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January 16, 2018

Community Good Works

Friday, April 3, 2015, 11:07am

Community Good Works

April 3, 2015

Bristol County Savings Bank, H&K Insurance Agency, Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union and more are featured in our weekly roundup of organizations giving back to their communities.

Bristol County Savings Bank

Taunton-based Bristol County Savings Bank recently contributed $250,000 to the Bristol Community College Foundation for the John J. Sbrega Health & Science Building, which is being built on the school’s Fall River campus.

Eastern Bank

Former NFL quarterback and Eastern Bank spokesperson Doug Flutie surprised guests at the bank’s the 11th Annual “Community Quarterback” celebration by tossing autographed footballs to representatives from 61 nonprofits, as Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation donated $850,000 in grants.

H&K Insurance Agency

H&K Insurance Agency has donated $1,000 to the MetroWest YMCA for its LIVESTRONG cancer recovery program. The company’s Treasurer and General Manager Paul Perry is a cancer survivor.

Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union

Lowell-based Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union’s hosted its fifth MoneyStrong for Life Fair on March 31 at the Tsongas Center in Lowell. Approximately 350 Lowell High School students participated in the interactive fair that teaches students about adult careers and managing their income.

Leominster Credit Union

Leominster Credit Union is holding Shred-A-Thon at its headquarters, located at 20 Adams St., on May 2, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Both members and non-members are invited to bring old, sensitive documents to securely shred.

MutualOne Bank

Framingham-based MutualOne Bank’s charitable foundation has awarded $2,500 to the Heritage Chorale to support its spring and pops concerts.

UniBank

Whitinsville-based UniBank has donated a total of $20,000 to the following food pantries: Blackstone Millville Food Pantry, Daily Bread Food Pantry in Milford, Grafton Food Pantry, Northbridge Association of Churches Food Pantry, People First Food Pantry in Uxbridge, St. Denis Food Pantry in Douglas, The People’s Pantry in Douglas, United Parish Food Pantry in Upton and the Worcester County Food Bank.

More: 

Community Good Works

New jobs to be created by Longford resort project

Hundreds of jobs are to be created with one of the UK’s biggest holiday firms planning to open a park at a forest in the Midlands.

Center Parcs, which operates five resorts in Britain, is to expand its operations into Ireland with workers to be hired for the site in Ballymahon, Co Longford.

The company is to make a formal announcement of the plans tomorrow.

It is understood talks have been continuing with forestry board Coillte to build the holiday firm’s distinctive woodland lodges and villas and the main complex with a swimming pool, spa, restaurant and bar.

The resort is planned for woods around Newcastle House, near the River Inny.

Center Parcs opened its fifth holiday village in the UK last summer with a £250m resort in Woburn Forest, Bedfordshire, catering for around 350,000 guests a year.

In 2013 the holiday company had 1.7 million guests at four parks – Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, Elveden Forest, near Brandon in Suffolk, Longleat Forest near Warminster in Wiltshire, and Whinfell Forest near Penrith, Cumbria.

Center Parcs is owned by asset management firm Blackstone.

Excerpt from: 

New jobs to be created by Longford resort project

500 jobs to be created by Longford resort project

Hundreds of jobs are to be created with one of the UK’s biggest holiday firms planning to open a park at a forest in the Midlands.

Center Parcs, which operates five resorts in Britain, is to expand its operations into Ireland with workers to be hired for the site in Ballymahon, Co Longford.

The company is to make a formal announcement of the plans tomorrow.

It is understood talks have been continuing with forestry board Coillte to build the holiday firm’s distinctive woodland lodges and villas and the main complex with a swimming pool, spa, restaurant and bar.

The resort is planned for woods around Newcastle House, near the River Inny.

Center Parcs opened its fifth holiday village in the UK last summer with a £250m resort in Woburn Forest, Bedfordshire, catering for around 350,000 guests a year.

