VOL. 9 | NO. 28 | Saturday, July 9, 2016
Madison Hotel, 3 Parcels Purchased by Chicago Firm
A Chicago-based hotel group has closed on its purchase of the Madison Hotel and several surrounding properties.
Aparium Hotel Group, working as 79 Madison Avenue LLC, acquired the Madison and three other parcels from the hotel’s operator, Wilmont Hotel LP, in a June 21 quitclaim deed just filed with the Shelby County Register’s Office. Those other parcels include 83 Madison Ave., which houses eighty3 restaurant and office space; and a banquet center that spans 9 S. Main St. and 11 S. Main St.
In addition, Aparium, working under the name 1 South Main LLC, acquired the first-floor and basement of the condominium building at 1 S. Main St. from Madison Hotel Memphis LLC.
Together the parcels wrap around the southwest corner of Madison and South Main.
No purchase prices were listed on the quitclaim deeds.
The two groups of properties are covered by separate payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreements through the Center City Revenue Finance Corp., an affiliate board of the Downtown Memphis Commission. The larger group, including the hotel, are part of a 24-year PILOT that began in August 2000, while the condo parcels are part of a PILOT set to expire this December, according to the DMC’s active PILOTs list.
The CCRFC approved transferring the PILOT leases to Aparium in May.
Along with its recent purchase, the buyer filed a $16 million loan through PFP Holding Co. IV LLC.
Aparium was founded in 2011 and bills itself as a sophisticated hotel chain that combines “the business acumen of large hospitality companies with the charm of boutique hotels, bringing the disparate forces together in bustling, smaller markets,” according to the company’s website.
The company currently operates two hotels in Wisconsin, according to the site, with five other hotels spread across several states set to open in 2016 and 2017.
– Kate Simone
Commission Reverses Vote To Cap Life Insurance
A $20,000 cap on life insurance coverage for Shelby County government employees and retirees was reversed Wednesday, July 6, as county commissioners met in special session.
The coverage cap saved the county $2 million in the operating budget for the new fiscal year that began July 1. Commissioners had approved the cap to pay for additions to the operating budget proposed by Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell.
But after retirees complained, the commission met to reverse the cap.
The county administration will come up with the $2 million with an across-the-board cut in county operations of less than 1 percent to balance the operating budget.
The only item of the budget season remaining for the commission is a third and final reading vote in August on a stable county property tax rate of $4.37.
– Bill Dries
Design Board Approves Peabody Place Mall Changes
More windows for the exterior of the Peabody Place Mall and some new paint were approved Wednesday, July 6, by the Design Review Board of the Downtown Memphis Commission.
The changes are part of the move by ServiceMaster Global Holdings into the mall to make it the company’s new headquarters.
Mall owner Belz Enterprises is preparing the facility for ServiceMaster’s part of the overhaul, with a plan to create more windows, up to 150, on the second and third stories of the structure just south of The Peabody hotel.
The plan approved by the Design Review Board includes removing a pedestrian walkway over Second Street to a nearby parking garage.
ServiceMaster is expected to come back to the board later with the signage it will propose for installation on the exterior of the building.
– Bill Dries
Traffic Rises 7.6 Percent At Memphis Airport in May
May marked the 13th consecutive month of year-over-year traffic growth at Memphis International Airport, which saw a 7.6 percent increase in origination and destination (O&D) enplanements compared to 2015, the airport reported Thursday, July 7.
O&D enplanements are the most profitable for airports, which don’t see as much travel-related spending by passengers who are simply connecting to another flight to reach their intended destination.
Local enplanements at MEM were up by more than 185,000 through the first 11 months of fiscal year 2016 compared to a year ago. The airport’s fiscal year begins July 1.
Overall load factors – the ratio of available seats vs. occupied seats – were 85 percent in May, which is considered a healthy ratio.
If traffic is strong in June, the airport said it could see annual enplanements eclipse the 2 million mark for the first time since 2012, the last full year that Delta Air Lines Inc. operated a hub in Memphis.
