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 29. GLO begins its twice-daily weekday flights between MSY and MEM the following day on Monday, Nov. 30.

GLO first announced the route in September.

On weekdays, flights bound for Memphis will depart from New Orleans at 7:55 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. Flights bound for New Orleans will depart from Memphis at 10 a.m. and 4:25 p.m.

On Saturday, the Memphis-bound flight leaves Louis Armstrong International at 7:55 a.m. and heads back to the Big Easy at 10 a.m. On Sunday, the route departs New Orleans at 2:15 p.m. and departs Memphis at 4:25 p.m.

GLO will create 12 direct and indirect jobs in Memphis.

On-board service for the 30-passenger Saab 340B aircraft include complimentary beverages, snacks and local publications. The planes do include lavatories.

“We are happy to bring back nonstop service to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and to add GLO to our growing air service family,” said Scott Brockman, president and CEO of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority, in a statement.

– Madeline Faber

Memphis Chamber Taps Hardy As Next Chairman

The Greater Memphis Chamber has elected a new chairman.

The chamber’s board unanimously chose Carolyn Hardy, president and CEO of Chism Hardy Investments LLC. She assumes the position Dec. 9 at the organization’s annual chairman’s luncheon at The Peabody hotel, 149 Union Ave.

Hardy takes over from outgoing chairman Leigh Shockey, CEO of Drexel Chemical Co.

Hardy has been involved with the chamber for years as a board member and a Chairman’s Circle member. She has been a leading voice in local workforce development, founding the Industrial Readiness Training program that Southwest Tennessee Community College currently uses. The program has now trained thousands of unemployed or underemployed Memphians and has expanded to community colleges across the country.

– Andy Meek

LEDIC Signs Lease For New Memphis HQ

LEDIC’s new headquarters is official.

The Memphis-based manager, owner and developer of multifamily properties around the country has signed a long-term lease at 555 Perkins Extended, according to a Tuesday, Nov. 24, announcement from CB Richard Ellis Memphis.

The 27,000-square-foot lease will cover nearly half of the 60,000-square-foot building.

This month, LEDIC was granted a five-year abatement in city and county property taxes from the Memphis-Shelby County Economic Development Growth Engine.

The $10.2 million state-of-the-art headquarters will create 300 Tennessee jobs, be LEED certified and host a technology center and classroom for professional development.

Austin Ehrat, CBRE Memphis associate, represented the owner, Triple Nickle Perkins. The lease

– Madeline Faber

ServiceMaster Takes On North Memphis Spider Site

The ServiceMaster Co. sent a team from its Terminix division to a North Memphis neighborhood Tuesday, Nov. 24, to treat houses near a large colony of spiders.

The free treatment comes after the large spider web covering a field on Chelsea Avenue near May Street drew national media coverage.

Neighbors say the spiders in the field have migrated from the webs, which currently cover a half of a mile, to their homes and become a problem.

The airborne spread of spiders from such complex webs covering a large area is an occurrence known as ballooning.

– Bill Dries

Olymbec Buys Office Building for $2.8M

Olymbec USA LLC has purchased a six-story office building in the South Memphis/Alcy Road area for $2.8 million, according to a Friday, Nov. 20, warranty deed.

The seller, JP Memphis LLC, had owned the 1991 Corporate Ave. property since 2004.

Built in 1977, the 82,944-square-foot building sits on 4.7 acres on the south side of Corporate Avenue between Millbranch Road and Airways Boulevard. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2015 appraisal is $2.5 million.

The purchase comes a month after Olymbec purchased the 362,500-square-foot Winchester Distribution Center at 444 Winchester Road for $2.7 million.

Olymbec, an entity of Montreal-based Olymbec Corporate Group, has been an active buyer in the Memphis market in recent years. Among its holdings, Olymbec owns the 13-building, 1.8 million-square-foot Bellbrook Industrial Park, which it bought in late 2013 for $23.3 million.

– Madeline Faber

Journey and Doobies Book May Date at FedExForum

Journey and the Doobie Brothers are bringing their “San Francisco Fest 2016” tour to the FedExForum in May.