In 2013 the holiday company had 1.7 million guests at four parks – Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, Elveden Forest, near Brandon in Suffolk, Longleat Forest near Warminster in Wiltshire, and Whinfell Forest near Penrith, Cumbria.

Center Parcs is owned by asset management firm Blackstone.

Link – 

500 jobs to be created by Longford resort project

State holds maple syrup tours and demonstrations in Uxbridge

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State holds maple syrup tours and demonstrations in Uxbridge

ZZ Top Headlines Lost River Music Festival

Bowling Green, Ky. (WBKO) — The Lost River Music Festival was held on Saturday at the Bowling Green Ballpark.

The lineup featured The Kentucky Headhunters, Blackstone Cherry, and the concert headliners ZZ Top.

Both the outfield and chair seats quickly began to fill up despite the chilly weather. For the ballpark and the city, that meant an increase in revenue. For Wendy Carby, it was easy to imagine the benefits the concert would have on Bowling Green.

“Oh I think it has to be great for the economy, because you know my friends and I live a few counties away and we drove all the way here just to hang out at the ballpark and hear some music.”

And they weren’t alone. Sue Wagner drove from Louisville to go to the concert with her daughter.

“These kids know who it is, and they know their songs. They’re never going to die!”

It wasn’t just Wagner who had that kind of confidence in the power of ZZ Top’s music to stand the test of time. Carby said it’s easy to look around at today’s pop music and see the influence bands like ZZ Top had.

“How do you think your music got here? They had to have these guys to kind of go back to and go ‘oh, ok, now we’ll do this.’ It had to come from somewhere.”

If you weren’t a believer walking in the concert, Wagner said by the end of the night she felt you definitely would be if you gave the “Sharp Dressed Men” of rock a chance.

“How could you not? It’s ZZ Top! There is no way you can not be a believer after you’ve seen them in concert.”

The proceeds from the Lost River Music Fest ticket sales would be divided up between The Center For Courageous Kids, The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Hotel Inc., and The Salvation Army.

Excerpt from: 

ZZ Top Headlines Lost River Music Festival

Lampin MITRPAK Achieves 18 Percent Revenue Growth in 2014

UXBRIDGE, Mass., March 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Lampin MITRPAK, a right angle gearbox and spiral bevel gear drive specialist, is proud to announce an 18 percent revenue growth in a year-over-year comparison from FY 2013 to FY 2014. MITRPAK’s growth is attributed to new OEM customers and new applications of the product line.

A major U.S. based engineering & fabrication company has developed a large application system which uses MITRPAK products to instantly set up and fold away stadium seating. This application is currently designed for enclosed sports arenas that support both Hockey and Basketball at the same venue and constantly move bleacher seats to accommodate both. The client has just completed installation of this system at  one of the most well-known professional sports arenas in the United States. They have plans to expand this throughout the United States.

“Lampin MITRPAK is committed to supplying quality gear drives that run smoothly and boast a long life,” said Lampin MITRPAK President, Bill DiBenedetto. “We were competing with a foreign supplier for the movable seating project, but we made a compelling case that MITRPAK was the best option for the application due to our superior quality and service.”

MITRPAK expects to see continued growth through 2015. The company’s recent investment in new equipment enables the company to increase capacity, broaden their capabilities, and reduce lead time. Major new potential clients for 2015 include an international manufacturer of electric vehicles, and one of the largest recreational boating manufacturers currently developing a line of pedal-powered kayaks.

“Lampin MITRPAK, in our own small way, wants to contribute in order for the United States to remain competitive in the global manufacturing arena,” said DiBenedetto. “This is why it’s critical that we maintain a consistent growth from year to year.”