“The turnaround that we’ve had in passenger growth reflects the hard work and determination by everyone at MEM after what has arguably been the most challenging time in the airport’s history,” said Scott Brockman, president and CEO of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority. “The effort from employees and local stakeholder partners in our relentless pursuit of frequent and affordable air service has been tremendous, but we’re not finished.”
In the past 18 months, the airport has launched 16 new nonstop destinations from six different airlines, and the average airfare at MEM has dropped more than $150 since 2012. MEM now ranks 37th in average airfare cost among the top 100 U.S. airports, according to a release.
– Daily News staff
Redbirds RBI Program Makes MLB All-Star Game
The Memphis Redbirds RBI Program (Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities) has been selected as one of 12 cities and national youth leagues to participate in the All-Star Youth Classic July 7-July 11 in San Diego, alongside the 87th MLB All-Star Game.
Eleven kids and three coaches from the Memphis program will be playing seven games against other youth programs from California, New York, Texas, Indiana, Mississippi, Rhode Island and Mexico in a round-robin tournament format.
In addition to the games, the participants will tour the University of San Diego, participate in a community beach cleanup effort, enjoy Major League Baseball’s popular FanFest, attend the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and Celebrity Softball game, as well as the Gillette Home Run Derby.
The mission of the Memphis Redbirds RBI Program is to increase participation and interest in baseball and softball among underserved youth through instructional and competitive play, while encouraging youth to achieve academically, demonstrate good sportsmanship and contribute positively to the community.
To donate to the RBI Program, or find out how you can become involved, contact the Redbirds at (901) 722-0230 or visit memphisredbirds.com/rbi.
– Don Wade
Kyser Hits Watch List For Rimington Trophy
University of Memphis sophomore center Drew Kyser was named to the Rimington Trophy Fall Watch List. The award is presented each year to athletes who excel at the center position.
The Rimington Trophy committee uses three prestigious teams to determine a winner: the Walter Camp Foundation, Sporting News and the Football Writers Association of America. The winner will be recognized at the Rimington Trophy presentation at the Rococo Theatre in Lincoln, Neb., Jan. 14, 2017.
Kyser, a native of Opelika, Ala., played in all 13 games last season as a true freshman, including 12 starts. After starting in the season opener against Missouri State, Kyser backed up 2015 Rimington Trophy watch list candidate Gabe Kuhn in a road win at Kansas in the second game of the year, then started at center for the remainder of the 2015 season, allowing Kuhn to move to guard.
Kyser blocked last season for a Memphis offense that set a single-season school record with 6,330 yards of total offense and that finished the year ranked 19th in the NCAA in total offense (486.9 yards per game).
Kyser also finished last season as a member of the Tiger 3.0 Club for posting a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
– Don Wade
Fred’s Inc. Reports Lower June Sales
Fred’s Inc. saw total sales in June drop 2.3 percent from a year ago.
For the five-week fiscal month of June that ended July 2, total sales were $208.5 million, down 2.3 percent from $213.3 million in June 2015. Comparable store sales for the month decreased 1.3 percent versus an increase of 1.6 percent for the year-ago period, according to a release.
Total sales at Fred’s for the first five months of fiscal 2016 were $923.2 million, up 3.8 percent from $889.5 million for the same period last year. Comparable store sales are essentially flat year-to-date, compared to an increase of 0.8 percent for the year-earlier period.
“Sales growth in core categories such as health and beauty aids, seasonal, apparel, toys, lawn and garden and electronics helped offset ongoing challenges in paper, chemicals and food that we have discussed on earlier occasions,” Fred’s CEO Jerry A. Shore said in a release.
Calling it an industry-wide slowdown, Shore said lower specialty pharmacy sales also impacted results. He specifically cited lower demand for Hepatitis C drugs as well as a decline in retail sales and scripts, saying calendar shifts benefited May to the detriment of June.
“We expect the retail pharmacy department will remain resilient as our labor management program continues to have a positive impact on our cost to fill,” he said.
During June, Fred’s closed one full-service location. The company operates 653 discount general merchandise stores and three specialty pharmacy-only locations in 15 states in the southeastern U.S. There are 373 full-service pharmacy departments located within Fred’s stores.
