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VOL. 131 | NO. 2 | Monday, January 4, 2016

Daily Digest

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Ballpark Digest Lauds AutoZone Park Renovations

Extensive improvements before last baseball season earned AutoZone Park Ballpark Digest's Best Ballpark Renovation Award (over $6 million category) for 2015.

"AutoZone Park has always been one of the leading venues in Minor League Baseball, but there's no doubt it had become a dated facility," said Kevin Reichard, Ballpark Digest publisher. "With the St. Louis Cardinals coming on board as owners, it was clearly important to Cards team leaders and the Redbirds front office that the fan experience be significantly enhanced."

The offseason renovation stressed an enhanced fan experience, including installation of a state-of-the-art LED videoboard in left field, LED ribbon board displays, 31 table four tops, a right-field destination BBQ food area, a new left field bar, new berm seating, an expanded and upgraded club level, AutoZone Park's first all-inclusive club in right field, and a new playing surface.

As part of the 2014 long-term lease agreement between the St. Louis Cardinals and the city of Memphis, $4.5 million in bond proceeds were set aside to make capital improvements to AutoZone Park. The St. Louis Cardinals added more than $2 million in additional capital improvement money. Construction was overseen by Montgomery Martin Contractors of Memphis. Architecture designs were provided by Pendulum Studio II LLC of Kansas City.

– Don Wade

Pinnacle Financial Among Top Workplaces for Camaraderie

Pinnacle Financial Partners has been named as one of the 50 Best Workplaces for Camaraderie, according to Great Place to Work and Fortune magazine.

The recognition is based on employees’ assessments of the sense of team, fun and collegiality in their workplace. Pinnacle entered the Memphis market a few months ago via its acquisition of Memphis-based Magna Bank, branches of which have since been converted to the Pinnacle brand.

Pinnacle and the 49 other winning companies were selected based on evaluations by over 255,000 employees from nearly 600 participating companies. Employees anonymously answered questions about how frequently they experience the behaviors that create a great workplace.

– Andy Meek

Four Memphis Taco Bell Properties Sell for $7.2M

A Memphis-based owner of fast food properties has sold of a hefty part of its portfolio to California-based Realty Income Properties 22 LLC in four separate transactions totaling $7.2 million.

RGT Foods Inc. sold the Taco Bell property at 1447 Union Ave. to Realty Income Properties 22 for $1.5 million, while the location at 7964 Winchester Road sold for $2 million.

The store at 826 S. Third St. went for $1.9 million, and the one at 5320 Knight Arnold Road was sold for $1.8 million.

All four stores were leased back to RGT and Taco Bell for a period of 20 years with the option to extend the least up to five years.

– Madeline Faber

UTHSC Graduate Assistant Awarded $100,000 Grant

Kevin Hope, a graduate assistant in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology in the College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, has received a grant totaling $100,000 from the Dup15q Alliance.

The award will be used to study 15q Duplication, a syndrome that is caused by duplications in a chromosomal region that typically results in cognitive impairments, autism spectrum disorder and sometimes seizures.

This project will help to identify molecular and genetic mechanisms of Dup15q syndrome so effective therapies can be developed to improve the lives of individuals affected by this disorder, and perhaps individuals with difficult-to-manage epilepsy.

– Andy Meek

Gas Prices Drop to Lowest Level Since 2009

2016 brings a positive change as the national average fuel price is the lowest it has been since 2009.

According to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report, the national average will be under $2 for the start of 2016. The average price of a gallon of gas on Jan. 1, 2015, was $2.24 nationally and $2.08 in Tennessee.

Prices in Memphis are falling as well. A year ago, gas averaged $2.04 per gallon. On Dec. 28, the figure came in at $1.76 – lower than Nov. 20’s price of $1.84.

– Madeline Faber

PROPERTY SALES 66 66 6,612
MORTGAGES 78 78 4,207
BUILDING PERMITS 158 158 16,073
BANKRUPTCIES 45 45 3,441