About Lampin Corporation
Lampin Corporation, an ITAR-compliant and ISO 9001:2008 Certified Company, delivers critical component manufacturing expertise that goes beyond precision. Located in the historic Blackstone River Valley, birthplace of the industrial revolution, Lampin is a 100% employee-owned company. Lampin’s value engineering approach ensures that design, materials and process combine to provide the best value in the industry. Lampin also manufactures MITRPAK, the right angle gearbox and spiral bevel gear drive preferred by OEM and MRO customers desiring reduced risk, lower inventory, and improved asset availability. Learn more about Lampin and MITRPAK and sign up for the e-newsletter at www.Lampin.com.

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lampin-mitrpak-achieves-18-percent-revenue-growth-in-2014-300055096.html

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Lampin MITRPAK Achieves 18 Percent Revenue Growth in 2014

HgCapital Selects iLEVEL for Portfolio Monitoring

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

iLEVEL, the leading portfolio monitoring, analytics and transparency platform for the global private capital markets, has been selected by European private equity firm HgCapital to support the optimization of their portfolio data management and reporting processes.

HgCapital has assets under management of over £5 billion, serving over 100 highly regarded institutional investors, including private and public pension funds, endowments, insurance companies and fund of funds. A staff of more than 100 people in investment offices in London and Munch manage three investment funds.

Amanda Good, Head of the Portfolio Projects team at HgCapital said: “iLEVEL will streamline our reporting process, enabling us to create reports faster and automate many of the tasks that previously had to be performed manually.”

Melissa Ferraz, Vice President, EMEA Client Development of iLEVEL said: “We are delighted a firm of the calibre of HgCapital has selected iLEVEL. With our recent expansion into the European market, we’ve experienced an overwhelmingly positive reception to the iLEVEL platform, with firms like HgCapital recognizing the value of leveraging data flows more efficiently.”

In 2014, iLEVEL launched their London-based operations and opened a European data centre in the United Kingdom.

The number of firms on iLEVEL has doubled in the past year and includes alternative investment firms of varying sizes that employ a wide range of investment strategies including Private Equity, Real Estate, Credit and Venture Capital. Leading LPs and Funds of Funds are also adopting iLEVEL. More than 5,500 iLEVEL users span the globe, tracking over a billion data points across 11,500 portfolio companies.

About HgCapital

HgCapital is a sector expert private equity investor, supporting management teams to grow industry champions. Deeply resourced sector teams focus on specific sub-sectors and investment themes to identify companies occupying an established market position, and which have the potential to grow faster than their market, create employment and become the leader in their industry. HgCapital’s dedicated portfolio management team provides practical support to management teams to help them realise their growth ambitions. HgCapital invests in expanding segments of the TMT, Services, Industrials and Renewable Energy sectors across Western Europe. Based in London and Munich, HgCapital manages over £5 billion for some of the world’s leading institutional and private investors. For further details, please see www.hgcapital.com.

About iLEVEL

iLEVEL is the leading portfolio monitoring, analytics and transparency platform for the global private capital markets. iLEVEL’s SAAS, cloud-based platform empowers fund managers and investors to harness their data and gain insights and transparency never before possible in private markets. Investors in iLEVEL include Blackstone (BX), The Carlyle Group (CG), Duff & Phelps, Hamilton Lane, Swift River Investments, and Egis Capital Partners. For more information, visit www.ilevelsolutions.com.

Contact:
iLEVEL

Lauren Weiner

Director of Marketing, +1-646-747-9817


lweiner@ilevelsolutions.com

Link – 

HgCapital Selects iLEVEL for Portfolio Monitoring

The Margin: Changing of guard at Willis Tower highlights turbulent period for Chicago real estate

It’s not just the changing of the guard at Willis (né Sears) Tower. The first quarter of 2015 has been a turbulent time for trophy towers and other notable structures throughout Chicago’s built environment.

It was confirmed Monday that Willis Tower, the world’s tallest building from its completion in 1973 until 1998, is being acquired by Blackstone Group

BLK, +1.72%

 from New York investors Joseph Chetrit and Joseph Moinian and Skokie, Ill.–based American Landmark Properties. They paid $841 million for the tower in 2004, while Blackstone’s purchase price of $1.3 million is, according to Crain’s Chicago Business, set to become the highest ever paid for a U.S. office building outside Manhattan.

