VOL. 10 | NO. 38 | Saturday, September 16, 2017
West Cancer Fundraiser Set for This Weekend
The West Cancer Center’s signature fundraising event, West Fight On: Cycle. Run. Walk, is set to take place at Shelby Farms Park this weekend.
The event is Saturday, Sept. 16, with components that include a 5K run, three cycling routes of different lengths and a one-mile Tribute Walk, all of which makes possible different fitness activities for the entire family.
The cyclists will start at 7 a.m. and the 5K and Tribute Walk will start at 9 a.m. The event will culminate in a special Survivor Ceremony in the Celebration Village beginning at 11:30 a.m.
Funds raised will support The University of Tennessee/West Institute for Cancer Research, the nonprofit fundraising arm of West Cancer Center.
According to West Cancer Center medical oncologist Dr. Brad Somer, the main goal of West Fight On: Cycle. Run. Walk is to raise funds needed to support research and patient services, but also to engage more members of the community “as participants in the event and advocates for our cause.”
Businesses that have come forward to support the event this year include Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc., which has signed on as presenting sponsor. Bank of Bartlett – whose president Harold Byrd credits West Cancer Center with saving his life a decade ago – is a featured sponsor.
– Andy Meek
Memphis Madness Slated for Oct. 12
The University of Memphis men’s and women’s basketball programs will host Memphis Madness on Thursday, Oct. 12, at FedExForum.
The event, which will begin at 7 p.m., will feature entertainers iHeartMemphis and Gabrielle Nicole. Doors open at 6 p.m., with the student-athletes from the men’s and women’s teams being available for autographs until the beginning of the event.
The evening will feature a dunk contest, a three-point shooting team contest, and scrimmage. There will also be performances by the Mighty Sound of the South and the University of Memphis cheer and pom squads.
Tickets, which will be $5, can be purchased at the Memphis ticket office by calling 901-678-2331, or online at gotigersgotix.com.
The men’s basketball program has the top recruiting class in the American Athletic Conference, including two junior college First Team All-Americans in Kareem Brewton and Kyvon Davenport.
The women’s team returns two all-conference players in Cheyenne Creighton and Brea Elmore and looks forward to the return of Ashia Jones, a UT-Martin transfer, who was the nation’s fourth leading scorer in the 2014-15 season.
– Don Wade
Baker Donelson Adds AI Technology to Services
Memphis-based law firm Baker Donelson is adding artificial intelligence technology software developed by Kira Systems to provide business clients with faster, more cost-effective legal services, the company announced.
Baker Donelson will implement Kira to conduct due diligence for transactions and for contract review and analysis, two key areas where the technology will enhance the abilities of the firm’s attorneys to increase efficiency and accuracy. Kira will be used on transactions best suited to the use of the platform, such as complex acquisitions and capital raises for businesses with large contract bases like wholesalers, retailers, service providers and franchisors, according to a press release.
Kira Systems’ award-winning software uses machine learning technology to uncover information in contracts – even when the wording varies from document to document, Baker Donelson said. Lawyers use Kira to help automate the extraction and analysis of key provisions from both structured and unstructured contracts, accelerating and improving the accuracy of due diligence, deal-terms studies, general contract reviews, regulatory compliance and more.
“Kira brings a whole new model of delivering service to our clients,” William S. Painter, Baker Donelson’s chief innovation officer, said in a statement. “It exemplifies our firm’s philosophy of using innovative technologies combined with our experience and industry-leading processes and systems for more efficient and cost-effective delivery of exceptional legal services.”
– Daily News staff
UTHSC’s Roth Appointed To Autism Council
Jenness Roth, family disability training coordinator at the UT-Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, has been appointed to Gov. Bill Haslam’s Tennessee Council on Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Roth will serve a three-year term alongside the heads of a variety of governmental agencies.
The purpose of the council is to establish a long-term plan for a system of care for individuals with ASD and their families.