–Daily News staff
Council Likely to Vote On Pinch Plan in 90 Days
A plan for the redevelopment of the Pinch area is essentially complete and Mayor Jim Strickland’s administration is rounding up grant funds and other financing for elements of the plan, according to Memphis City Council member Berlin Boyd.
Boyd said Tuesday, July 5, a timeline for a council vote on the plan is within 90 days, as the council approved a continued moratorium on new development in the Pinch district until the council approves the redevelopment plan.
A Looney Ricks Kiss plan unveiled in late June calls for an expanded campus at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital beyond the borders of the current campus, featuring high-rise buildings, some as tall as 12 stories, for office space and residential as well as retail on ground floors.
The expanded campus is being compared to the Amazon.com campus in Seattle by LRK planners.
The plan would also feature a retail strip on Overton Avenue between the Bass Pro Shops store at the Pyramid and St. Jude.
The plan is being coordinated by the Downtown Memphis Commission, the city’s Division of Housing and Community Development and the city-county Office of Planning and Development.
Meanwhile, the council delayed a final vote Tuesday on an ordinance that would change the rules governing the recently reconstituted Civilian Law Enforcement Review Board.
The rewrite so soon after the council reconstituted the dormant board last November was prompted by a part of the ordinance that violated Tennessee’s Open Meetings Law.
But the revision also removes a section from the 2015 ordinance that allows the council to use its subpoena power to call witnesses for the review board.
Council attorney Allan Wade has said the council cannot delegate its subpoena power.
Some council members said Tuesday they want to hear more about that specific part of the revision and possibly vote on the various changes as separate items. The item returns to the full council for a vote at the second council meeting in August.
In other business, the council approved a used car lot at 1780 Bartlett Road at Pleasant View Road in Raleigh as well as a single-family historic district designation for 480 W. Brooks Road in Walker Homes, the home of the late photographer Ernest Withers.
Developers of a proposed truck stop-motel on Hollywood Street at Interstate 40 in Frayser withdrew their latest effort to win council approval of the development on the site of the old Treasury department store before it got to the council.
The council also approved a referendum ordinance on the second of three readings that would ask voters to approve a city charter change requiring all city employees hired after a certain date in the future to live in the city of Memphis.
– Bill Dries
Investors Buy Krystal Restaurant in Lakeland
The Krystal restaurant property on U.S. 64 in Lakeland has sold to a California buyer for $1.5 million days before the fast-food eatery is set to open.
Joseph Carpello and Katherine Ann Carpello, as trustees of the Carpello Family Trust, bought the property at 9986 U.S. 64 from Square Deal LLC in a July 1 warranty deed.
It was financed with a $1 million deed of trust through KeyPoint Credit Union, according to public record documents, which show a loan date of July 16, 2016, and maturity date of June 28, 2026.
Chattanooga-based Square Deal purchased the vacant 0.9-acre parcel for $236,000 in December. The next month, a building permit was issued for the 1,702-square-foot restaurant and drive-thru.
A lease agreement signed in conjunction with the Carpellos’ purchase calls for The Krystal Co. to lease the Lakeland property for an initial term of 15 years, with the option to renew up to 30 additional years in five-year increments.
– Kate Simone
Archer Malmo Sets Record For Employee Headcount
Memphis-based branch communications agency Archer Malmo, has announced 22 new hires in its Memphis office.
That, combined with the agency’s recent acquisition of creative agency Combustion, brings Archer Malmo’s total employee count to 205 – the largest staff in the agency’s 64-year history.
The new hires span disciplines across the agency. The accounting and finance department has seen two new hires. The digital team and and the agency’s PR practice each gained three. The creative and account services team each added seven. Eleven employees also recently got promotions.
“We are fortunate to continue our strong growth,” said Archer Malmo CEO Russ Williams in a statement about the news. “That growth gives us the opportunity to add terrific new talent to our team and creates exciting growth opportunities for current staff.”
Archer Malmo announced its acquisition of Combustion in May. Combustion’s founder and president Billy Riley joined Archer Malmo as group creative director. Other team members include Eric Christopherson and Leah Jones, associate creative director/art directors; Adam Shellabarger, senior designer; and Katie Steed, designer.
