VOL. 8 | NO. 44 | Saturday, October 24, 2015
New Daisy Reopens One Day After Closure
The New Daisy reopened late Wednesday after having apparently taken care of the tax obligation that resulted in padlocked doors and a notice of seizure Tuesday from the state department of revenue.
The closure stretched from mid-day Tuesday through most of Wednesday. The venue didn’t directly address the closure via its social channels - Wednesday afternoon, for example, the Daisy tweeted that preparations were being made for the Cannibal Corpse show that night.
State officials also stayed mum. A Tennessee Department of Revenue spokeswoman said state law prohibits her from commenting on the situations of individual taxpayers.
The notice on the front door of the venue that was posted Tuesday read simply that the property had been seized by virtue of a levy issued by the revenue department’s tax enforcement division.
That came less than a week after the venue’s grand reopening Friday, Oct. 16.
The city of Memphis owns the building. Downtown Memphis Commission president Paul Morris is the current manager of Beale Street through a separate city agreement.
Morris said he received no notice from the state revenue department and took to Twitter Wednesday to note, after the reopening, that the revenue department “chose to create a public drama of a private tax matter, making one of the State’s biggest tourist draws look bad.”
– Andy Meek
Five Indicted in FedEx Shipping Theft Scheme
Three former FedEx Memphis hub employees and two other defendants from New York City face federal charges in an alleged $1.7 million scheme to steal wireless mobile devices being shipped by FedEx throughout the country.
Christopher T. Crawford, Akeem Gowdy and Tavaris Mickens, all of Memphis, worked for FedEx – Crawford and Gowdy as material handlers and Mickens as a supervisor.
They used fake FedEx corporate shipping accounts, according to the indictment returned by a Memphis federal grand jury, to print labels. They then put those labels over legitimate ones on boxes containing the wireless devices.
The boxes were then allegedly delivered to Juan Royal and Jordan West in New York City as well as other “known and unknown” conspirators in other cities.
The scheme ran through 2013 and 2014, according to the charges.
Each of the five is charged with one count of conspiracy and one count of interstate shipping theft. Crawford and West also are charged with one count of mail fraud, and Crawford faces one additional count of wire fraud.
– Bill Dries
DOJ To Monitor Darrius Stewart Investigation
The U.S. Justice Department is monitoring the investigation into the fatal police shooting of Darrius Stewart, U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen announced Monday, Oct. 19.
Stewart was shot and fatally wounded by Memphis Police Department officer Connor Schilling in July.
Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich handed the investigation over to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The TBI completed its investigation two months later and sent Weirich a 600-page report.
She and her staff are reviewing the report before making a decision about whether to pursue charges against Schilling.
Cohen said Monday the Justice Department could pursue federal charges of civil rights violations, if appropriate, in its review.
“The shooting of Darrius Stewart by a Memphis Police officer raised serious questions that must be answered,” Cohen said in a written statement. “With the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s records regarding this incident sealed under state law, we need the Department of Justice to ensure the case is handled appropriately at the state level.”
Cohen’s statement comes the week after Weirich, MPD director Toney Armstrong and Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham announced they had reached an agreement to have the TBI investigate all fatal police encounters as well as the deaths of suspects and detainees while in custody.
The TBI will present a report to Weirich but will not reach a conclusion or recommendation under terms of the pact.
All TBI records are sealed by state law.
– Bill Dries
Pizza Chain Sets Sights On Memphis for New Locations
A new pizza chain is coming to Memphis and says it wants to open as many as 10 restaurants in the area over the next few years.
Donatos Pizza says its growth will be driven by franchising and is part of an overall expansion in Tennessee that also includes the Nashville and Knoxville areas. The first Tennessee Donatos – a restaurant known for toppings that extend to the edge of the pizza – is opening in Nashville by the end of the year.
The restaurant serves strombolis, sub sandwiches and salads in addition to its “Edge-to-Edge” pizza. Donatos also offers delivery and catering services, along with 26 toppings for customizable and signature pizzas.
