The Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled Friday that the Convention Center Authority must release the addresses of contractors who have worked on the $600 million Music City Center. An official with the International Union of Operating Engineers had taken the Metro entity to court in late 2011 in an attempt to find out just how much of the work on the city's new convention complex has been done by local workers.
In their opinion, Judge David Farmer noted among other things that, "Taken to its logical extension, the CCA’s contention that the employees in this case are 'public employees' would render any employee working on a construction project for which a public entity is ultimately responsible, or which is supported by public funds, a public employee entitled to the benefits and subject to the restrictions thereof." View the full opinion here.
Vanderbilt Health System CEO Wright Pinson spoke this week to members of the newly merged Williamson County Chamber of Commerce. His talk covered a lot of high-level policy ground and the strategic options for hospital players. He also discussed how the VUMC system plans to tackle the brave new world of health care post reform.
Then he switched gears a bit and filled in the crowd on his team's plans — announced in the fall of 2010 — to consolidate many of its Williamson County providers in one setting on the east side of Interstate 65. This is the first time we've seen the rendering below, which shows the $82 million complex from the east side as it will face Carothers Parkway.
D.A. Davidson analyst Steve Chercover has taken "the uncomfortable step" of cutting his rating on shares of Louisiana-Pacific to 'underperform' from 'neutral' despite raising his profit estimates and price target. Chercover says the extreme bullishness surrounding LP and other players in the housing market has gone a little too far. LP shares (Ticker: LPX) are off about 2 percent in morning trading.
Quick, what does Nashville have in common with both L.A. and Des Moines?
All three were among the cities added last month to the Improving Markets Index run by the National Association of Home Builders and First American Title Insurance. Two-thirds of the country's metro areas are now esteemed members of that club.
“The IMI has almost doubled in the past two months as stronger demand during prime home buying season boosted prices across a broader number of metropolitan areas,” noted NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Similar home price gains, and hence the IMI, may be tempered in the future as we see data from typically slower months for home sales.”
Analyst Stephen Atkinson at BMO Capital Markets on Wednesday added to the optimism surrounding shares of Louisiana-Pacific. Prediciting a 20 percent jump in 2013 sales, Atkinson hiked his price target for LP shares (Ticker: LPX) to $24 from $18, leaving about 15 percent of upside from their current levels. Like others have said recently, Atkinson expects prices for oriented strand board to drop this year and next, but they'll still be high enough to power some serious profit growth.
John Perry at Deutsche Bank also has hiked his price target for Healthcare Realty Trust, but the REIT's outlook is nowhere near as bright as for LP. Perry's $24 target — up from $20 — is $1 below where Healthcare Realty (Ticker: HR) closed Wednesday's session, and he rates the stock — along with most of the other REITs he covers — a 'hold.'