The acquisition added several clients to the Archer Malmo roster, including International Paper Co., Memphis College of Art and Brother Industries, among others.
There are six students interning this summer – three in Memphis and three in Archer Malmo’s office in Austin, Texas. This is the 10th year of the agency’s internship program, and this summer the interns will support client and account teams and participate in a summer internship project for the Memphis-based nonprofit Bridges.
– Andy Meek
US Golf Challenge Comes To the Links at Fox Meadows
The United States Golf Challenge (USGC), a premier Two-Man Best-Ball Tournament, will be holding a King’s Cup Qualifier at The Links at Fox Meadows in Memphis on Saturday, July 9.
Now in its second year, the USGC is a two-man best ball competition with local qualifiers known as King’s Cup Qualifiers, leading to a National Championship at Disney World Golf Resort in Orlando, Fla.
Teams are broken down into four flights: Championship Flight – 4.9 handicap and under; A Flight – 5.0 to 9.9; B Flight – 10.0 to 14.9; and C Flight – 15.0 handicap and above.
The National Champions in each flight earn a spot on the United States King’s Cup team, which travels to Ireland to compete in a Ryder Cup-style event against Irish golfers.
There are still open spots for two-man teams. Interested teams can sign up at www.usgolfchallenge.com.
– Don Wade
Lifeblood Issues Urgent Call For All Blood Types
Plummeting blood donations has forced Lifeblood to issue an emergency appeal for all blood types, especially all Rh negative types: A-negative, B-negative, AB-negative and O-negative, the organization announced Tuesday, July 5.
Reserves of blood are depleted to a less-than-one-day supply on the shelves. Since it takes 24 to 36 hours to test and process each donation before it can be released for a patient, blood is being transfused as fast as Lifeblood can provide it to hospitals, and donors of all types are needed to give blood now.
Appointments are recommended. To schedule a blood donation online, visit lifeblood.org or call Lifeblood at 901-529-6320.
Volunteer donors must be at least 16 years old, weigh at least 115 pounds and be in good health. Sixteen-year-olds must have parental permission, and all donors 16-22 years of age must meet certain height and weight requirements.
Lifeblood has donor centers at 1045 Madison Ave.; 7505 U.S. 64, suite 109; 1055 Goodman Road E., suite J; 2095 Exeter Road, suite 75; and 4702 Spotswood Ave.
– Andy Meek
Chef Shuttle Now Delivers From Rendezvous
The restaurant delivery service Chef Shuttle has added The Rendezvous to its Downtown Memphis restaurant offerings.
The full Rendezvous menu is now available for delivery Downtown and as far away as Midtown. With Chef Shuttle, full restaurant menus are always offered at the same prices as in the restaurant itself, and customers then pay a delivery charge of $4.95 regardless of order size.
The delivery service operates seven days a week: Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. The Rendezvous delivery will initially be available in the following ZIP codes: 38103, 38104, 38105 and 38163.
– Andy Meek
Grizzlies Add Two Assistant Coaches
The Memphis Grizzlies have hired Keith Smart and Adam Mazarei as assistants on new coach David Fizdale’s staff.
The hires were announced Tuesday, July 5. Terms of the deals weren’t disclosed.
Smart and Fizdale worked together the last two seasons as assistant coaches with the Miami Heat. Smart previously was a head coach with the Sacramento Kings (2011-13), Golden State Warriors (2010-11) and Cleveland Cavaliers (2003). He also spent three seasons as head coach of the Continental Basketball Association’s Fort Wayne Fury. He made the winning shot in Indiana’s 1987 NCAA Tournament championship game over Syracuse.
Mazarei has been a player development assistant for the Grizzlies the last three seasons. His roles included assisting with advance and pro personnel scouting.
– The Associated Press
U of M Baseball Holding Summer Showcase Aug. 20
The University of Memphis baseball team will host its 2016 Summer Showcase Camp on Saturday, Aug. 20. The one-day camp is for students in eighth through 12th grades and will take place at FedExPark (974 Getwell Road) on Memphis’ Park Avenue campus.
