VOL. 9 | NO. 47 | Saturday, November 19, 2016
State Awards $4 Million For Medical Device Institute
The state of Tennessee has announced a $4 million grant for TCAT Memphis for the creation of a satellite campus supporting the launch of a new medical device institute.
The grant is part of the state's Drive to 55 program. Gov. Bill Haslam launched the program in 2013 to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary degree or certificate to 55 percent by 2025.
The grant for TCAT Memphis will, according to State Sen. Mark Norris, “enable students to pursue careers in advanced manufacturing with specific training in the medical device industry.”
– Andy Meek
Third Greenprint Summit Nov. 30 at Shelby Farms
The third biannual Greenprint Summit will be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at Shelby Farms Park’s FedEx Event Center.
The free summit is being held in conjunction with the Greater Memphis Chamber’s Chairman’s Circle, Hyde Family Foundations and Shelby County government.
The Mid-South Regional Greenprint is a regional plan containing recommended actions for local governments, businesses, nonprofits and citizens to improve the quality of life in the Mid-South. This year’s summit will focus on major investments bringing the region closer to the 25-year vision of achieving better-connected and more livable communities.
All 22 jurisdictions in the plan area have formally adopted the Greenprint plan to use as a guide for creating better green spaces, improving the health and safety of local communities, protecting natural resources, and promoting economic development. To date, more than 25 percent of the plan’s recommended network of greenways, trailways, and on-street bicycle facilities is complete or funded.
Summit speakers will discuss projects that are part of the Mid-South Regional Greenprint Plan and how federal grants are being used in strategic ways to provide multiple benefits for communities, with a specific focus on climate and disaster resilience.
Attendees will have a chance to meet with local organizations such as the Kitchen Community, Wolf River Conservancy and city of Memphis Office of Comprehensive Planning, among many others.
Go to www.MidSouthGreenprint.org/Greenprint-Summit/ to see a schedule of activities, a complete of list of exhibitors and to get more information on how to register.
– Don Wade
Beale Street Music Festival Passes Available Nov. 18
Memphis in May International Festival is opening the pre-sale of three-day tickets for the 2017 Beale Street Music Festival on Friday, Nov. 18, at 10 a.m. The event was named to Fest300, FuseTV and Travel+Leisure’s best festivals lists in 2016 and will take place May 5-7, 2017 in Tom Lee Park in Downtown Memphis.
Beale Street Music Festival is known for its diverse line-up and has featured in recent years such acts as Neil Young, Lenny Kravitz, The Black Keys, Paul Simon, Ed Sheeran, Hozier, Weezer, Florence + the Machine, Mumford & Sons, Foo Fighters, Santana, Kid Rock, Snoop Dogg and Beck.
“We have one of the most eclectic festival lineups in the world and one of the most ideal locations to enjoy live music,” said James L. Holt, president and CEO of Memphis in May International Festival.
The lowest priced three-day pass is available for $95, in limited quantity. Once those sell out, the festival will offer another limited quantity of three-day passes for $105. The price then will move to $115 until the week of the festival, when prices will go to $150.
Starting Nov. 18, discounted tickets will be available through TicketFly, ticketfly.com/org/5981.
The artistic line-up for the 2017 music festival will be announced in February 2017.
– Daily News staff
Orange Mound Designated By Michelle Obama
Orange Mound, the nation’s first subdivision designed specifically for African-Americans, has been designated by First Lady Michelle Obama as a Preserve America Community.
Orange Mound in Memphis becomes the 905th such community nationwide. The program recognizes a select group of communities that use their heritage resources in sustainable ways and share the myriad benefits of historic preservation with residents and visitors.
“It is good news for the nation when communities demonstrate that they want to enjoy and share the economic, educational, environmental, and sustainability benefits preservation provides, while creating more vibrant and desirable places to live, work and visit,” said Milford Wayne Donaldson, chairman of the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP).