The company says its average store is about 2,000 square feet and the 2014 average volume nationwide, per store, was a little more than $1 million.
– Andy Meek
McLean-Union Walgreens Sold for $5.2 Million
A Midtown Walgreens changed hands for $5.2 million, according to an Oct. 9 warranty deed. Tennessee-based RMRTN LLC sold the pharmacy at 1863 Union Ave., on the southeast corner of McLean Boulevard, to Delaware-based Pharmacy Portfolio VIII DST.
In relation to the sale, Pharmacy Porfolio took on a $4 million loan with Parkway Bank and Trust Co. Joseph Pitt Jr. with the Franklin, Tenn., branch of Chicago Title Insurance Co. signed as trustee.
The 13,936-square-foot store is appraised at $2.8 million, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property.
– Madeline Faber
Beale Authority Ready To Issue RFP In November
Members of the Beale Street Tourism Development Authority board voted Thursday, Oct. 15, to put out a request for proposal Nov. 2 seeking a company to manage the district on a day-to-day basis.
The request, which gives applicants a detailed idea of what is involved, is being fine-tuned from a draft reviewed last week.
Whoever is selected will run the day-to-day affairs of the district, which has 31 properties, 34 businesses and a variety of lease types.
Nov. 2 date marks the date of publication and starts a 45-day period for applications. The authority intends to make its choice before the end of the year, and before it has a lease agreement with the city that is approved by the Memphis City Council.
The authority should have a draft of the lease agreement and vote on it at its Nov. 12 meeting. Board attorney Casey Shannon is talking with city attorney Herman Morris and city council attorney Allan Wade, as well as Mayor-elect Jim Strickland, about details. Thus far, Shannon said, there are “no red flags” on the agreement.
With the authority’s approval, the lease agreement would go to the council for committee review Nov. 17 and a council vote Dec. 1. Mayor A C Wharton then would then sign the agreement.
– Bill Dries
State Systems Expands Into Little Rock
Memphis-based State Systems Inc. has expanded into Little Rock with a new office that extends the total protection company’s reach to a 200-mile radius.
The central Arkansas city was chosen because of its proximity to Memphis and similar market demographics, according to the company, which already has an established presence in eastern Arkansas.
State Systems Little Rock will offer inspections and installation of fire alarm systems, as well as video surveillance and access control, security, exit lighting, clean agent fire suppression and extinguishing systems. It anticipates adding installation and service of sprinkler systems and fire alarms in the near future as part of its plan to offer all services and products that the Memphis location provides.
The company already has seen success in the new market, where it has increased its sales staff to meet marketplace demands. It will be focusing on business with school districts, health care facilities, nursing homes, manufacturing providers and commercial buildings.
The Little Rock expansion comes after the acquisitions of two Mid-South total protection companies – Memphis-based ESI Companies Inc. and Corinth, Miss.-based Ver-Max Inc. – earlier this year.
– Daily News staff
Trinity Ridge Business Center Sells for $16 Million
California-based Corsair Boulevard LLC, affiliated with Libitzky Property Cos., has purchased the Trinity Ridge Business Center in Cordova for $16 million, according to a special warranty deed signed Oct. 15.
The sale included the five parcels located at 7730 Trinity Road, 7740 Trinity Road, 7750 Trinity Road, 7760 Trinity Road and 7866 Trinity Road.
The eight-building, 235,000-square-foot industrial park sits on 22 acres north of the intersection of Trinity and Raleigh-LaGrange roads. It was built between 1998 and 2007.
Montreal-based Dalfen America Corp. had owned the center since 2011 when it purchased the parcels for $7.6 million.
A mortgage of $11.5 million was issued at the time of sale by Wells Fargo Bank. The seven-year loan matures Oct. 10, 2022.
The properties have a combined tax appraisal value of $8.4 million.
– Wendy Greenlaw, Chandler Reports
UTHSC Gets $344K Grant
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center has received a little more than $344,000 in funding to support prenatal care among women deemed at risk of having preterm births.