It’s also meant to assess the current and future impact of ASD on Tennessee residents; to assess the availability of programs and services currently provided for early screening, diagnosis and treatment of ASD; to seek additional input and recommendations from stakeholders; and to develop a comprehensive statewide plan for an integrated system of training, treatment and services for individuals with ASD.
The council also wants to ensure interagency collaboration as the comprehensive statewide system of care for ASD is developed and implemented; to coordinate available resources related to developing the care system; and to coordinate state budget requests related to systems of care for individuals with ASD based on the studies and recommendations of the council.
Roth, who has worked at UTHSC for eight years, is the parent of a 31-year-old son with ASD.
– Andy Meek
GTx Announces Positive SUI Trial Results
Memphis-based biopharmaceutical company GTx Inc. has announced top-line clinical trial results demonstrating that a daily dose of enobosarm 3 mg substantially improved stress urinary incontinence in women, as well as related quality-of-life measurements.
All 17 patients completing 12 weeks of treatment in the open-label trial saw a clinically significant reduction (50 percent or greater) in stress leaks per day, compared to an established baseline.
Mean stress leaks in the trial decreased by 83 percent from baseline over 12 weeks, and the reductions in daily stress leaks following completion of treatment have been sustained as patients are being followed for up to seven months post-treatment, according to a company release.
The results were presented at the International Continence Society’s annual meeting going on in Florence, Italy, Sept. 12-15.
“All 17 patients completing treatment have shown a significant reduction in the number of leaks per day recorded at their baseline, and the improvements in symptoms were sustained well beyond ceasing enobosarm treatment at 12 weeks,” said Dr. Kenneth M. Peters, chairman of urology at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, and the principal investigator in the trial. “The results in this proof-of-concept study are promising, and we are excited to be participating in a larger, placebo-controlled Phase 2 study.”
The abstract is available on the International Continence Society’s website at ics.org.
Based on the results from its enobosarm Phase 2 proof-of-concept study, the company has initiated a random placebo-controlled Phase 2 clinical trial to evaluate the change in frequency of daily stress urinary incontinence episodes following 12 weeks of treatment.
The trial will evaluate the safety and efficacy of enobosarm (1 mg and 3 mg) compared with placebo in postmenopausal women with SUI.
Enobosarm has previously been evaluated in clinical trials enrolling in excess of 1,700 patients, in which approximately 1,200 individuals received doses ranging from 0.1 mg to 100 mg, and has been observed to be generally safe and well tolerated, a GTx release said.
“Since stress incontinence occurs when muscles that control one’s ability to hold urine get weak or do not work, it stands to reason that increasing pelvic floor muscle mass should reduce involuntary or unintentional leakage of urine,” said Dr. William J. Evans, adjunct professor in the geriatrics program at the Duke University Medical Center. “The muscles of the pelvic floor are enriched with androgen receptors and are responsive to the body’s hormonal status, which is why we hypothesize that a selective androgen receptor modulator, like enobosarm, could have a beneficial effect on SUI.”
– Daily News staff
Memphis Industrial Center Sells for $3.7 Million
Boston-based real estate investment firm Plymouth Industrial REIT has expanded its local portfolio with the acquisition of a 132,000-square-foot industrial center in southeast Memphis.
In the deal, Plymouth purchased the property from Huntington Industrial Partners for $3.7 million.
The building, located at 3635 Knight Road, is completely leased and currently houses Terminix International Co. and third-party logistics firm Commercial Warehouse and Cartage.
Shane Soefker and Jacob Biddle, the principals of Avison Young’s Memphis office, represented the seller in the transaction and have been tapped by the new owners to handle leasing and property management.
“It’s great to have an active buyer like Plymouth in our market,” Biddle said of the company’s recent acquisition, which is the second local property the company has purchased in less than a month.
On Aug. 18, the Boston REIT bought an eight-building, 235,000-square-foot flex industrial portfolio located on 3.2 acres within the Airport Business Park from Dallas-based Gearing Captial Partners for $7.8 million.
“We are pleased to continue growing our presence in Memphis with its strong market dynamics, access to major distribution networks and positive net absorption,” Plymouth chairman and CEO Jeff Witherell said in a statement. “With rental rates at 3635 Knight Road below the current market, and its strong location and functionality, we are confident we can create additional value at this property.”