According to Preserve America, Orange Mound derives its name from the Osage Orange shrubs found on the grounds of the Deadrick Plantation, on which the neighborhood was originally platted. Orange Mound was founded in 1890, when developer Elzey Eugene Meacham purchased the land from the Deadrick family and sold lots in it to African-American families, despite opposition.
The population of the community remained primarily African-American throughout the 20th century, as it gained a reputation as a refuge for blacks moving to Memphis from rural areas in the South. Orange Mound fell into decline in the 1980s and 1990s, but the neighborhood has experienced a revival, driven in part by older residents using its rich heritage to encourage the next generation to take a more active role in improving and maintaining the community.
The Preserve America program began in 2003.
– Daily News staff
Clayborn Temple Site Of Pop Up Shop
Choose901 will host a Holiday Pop Up Shop on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2-3 at Clayborn Temple, 280 Hernando St., across from FedExForum.
The historic Clayborn Temple is in the process of being redeveloped and its owners, Rob Thompson and Frank Smith, are considering what uses might be appropriate while maintaining the heritage of the old church.
The shop will feature all new Memphis-themed designs in shirts, hats, mugs, hoodies, a “tacky” sweater and more in time for holiday gift giving.
The shop will be open 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Dec. 2 and from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Dec. 3. Prices of items will range from $5 to $50.
Choose901 asks that debit and credit cards be used for payment – only exact cash can be accepted.
– Daily News staff
Gill Seeks $25M Permit For Future MAA Headquarters
The future home of Memphis-based MAA has taken another step forward.
Developer Gill Properties, working as Gill Poplar GP, has applied for a $25 million building permit for a five-story office building and five-story parking garage – two main components of the $90 million TraVure development in Germantown’s western gateway.
MAA will occupy 83,265 of the 144,968 square feet of the TraVure office building, according to Gill Poplar GP’s payment-in-lieu-of-taxes application, which was approved by the Germantown Board of Mayor and Aldermen in late October.
The company currently occupies 43,000 square feet at 6584 Poplar Ave., west of Kirby Parkway in East Memphis near the border with Germantown.
MAA’s new office campus will create 219 jobs for Germantown that will pay an average of $85,128, according to the application. That is 161 percent of Germantown’s per capita income.
The capital investment for the office building and parking garage total $33 million.
TraVure also will include retail offerings and a co-branded hotel being developed by Ridgeland, Mississippi-based Desai Hotel Group. In August, Desai filed a $30 million building permit application for the five-story hotel, which will include a Hilton Garden Inn and a Home2 Suites by Hilton under one roof.
– Daily News staff
Schweinehaus Trades Bavarian Fare for Barbecue
German-themed restaurant Schweinehaus is taking its menu in a new direction: barbecue.
The Overton Square eatery – which has appended its name to Schweinehaus BBQ – issued a statement Wednesday, Nov. 16, that says diners will still find chicken schnitzel on the menu, along with pulled pork, pork ribs, beef brisket, smoked turkey and other new items.
“Since our humble beginnings, we have always used smoking as a way to express our Memphis heritage throughout our menu, but now it IS our menu,” the statement reads.
The restaurant’s four owners, all lifelong Memphians, opened Schweinhaus in 2014 in the former Paulette’s space at 2110 Madison Ave. Last month, the restaurant began teasing its new menu on social media.
– Daily News staff
Grizzlies’ Wright Out Indefinitely After Surgery
Memphis Grizzlies forward/center Brandan Wright underwent an arthroscopic surgical procedure on his left ankle Tuesday, Nov. 15, and will be sidelined indefinitely, the team announced.
Wright had missed the Grizzlies’ first 10 games because of his ankle injury and recently had received regenerative injection therapy. When his condition did not improve, the decision was made to go ahead with the surgery at Campbell Clinic in Memphis.
Wright, who is 6-10 and 230 pounds, appeared in just 12 games last season because of injury and averaged 6.9 points and 3.6 rebounds.
In 372 career NBA games beginning in the 2007-08 season with the Golden State Warriors, Wright, 29, has posted averages of 7.1 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.
