CBL cites interest in Northgate Mall

CBL cites interest in Northgate Mall


November 6th, 2011 by Mike Pare, Carey O'Neil and Dave Flessner in Business Around the Region

CBL cites interest in Northgate Mall

The chief executive of CBL & Associates Properties Inc. said last week the company has received calls from a number of big-box retailers interested in locating at Northgate Mall.

Stephen Lebovitz, CEO of the Chattanooga-based shopping center developer, told analysts in a conference call the company is finalizing its redevelopment plans for the Hixson mall.

"While the size of the transaction is small, this is a terrific deal for us," he said.

In September, the owner of Hamilton Place mall closed on acquiring the mall for $11.5 million cash with no debt assumption.

Local restaurateur eyes expansions

The South must love burgers and tacos.

Taylor Monen, owner of locally-based restaurants Taco Mamacita and gourmet burger joint Urban Stack, is eying Memphis and Charleston, S.C., for two new restaurants she hopes to open by the end of 2012.

"As we've been successful, and Taco Mamacita's been successful, we reinvest that in our company," she said.

The cost of opening a new location varies, but Monen said of the four she's opened, prices have ranged from $400,000 to $1 million.

But they're good investments, she said. She recently opened two locations, and is on track to hit $8 million in annual revenue.

Access America expects big growth

Ted Alling said he wouldn't be surprised if his Chattanooga-based trucking company reaches $1 billion in revenue in the coming years.

Access America Transport saw $97 million in revenue last year, he said, and is projected to do $200 million this year.

Alling attributes that growth to his company's ability to attract good people. He said the company offers plenty of contests and competitions, trying to make the workplace fun.

"We're just attracting a lot of good people," he said. "When you have that inspired workforce, you can move mountains."

Jamal Lewis faces bank default suit

Jamal Lewis was one of the greatest rushers ever to wear the University of Tennessee's orange and white, but the Knoxville News Sentinel reports that an Alabama-based bank is trying to tackle him in court.

Last month, Regions Bank filed a lawsuit in Knox County Chancery Court that alleged the ex-running back is in default on a pair of loans. The suit seeks a judgment of $661,169.

Lewis was a high-school football star from Georgia who played for the Vols from 1997 to 1999 and went on to a 10-year career in the National Football League that included rushing for 2,066 yards in 2003.

The lawsuit alleged that Lewis executed a $416,000 loan in 2007 that is secured by a 47-foot Fountain Lightning boat and 700-horsepower motor, and the following year executed a $500,000 unsecured promissory note. The lawsuit claims Lewis is in default on the loans.

Shaw among best Georgia employers

North Georgia's carpet industry has shed nearly 1,000 jobs this year, but one of its biggest companies picked up another labor award last week.

Shaw Industries, which was recognized last month with a state award for workplace safety, is listed in the new edition of Georgia Trends magazine as one of the "Best Places to Work in Georgia." Shaw was among 15 employers recognized as one of the state's best employers.

Shaw donated $50,000 to Red Cross relief after the spring tornadoes and offered help to any of its 25,000 employees who were affected.

Contract administrator Eric Taylor said his Shaw supervisor and director both "came to visit me at this most difficult time (after losing his house to the April 27 tornado) and their genuine concern reflects the company we work for."