Campers will get the opportunity to display their skills in front of the Memphis coaching staff as well as other two- and four-year college coaches from the Mid-South region.
This will be done through instruction, showcase-style workout and bullpens.
Camp fee is $160 and includes instruction, facility use, secondary insurance, lunch and a T-shirt. Participants should bring their baseball glove, hat, bat, pants, batting gloves, cleats and tennis shoes.
Campers are encouraged to sign up online at memphistigersbaseballcamps.com.
For questions about the Summer Showcase Camp, contact camp coordinator and assistant baseball coach Lee Parks at 901-678-5041 or email@example.com.
– Don Wade
Tuition at TBR Schools To Rise Average of 2.6 Percent
Tuition at Tennessee Board of Regents institutions will rise an average of 2.6 percent for the 2016-2017 school year, the lowest average increases in undergraduate tuition since 1983.
TBR currently oversees six universities, including the University of Memphis; 13 community colleges; and 27 Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology. The tuition increases were approved at TBR’s quarterly meeting.
In a release, the TBR said the increases are within a range recommended by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, and provided this statement:
“It’s never easy to increase the price our students must pay, especially as we strive to encourage more people to enroll in our colleges and universities.
“That said, we are grateful that we were able to keep the increases to very low rates – among the lowest increases in about 30 years. The rates range in general between 2.3 percent and 2.8 per-cent. … We appreciate Governor (Bill) Haslam’s continued support for higher education and the General Assembly’s commitment to funding, allowing us to keep our rates so low.”
Undergraduate tuition and maintenance fees at University of Memphis will increase 2.3 percent.
Austin Peay State University students will see a 2.8 percent maintenance fee/tuition increase; East Tennessee State University, 2.6 percent; Middle Tennessee State University, 2.6 percent; Tennessee State University, 2.4 percent; and Tennessee Tech University, 2.8 percent.
Students at community colleges will pay 2.6 percent more for tuition/maintenance fees, and TCAT students will see a 2.8 percent increase.
When the increased tuition is combined with approved mandatory fees, the price increases for in-state students taking a full-time course load of 12 credit hours breaks down this way at the six TBR universities:
• Austin Peay State: $188
• East Tennessee State: $188
• Middle Tennessee State: $180
• Tennessee State: $144
• Tennessee Tech: $192
• University of Memphis: $222
– Daily News staff
Mallory Alexander Makes New Hire
Memphis-based supply chain company Mallory Alexander International Logistics has appointed Claudio Onofrio as vice president of global business development..
Onofrio will be based in Mallory Alexander’s office in Dallas and will oversee global business development opportunities with an initial focus on the southern United States, particularly Texas, and markets in southern Europe, including Italy.
Onofrio has nearly 30 years’ experience in the logistics industry, including senior sales and marketing roles at previous employers.
Mallory Alexander recently opened a new office in Houston, marking its third location in Texas, to help serve the growing number of companies using the Port of Houston. The fifth-generation logistics company also recently opened an office in Shanghai, China, after being granted a Class A business license by the Chinese government.
– Madeline Faber
West Cancer Center Tapped for Initiative
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has chosen West Cancer Center as one of nearly 200 physician group practices and 17 health insurance companies to participate in a care delivery model that supports and encourages higher quality, more coordinated cancer care.
The Medicare arm of the Oncology Care Model includes more than 3,200 oncologists and will cover approximately 155,000 Medicare beneficiaries nationwide.
The Oncology Care Model encourages practices to improve care and lower costs through episode- and performance-based payments that reward high-quality patient care.
The Oncology Care Model is one of the first CMS physician-led specialty care models and builds on lessons learned from other innovative programs and private-sector models.
Physician practices may receive performance-based payments for episodes of care surrounding chemotherapy administration to Medicare patients with cancer, as well as a monthly care management payment for each beneficiary.