Plymouth currently owns and manages 29 properties totaling 5.8 million square feet in eight states, according to the company's website.
In other real estate news, CW Capital sold the American Way Plaza shopping center to
American Way Plaza LLC for $2.1 million. Soefker and Biddle represented the seller in this deal as well.
The new owners indicated that the plan on holding on the roughly 104,000-square-foot retail center as a long-term investment and have plans to improve the property located in the 4600 block of American Way near the intersection of Perkins Road.
Like Plymouth, CW Capital has also been active in the market recently, selling a 13-property portfolio in the Airport Distribution Center and Delp Distribution Center to New York-based Triangle Captial Group for $18.1 million. The portfolio totaled 1.4 million square feet across 70 acres.
As a special servicer, CW Capital specializes in taking over loan servicing when a loan goes into default or is about to go into default and has previously worked with Avison Young to develop a business plan for the distressed properties they have acquired in the Memphis area.
– Patrick Lantrip
House Adds $4M in Funds For Rape Kit Backlog
The U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment Tuesday, Sept. 12, offered by U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, a Democrat representing Memphis, and U.S. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, D-New York, to include an additional $4 million in the fiscal 2018 House appropriations package for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI).
SAKI helps local law enforcement agencies work to reduce backlogs of untested rape kits.
In 2015, Cohen and Maloney successfully offered an amendment to increase funding for SAKI by $4 million, and Cohen was able to increase the same funding by $5 million in 2014.
If the House-passed amendment becomes law, Congress will have increased SAKI funding from $36 million to $49 million since 2014, a 36 percent increase.
“DNA analysis has been revolutionary in helping catch criminals and prevent further crimes from occurring,” Cohen said in a statement. “But when evidence is sitting on a shelf somewhere waiting to be tested, that means assailants are still at large and could be assaulting more victims.”
At its peak, the backlog reached 12,000 untested kits in Memphis alone, with an estimated 400,000 sitting in evidence rooms nationwide. In 2015, Memphis received nearly $2 million from this grant program to reduce its rape kit backlog.
“The backlog of untested rape kits across this country is shameful, and we need to commit the resources necessary to get them tested,” Cohen added. “This increased funding will help make that happen.”
– Daily News staff
Memphis Grizzlies Sign Forward Vince Hunter
The Memphis Grizzlies have signed 6-foot-8 forward Vince Hunter, who in 2016 played in four preseason games with the team and averaged 8.8 rebounds and 4.0 rebounds.
Hunter appeared in 26 games (16 starts) for Avtodor Saratov of Russia’s VTB United League during the 2016-17 season and averaged 14.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.35 steals and 1.31 blocks in 26.0 minutes per game.
Hunter has played for the Grizzlies’ Summer League team in Las Vegas each of the last two years. Undrafted in the 2015 NBA Draft, the University of Texas-El Paso product has also played professionally in Greece (Panathinaikos), Romania (BCM U Pitesti) and the NBA G League (Reno Bighorns).
– Don Wade
FedEx Pledges $1M To Hurricane Irma Clean-Up
In the wake of Hurricane Irma, Memphis-based FedEx Corp. has announced it will commit $1 million in cash and transportation support to areas affected by the storm.
The announcement comes a few weeks after the company donated $1 million to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by Hurricane Irma,” David J. Bronczek, president and chief operating officer of FedEx Corp said in a release. “There’s no better use of our global network than to help support the important work of these organizations that are providing immediate relief. FedEx is committed to working closely with humanitarian and disaster relief organizations to provide support and deliver supplies to assist those hardest hit by these storms.”
The disaster relief effort is a part of the FedEx Cares “Delivering for Good” initiative, in which FedEx leverages its shipping and logistics network to connect organizations, communities and individuals with much-need supplies and medical aid.
Before the storm hit, FedEx sent a chartered flight of relief supplies for the Red Cross to San Juan, Puerto Rico, that included blankets, clean-up kits and comfort kits.