Tickets for the May 25 concert go on sale Dec. 5 at 10 a.m. The show, a Live Nation production, also features Dave Mason.

The two 1970s-era Bay-area bands have undergone some lineup changes over the years.

Arnel Pineda is Journey’s lead singer. The 2016 tour lineup for Journey includes drummer Steve Smith, who hasn’t performed with the band since 1998. The band features founding and original members Neal Schon and Ross Valory as well as keyboard player Jonathan Cain, who joined the band in the 1980s.

The reformed Doobie Brothers are led by singer Tom Johnston, the band’s vocalist on its early- and mid-1970s hits as well as founding member Patrick Simmons. The 2016 lineup includes long-time guitarist John McFee and Bill Payne, best known as a cofounder of Little Feat, who played on some of the Doobies studio albums.

– Bill Dries

Starry Nights at Shelby Farms Features New Show

With 1.5 million lights, the annual Starry Nights holiday display at Shelby Farms Park is featuring new displays and arrangements of Memphis images and holiday scenes.

Starry Nights opened Nov. 20 and runs through Dec. 27. Special events surrounding the attraction include a 4K run on Dec. 28.

Promotions include a holiday sweater night on Dec. 3 with a $5 discount per car for wearing a holiday-themed sweater. Dec.10 is “decorate your car” night with a similar discount for cars decked out in holiday decor.

A pup-party at Mistletoe Village is Dec. 17 and includes dog-friendly treats in the Holiday Cafe.

– Bill Dries

Post Brands Signs Major Lease In Marshall County

Memphis is home to a distribution facility for Post Consumer Brands thanks to a 677,160-square-foot lease recently signed at the Gateway Global Logistics Center.

The second-largest industrial lease for the third quarter is housed at Panattoni Development Co.’s speculative Building II.

The new facility will distribute various Post Foods and Mom Brands products and will employ 30 people in Marshall County.

With the signing of the Post lease, Panattoni has started construction on Building III at Gateway Global Logistics Center. The speculative warehouse will be 554,040 square feet and expandable up to 975,190 square feet.

Last November, Volvo began operations at its new parts distribution center in its 1 million-square-foot Gateway facility.

“With the current activity level in the greater Memphis area, we feel the timing is good to begin another speculative building,” said Whitfield Hamilton, the regional partner for Newport Beach, California-based Panattoni.

– Madeline Faber

Fino’s East Memphis Opening Next Week

A highly anticipated restaurant addition to Brookhaven Circle is opening its doors next week.

The Fino’s East Memphis location is opening to the public Dec. 4. Jerry Wilson, owner of Fino’s from the Hill at 1853 Madison Ave., told The Daily News in August that he bought the Midtown Fino’s with the intent to one day have a spot in East Memphis, as well.

His new location, at 703 W. Brookhaven Circle, is in a prime spot for restaurants, situated between Brookhaven Pub & Grill and Hog & Hominy.

– Andy Meek

Southwind Hotel Sells for $7.1M

The Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Southwind has sold for $7.1 million, according to a Nov. 20 warranty deed.

Nexus Paartnership (sic) sold the four-story hotel in southeast Memphis, at 4090 Stansell Court, to Southwind Lodging LLC.

According to the Shelby County Assessor of Property, the 59,228-square-foot hotel was built in 2008 and is appraised at $2.6 million.

In conjunction with the sale, Southwind Lodging LLC filed a $6.7 million mortgage with First Capital Bank. The loan is set to mature Nov. 19, 2020.

– Madeline Faber

Bikesmith Bike Shop To Hold Grand Opening Dec. 6

The new Bikesmith bike shop at 509 N. Hollywood is holding its grand opening Dec. 6.

The event will include food, beer and a raffle giveaway for a child’s bike.

The Bikesmith started as a full-service mobile bike repair shop, but over the last year owner Jim Steffen says his business grew so much he decided he needed a brick-and-mortar location. He is opening the new shop in a converted automotive garage.