Practices participating in the five-year Oncology Care Model will provide treatment following nationally recognized clinical guidelines for beneficiaries undergoing chemotherapy, with an emphasis on person-centered care. They will provide enhanced services such as 24/7 access to care when needed as well as access to additional patient resources such as emotional support groups, pain management services and clinical trials, among other things.
– Andy Meek
Fisher Phillips Joins HR Collaboration
Management-side labor and employment law firm Fisher Phillips LLP and Inspired eLearning, a security and compliance training company, have launched a new human resources compliance training program.
The courses, which are available on web and mobile platforms, cover discrimination, workplace diversity, handling complaints, federal and state wages, bullying and lawful interviewing.
More modules are in the works that cover workplace violence, active shooter scenarios, lawful hiring, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, disabilities and accommodations, lawful termination and drug-free workplaces.
Jeff Weintraub, managing partner of Fisher Phillips’ Memphis office, said the series was created to help employers prevent claims before they arise.
Details and demonstrations of the new program, as well as Inspired eLearning’s other human resources training courses, are available at inspiredelearning.com.
– Daily News staff
Saint Francis Earns Patient Safety Honor
Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis has earned an “A” grade for patient safety for the fifth straight year from The Leapfrog Group, an independent hospital industry watchdog.
The hospital is one of fewer than 100 in the nation to achieve that level of patient safety excellence. The Leapfrog Group evaluated and graded more than 2,500 hospitals nationwide, with less than one-third receiving an “A” grade.
Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis and Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett were the only two hospitals in the Memphis area to receive an “A” grade this year. In Tennessee, 24 hospitals received the distinction.
The Hospital Safety Score was calculated under the guidance of the nation’s leading experts on patient safety and is administered by The Leapfrog Group. The panel uses 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single score that represents a hospital’s overall capacity to keep patients safe.
– Andy Meek
MATA in Parternship With Livable Memphis
Livable Memphis and the Memphis Area Transit Authority have partnered to improve Memphis’ bus-riding experience. Together, the groups raised $20,500 to install 24 new seats at bus stops not currently supported by conventional bus shelters.
Installation of the seats began on June 30.
Through the July Fourth holiday, seats had been installed at the intersections of Watkins Street and Burnham Avenue, Poplar Avenue and Avalon Street, Jackson Avenue and Hollywood Street, Summer Avenue and Glankler Street, and Hollywood and Chelsea Avenue.
Locations for the seats were selected by MATA and determined based on stop utilization, rider requests for seating and ability for an existing bus stop to accommodate the seat structure.
Livable Memphis funded part of the project through crowdfunding platform ioby.
– Madeline Faber
Memphis Launches Business Symposium
The city of Memphis is holding a symposium July 26 to connect small, minority- and women-owned businesses in the city together with the various divisions of city government.
The “We Mean Business” symposium will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Memphis Cook Convention Center at 255 N. Main St.
The gathering, which is free and open to the public, includes information on how to become certified to do business with the city as well as contracting opportunities in each division of city government.
The symposium includes a keynote speech by Earl Graves Jr., the president and CEO of Black Enterprise magazine.
The new symposium comes in the wake of a disparity study commissioned by City Hall that found minority- and women-owned firms are disproportionately left out of government contracts across construction, professional services and supply firms.
– Bill Dries
CDC Funds Will Help Tennessee Fight Zika
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded Tennessee $377,376 to support efforts to protect citizens from Zika virus infection and associated adverse health outcomes, including microcephaly and the other serious birth defects.
The funding is part of $25 million CDC preparedness and response funding that has been awarded to 53 state, city, and territorial health departments in areas at risk for outbreaks of Zika.
The funding is effective July 1 and can be used through June 2017.
Selection of funding recipients was based on the risk of local transmission as determined by the estimated range of two mosquito species known to transmit Zika virus in the U.S.; history of mosquito-borne disease outbreaks; and size of population.
Jurisdictions can use the funds to rapidly identify and investigate a possible outbreak of Zika virus in their communities; coordinate a comprehensive response across all levels of government and non-governmental partners (including the health care sector); and identify and connect families affected by Zika to community services.
Funding can also be used to purchase preparedness resources like repellent, screens and supplies for Zika Prevention Kits.
– Daily News staff