Additionally, FedEx said it will resume limited service this week to areas that are safely accessible.
– Patrick Lantrip
Volunteers Needed For Project Homeless Connect
Community Alliance for the Homeless Inc. is seeking volunteers across Memphis and Shelby County to help during Project Homeless Connect – Memphis, taking place Thursday, Sept. 21, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Memphis Cook Convention Center, 255 N. Main St.
Community volunteers and service providers can register online at cafth.org.
Widely recognized as one of the largest service opportunities of its kind, Project Homeless Connect – Memphis places services and resources that are needed to exit homelessness under one roof.
In conjunction with the Mayors’ Action Plan to End Homelessness, this service opportunity includes a variety of services, such as housing referrals, employment services, veterans’ services, health evaluations and screenings, hair care for men and women, breakfast, lunch, and donations of clothing and toiletry items. Since its inception in 2010, this event has served thousands of homeless individuals throughout the Mid-South.
Each participant will also receive a care bag that contains socks, travel-sized grooming products, bottled water, hygiene products and more. To donate, contact Herman Dickey at 901-527-1302, ext. 310.
Volunteers must be at least 18 years old, and training and registration are required for participation.
– Daily News staff
Guest House Gets New Sales and Marketing VP
The Guest House at Graceland has named Jerry Jensen as its new vice president of sales and marketing.
Jensen is a 30-year veteran of the hospitality industry, coming to Whitehaven from Hotel Contessa in San Antonio, Texas, where he was director of sales and marketing. Jensen started in Houston with Dunfey Hotels with stops at Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza and as regional director for several independent properties as well as brand hotels, including boutiques and convention center hotels.
The 450-room, $90 million resort hotel opened in October as part of an ongoing expansion of Graceland’s 120-acre campus.
– Bill Dries
Concourse to Build Out Some of Remaining Space
Though it held its official grand opening late last month, Crosstown Concourse continues to lease up and build out some of the last remaining vacant spaces in the 1.5 million-square-foot “vertical urban village” in the former Sears Crosstown building.
Developers have filed a $1.5 million building permit application with construction code officials for 12th-floor infill in the concourse, 1350 Concourse Ave. The application lists Grinder, Taber & Grinder Inc. as the contractor and Crosstown Bldg Owner LLC as the owner and tenant.
Some tenants are still building out their space in and around the concourse, including an adjacent theater and Crosstown Brewing Co., both of which are building new facilities from the ground up.
And Crosstown High, a charter school that will occupy the northeast side of the concourse, filed a $4.1 permit application in recent weeks to begin its interior build-out, with plans to open next August with its first class of 500 freshmen.
– Patrick Lantrip
Commission Delays Votes On Finance Ordinances
Shelby County Commissioners delayed votes Monday, Sept. 11, on a set of three resolutions dealing with county finances, citing the need for further discussion and questions.
The first of the three is a supplement to the interlocal agreement on financing the Memphis and Shelby County Sports Authority to pay the debt on FedExForum. The agreement allows revenue from a 2015 increase in the hotel-motel tax to be used to finance renovations of the Memphis Cook Convention Center as well as the debt on the arena.
Some commissioners said they have questions about the arrangement, and other commissioners voted to delay as retaliation for the city administration’s recent decision to end any new sewer extensions in areas outside Memphis where there are not pre-existing agreements with the city.
“I’m not sure I’m willing to work together on this,” commissioner David Reaves said, specifically citing the city decision on sewer connections.
“This is being held hostage,” countered commissioner Reginald Milton, who said the two issues aren’t connected. “I don’t believe in the hostage game.”
The commission delayed two other resolutions on a future issuance of $120 million in bonds for public works projects and schools construction. The resolutions in effect lay out plans for the use of the money with the commission having final approval of the capital projects at a later date – probably in the next two to three years.
The commission could vote on all three resolutions at its Sept. 25 meeting after committee sessions next week.