– Don Wade
Liberty Bowl, Foundation Donate $222K to St. Jude
A $222,766 check was presented to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by the AutoZone Liberty Bowl and the College Football Playoff Foundation at a luncheon Wednesday, Nov. 16, at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
“The AutoZone Liberty Bowl has been a terrific partner of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for many decades,” said Sue Harpole, chief development officer at ALSAC/St. Jude. “We are honored now to have the College Football Playoff Foundation join with the AutoZone Liberty Bowl in the mission of inspiring and supporting outstanding teachers and mentors that work diligently to train and educate the next generation of doctors, scientists, staff and patients at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.”
Britton Banowsky, executive director of the College Football Playoff Foundation, also attended the event. Steve Ehrhart, executive director of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, singled out Archie Manning, the bowl’s 2016 Distinguished Citizen Award winner, for making a major contribution.
The 58th AutoZone Liberty Bowl will be played Dec. 30 at 11 a.m. and will be nationally televised on ESPN.
– Don Wade
IKEA Memphis to Install Electric Vehicle Stations
IKEA plans to install three electric vehicle charging stations at the Memphis store it’s opening on Dec. 14.
Globally, IKEA says it evaluates locations for conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources, and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution. U.S. sustainable efforts include recycling waste material; incorporating environmental measures such as energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas and water-conserving restrooms; eliminating plastic bags from the checkout process; and selling only LED bulbs.
The 271,000-square-foot IKEA Memphis and its 800 parking spaces is under construction on 35 acres on the southwest side of Interstate 40 near Germantown Parkway.
– Andy Meek
Tigers Baseball Team Signs FACS Pitcher
Bailey Wimberley, a right-handed pitcher from First Assembly Christian School in Memphis, has signed a national letter of intent and will join the University of Memphis baseball squad for the 2018 season.
Wimberley is an all-state player for the Crusaders, playing as a middle infielder and pitcher.
He has been named to the all-district teams three times and to the all-region teams twice. He played for the Memphis Tigers 17U team that posted a 30-3 overall record. Wimberley was also a member of Team Tennessee in 2016, helping win the Junior Sunbelt Tournament in Oklahoma. A multi-sport athlete, he also played basketball at FACS.
– Don Wade
U of M Professor’s Work Featured in Journal
University of Memphis associate professor of biology Duane McKenna’s work on beetle genomes is featured in the current issue of the journal Genome Biology. An expert on beetle genomics, McKenna is lead author on the featured project involving 68 scientists from around the globe who are working to identify the genomic basis of the insect’s feeding habits and apparent ecological success.
The Asian long-horned beetle, an invasive species capable of inflicting severe damage on trees, recently invaded North America. Its economic impact in the United States, if uncontrolled, is estimated at $889 billion. Identifying genes linked to digestive and detoxification processes that make the destruction possible will support development of tools to manage the impact of the species as well as other invasive wood-boring pests.
By comparing the genome of the Asian long-horned beetle with 14 other insects, McKenna and his collaborators were able to identify a suite of genes, some originally obtained from fungi and bacteria, that aid the digestion of woody plant material and are likely responsible for the beetles’ ability to thrive in woodland regions worldwide.
– Don Wade
Trustmark Bank Expands Into Huntsville Market
The parent company of Trustmark Bank has announced a $25.6 million merger with RB Bancorporation, the holding company for Reliance Bank, which has seven offices that serve the Huntsville, Alabama, metro area.
The transaction, which is subject to satisfying customary closing conditions including the approval of RB Bancorporation shareholders and regulatory authorities, is expected to be completed in the first half of 2017.
RB Bancorporation’s bank subsidiary will merge into Trustmark National Bank simultaneously with the merger of the respective parent companies.
– Andy Meek
Chandler Reports Releases 3rd Quarter Market Review
Real estate market data service Chandler Reports, a division of The Daily News Publishing Co., has released its third-quarter real estate market review.
