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VOL. 133 | NO. 93 | Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Daily Digest

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AutoZone Buying 2 Buildings for Downtown Expansion

With its 270,000-square-foot Store Support Center nearing capacity, Memphis-based auto parts retailer AutoZone has entered into an agreement to purchase two adjacent parcels on South Front Street in an effort to keep its corporate employees in a centralized location.

Located at 104 S. Front and 110 S. Front, the two 140-year-old buildings would add roughly 50,000 square feet to AutoZone’s Downtown headquarters when the deal closes later this month.

“We are going to need some additional space down the road, it was just a great opportunity to make sure that we have ownership of some property adjacent to our Store Support Center,” AutoZone spokesman Ray Pohlman said.

The company’s main headquarters is across the street at 123 S. Front.

Though Pohlman said the company does not currently have a timeframe in place or know what functions they will move into the newly acquired space, he did indicate more growth in store for AutoZone’s Downtown footprint.

“We’re growing 2 or 3 percent every year, and we’re reaching capacity at our Store Support Center,” Pohlman said. “So we’re going to need some more additional space and we want to make sure everyone stays Downtown.”

– Patrick Lantrip

Hub International Acquires Barnett Group’s Assets

Hub International Limited has acquired the assets of Memphis-based employee benefits consulting firm Barnett Corporate Insurers LLC, also known as The Barnett Group.

Hub, a global insurance brokerage headquartered in Chicago, announced the acquisition Tuesday, May 8, but did not disclose terms of the transaction.

The Barnett Group has grown over 32 years to provide employee benefits for more than 75,000 individuals. The company’s areas of expertise include the design, implementation and administration of insurance plans and wellness programs. It has affiliations with more than 80 insurance carriers and third-party administrators, allowing the firm to offer companies a broad array of employee benefit plans.

Hub is a full-service global insurance broker that provides property and casualty, life and health, employee benefits, investment and risk management products and services. Along with its Chicago headquarters, the firm has offices across North America.

The Barnett Group will join Hub Gulf South, headed by president Steve Terry, and will continue to operate under the leadership of founder and president Ed Barnett.

“Joining Hub allows us to leverage the resources of one of the largest insurance brokers and further build on our commitment to customer service,” Barnett said in a statement. “We are extremely pleased with the opportunity for growth and to be a part of a company that shares our culture and commitment to clients’ success. The Barnett Group staff will continue to service our clients, who will receive on an ongoing basis, customized guidance and best-in-class service, as well as a more robust suite of retirement and benefit solutions.”

– Daily News staff

University of Memphis Won’t Increase Tuition in 2018-19

The University of Memphis is freezing tuition for the 2018-19 academic year, the school announced this week.

The Memphis board of trustees will vote on the measure at its June 6 meeting and voiced support for the recommendation from the university administration during discussions at the board’s March meeting.

The university will become the only higher education institution in the state – public or private – to keep tuition rates stable in the upcoming academic year.

In the last four academic years, average annual tuition at the University of Memphis has increased 2.1 percent compared to an average 7.4 percent annual increase in the previous 15 years.

“We have studied the challenges our students face in considerable depth and detail,” said university president David Rudd in a written statement. “The single greatest challenge is financial and we’re working diligently to help control the cost so more students can access and complete higher education.”

– Bill Dries

Italian-Themed Restaurant Opens in Memphis Airport

With is B Concourse modernization plans underway, Memphis International Airport has added a new Italian-themed restaurant to the A Concourse.

Torn Basil, which offers pizza, meatballs, salads, sandwiches and a breakfast menu, is located near gate A27 and will join Lenny’s Subs and Sam Adams Brew House in the A Concourse.

The restaurant will open daily at 5 a.m., and its closing time will vary based on the day’s final departure.

Torn Basil is operated by HMS Host, which also operates Starbucks, Maggie O’Shea’s, Moe’s, Cinnabon Baked to Go, Urban Market and Home Team Sports at MEM.

Passengers can visit flymemphis.com/dining-at-mem for more information on the food options at Memphis International Airport.

– Patrick Lantrip

New Memphis Hires New Outreach Director

New Memphis has added Ruby Powell-Dennis as its director of outreach, a role in which she’s responsible for attracting and filling New Memphis’ core programs, as well as engaging program graduates on an ongoing basis.

Powell-Dennis comes to New Memphis from Teach for America-Memphis, where she acted as managing director, regional recruitment and student leadership. In that role, she recruited leaders to join the fight to end educational inequity and also worked to connect high school students in corps members’ classrooms to community organizations that focused on college and career readiness.

“(Powell-Dennis’) passion for education and experience with recruitment make her ideal for this position,” New Memphis president and CEO Nancy Coffee said in a statement. “Her deep enthusiasm for our work, building and maintaining talent in Memphis, will be crucial in our goal to facilitate further connections.”

As director of outreach, Powell-Dennis works closely with program graduates to ensure the New Memphis experience is transformative for the individual and the city.

“I decided to join the New Memphis team after watching the work of this organization grow and evolve considerably over the last decade,” she said in a statement. “I am committed to the work happening here. I want to help elevate emerging leaders, particularly our servant leaders in education working with students and families, in meaningful ways and connect them with established leaders across sectors.”

– Daily News staff

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 157 157 10,093
MORTGAGES 161 161 11,107
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 1,301
BUILDING PERMITS 229 229 22,402
BANKRUPTCIES 54 54 6,365
BUSINESS LICENSES 18 18 4,099
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 29 29 3,048
MARRIAGE LICENSES 21 21 2,147