WHAT’S GOING ON

– Home is where the (debt) is? Not necessarily in Memphis.

When the market is in turmoil, housing prices tend to hit buyers hard. According to a study by Point2Homes, the cost of purchasing your own home has increased significantly over the past five years, with 11 markets in the United States (18 in North America) seeing prices jump by more than 50 percent. Memphis, however, did not join them in the upper tier of prices surges. In the last few years, Memphis ranked 7th among markets with the lowest price increases, seeing a 24 percent jump (tied with Manhattan and Dallas). The percentage translates to an average increase of $26,500. Our northern neighbors, however, didn’t fare so well. Nashville saw a leap of 55 percent, with the net gain coming out to $109,162. If you’re looking for another reason to choose Memphis over Nashville, saving yourself a cool hundred grand is a decent argument. While prices remain relatively low in Memphis, current and planned development and improvements to areas like Downtown and Uptown may cause property values to rise even higher in the near future. For more information on house pricing, read the full study here.

– Ducks Unlimited has named Adam H. Putnam as its new CEO effective April 1. DU’s current CEO, Dale Hall, will remain to help with the transition until his retirement on June 30. Putnam was most recently the Commissioner of Agriculture for the state of Florida where he served in one of four statewide elected positions within the government. He led the nation’s largest state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and was responsible for the management of 1.3 million acres of state forests, running the state Energy Office and directing the state’s school nutrition programs. “From the outset, the CEO search committee here at Ducks Unlimited wanted to find a unique balance of conservation, policy and agriculture background in the new CEO candidate,” said DU President Rogers Hoyt. “In Adam, we feel we have hit on all three. Not to mention he’s an approachable, passionate and visionary person, so Adam was the perfect fit.”

– U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced that Agricenter International is one of 67 candidates for the new headquarters of National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) which is within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). “We are committed to the important missions of these agencies and transparency in our election process,” Perdue says. USDA and Ernst & Young analyzed 136 applications as well as labor force statistics and travel requirements.  A short list will be announced in April with a final announcement in May. Agricenter President John Butler says the move, if it happens, would be a game changer for the region. As part of Agricenter’s recent strategic initiative, the expansion of the Innovation District is a number one priority. The acreage already holds offices of Helena Agri-EnterprisesBASFDucks Unlimited headquarters, and Case IH training center.

NEWS FROM OTHER SOURCES

 The Expanding News Desert: Chris Davis of the Memphis Flyer takes a look at the decline of local newspapers. Read his report here.

– The General Assembly has OK’d public incentives for a Loews convention center hotel in Downtown Memphis. Read Wayne Risher’s story in the Daily Memphian here.

– The Memphis Magnetic Recording Co. has opened in the South City area, providing services for musicians who like to go with old-style analog tech. Read Desiree Stennet’s story in The Commercial Appeal here.

– Getting decent, affordable apartments is tougher than it should be in Memphis. Read Jacob Steimer’s report in the Memphis Business Journal here.

UPCOMING EVENTS
Got an event? Send your info to Samuel X. Cicci at [email protected]insidememphisbusiness.com

– The public is invited to Agricenter’s Ag Day Exhibition on Thursday, March 20 at Agricenter Farmer’s Market. The event, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., will have booths from several local agriculture businesses. The event is free. More info here.

– Whiskey Warmer: Sample whiskeys from around the world, meet master distillers, and enjoy local food and live music. Ticket ($34) includes 15 tastings and access to all areas of the event. Proceeds benefit Volunteer Memphis. March 22, 6-9 p.m., Overton Square. More info here.

– Camp Expo: Local and area camps show their offerings this year for kids from preschool to 18. Meet camp staff, see videos, and take home informational material. Event is free and at the Memphis Botanic Garden. Admission to the Garden and My Big Backyard is included. March 23, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. More info here.

– Margarita Festival: Vote on the city’s best margarita makers. Ticket ($34) includes entry to the event and 15 margarita samples, plus food, cash bar, and entertainment. Proceeds benefit Volunteer Memphis. May 11, 3-6 p.m., Fourth Bluff Park. More info here.

THE HOT SHEET

Who’s getting promoted? Who’s closing big deals? Who’s getting awards? Inside Memphis Business magazine’s Hot Sheet has the latest on milestones in Memphis.

– The Crone Law Firm promoted Laura Bailey (pictured) to principal attorney and senior vice president of legal operations.

– Marko Radic, PhD, associate professor of Microbiology, Immunology, and Biochemistry in the College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), recently published a paper examining novel treatment options for lupus. The paper, featured in Science Translational Medicine explores using a targeted immunotherapy approach to treat the disease.

– Pat Nelson, president and chairman of Lehman-Roberts Co., was elected to the national asphalt industry board.

– Explore Bike Share earned $200,000 in public and private contributions (from City of Memphis and FedEx) to support growth in its second year.

POWER PLAYER

Inside Memphis Business magazine publishes a list of local Power Players every year. These are the movers and shakers in more than 30 categories who get things done in their respective fields. IMB’s April issue has the complete list. We also publish individual categories in other issues throughout the year, and we feature individual Power Players in our weekly Tip Sheet.

This week’s Power Player: Timothy Garrett

Director of architecture, Belz Enterprises/Belz Architecture. U of M graduate, AIA Member, NCARB, LEED AP, and registered in 6 states. Recent projects include Poplar Tower Renovations, Onyx Medical Expansion, UTMP Expansion, Horizon Surgery Center, and Crone Law Firm.  Past AIA Memphis Board of Directors, 2011, 2012, and 2015. Board President for Memphis & Shelby County Humane Society, 2019.

For the complete list of Inside Memphis Business Power Players, go here.

QUOTABLE

“We have to be able to do a deeper dive into the community, and to do that we’ve got to have reporters. We’ve got to have journalists. We’ve got to have editors — local people telling local stories. So we’re asking the community to help us help them, and we think they will respond to that.”

 Karanja Ajanaku, executive editor of the Tri-State Defender, in the Memphis Flyer story on the state of local newspapers here.