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VOL. 131 | NO. 44 | Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Daily Digest

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Kroger Closing Store at 576 S. Perkins

In advance of its lease expiration in May, Kroger Delta Division is closing its store at 576 S. Perkins Road on March 26, the company announced Tuesday, March 1.

Kroger is offering all 81 associates positions at other area Kroger stores.

The 576 S. Perkins location is one mile from the newly remodeled 799 Truse Parkway store and is less than a mile from the Kroger at 540 S. Mendenhall Road.

That’s why Kroger decided not to re-up at 576 S. Perkins – the fact that it has had three stores within a one-mile radius along Poplar, said Kroger Delta Division public affairs manager Teresa Dickerson.

– Andy Meek

Deal for Commercial Appeal Parent Co. Almost Final

Shareholders of Journal Media Group Inc., parent company of Memphis’ The Commercial Appeal, have approved a merger agreement that will see Journal Media’s acquisition by Gannett Co. Inc.

The deal with Gannett, parent company of USA Today, still needs to meet customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval, before it’s final. The company today said that’s expected to happen and the deal to close this month.

More than 92 percent of Journal Media shareholders voted at a special meeting Tuesday, March 1, in favor of the transaction.

– Andy Meek

First Tennessee Donates to Artspace South Main Lofts

The $15 million Artspace South Main Lofts project is $25,000 closer to filling its fundraising gap following a donation from the First Tennessee Foundation.

The recent gift will be matched by an anonymous donor as part of a larger $500,000 challenge grant.

Developer Artspace needs to raise around $55,000 more if it wants to reach a May groundbreaking for the site at 138 St. Paul in Downtown Memphis.

When completed in May 2017, the 58-unit development will be the first in Memphis to provide dedicated affordable housing for artists and creative professionals.

– Madeline Faber

Graceland West Moves Forward with $6.8M Permit

Graceland West is moving forward with a $6.8 million construction permit recently filed by contractor Grinder, Taber & Grinder. The permit is listed as new construction work for Elvis Presley Enterprises at 1116 Craft St.

The 46-acre development on the northwest corner of Elvis Presley Boulevard and Craft Street will include a car museum, a new shelter for Elvis’ two jets, two restaurants, a soundstage, retail, a museum to be called “Elvis the Entertainer,” storage facilities, parking and significant landscape improvements.

Hnedak Bobo Group is the architect.

– Madeline Faber

State Systems Acquires Columbia Fire Equipment

Memphis-based State Systems Inc. has acquired Columbia Fire Equipment, a fire safety company that provides extinguishers, alarms and suppression systems in Columbia, Tenn. It is the third acquisition for State Systems in less than a year.

Columbia Fire Equipment was founded in 1970 by William Smith and has served Middle Tennessee for more than 45 years. Effective immediately, State Systems will absorb the company’s employees and begin servicing customers in Columbia and surrounding areas, with plans to expand the business further into Middle Tennessee.

“A well-established and highly regarded local company, Columbia Fire Equipment is a great fit for State Systems as we expand into the region for the first time,” said Bob McBride, CEO of State Systems Inc. “Furthermore, we’re hoping to dig in quickly and be able to expand our products and services offered in this market to include other options in personal property protection, in addition to fire safety.”

Financial terms of the deal were not released.

Smith will remain in place to assist with the transition, and Robin Jones, who has been with Columbia Fire Equipment for 12 years, will become general manager.

State Systems now serves a customer base from western Arkansas through Middle Tennessee.

Last May it acquired Ver-Max Inc., a fire protection company based in Corinth, Miss., that had a customer base of 500 within a 50-mile radius of Corinth. It also purchased Memphis-based ESI Companies Inc., which provides nurse call equipment to hospitals, last year.

State Systems Inc. is a privately owned total protection company offering a wide range of products and services housed in five company divisions. It is expected to move into a new headquarters facility at 1861 Vanderhorn Drive off Pleasant View Road in the first quarter of this year.

– Terry Hollahan

NBMBAA Memphis Taking Scholarship Applications

The Memphis Chapter of the National Black MBA Association is taking applications for the 2016 Rafael Dodd Graduate Scholarship, which offers financial assistance to local students enrolled in a graduate business or management program.

Scholarships are apportioned based on an applicant’s demonstrated academic achievement, community service, letter of reference, verbal skills and resume.

The NBMBAA Memphis chapter was founded in 1993 with 36 charter members and has grown significantly since then. Its mission is to stimulate the intellectual and economic wealth of the African-American community, enhancing the entire community at large. That mission is framed around five cornerstones: Leadership, Lifestyle, Career, Entrepreneurship and Education.

The scholarship application deadline is April 1.

For more information and an application, contact the chapter’s leadership team at memphis_nbmbaa@yahoo.com.

– Kate Simone

Grizzlies Win at Denver, Start Homestand Wednesday

The Memphis Grizzlies finished their three-game road trip with a 103-96 victory Monday night, Feb. 29, at Denver as Zach Randolph scored 22 points and Mike Conley handed out nine assists.

The Grizzlies, of course, are without center Marc Gasol (foot surgery) for the rest of the season, and big man Brandan Wright is out indefinitely with a sprained MCL. Tony Allen also sat out again with a sore knee.

The victory improved the Grizzlies’ record to 35-24. The Grizzlies start the three-game homestand with Wednesday’s 7 p.m. game vs. the Sacramento Kings. The homestand continues Friday, March 4, with a 7 p.m. contest vs. Utah, and a 3 p.m. game on Sunday, March 6, vs. the Phoenix.

– Don Wade

PROPERTY SALES 40 220 16,417
MORTGAGES 28 85 10,172
BUILDING PERMITS 161 826 39,370
BANKRUPTCIES 29 136 7,733