For Chicagoans, who’ve only reluctantly learned to identify the 110-story skyscraper by the name of the U.K. insurance broker

WSH, +1.74%

rather than that of the Chicago-area-based retailer

SHLD, +0.68%

 , the deal delivers none of the psychic blow that its renaming in 2009, in accord with the terms of the Willis Group lease, did.

But, among Cubs diehards, Opening Day at a bleacher-free Wrigley Field is something else entirely. Off-season renovation work fell behind schedule late last year, and, to add insult to injury, City Hall declined recently to bend the rules — and raise neighborhood ire — by allowing construction to proceed around the clock. It’s been reported that it will be May before the famed bleachers are open; even then, only the left- and center-field sections will be at box-office disposal. The right-field bleachers are slated for June completion.

Even in a sports-mad city, though, ballparks are not held quite as dear as municipal parks. And in Grant Park, dubbed Chicago’s Front Door, and down in Hyde Park, near the University of Chicago, that’s what’s at stake.

On the South Side, there’s been controversy over a prospective location for the Obama presidential library, with a U. of C.–led bid requiring acquisition of park land. The matter has grown touchy enough locally that it’s been reported by Melissa Harris of the Chicago Tribune that the announcement of a decision is likely to be withheld until after the April 7 mayoral runoff. (The Chicago Sun-Times’ Michael Sneed, meanwhile, has reported that the Obamas themselves may no longer be planning a return to Chicago in January 2017.)

In Grant Park, meanwhile, the building-upon of Chicago Park District property — all but verboten by local tradition — is again at issue. George Lucas’s decision to locate his visual-arts museum in Chicago was likely predicated on a prime lakefront location and a central role in the city’s Museum Campus, but the project has met with challenges on both legal and aesthetic grounds.

Along the Chicago River, there’s been an even more concentrated tumult.

True, work proceeded apace through an overly wintry winter on the next civic showpiece, the Chicago Riverwalk.

But, elsewhere along the river — whose evolution into the city’s second waterfront was trumpeted by Mayor Rahm Emanuel during a Monday night debate with challenger Jesus “Chuy” Carcia as a top idea for his second term — the remaining tatters of the Chicago Spire dream, which was to have culminated in the world’s tallest residential structure, were finally swept aside; the Kennedy family has been locked in battle over certain specifics of the high-profile Wolf Point development, according to Crain’s; and a massive, backlit T-R-U-M-P, slapped on the prime river-facing facade of Trump Tower, served as a unifying force in a divided city, with Emanuel calling the signage “architecturally tasteless,” and effectively no one disagreeing.

In the latter incident, the mayor and City Council, faced with widespread outcry about the Trump visual assault, drew a line in the sand. But the city’s new riverfront signage ordinance reluctantly was required to grandfather in the Trump sign. All 2,891 square feet of it.

Link: 

The Margin: Changing of guard at Willis Tower highlights turbulent period for Chicago real estate

Nearly 50 local homes sold in the last month; Check out where and for how much

In Southington, a fixer-upper house sold “as is” to an investor for $86,000 earlier this month, while a new home on Fieldstone Lane netted $453,000 for the developer.

A parcel of land on Pomeroy Ave. in Meriden that can fit five homes sold for $147,000, while on the west side the U.S. government sold a small condo on Kensington Avenue for less than $30,000.

Housing prices hovered around $200,000 in Wallingford this month, while a four-bedroom home on Boxwood Row sold for $550,000 in Cheshire.

Here is a list of the 49 properties that sold within the last month in Meriden, Wallingford, Southington and Cheshire.

Meriden

Natalie A. Corkin to James M. Natlo and Victoria A. Marrus, 92 Lydale Place, $140,000.

Robert Y. and Ronald C. Salka to Ashley Nuzzo, 373 Pomeroy Ave., $147,000.