The funding is provided through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, under the Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns program.
Dr. Linda Moses-Simmons, an assistant professor in the UTHSC Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the College of Medicine, will spearhead the three-year project.
The purpose of the CMS Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns Program is to provide better care, ensure improved health and reduce health care costs by improving outcomes for pregnant women on Medicaid who are at risk for having preterm birth and low birth-weight infants.
The main operational site for the UTHSC program is Regional One Health.
– Andy Meek
East Memphis DoubleTree To Unveil $5M Renovation
The East Memphis DoubleTree has wrapped a two-year, $5 million renovation.
New flooring, furnishings, wall coverings, window treatment and lighting are now throughout the hotel. Corridors, public areas and meeting rooms were refurbished along with the indoor/outdoor swimming pool and fitness center.
All 264 guest rooms and nine suites have been renovated; all of the bathrooms received new flooring, shower surrounds, backlit mirrors, makeup mirrors and quartz-topped vanities.
The hotel’s executive/concierge lounge was expanded and updated with new workstations and a buffet service counter.
Owned and operated by Memphis-based Cooper Hotels, the DoubleTree is at 5069 Sanderlin Ave. The Greater Memphis Chamber will hold a ribbon cutting Oct. 29 at 4 p.m.
– Madeline Faber
Shaq Goodwin Named To Malone Award Watchlist
University of Memphis senior Shaq Goodwin has been named by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the watch list for the 2016 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year award.
Named after Hall-of-Famer and two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Karl Malone, the annual honor – in its second year – recognizes the top power forwards in Division I men’s college basketball. A national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates.
Goodwin, the 2014-15 American Athletic Conference Sportsmanship award recipient, ranked second in league play in field-goal shooting (61.1 percent) last season and averaged a career-high 7.1 rebounds per game. The senior pulled down a career-high 23 rebounds vs. Temple on Feb. 7, 2015 and set a new American Athletic Conference single-game record with the mark.
By mid-February, the watch list for the 2016 Karl Malone award will be narrowed to 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to Malone and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2016 Karl Malone Award will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards in April.
The Tigers open their 2015-16 season Nov. 6 with an exhibition game against LeMoyne-Owen at 8 p.m. at FedExForum. The regular season begins with a 7 p.m. Nov. 14 home game against Southern Miss.
– Don Wade
Toshiba Warehouse Sold For $7.7 Million
Toshiba America Inc.’s Hickory Hill home has changed hands for $7.7 million.
Delaware-based Net Magan Property Owner One LP sold the 207,472-square-foot industrial property at 5400 Distriplex Farms Drive to national real estate investment group Sealy & Company.
Net Magan bought the building in 2005 for $10 million.
Hank Martin, vice president with NAI Saig Co., represented the seller. Sealy & Co. did not have any outside representation.
– Madeline Faber
AAF Memphis Accepting Award Nominations
Nominations are open for the 2016 Silver Medal award recipient, an honor given annually by AAF Memphis, the local chapter of the American Advertising Federation.
The Silver Medal is the highest form of individual recognition by the American Advertising Federation. It’s awarded to an industry leader for a career of outstanding accomplishment and advertising contribution. AAF Memphis has recognized remarkable lifetime achievements annually since 1960. Ron Walter was the 2015 recipient.
Nominations, which may be submitted by any individual, must include criteria of creative ability, company and community contribution, and general advancement of the advertising industry. Nominees are not required to be AAF Memphis members.
Written nominations may include accolades, qualifications and examples of worthy contributions to the advertising industry. A panel of previous Silver Medal recipients will select the 2016 Award recipient. Visit aafmemphis.org for more information.
– Don Wade
St. Jude Prepares to Launch Fundraising Campaign
St. Jude’s annual “Thanks and Giving” campaign is a few weeks away from launch.