In the penultimate Chandler Review of 2016, Chandler Reports examines the multimillion-dollar influx of luxury apartments in the Midtown area, dissects the 13 percent gain in mortgage market volume in September and breaks down the quarter’s new housing analysis.
The eight-page review combines Chandler Reports’ market data with the latest real estate news from The Daily News.
The full quarterly review can be found at http://bit.ly/ChandlerReview3Q16.
– Patrick Lantrip
New Olivet Church Buys Woodland Hills for $2M
Cordova’s Woodland Hills event center has been purchased by a local church.
New Olivet Baptist Church, working as Olivet Baptist Church, paid $2 million for the 31,672-square-foot clubhouse, or $61.57 per square foot. The sellers, Edward and Cindy Dodd, had purchased Woodland Hills in 2010 for $1.6 million.
Built in 1971, the event center is situated on 15 acres on the north side of Woodland Hills Drive just west of Houston Levee Road. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2016 appraisal is $1.6 million.
New Olivet, headed by pastor Kenneth Whalum Jr., sold its longtime location at 3084 Southern Ave. to Memphis Country Club in April. In conjunction with the purchase of Woodland Hills, the church filed a $1.3 million loan through Pinnacle Bank.
– Daily News staff
Construction to Begin On New Greenline Access Point
For the past six years, residents in the Avon neighborhood of East Memphis have been green with envy over their lack of access to the Shelby Farms Greenline, but that’s about to change thanks to the studious efforts of a group of neighbors.
The new access point, which is located between Perkins and Waring roads, seeks to provide more than 1,000 residents neighborhood access to the popular bike and pedestrian trail.
“If not for the early efforts of our neighbors Carter Davis, Susan Pohlman, Jeff Wallace and others, we would not be at the point where we would be able to start construction now,” said Perkins Access Development Committee member Kevin Raney.
Although residents have expressed interest since the inception of the Greenline in 2010, plans for the Perkins access point didn’t become concrete until 2013, when the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy received a sub-planning grant from Mid-South Regional Greenprint.
In 2016, the project took another major step forward when Commissioner Heidi Shafer allocated the entirety of her $100,000 Community Enhancement Grant to fund construction costs.
In addition, neighbors raised more than $9,200 and Hyde Family Foundations added another $58,000.
Not only will the Perkins access point break up a 2.5-mile stretch of the Greenline without an access point, funds from the project will also help alleviate a serious erosion problem on the edge of the trail near Princeton Road.
The Greenline will remain open throughout the construction process, which begins this week and is expected to last three months; however, trail visitors may experience delays.
– Patrick Lantrip
Bridges Renames Center, Completes $20M Campaign
Bridges celebrated the completion of a six-year, $20 million endowment campaign Tuesday, Nov. 15, that included the renaming of the nonprofit center as the Jim Boyd Bridges Center.
The endowment campaign began with a $10 million anonymous matching donation in December 2010. It will provide $1 million per year in annual operating revenue and ensure the nonprofit focused on teaching area youths leadership and respect for diversity.
Boyd led the organization from 1995-2011, creating a firm foundation for its success today, said Rebecca Webb Wilson, who founded the Bridge Builders program in 1988 and co-chaired the endowment campaign committee.
–Daily News staff
Verso Leaving Memphis For Miamisburg, Ohio
Verso Corp. announced on Monday, Nov. 14, that it will be moving its Memphis headquarters to consolidate offices in Miamisburg, Ohio.
The move is part of three strategic initiatives designed to increase efficiency in the allocation of its resources, reduce the cost of doing business, and improve Verso's operating and financial performance, the paper manufacturer said in a release.
Verso also plans to organize its business into two strategic business units – graphic paper and specialty paper – and improve the delivery of support services with the goal of reducing overhead expenses by at least 10 percent annually.
The three strategic plans will be implemented beginning in January. Verso has 60 employees in Memphis and more than 200 in Miamisburg, where its new headquarters will be located.