Jayson Mazziotti to MidFirst Bank, Unit 847, Building 8, Blackstone Village Condo, $46,800.

Fannie Mae to Newbrit Properties, LLC, 207 Cutlery Ave., $75,000.

Jonathan Severance to Eugene Klimaszewski, Unit 7, Westledge Condominium, $108,000.

Robert W. Santin to Osar Valle, 4 Converse Circle, $125,000.

Jason D. Krykewycz to Luis Munoz, 195 Converse Ave., $115,810.

United States of America to John Gravener, Unit 5, Woodken Condominium, $29,500.

Estate of Helen Langner to Kelsey M. Langner and Kyle A. Yammarino, 35 New Cheshire Road, $90,000.

United States of America to Hector Mejla, 175 Carpath Drive, $68,000.

Wallingford

John and Leonarda DiGoia to Edward J. Cunniff, 18 Ridgenoll Road, $224,500.

Michael and Laura Boileau to Richard P Gdovin Jr., 12 Riverside Drive, $310,000.

Manuel Hernandez and Benita Lopez to Damond Toles, 323 S. Elm St., #6, $85,000.

Vincenzo Suppa to Steven A. and Linda M. Iglesias, 851 E. Center St., $195,000.

Holly A. Herzman to Joseph R. Gregoire and Julia A. Dunn, 63 Edgehill Road, $343,000.

Canyon Properties 2 LLC to Ann Marie Mayer, 714–716 Center St., $260,000.

Jonathan P. Cretella to Matthew N. Garibaldi, 135 Rockledge Road, $180,000.

Estate of Thomas Bobrich to Anthony E. and Michelle L. Bracale, 5 Gaye Lane, $183,500.

Ann S. Lawrence to Arthur Jr. and Shauna Kiley, 97 Pine St., $230,000.

Wells Fargo Bank N.A. to Vincent Verrillo, 11 White Tail Lane, $123,000.

William Fazzino to Wallace Jones and Heather Lawrence, 19 Welcome St., $184,500.

Southington

Lovely Development, Inc. to Kristen Niedzwlecki and Jesse Kosko, 201 Steeplechase Drive, $200,000.

Stephen M. and Molly E. Palmieri to Charles and Emily Burnham, 218 Deerbrooke Circle, $360,000.

John F. O’Dell, Jr. and Muriel C. O’Dell to Ralph F. and Vivian A. Smith, 25 Cedar Springs Circle, $112,000.

Chakrawest, LLC to David Lunn, 611 Main St., $255,000.

Property Edge, LLC to James and Tracey Russo, 8-10 Jordan Court, $258,000.

CT Land and Homes, LLC to Michael and Diane Sukkus, Lot 6, 35 Fieldstone Lane, $453,150.

Evelyn McInnis to Benjamin A. Bujs, 7 Parkview Drive, $203,000.

Francis and Stephen O’Keefe to Nicholas Robertson, 77 Brookview Place, $288,000.

June Ann Kastner to Christopher Richard and Elaine Kelly Kochan, 128 Pin Oak Drive, $368,000.

Ellen K. Murphy to Lee Murphy Wolf, 112 Fern Drive, $86,500.

Baldwin Estates, LLC to Albert C. and Danielle R. Gorski, 40 Old Mill Road, $335,000.

Thomas A. and Joanne Etter to Robert Fields, 1937 Mount Vernon Road, $265,000.

Louis Ray and Nancy K. Evjen to Kerry A. Holland, 520 Berlin St., $234,500.

Estate of Angela L. Nadeau to Kathleen Giannelli, 175-50 Berlin Ave., $240,500.

18 Junior, LLC to Tammy Valk, 22 Berkley Ave., $180,000.

Cheshire

Bryan Atherton to Joseph Mobilia, 121 Laurel Terrace, $291,750.

David C. and Lauren M. to Cathy Vellucci, 370 S. Brooksvale Road, $390,000.

