Business Briefs

Wednesday, December 29, 2004 at 1:00am

Swensson to design Mississippi casino

Construction will start in January on the Mississippi coast Silver Slipper Casino being designed by architectural firm Earl Swensson Associates (ESa) of Nashville.

The $50 million casino development, located on a 30-acre site, is expected to be open in a year. Located near Bay St. Louis, Miss. on the Gulf Coast, the casino will have a four-level riverboat for gambling and an attached 36,000-square-foot land structure for dining, which will include a buffet, a bar and entertainment area and a small gift shop. ESa is redesigning the existing riverboat and designing from-the-ground-up the new land-based structure.

Designed in a traditional architectural style, the pavilion's exterior will be constructed in Eldorado manufactured stone and EIFS (exterior insulated finish system).

Continuing the traditional style, the interior pavilion will have fluted wood columns. Waterjet-cut Silver Slipper logos will be incorporated into the porcelain ceramic tile floor.

ESa, established in 1961, provides architectural, interior design, master planning and space planning design services for clients throughout the United States and abroad. The firm specializes in design for hospitality venues, healthcare facilities, educational and library facilities, senior living communities and corporate office buildings.

Hermitage gets new Goodwill

A new Goodwill retail store with a 13,000-square-foot sales floor has opened at 4101 Lebanon Pike in Hermitage, next to Hobby Lobby.

David Jenkins, director of retail for Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, said although the store will carry the usual clothing and shoes, it will have a much larger area devoted to furniture and non-clothing lines than other Goodwill stores.

The Hermitage store includes an attended donation trailer for donation drop offs during regular store hours: Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The store employs about a dozen people to assist with retail, material handling and donations.

Through the sale of donated items, Goodwill last year provided job training for 2,760 people and placed 969 in jobs in the community.

For more information call 871-4463.

Computer Renaissance opens new store

Computer Renaissance has opened a new store across from Costco at 91 Seaboard Lane in Cool Springs. The store specializes in new and refurbished computer equipment, allowing customers to trade older equipment for new equipment.

Computer Renaissance is also spearheading a charity program to help underprivileged children in Middle Tennessee. "Trade in your computer and help a child" takes used computers, refurbishes them and donates them to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee.

New chef heads Stoveworks

Chef Mary Stodola has taken charge at Stoveworks at the Factory in Franklin. The new enterprise is called Stoveworks with Chef Mary. Stodola assumed command of the company from Marilyn LeHew and her husband, local entrepreneur Calvin LeHew.

The LeHews first opened the restaurant in 2000 as part of the initial renovation of the Factory.

Joining Stodola as partners in the venture are local business owners Sam Barcus and Pat McCracken. The duo head up NewLeaf Partners, a marketing and sales consultancy firm.

Stodola moved to Franklin in 2000 from Scottsdale, Ariz., where she earned her degree and training from the Scottsdale Culinary Institute.

TRA warns against phone list myth

Rumors that the telephone numbers of cell phone users will soon be involuntarily made available to telemarketing firms are not true, according to officials from the Tennessee Regulatory Authority and Tennessee Attorney General Paul Summers.

The rumor, circulating across the Internet via e-mail, claims that beginning in January of 2005, directories containing consumers' cell phone numbers will be available to telephone solicitors which may increase telemarketing calls to wireless customers.

State officials, while assuring the public that the rumor is untrue, also note that wireless cell phones that are used for non-business purposes may be registered in the state's Do-Not-Call program for protection against most telemarketing calls.

The state has learned that around the middle of next year some wireless companies will contact their customers to request permission to publish their wireless numbers in a directory.

Qsent Inc., the company responsible for developing the directory, however, said it will be up to the wireless customer to determine if their wireless telephone number is published.

For more information about the Tennessee Do-Not-Call program, or to register visit Consumers may also register by telephone by dialing 1-877-872-7030.

Habitat expands HomeWORKS plan

Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity is using its "Making a Difference" award funds to expand HomeWORKS, the agency's educational initiative that guides partner families along the road to homeownership and beyond.

Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity received $15,000 in conjunction with the Making a Difference Award, a Frist Foundation Award of Achievement presented to the agency at the Center for Nonprofit Management's Salute to Excellence Banquet. The grant allowed a significant expansion of the HomeWORKS program, taking it from a handful of basic courses to a full curriculum, ranging from lawn care to construction skills.

HomeWORKS is a collection of classes designed to teach the skills partner families need to become successful homeowners and neighbors. The classes equip individuals and families to become more self-sufficient and create new opportunities for themselves. All completed courses count toward prospective homeowners' required hours of "sweat equity."

To request an application or to receive more information about Habitat, call 254-HOME or visit

Filed under: City Business