What began as a holiday-focused fundraising effort by St. Jude has now grown into an annual tradition that has raised more than $588 million, funds that support St. Jude’s mission to provide cutting-edge treatment and pursue visionary research. The campaign unites celebrities, media, retail and corporate partners in asking consumers to donate while they shop.
Beginning in November and running through the end of December, consumers can support St. Jude while they shop at a variety of businesses representing a cross-section of brands in retail, restaurant, travel, hospitality, media and more.
Top returning campaign partners include Kmart, Best Buy, Kay Jewelers, Domino’s, Williams-Sonoma and AutoZone, among others.
Among highlights from the partners, AutoZone, returning for its 10th year as a partner, will ask customers to donate at checkout via the credit pad. Customers will also be able to donate through a fully integrated online shopping cart at Best Buy, Ann Taylor, LOFT, Claire’s and ICING.
Customers will now be able to donate via the register’s pin pad at GameStop, The Limited, Crazy8 and Janie and Jack locations nationwide.
– Andy Meek
Boyle Sells Winchester Distribution Center
Delaware-based Olymbec USA LLC is the new owner of the Winchester Distribution Center at 444 Winchester Road.
Boyle Investment Co., acting as Winchester Distribution Center LP, sold the warehouse for $2.7 million.
According to the Shelby County Assessor of Property, the Class B warehouse is 362,500 square feet and appraised at $2.4 million.
Nickey Warehouses Inc. occupies 130,000 square feet.
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
Sullivan Branding Adds Three New Hires
Sullivan Branding has added three new employees across its departments.
On the creative team, Chris O’Brien has joined as creative director and specializes in the design, development and implementation of creative campaigns. He previously worked as associate creative director at Archer Malmo.
Sullivan Branding’s account service team, meanwhile, has added account manager Alayna Brown and account coordinator Helena Kooi. They work directly with clients to plan, develop and implement branding and marketing strategies.
– Andy Meek
Tigers’ Paxton Lynch Named Offensive Player of the Week
University of Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch was selected American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week after throwing for 384 yards and three touchdowns in the Tigers’ 37-24 victory over Ole Miss Saturday, Oct. 16.
This was Lynch’s fifth straight game of passing for more than 300 yards. The junior from Deltona, Fla., completed 39 passes on 53 attempts, both career highs, against the Rebels as Memphis defeated a ranked opponent for the first time since 1996. All three of Lynch’s touchdown passes came during Memphis’ run of 31 straight points, which overcame a 14-0 deficit.
Also on Monday, Lynch was again named one of eight “Stars of the Week” by the Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
The Tennessee Sports Writers Association also named Lynch its offensive player of the week. Lynch took the weekly sports writers honors for the second time this year. He was last honored by the group for last month’s Tiger victory over Kansas.
U of M coach Justin Fuente also was been named the Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week.
The Dodd Trophy honors are based on scholarship, leadership and integrity as well as winning.
“Memphis has established itself as a team to keep an eye on for the rest of the season,” said Jim Terry, chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation.
– Bill Dries
StyleBlueprint to Donate To Reader-Selected Charity
Digital lifestyle publication StyleBlueprint Memphis is giving away $5,000 to a Memphis charity and is seeking local input on where the funds should be donated.
Now in its second week of voting, the contest has narrowed 36 possible recipients down to 12: The Cancer Card XChange, Citizens for Community Vehicles, The Exchange Club Family Center, The Forrest Spence Fund, Hope House, Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County, Lite Memphis, Making Strides Memphis, Semmes-Murphy Foundation, A Step Ahead Foundation, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Tails of Hope.
Second-round voting will end Oct. 25. The top six will go on to the third week of the contest to take place Oct. 26- Nov. 1, and the top three nonprofits will go on to the final week of voting. The winning charity announced Nov. 9.
– Madeline Faber
Memphis Prop Busters Host Porter-Leath Benefit
Local flying club Memphis Prop Busters will host its annual Fun Fly benefitting Porter-Leath on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Fun Fly supports Porter-Leath’s Toy Truck event in December, which collects new, unwrapped toys for more than 5,800 local low-income children, ages 6 weeks to age 5, in the agency’s preschool program.
