The board of First Freedom Bank in Lebanon has voted to pay shareholders an annual dividend of 20 cents, up from 15 cents last year and the 10 cents it paid when launching a dividend in 2013. The nine-year-old, $300 million bank led by President and CEO John Lancaster grew its profits by nearly half last year.
Executives at Amazon.com say they plan to hire 6,000 people nationally in the coming weeks for their network of sorting and distribution centers. Among the sites getting new full-time positions are Murfreesboro. If Amazon is hiring roughly the same number of people at each of the 19 centers slated to grow, the company's Rutherford County outpost will get another 315 jobs.
Getahn Ward at The Tennessean reports that UBS is close to committing to 30,000 square feet in One Franklin Park, which already has snagged some other big names. The global financial giant, which has been busy building up its downtown operations center, will install some back-office workers in Cool Springs and also open a wealth management office that could grow to 28 people. Read more here.
Wilson County's planned $10 million Expo Center is under fire from area Republicans claiming the project shouldn't be backed by the government. County commissioners approved plans for the 86,000-square-foot project last month and a study estimates the project could be paid off in less than 20 years. But the Wilson County GOP is up in arms and there's a Lebanon-versus-Mt. Juliet element to the whole debate. Connie Esh at The Wilson Post has the details.
Catherine Powers, Franklin's director of planning and sustainability, has unexpectedly resigned her post, effective immediately. Powers had been on the job for five years. Emily West at Franklin Homepage writes that city leaders didn't give much of an explanation at all Tuesday evening as to the circumstances of her exit.
The Franklin Historic Zoning Commission on Monday night voted to approve plans for Harpeth Square, the $80 million mixed-use project planned for the northeast quadrant of downtown Franklin. Commissioners had voted against the plan less than a month ago, citing concerns about building height and massing. Emily West at Franklin Homepage has more info and context here on the meeting, which got just a bit contentious at one point.
"A lot of you are supportive of the project," Reynolds said. "But there's just as many that don't. You are just more powerful and louder. I would like to vote for this project, but I feel like I am being pushed into a corner. I've been disappointed in the developers willingness to address our concerns."
The crowd immediately called back in unison, "Where are they?" and meeting chairman Besser gaveled them into silence.
A local developer is looking to assemble a decent chunk of property in the Brentwood Town Center, reports Jonathan Romeo at Brentwood Homepage. Peter Whitely last week went before city planning officials to discuss his plans for renovating a Pewitt Drive property he owns. But the bigger picture, Romeo writes, involves his intent to piece together neighboring parcels for a signature project to help define the southern edge of the Town Center district.
"It's a longer term project that, if it all come into fruition, will be something for Brentwood to take pride in," Whitely told Brentwood Home Page.
"Most of it is really unknown at this point. But my intentions are good. What I'm trying to achieve is to give Brentwood that sense of identity with more of an old-world, historic downtown center at the same time incorporating the needs of today."
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