The commission also approved the use of $6 million in Center City Revenue Finance Corp. PILOT extension funds to finance the construction of a parking facility as part of the Bakery Development – a set of mixed-use buildings including the old Wonder Bread bakery on Monroe Avenue at South Lauderdale Street in the area between Downtown and the Memphis Medical District.
The commission also approved the use of $2 million in state grant funds for land acquisition and engineering of the Big Creek National Disaster Resilience project in north Shelby County and Millington. The project would create a new flood plain between a levee to the north and U.S. 51 to the south. It covers 1,255 acres. When the area is not under water, there would be recreational amenities on the land, including greenways, paths and ball fields as well as sustainable wildlife areas.
It is one of three resilience projects locally awarded $60 million total to change areas that are prone to flooding.
– Bill Dries
Bike Safety Program Launching at SCS
A fundraising campaign is launching this month to fund a bicycle safety program for fourth-grade classes at 14 Shelby County Schools next spring, plus six more schools during the 2018-2019 school year.
The program, organized and funded by Revolutions Bicycle Cooperative, will educate about 825 students on traffic rules and regulations; potential hazards to traveling by bicycle; and handling skills needed to cycle effectively, appropriately and safely through the community. Shelby County Schools and community partners with experience in bicycle education will work to promote safe youth cycling by offering on-the-bicycle training, as well as hands-on and in-class lessons on safety concepts and laws.
The curriculum will be taught during physical education classes. In addition to SCS and Revolutions Bicycle Cooperative, additional partners in this program include the Shelby County Health Department, the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office, BLDG Memphis and Bike Walk Memphis.
Funding for the program will provide two classroom sets of bicycles, helmets and transportation for the classroom bikes that would allow Revolutions Cooperative to deliver them by bicycle. Adults 21 and older are invited to Revolutions at First Congregational Church, 1000 S. Cooper St., for Tour de Brewer #2, a fundraising event for the program on Sept. 23 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
A $10 donation is suggested. The group will ride by bicycle to four Memphis taprooms and Old Dominick Distillery.
– Andy Meek
Memphis 3.0 Planning Enters Third Phase
The Memphis 3.0 comprehensive planning process enters its third phase this with public workshops to consider scenarios of what the city’s growth will look like through 2040.
The scenarios help understand growth patterns, where people move to and where jobs locate, and how future changes may impact quality of life and other measures. These impacts may also include how the city’s revenue could increase or decrease, new development potential for different areas, and which areas change or remain the same over time.
The workshops, hosted by the Office of Comprehensive Planning, will help planners understand community values and preferences for population and job growth. Staff members will present a Memphis 3.0 update and provide an overview of the scenarios. Participants will go through an exercise to identify which values are most important to drive the future of development in Memphis, then select and amend a preferred scenario based on those values.
The meeting schedule includes:
Wednesday, Sept. 20: Whitehaven Golf Course, 750 East Holmes Road
Thursday, Sept. 21: McFarland Community Center, 4955 Cottonwood Road
Wednesday, Sept. 27: Memphis Leadership Foundation, 1548 Poplar Ave.
Each meeting lasts from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., and participants can arrive at 5 p.m. to ask questions about the process or scenarios.
The results of the workshops will form the foundation of future steps in the planning process and will be published in October at memphis3point0.com.
– Daily News staff
U of M Track Standout Up For Woman of Year Award
Chardae Greenlee, a four-year University of Memphis track and field star from 2013-17, has been named as one of the nation’s Top 30 for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year award, the NCAA office has announced.
Greenlee is one of 10 candidates from the NCAA Division I level for the national honor. There also are 10 candidates from both the NCAA Division II and III levels.
The Hazel Crest, Ill., native graduated in May with a degree in sport and leisure management and a 3.74 grade-point average.
In the arena of competition, Greenlee wrapped up her career as one of the program’s most-decorated performers. Primarily competing in the triple jump, Greenlee won three consecutive American Athletic Conference outdoor titles in the event (2015-2017). Her triple jump effort to win the 2015 conference crown is a Memphis women’s program record.