The Fun Fly is non-competitive event where Memphis-area pilots and enthusiasts of all ages showcase aircraft, watch demonstrations, admire aircraft displays and learn to fly in a safe, open-field environment. In lieu of the $15 landing fee, guests are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy of equal or greater value for the kids of Porter-Leath.
The Memphis Prop Busters field is located on Inglewood Place in Arlington.
– Andy Meek
Bash for Adults Planned At Teen CLOUD901 Lab
For one night only, adults are taking over the teen lab space in the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library.
The Memphis Library Foundation is hosting a party inside CLOUD901, the new lab that opened last month at 3030 Poplar Ave., on Nov. 7 starting at 7 p.m.
Food from multiple Memphis’ chefs will be served, as well as beer and wine.
Among other things, teens in the space get access to audio and video equipment, 3-D printers, Xboxes, PlayStation 4s, MacBook Pros and Airs, monitors, keyboards, microphones, headsets and more, all of which will be available to adult attendees of the party Nov. 7.
Event sponsors include Archer Malmo, Clarion Security, Diversified Trust, Grinder, Taber & Grinder and Ingram Content.
Tickets are available for $50 per person from now until Nov. 1, when the price rises to $65 per person. Visit memphislibraryfoundation.org for more information or to purchase tickets.
– Andy Meek
Halloween Benefit Set For Church Health Center
A Halloween bash to benefit the Church Health Center is set for Stop 345 at 345 Madison Ave. Oct. 31.
Partygoers for the Oct. 31 event, which starts at 9 p.m., will enjoy entertainment from Lord T & Eloise, DJ Witnesse and DJ Lil’ Eggroll. Guests also will enjoy an open bar, “zombified” gummy bears and food from local restaurants like the Double J, Pete & Sam’s and Molly’s La Casita.
The Amurica photo booth will be on hand to provide free photos for guests. A costume contest for Best Female, Best Male and Best Couples costumes will take place, and next door to Stop 345, Tad Pierson’s indoor trailer park will be open for people to hang out.
Tickets are $40 in advance and can be purchased at www.sinnersforsaintsball.com, or $50 at the door. Event proceeds will be donated to the Church Health Center.
– Andy Meek
Tennessee Aquarium to Build Freshwater Institute
The Tennessee Aquarium has announced plans for a $4.5 million structure near the campus of Baylor School that will house the Tennessee Aquarium Freshwater Conservation Institute.
The aquarium announced Wednesday that the 14,000-square-foot riverfront facility will be a permanent base for conservation science. Officials say they hope it will vault their work to the national stage and reinforce their assertion that Chattanooga is the conservation capital of the South.
The building will both help facilitate research and be a display center for the region’s rich freshwater life.
The aquarium says freshwater ecosystems are the most threatened on Earth. The extinction rate of freshwater animals is two to five times higher than terrestrial or marine life.
Work is expected to begin on the 14,000-square-foot building next month, with a targeted move-in date of next fall.
– The Associated Press
Hooters Remodels Memphis Restaurants
Both Hooters restaurant locations in Memphis have undergone a remodel, including the Wolfchase location at 2838 New Brunswick Road and the Downtown location at 250 Peabody Place.
The two locations feature new seating with revamped high back chairs and booths, sleek finishes and top-of-the-line AV packages, among other features.
Mark Whittle, Hooters of America’s senior vice president of global development, said the company has invested a “significant amount of time and capital” in its Memphis remodeling work.
– Andy Meek
Covington Pike Gas Station Sold for $1.3 Million
Tennessee-based B Investment and Development Inc. sold a Covington Pike gas station for $1.3 million, according to a Sept. 15 warranty deed.
Texas-based couple Noorallah and Yasoo Dharani bought the property at 2515 Covington Pike.
The convenience store was built in 2014, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property. It is 4,446 square feet and appraised at $481,300.
– Madeline Faber