Bikesmith doesn’t just sell bikes. It also will sell beer and has a custom bar in front of the mechanics workbenches. On top of that, the bike shop has an expansive patio and greenspace in the back.

The Bikesmith carries bikes for children and adults, and the business also delivers.

– Andy Meek

Strickland: Police Director Armstrong Stays, For Now

The city of Memphis eventually will have a new Memphis Police Department director, but, for now, current director Toney Armstrong will continue to hold the job.

Mayor-elect Jim Strickland announced Friday, Nov. 20, that Armstrong will remain in the job while he searches for a replacement.

“Director Armstrong has graciously agreed to continue to lead the department until a new director is hired,” Strickland said in a written statement. “He has also agreed to advise me in the search.”

Strickland, who takes office Jan. 1, also announced other changes in his administration’s line up.

Strickland is keeping six division and department directors from the administration of outgoing mayor A C Wharton.

They are: Finance director Brian Collins; Public Works director Robert Knecht, who has been serving as interim director of that division since the exit of Dwan Gilliom; General Services director Antonio Adams; Libraries Director Keenon McCloy; Information Services director Brent Nair; and Kevin Woods, the executive director of the Workforce Investment Network.

Leaving with the first of the year will be chief administrative officer Jack Sammons; former CAO and special assistant to the mayor George Little; Parks and Neighborhoods director Janet Hooks; Fire director Mike Putt; Human Resources director Quintin Robinson; City Attorney Herman Morris; and City Engineer John Cameron.

Cameron announced he would not seek reappointment to his position shortly after the Oct. 8 election.

Strickland said some of the other departures were retirements but didn’t elaborate on which were voluntary.

– Bill Dries

Saddle Creek Snags Pizza Joint

Grimaldi’s Pizza is joining the ranks of Saddle Creek’s new offerings with a plan to open in spring 2016.

The 3,500-square-foot restaurant will be located at Saddle Creek North next to J. Crew.

Arizona-based Grimaldi’s sells brick oven pizzas and calzones, fresh salads and desserts with most items priced under $20.

Stoney River Steakhouse is another new restaurant set to join the tenant roster at Saddle Creek.

Nashville-based J. Alexander’s Holdings in July filed a $1.6 million building permit for Stoney River at 7515 Poplar Ave., just west of West Street and West Farmington Road.

It is scheduled to open early next year.

– Madeline Faber

AutoZone Park to Be Site Of Triple-A National Championship

In conjunction with the Pacific Coast League and International League, AutoZone Park will serve as the host site of the 2016 Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game.

Minor League Baseball's premier event – set for Sept. 20 – will be televised live to a national audience on NBC Sports Network at 7 p.m. and will pit the PCL champions against the winner of the International League's Governors' Cup in a one-game, winner-take-all championship.

“We can’t wait to showcase the city of Memphis and award-winning renovations to AutoZone Park,” said Memphis Redbirds general manager Craig Unger. “We are committed to bringing premier events to AutoZone Park and hope this will be the first of many in Downtown Memphis in the years to come.”

The Triple-A National Championship Game debuted in its current one-game format in 2006. Similar to Major League Baseball, the league winner of the 2016 Triple-A All-Star Game in Charlotte, N.C., will be assigned the home team for the National Championship Game in Memphis.

The game also serves as a gathering for leaders from all 30 Triple-A teams that attend for the joint Pacific Coast-International League meetings.

The Redbirds won PCL championships in 2000 and 2009, but have never been crowned Triple-A Champions. After winning the 2009 PCL title, the Redbirds lost to the Durham Bulls, 5-4, in 11 innings in the national championship game.

– Don Wade

Grizzlies All In on Tickets for Kids Program

From controlling owner Robert Pera on down, the Grizzlies are participating in the annual Tickets for Kids program.

Pera, others members of the ownership team and all 15 players on the roster are taking part.

The program gives players and ownership the opportunity to purchase blocks of tickets to future Grizzlies home games to be distributed to local charities and youth organizations. The tickets are also given to local schools to incentivize attendance, academic achievement, community service and other personal and academic developments.