Anthony and Sara Erba to Jon Racow, 100 Bates Drive, $2,850.

Jagdish and Sonal Shah to Louis and Cecillia Belenardo, trustees, 175 Elizabeth Drive, $445,000.

Joseph Calabro to Michelle Motta, 5 Willow Brook Drive, $250,000.

Beth Ann and Matthew Berry to Joseph D. Richello, 1200 Cornerstone Court, $400,000.

Abigail Lowe Deering to Brendan McCarthy, 37 Carol Drive, $195,000.

River Cove Estates, LLC to William Zuccarini and Judith Hughes, 83 Boxwood Row, $550,000.

David C. and Lauren M. Villecco to Cathy Vellucci, 370 S. Brooksvale Road, $390,000.

Clifford B. Reilly to Frederick A. and Judith S. Herzman, 140 Mountain Road, $247,900.

Charles J. McCowen, Jr. and Doris F. McCowen to Town of Cheshire, 92 Creamery Road, $10.

Jacqueline McGuire to Angela and Antonio J. Pereirra, 52 Ives Hill Court, $195,000.

Read the article – 

Nearly 50 local homes sold in the last month; Check out where and for how much

Willis Tower sold for $1.3 billion to Blackstone Group

Blackstone Group, a private equity real estate investor with about $81 billion under management, has reached an agreement to buy Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower, the company announced Monday.

The purchase price is $1.3 billion, according to a source.

The deal for the formerly named Sears Tower, said to have been reached over the weekend, would be the highest price ever paid for a U.S. office tower outside of New York. It would also shatter the Chicago record, $850 million, set by last year’s sale of 300 N. LaSalle.

“We are bullish on Chicago as companies expand within and move into the city and look for first-class office space,” Jacob Werner, a managing director in Blackstone’s real estate group, said in a statement. “Moreover, we see great potential in further improving both the building’s retail operations and the tourist experience for one of the most popular destinations for visitors to Chicago.”

The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the agreement on MarketWatch, said Blackstone plans to invest heavily in the retail portion of the nation’s second-tallest building and in upgrading its 103rd-floor Skydeck, in hopes the deck will become a cash cow like those of other skyscrapers.

Jonathan Gray, Blackstone’s head of real estate, told MarketWatch that the company hopes “to really make this more of a comprehensive tourist attraction” as well as an office building.

The Skydeck is among the tower’s regular revenue streams. It reaped about $25 million in admissions revenue in 2014, an amount that has been climbing annually. Its broadcast antennas brought in more than $13 million in the 12 months ended in November.

The Tribune reported Friday that Blackstone was in talks to buy Willis Tower and has previously reported that commercial real estate broker Eastdil Secured, which is handling the Willis Tower sale, was not marketing the property because of ongoing negotiations with a potential buyer.

Blackstone is best known in Chicago for buying a portfolio of properties assembled by Chicago real estate mogul Sam Zell. Blackstone’s purchase of Equity Office Properties Trust for $39 billion in 2007 was the largest private equity deal in history, according to The New York Times.

Real estate magnate Joseph Chetrit, developer Joseph Moinian and Skokie-based American Landmark Properties bought the tower for $840 million in 2004, a record then. Last year, 300 N. LaSalle sold for $850 million.

Eastdil had advertised untapped revenue streams for Willis’ new owners, including selling naming rights to the Skydeck and building a hotel on the property’s southwest corner at South Wacker Drive and West Jackson Boulevard.

The tower, completed in 1973 as the Sears Tower, is 84 percent leased, down 1 percentage point from March 2009, when Willis announced it had acquired naming rights.

Blackstone’s real estate business was formed in 1991. Among its holdings is the Hilton hotel chain. The firm’s seventh real estate fund will own Willis Tower.

mmharris@tribpub.com

Twitter @chiconfidential

Copyright © 2015, Chicago Tribune

Original article: 

Willis Tower sold for $1.3 billion to Blackstone Group