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University Commons, Knoxville, Tenn.

BY CSA STAFF

CHM has broken ground on University Commons, billed as the first urban, vertical retail complex in Knoxville, Tenn.

The multi-story urban shopping and dining development, located on the former Fulton Bellows site adjacent to the University of Tennessee, will cover 12+ acres, with 211,000 sq. ft. of retail space and parking. Anchored by Walmart and Publix, University Commons will add another 40,000 sq. ft. of smaller shop space once the project is completed.

According to Mike McGuffin, a partner with CHM, the urban retail complex will fill a grocery and retail void in the downtown and University areas, providing grocery/supermarket services in what is considered a federally designated “food desert.”

McGuffin projects that University Commons will have an approximate economic impact of $226 million on the Knoxville community and create more than 1,500 jobs. “We believe University Commons will be an excellent example on how public and private partnerships can create viable, economically sound projects for a community while enhancing the quality of life for its residents,” he said.

According to CHM partner Jim Harrison, University Commons transforms a once non-productive real estate brownfield into a developmental asset while anchoring several other major public and private development efforts in the area including the Cumberland Avenue Corridor Project. “Together, University Commons and the Cumberland Avenue Corridor Project will change a semi-suburban area, often used as a pass-through, into a safe and attractive urban district for the community,” said Harrison.

“University Commons and the Cumberland Avenue Corridor Project are great complements to each other,” add Budd Cullom, the third member of the CHM development team.

Walmart and Publix are slated to open in summer 2014.


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McKee Foods gets sweet deal for Drake’s brand

BY CSA STAFF

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — McKee Foods stalking horse bid for Hostess Brands’ Drake’s snack cake brand will be presented for approval to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, as no other qualified bids were received for those assets.

McKee has agreed to pay $27.5 million for the Drake’s brand and certain equipment. Drake’s products include Ring Dings, Yodels, Devil Dogs, Yankee Doodles, Sunny Doodles and Drake’s Coffee Cake.

The company will ask the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York to approve the transaction at a hearing on April 9.

Separately, Hostess Brands proceeded with an auction for its Sweetheart, Eddy’s, Standish Farms and Grandma Emilie’s bread brands beginning today. United States Bakery, as a stalking horse bidder, has agreed to pay $30 million for the brands, four bakeries and 14 depots, as well as certain equipment.

On March 19, Hostess Brands will seek court approval of several other transactions — including the sale of the majority of the company’s bread business to Flowers Food for $360 million, and the sale of its snack cake business to affiliates of Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Co.

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Whirlpool names head of Europe, Middle East and Africa region

BY CSA STAFF

BENTON HARBOR, Mich.— Whirlpool has appointed Esther Berrozpe as president of the company’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region and to the company’s executive Committee. Berrozpe is currently VP European markets for the company’s EMEA region.

"Esther is a proven global leader at Whirlpool Corp. Her experience in both Europe and North America is strong, and she is well-suited to lead our European business," said Jeff Fettig, chairman and CEO of Whirlpool Corp.

She replaces Jose Drummond, who will return to Brazil for personal reasons and continue his role of president, Whirlpool S.A. Brazil board of directors, until year-end.

Berrozpe became VP European markets, EMEA, in August 2012. Prior to this role, she was VP brand and product, North America Region. Berrozpe joined Whirlpool Corp. in June 2000 and has held various trade marketing, product and brand leadership roles of increasing accountability in Europe and in North America. Berrozpe has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Deusto University in Spain. She also studied Economics and International Business at Universita degli Studi Bergamo in Italy.

Berrozpe’s new role will be effective May 1, 2013.

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