The Associated Press is reporting the FBI has launched a criminal investigation into Corrections Corp. of America and its operation of Idaho's largest prison.
In early January, Idaho officials announced the state would assume operations of the 2,106-bed Idaho Correctional Center located south of Boise, which has been under the wing of CCA since opening more than a decade ago. (Read more here.)
The leaders of the Idaho Department of Correction last summer said they would open up the contract renewal process to companies other than Nashville-based CCA, which has over the years faced several lawsuits related to its staffing and the treatment of prisoners at the facility.
In February, CCA said it had agreed to pay $1 million as part of a settlement into the operations the prison. (Read more here).
CCA’s contract expires June 30.
Read the AP story here.
The hotel chatter continues.
With the looming opening of the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott and The 404 Hotel (both located in The Gulch), the Hilton Garden Inn now above grade in SoBro, Anil Patel’s two Marriotts fully framed on West End Avenue in Midtown, the fast-approaching start of Buckingham Midtown, Chartwell's Marriott almost finished in Green Hills, and efforts by both MarketStreet Enterprises and Mark Bloom to develop hotels (in The Gulch, no less), Nashville is abuzz with hotel construction.
In addition, multiple entities are looking to take existing buildings (for example, Noel Place and the Wells Fargo Building, both located on Fourth Avenue North) and convert them into boutique hotels. And, of course, Kevin Fee and his team are eyeing a towering Westin on the MCC Roundabout.
Interestingly, Buckingham Cos. officials are saying nothing about the hotel component of their mixed-use project (see image below), although speculation continues to focus on Kimpton Hotels, W Hotels and InterContinental Hotel. Some insiders have mentioned Peabody.
One hotel that seemingly will not be establishing a presence in Nashville — in either Buckingham Midtown or elsewhere — is Louisville-based 21c Museum Hotels, an entity various locals would like to have in town.
“We are not pursuing a project in Nashville,” said Stephanie Greene, 21c Museum Hotels director of public relations.
Wunderlich Securities analyst Kevin Reynolds has taken note of the very nice run Pinnacle Financial Partners has had in recent months and downgraded shares of the largest bank headquartered in the Nashville area to 'hold' from 'buy.' It's a simple valuation call: Reynolds says Pinnacle (Ticker: PNFP) deserves to trade at a multiple to its peers but that it would be getting ahead of itself if it traded higher than its current level of $37.
Seth Basham at Wedbush has formally launched his coverage of Tractor Supply with an 'outperform' rating and a price target of $80. That leaves investors an upside of about 10 percent from the stock's (Ticker: TSCO) current level.
Brentwood-based developer GBT Realty Corp. has closed on the purchase of more than 28 acres along Outer Loop for the development of Jefferson Commons.
The purchase price was not disclosed in a release.
Construction for Jefferson Commons (read more here), which will carry an approximately $40 million price tag, will begin immediately, with the first tenants scheduled to open in late 2014.
The regional community center will include more than 210,000 square feet of retail space as well as four outparcels ranging from approximately 0.6 acres to 1.6 acres.
Signed tenants include Shoe Carnival, H.H. Gregg, Liquor Barn, Michael’s Arts & Crafts and Men’s Warehouse.
“As with our other Louisville development, we are over 82 percent leased before putting a shovel in the ground. This is a good indicator that the Louisville market is strong and is poised for retail growth,” Fraser Schaufele, vice president of leasing and brokerage at GBT Realty, said in the release.
Independent record label Rounder Records has opened its new headquarters office at 1209 Pine St. in The Gulch. Musicrow.com reports President John Virant moved to Nashville from the label’s previous home base in Boston. Music Row stalwart Tracy Gershon will serve as co-vice president of A&R with Scott Billington, musicrow.com reports. Howard Frank is senior director of promotion, with Liza Levy serving as project manager. Regina Joskow, director of publicity, will continue to be based in New York City. The eclectic label — which is home to, among others, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Bela Fleck, Alison Krauss and Rush — had been based in Burlington, Mass. Read more here and here.
The local office of Raymond James has scored a nice win by recruiting financial advisors Paul Allen and David Schadel from Wiley Bros.-Aintree Capital. Allen (left in the photo) and Schadel, who had been with Wiley for a combined 14-plus years, manage about $200 million for the clients. Along with Client Services Manager Heather Beckwith, they are now based in Maryland Farms.
A segment of the Artisan on 18th apartment building under construction in Midtown is now above grade, with a storm water/sanitary line having been relocated recently to accommodate the rising of the other segment.
Nashville-based Stonehenge Real Estate Group is developing the 153-unit building, with Cambridge Swinerton LLC of Atlanta serving as general contractor for the project.
Stonehenge recently secured a permit, valued at about $20.03 million, for the project.
Read more here.
Local nonprofit Girls on the Run Nashville has named Tiffany Patton as its executive director.
Patton most recently served as director of community engagement at Big Brothers Big Sisters in Nashville.
Girls on the Run Nashville offers afterschool programs that run for 12-weeks each spring and fall. The organization, which is based in Charlotte, N.C., has been in Nashville since 2007.
“I’ve always been passionate about working with youth,” Patton said in a release. “It is wonderful that Girls on the Run has inspired more than one thousand Middle Tennessee girls to be joyful, healthy and confident. In my new role, I will be focused on creating programming to reach the thousands more who could use our program to help them reach their full potential.”
In addition to her work with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Patton has worked with Tennessee Lives Count and Tennessee Voices for Children. She also serves on the boards of Intrepid College Preparatory Charter School and Vanderbilt University Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center.
Patton is a member of the Urban League Young Professionals of Middle Tennessee, the Association of Vanderbilt Black Alumni and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
Patton received her Bachelor of Arts degree in from Vanderbilt University and her Master of Science degree in public service management from Cumberland University.
Tennessee’s preliminary unemployment rate for January was 7.2 percent, down from the December revised rate of 7.7 percent, Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips announced today.
For comparison, the national unemployment rate for January was 6.6 percent, down 0.1 percent from the December mark.
January unemployment in the state was the lowest monthly figure (218,900) since the September 2008 mark.
KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Brad Thomas says home goods seller Kirkland's has been smartly putting its money to work on new logistics and IT systems and could see a margin bump of up to 2 points. He has hiked his rating on the shares of Kirkland's (Ticker: KIRK) to 'buy' from 'hold' and sees them climbing back to $24 from the $19.77 where they opened this morning.