Greenlee was an eight-time All-American Athletic Conference honoree (indoor/outdoor combined) in the triple and long jumps. For her career, Greenlee won 18 triple jump titles and recorded 41 top-three performances.
Among her classroom accomplishments, Greenlee was a four-time American Athletic Conference All-Academic selection. This year, she received an NCAA Ethnic Minority and Women’s Enhancement Graduate Scholarship and participated in the NCAA Career in Sports Forum.
– Don Wade
Germantown Medical Office Sells for $16 Million
A New York-based investment trust has paid nearly $16 million for the Germantown medical office building that houses Wolf River Surgery Center.
Global Medical REIT, doing business as GMR Germantown, bought the 34,000-square-foot building at 1325 Wolf Park Lane from Brierbrook Partners LLC for $15.9 million, according to a warranty deed filed with the Shelby County Register.
The Shelby County Assessor appraised the 4.5-acre property, which is south of Wolf River Boulevard and west of South Germantown Road, for $7.2 million this year.
In conjunction with the purchase, Global Medical took out an $8.9 million mortgage on the property through Chicago-based BMO Harris Bank. Jaime Barber, acting as secretary and general counsel, signed the deed of trust on behalf of the real estate investment trust.
Global Medical’s newest acquisition follows its December 2015 purchase of five of Gastro One’s Shelby County property holdings in transactions totaling $15 million. The 52,000-square-foot portfolio included four medical office buildings in Germantown and one in Bartlett.
– Patrick Lantrip
Ashton Place Rehab Sells for $11 Million
Evanston, Illinois-based Altitude Health Services has purchased the Ashton Place Rehab & Health Center in an $11.2 million deal, according to a warranty deed filed with the Shelby County Register.
In the transaction, Altitude Health, doing business as Volunteer Walnut Property LLC, bought the property from FPX Leasing I LLC.
Scott E. Brown signed the deed as vice president of FPX Leasing.
Located at 3030 Walnut Grove Road, the 75,000-square-foot medical facility sits on 2.8 acres near the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library and was last appraised for just under $4 million in 2017, according to the Shelby County Assessor.
Founded in 2011, Altitude Health Services acquires, develops and supports health facilities.
– Patrick Lantrip
MAA Moves Forward With New Headquarters
Memphis-based real estate investment trust MAA is moving forward with its corporate relocation to Germantown’s TraVure development.
The apartment-only REIT pulled a $7 million building permit with construction code officials to build out the fourth and fifth floors. It lists Grinder, Taber & Grinder as the contractor, developer Gill Properties as the owner and MAA as the tenant.
Last fall, MAA announced its plans to move into TraVure at 6815 Poplar Ave., less than half a mile from its current headquarters at 6584 Poplar Ave.
The company will occupy about 83,000 square feet of TraVure’s five-story, 150,000-square-foot office building – part of a larger development that also includes a five-story parking garage, co-branded hotel, and restaurant and retail space.
The move will bring together MAA’s 200 corporate employees, which currently are spread between its 43,000-square-foot headquarters and an additional 18,000 square feet of office space MAA is leasing.
– Patrick Lantrip
Open Tryouts for G League Memphis Hustle Sept. 23-24
The Memphis Hustle, the NBA G League affiliate of the Memphis Grizzlies, will hold its inaugural open player tryouts for the upcoming 2017-18 season on Saturday, Sept. 23, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Hyde Gym on the Memphis University School campus, 6191 Park Ave., and Sunday, Sept. 24, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at DeSoto Central High School, 2911 Central Parkway in Southaven.
Doors will open for registration at 1 p.m. at both locations.
All applicants must be eligible to play in the NBA G League and complete the required paperwork. For registrations completed prior to Wednesday, Sept. 13, the fee is $150. The fee increases to $200 for registrations completed after Sept. 13.
Information about the tryouts, registration forms and payment options and instructions are available at Grizzlies.com and MemphisHustle.com. Applicants may send advance registration forms in the mail to 191 Beale St., Memphis, TN 38103 to the attention of Malika Travis. Registrations will also be accepted on-site the day of each tryout.
– Don Wade