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John Weitz, owner of Avocet Hospitality Group, speaks about $18-20 million in renovations that he plans to make to the Read House, converting it into a period boutique hotel.

Makeover team picked for Read House hotel

A Chattanooga architectural group and a Texas-Based designer will collaborate on multimillion-dollar makeover of the Read House.

Avocet Hospitality Group said that Artech Design Group of Chattanooga will work with Texas-based ForrestPerkins to restore and refresh the downtown Chattanooga hotel.

AHG Director of Project Management Rod Gerber along with Artech principals Rick Thompson and David Hudson along with ForrestPerkins President Deborah Forrest have begun drafting plans for the $20 million renovation project, which is slated to begin in June 2017.

"The vision that Avocet Hospitality has for the Read House as a luxurious hotel and gathering place for Chattanoogans has excited our entire team. The concept strongly reinforces the commitment to the renaissance of downtown Chattanooga," Thompson said.

Jimmy John's opens in North Chattanooga

A new Jimmy John's located at 330 Frazier Ave. has opened — the third location for the sandwich delivery chain in Chattanooga.

The new story is owned by Ben and Aaron Frizzell, who already operate another Jimmy John's store in Hixson. For the past decade, the Frazier Avenue site on the North Shore has housed the Stone Cup Cafe. Ben Frizzell said he signed a 20-year lease for the space, which he's remodeling.

Next, the father-and-son team will open five more Jimmy John's stores in the Chattanooga area that Aaron Frizzell will manage.

Founded in 1983 by Jimmy John Liautaud in Charleston, Ill., Jimmy John's is one of the fastest growing franchises in the U.S. with more than 2,500 stores in 43 states.

State tax collections ahead of estimates

Tennessee revenue collections in October again beat estimates, this time by $44 million, driving overall collections so far this fiscal year to nearly $200 million over projections.

State Finance Commissioner Larry Martin said Tennessee revenues for October "slightly" exceeded revenues for the same time last year. Revenues from taxes and fees collected during October revenues were $983.3 million, a 1.29 percent rise over the same period last year which also resulted in the $44 million in excess of budgeted estimates.

"The sales tax, which is one of Tennessee's best economic indicators, recorded relatively moderate growth for October," Martin said in a news release. "Corporate revenues - franchise and excise taxes - recorded negative growth for the month."

But Martin called the fall in corporate tax collections a "normal occurrence in the state's business cycle for October, as this is when some corporate filers who may have over paid their tax liability in previous months are allowed to request a refund. Adjustments were consistent with our expectations."

Collections of sales tax revenues, the majority source of state revenue, were $37.5 million more than the October estimate. Collections grew by 4.52 percent.

Retail sales up during October

American consumers ramped up their spending last month in a sign of robust health heading into the crucial holiday shopping season.

Retail sales rose 0.8 percent in October, after an upwardly-revised 1 percent gain in September, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. The two-month increase was the largest since the spring of 2014.

The numbers suggest that the economy may grow more quickly in the final three months of the year than many economists had expected. Retail sales are closely watched as a sign of consumer health. Consumer spending makes up about 70 percent of the economy.

Boeing to close plants, eliminate 2,500 jobs

Boeing Co. plans to move about 2,500 positions to other sites, cut 500 jobs, and close two facilities by the end of 2020 as part of an effort to operate its Defense, Space & Security business more efficiently, the company said Tuesday.

The company said it also will align Boeing Defence Australia, Boeing Defense Saudi Arabia, and Boeing Defence United Kingdom into a new global operations group.

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