The program aims to bring thousands of kids to Grizzlies games this season who might not otherwise have the opportunity to see an NBA game in person.

“The fact that the entire team has chosen to participate in the program is really significant,” said Diane Terrell, vice president of the Memphis Grizzlies Foundation and community investment team. “It’s a testament to just how committed our players are to the community.”

The players’ sections carry names tied to the players. For example, there is (Mike) Conley’s Crew, Z-Bo Cares (Zach Randolph), and Rio’s Soldiers (newest Grizzly Mario Soldiers).

– Don Wade

Pair of Baptist Nurses Elected to State Board

Two Baptist nurses, Joshua Roberts and Karli Caruso, have been elected to serve on the Tennessee Organization of Nurse Executives Board.

Roberts, a pediatric practice specialist, will serve as the council chair for Memphis. Caruso, manager of a medical surgical unit at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis, will be the nurse manager representative for the state.

In their roles, Roberts and Caruso will meet and work with nursing leaders from across the state, the Tennessee Hospital Association and the Tennessee Nurses Association.

– Andy Meek

Fitch Affirms AA Rating On MLGW Bonds

The New York bond rating agency Fitch Ratings has affirmed its AA+ rating of $460.2 million in electric utility revenue bonds issued by the city of Memphis for Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division.

The Fitch rating outlook is stable with the agency citing the utility’s “stable financial position, low debt levels and sound overall operating profile … for the foreseeable future.”

The Fitch report, released Wednesday, Nov. 25, says that MLGW’s capital needs in the next five years are “manageable” but also cites the proposed $240 million purchase of Smart Meters as part of an estimated $518 million in capital spending through fiscal year 2020.

“The additional leverage represents somewhat of a departure from MLGW’s historical practice of current funding its capital needs,” the Fitch statement reads. “Although the rapid amortization of existing obligations … will continue to allow for ample capacity to absorb the additional debt without leverage ratios weakening as a result.”

– Bill Dries

New Eggleston Book Gets Magazine’s Kudos

Memphis photographer William Eggleston is getting some love from the Southern-focused national magazine Garden & Gun.

Eggleston’s new 10-volume book set “The Democratic Forest” has been included in the publication’s 2015 holiday gift guide, currently on stands as part of the December/January issue.

“The set begins with photographs of Louisiana and ends with his lens on the small-town South,” Garden & Gun’s editors said of the collection, which includes more than 1,000 of Eggleston’s photos taken in the 1980s.

The hardcover box set, which was released Tuesday, Nov. 24, builds on the 1989 book of the same name. That volume, including Eudora Welty’s original essay on the work, are included in the new set.

“The Democratic Forest,” published by Dutch publishing house Steidl, retails for $600 and is available at Amazon.

– Daily News staff

Loewenberg College of Nursing Gets State Approval

The University of Memphis nursing program is officially called the Loewenberg College of Nursing.

The Tennessee Board of Regents approved last week the renaming of what had been the Loewenberg School of Nursing. The change signals the school’s status as the only Board of Regents institution classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a research university with high activity.

The activity status refers to the college’s partnership with other academic programs, community colleges and health care providers.

The new facility is one of the largest facilities for community health-related education and research in the region. It is the anchor of the University of Memphis plans for its Park Avenue campus.

It includes state-of-the-art research facilities, nursing simulation suites, nursing skill laboratories and health assessment labs.

The college offers advanced degrees to students as well as collaborative research opportunities.

– Bill Dries

Memphis CarMax Set for $1.2 Million Renovation

CarMax has applied for a $1.2 million building permit for its used car facility at 7771 U.S. 64. The building permit application filed with the Office of Construction Code Enforcement lists “interior alterations” as the intended work. It is the only CarMax location in the Memphis area.

The nearly 50,000-square-foot CarMax facility was built in 2003 and is situated on 8.6 acres on the southwest corner of U.S. 64 and Kate Bond Road. The property is currently appraised at $6 million, according to the Shelby County Assessor

Richmond, Va.-based CarMax has 151 used car dealerships in 76 markets across the U.S., according to its website.

– Madeline Faber