VOL. 132 | NO. 235 | Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Amazon Builders File $36 Million Permit
Tricore Builders Inc., the contractor building Amazon’s new $72 million receive center in Memphis, has filed a $35.9 million building permit application with construction code officials for new construction, interior offices and warehouse modifications.
This marks the second multimillion-dollar building permit application Tricore has filed this month for the facility, which is slated to go at 3292 Holmes Road in southeast Memphis.
On Nov. 18, Tricore and Atlanta-based developer IDI Gazeley, which owns the land, applied for a $2 million permit for “footing and foundation” work.
In October, Amazon confirmed it was planning a $72 million, 615,440-square-foot receive center that would employ 600 workers. The facility will collect and repackage products for distribution to fulfillment centers across the country.
Later that month, the online retailer was awarded a 15-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes incentive by the Economic Development Growth Engine.
Over the term of the abatement, EDGE officials estimate the project will generate almost $37 million in local tax revenue while saving Amazon $15 million, for a cost-to-benefit ratio of 2.43.
– Patrick Lantrip
First Horizon, Capital Bank Divest Two Branches
The parent company of First Tennessee Bank and Charlotte, North Carolina-based Capital Bank Financial Corp. have jointly agreed to sell two Capital Bank branches in East Tennessee to Apex Bank.
The banks announced the agreement after winning regulatory approval in October for their $2.2 billion merger from the board of governors of the Federal Reserve. Memphis-based First Horizon is acquiring Capital Bank in a deal that will form the fourth-largest regional bank in the Southeast.
Tennessee-based Apex is absorbing deposits worth about $34 million and $2.5 million in loans from the two branches. And Apex will retain all existing branch employees after acquiring the two branches.
– Andy Meek
Touliatos Files In County Mayor’s Race
Republican contender for Shelby County mayor Joy Touliatos is the first candidate in the race atop the May county primary ballot to file her qualifying petition. Touliatos, who is currently the Juvenile Court clerk, filed with the Shelby County Election Commission just before the Thanksgiving holiday.
Meanwhile, Democratic contender for mayor Lee Harris has pulled his qualifying petition for the May 1 primary. Harris is a state senator.
Also filing before the holiday break was Robert “Chip” Trouy in the Republican primary for Shelby County assessor. Trouy is the deputy administrator of appraisal operations in the assessor’s office.
Arnold Lee Weiner also filed in the Republican primary for county clerk.
Among the latest candidates to pull petitions in the 2018 county elections are Michael Finney of Cordova in the Republican primary for Circuit Court clerk. Finney ran for clerk in 2014.
Adrian Killebrew has pulled a petition in the County Commission District 9 Democratic primary for the seat now held by Democrat Justin Ford, who is term-limited.
Ford’s cousin, Memphis City Councilman Edmund Ford Jr., also has pulled his qualifying petition for the race.
Incumbent Criminal Court Clerk Richard L. DeSaussure III has a qualifying petition in the Republican primary for his re-election bid.
And Bennie Cobb, the 2014 Democratic nominee for Shelby County sheriff, has pulled a petition in the 2018 sheriff’s race, where he will face chief deputy Floyd Bonner in the primary.
The deadline for candidates to file for the May 1 primary ballot is Feb. 15 at noon.
– Bill Dries
Work Tax Credits Continue To Rise in Tennessee
The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development continues to issue a record number of Work Opportunity Tax Credits, federal tax credit incentives that benefit businesses that hire individuals who have a difficult time entering or re-entering the labor force.
Between January and October 2017, the department approved nearly 124,000 WOTC applications, totaling more than $322 million in tax credits to Tennessee employers. The state already has surpassed the total number of certifications made in all of 2016.
“This tax credit benefits everyone involved,” TDLWD Commissioner Burns Phillips said in a statement. “It can help improve an employer’s bottom line, while assisting someone who faces significant barriers when looking for employment.”
Eligible workers include people who have been unemployed for a long period of time, veterans, food stamp recipients, ex-felons, persons in vocational rehabilitation, supplemental Social Security income recipients, as well as several other groups of individuals.
A company can receive a tax credit that ranges from $2,400 to $9,600 per approved employee.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, recipients make up the largest group of Work Opportunity Tax Credits, with a little more than 108,000 certifications in 2017. Short-term Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients rank second with more than 5,000 certifications. Both veterans and long-term TANF recipients have nearly 3,200 certifications so far this year.
The department overhauled the WOTC program in 2015.
Prior to that, employers had to fill out paper applications and department staff had to manually process and approve the paperwork, which the department says led to a backlog of applications and a drop in certifications.
Employers now can submit applications online. The new system eliminates 700,000 pieces of paper each year, along with the cost of manually reviewing each application, according to the department. In addition, automation has sped up the approval process, leading to a dramatic increase in certifications.
– Daily News staff