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VOL. 131 | NO. 169 | Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Daily Digest

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Evergreen Packaging Expands in East Memphis

Evergreen Packaging has renewed and expanded its lease at the 5350 Poplar Ave. office building in East Memphis. The 40,000-square-foot location will be the global headquarters for Evergreen, a spinoff of International Paper’s paper packaging division located in Memphis since 2007. Evergreen recently merged with Indianapolis-based Closure Systems International and York, Pa.-based Graham Packaging Co., creating a combined company with $5.5 billion in annual revenue.

Ron Kastner, senior vice president at CBRE, said that construction will soon begin on Evergreen’s expansion, with move-in to occur within the next three to four months.

In March, the Memphis-Shelby County Economic Development Growth Engine awarded Evergreen Packaging a 15-year tax freeze, saving the company $1.2 million in property taxes. At the time, Evergreen said that it was considering moving its 103 employees out of Shelby County and relocating the company out-of-state.

By expanding in Memphis, the company will add 70 more employees in management, support and administration with an average salary of $176,283.

– Madeline Faber

Tenn. Health Care Exchange Premiums to Rise in 2017

Consumers who have individual health insurance through Tennessee’s health care marketplace can expect to pay higher rates in 2017.

The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance on Tuesday, Aug. 23, approved and released final rates for individual Affordable Care Act plans offered through the state’s health care marketplace.

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee will raise rates by 62 percent in 2017. Cigna’s rates will increase 46.5 percent, and Humana’s rates will rise 44.3 percent. Aetna, which doesn’t offer marketplace plans, will raise premiums on its other individual health care plans 14 percent.

United HealthCare has decided to exit the Tennessee exchange in 2017.

The rate increases apply to individual policies, both on and off the marketplace, but don’t affect group policies.

Open enrollment dates for 2017 run from Nov. 1 to Jan. 31. The new rates go into effect Jan. 1.

– Daily News staff

State Rep. Curry Todd Set for Oct. 11 Trial Date

Outgoing state Rep. Curry Todd of Collierville is scheduled for an Oct. 11 trial date on a misdemeanor charge of theft.

Todd is specifically charged with stealing the campaign signs of his August Republican primary rival Mark Lovell.

Todd has claimed that he had permission from the property owner to remove the signs.

Todd lost his re-election bid in the primary to Lovell. It was Lovell who posted Todd’s bail for his release from jail pending the trial.

– Bill Dries

Ferguson to be Starting QB For Memphis Tigers

First-year University of Memphis football coach Mike Norvell has named junior Riley Ferguson starting quarterback. The Tigers open the season on Sept. 3 vs. Southeast Missouri State at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.

Coming out of high school in North Carolina, Ferguson was a prized recruit. He signed with Tennessee, bypassing offers from Alabama and Notre Dame. But Ferguson’s time at UT was short-lived; he left in 2014 and landed at Coffeyville Community College, where he passed for almost 3,000 yards and threw 35 touchdowns.

The starter in the spring game, Ferguson was considered the odds-on favorite to win the QB job. Also in the competition were redshirt freshman Brady Davis, freshman David Moore and redshirt senior Jason Stewart.

– Don Wade

United Housing Garners High State Rankings

United Housing Inc. is one of the top housing producers in the state, according to the Tennessee Housing Development Agency. At THDA’s Homebuyer Education Initiative Peer Session, the state entity named UHI within the top 7 percent for housing production in the state.

For fiscal year 2016, UHI generated a financial impact of $37.7 million and helped 437 individuals keep or buy a home. It funded $13.5 million in total loans across 118 customers, which makes it the fourth-largest home loan producer in the state.

The high rankings come during a productive fiscal year in which UHI received $1.3 million in investments from local banks, including Pinnacle Financial Partners, SunTrust Bank and First Tennessee Bank.

– Madeline Faber

Pair of Churches Planning Adaptive Reuse Projects

The former Prairie Life/Omni Fitness building in Collierville and a former Schnucks grocery store on Riverdale Road are slated for adaptive reuse projects after being purchased by churches.

The Orchard Church bought the former Prairie Life/Omni Fitness building at 3690 S. Houston Levee Road in Collierville from Hackmeyer Properties for $4.3 million. Tanis Hackmeyer said that her real estate firm structured a creative wraparound mortgage, which allowed the church to take ownership of the property in advance of their capital campaign.

The 57,000-square-foot property was built in 2004 and was most recently appraised at $2.7 million.

Hulet Gregory with Marathon Realtors represented The Orchard, and Shane Soefker and Jacob Biddle with Avison Young worked with Hackmeyer Properties.

Meanwhile, Divine Life Church purchased the 70,000-square-foot property at 5274 Riverdale Road for $1.4 million.

The DESCO Group Inc., the managing group for seller Riverdale C.E.C. LLC, signed the Aug. 16 warranty deed. According to the Shelby County Assessor of Property, the building was originally built for school use in 2001.

Divine Life Church currently is located at 1019 Ball Road off of Elvis Presley Boulevard.

– Madeline Faber

Meritan Awarded $41K Grant For Smart Home Program

Memphis-based Meritan Inc. has been awarded a $41,000 grant from the Consumer Technology Association Foundation in support of Meritan’s Smart Home program, created to enhance the lives of disabled citizens in Memphis and the Mid-South.

The CTA Foundation is a public, national foundation with the mission to link seniors and people with disabilities with technologies to enhance their lives.

Meritan’s Smart Home program is the only program in the Southeast designed specifically to foster increased levels of care for people with disabilities.

By November, two of Meritan’s homes will be equipped with high-tech capabilities, including monitors, camera, sensors and tablets that will create a remote patient-monitoring system. The equipment will be designed so Meritan’s health care staff can remotely observe and understand what is happening at each residence.

Meritan plans to expand the Smart Home program throughout its residential services. It will partner with Sengistix LLC, a Mendota Heights, Minn.-based company specializing in technological advances in health and safety supervision for vulnerable populations.

– Daily News staff

UTHSC Names New Chair Of Pathology Department

Dr. Mahul Amin has been named chairman of the department of pathology in the College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and will be the UTHSC Gerwin Chair for cancer research.

Amin comes to UTHSC from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was chairman and professor of pathology and laboratory medicine. He was also a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of California David Geffen School of Medicine.

From 2001 to 2009 – first as vice chair and then as chair of the Cancer Committee of the College of American Pathologists – he campaigned for a standardized system for pathologic reporting of all cancer cases in the United States.

Amin is the editor in chief of the eighth edition of the American Joint Commission on Cancer TNM staging system, which is the premier global classifier for cancer and is used worldwide.

Amin said UTHSC is attractive because it is “in an extraordinary transformational phase” with “a growing research environment. Advances in science, genomics, informatics and laboratory medicine also provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the discipline of pathology, which is also experiencing its most exciting and transformative phase.”

– Daily News staff

PROPERTY SALES 97 418 8,253
MORTGAGES 112 508 9,293
BUILDING PERMITS 194 1,059 18,126
BANKRUPTCIES 46 208 5,367