"We understand that the planned consolidation of Verso's corporate offices will cause disruption in the lives of the Memphis office employees who make the move to Miamisburg and will create additional challenges for those who do not," said Kenneth D. Sawyer, Verso's senior vice president of human resources and communications, in a statement. "Verso is committed to treating all our Memphis office employees with fairness, dignity and respect and to quickly communicating openly and honestly with each person about how this decision will affect him or her.”
Verso's graphic paper business unit will be led by Michael A. Weinhold, and its specialty paper business unit will be led by Jason J. Handel. Both are experienced executives at Verso with expertise in their respective businesses, which will each operate as semi-autonomous units responsible for their revenues, costs and profitability.
Consolidating employees in a single location also will strengthen the performance of Verso's corporate staff by fostering increased familiarity and better communication, the company said.
Verso completed its $1.4 billion acquisition of Miamisburg-based competitor NewPage in January 2015.
– Daily News staff
FedExFamilyHouse Seeks $12 Million for Expansion
FedExFamilyHouse, a home away from home to out-of-town families of patients at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, is planning an expansion that will triple its size by 2018. And a fundraising campaign has been launched to raise the $12 million construction cost of that expansion.
An inaugural gift of $5 million from FedEx president and CEO Fred Smith and his wife, Diane, along with FedEx CFO Alan Graf and his wife, Susan, is kicking off that campaign. The balance will be raised through a yearlong donation drive.
The planned expansion will include a four-story building with 40,000 square feet to be connected to the current facility; 51 new rooms, with 21 suites and 30 hotel-style rooms; new community spaces for gatherings, meetings, and functions; new outdoor play areas; and more.
Since its opening in 2010, the FedExFamilyHouse has welcomed more than 100,000 family members from across the world at the house at no charge. During that same timeframe, Le Bonheur has recruited more than 100 new pediatric experts and researchers and has seen its national and international reputation grow, which has fueled a 40 percent increase in the need for lodging at FedExFamilyHouse, according to the hospital.
The current 25,000-square-foot facility is comprised of 24 suites, kitchen and dining facilities, an indoor recreational space and family lounges.
– Andy Meek
MATA Forms 11-Member Advisory Committee
The Memphis Area Transit Authority has formed an 11-member transit advisory volunteer committee to offer feedback and make recommendation to MATA leaders.
The committee includes riders, school students who use the bus service, college students, citizens with disabilities, leaders of civic organizations, employers and senior citizens, among others.
Committee members must live in the MATA service area and at least half must be regular riders, with at least one committee member specifically using MATAplus, the bus service for riders with disabilities.
Members will serve for two years and can apply for a second two-year term.
MATA is taking applications for committee members online at matatransit.com. Applications are also being accepted at MATA headquarters, 1370 Levee Road, and at all three MATA transit centers.
– Bill Dries
Tunica Crankshaft Plant Formally Opens Nov. 16
FEUER Powertrain opened its new $140 million automotive crankshaft plant in Tunica on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at an event that included Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and other officials.
The company, headquartered in Nordhausen, Germany, is expected to create 300 jobs in Tunica.
It will be FEUER’s first manufacturing facility in the United States.
The grand opening was held at the new facility at 4081 Casino Center Drive.
FEUER Powertrain, established in 2003, machines and processes ready-for-installation crankshafts. The company has invested more than $350 million in five plants in Nordhausen, where it employs more than 750 workers.
The opening has been long awaited by Tunica County officials, who continue to work to increase the diversity of its local economy outside the casinos.
– Daily News staff
Despite Lower Sales, TVA Posts Record Net Income
The Tennessee Valley Authority has posted record net income despite falling electric sales.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports TVA's net income in fiscal 2016 rose about 11 percent to more than $1.2 billion.
Electric sales dropped 3.4 percent due to stagnant demand and a slight drop in power rates.
The utility spent $3.1 billion on capital improvements last year and used cheaper fuel to reduce average customer power prices.
– The Associated Press