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Investors Buying Entire Blocks in Houston to Revitalize and Bring in Black-Owned Businesses

Real estate developer Chris Senegal and broker Jay Bradley are teaming up to buy several blocks to renovate and revitalize in Houston.

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Real estate developer Chris Senegal and broker Jay Bradley are teaming up to buy several blocks to renovate and revitalize in Houston. Together with Cocoa Collective Xchange, they are helping bring back Black-owned businesses into the Fifth Ward community through a Buying the Block campaign.

The project was started by buying abandoned properties and turning them into new construction homes. It has, so far, attracted a number of young Black professionals to be homeowners as well. New homes for families who have lived in the Fifth Ward for decades will also be built in some of the redeveloped blocks.

More than that, the main purpose of the Buying the Block campaign is to attract more investors into the community in order to fund long-term rentals for businesses such as restaurants, coffee shops, and office space. The campaign has raised more than $720,000 from over 1,100 investors.

“I have enough to complete the project,” Senegal told Chron. “Additional investor funds will be used to acquire adjacent properties to expand the scope of the project.”

For Senegal, the project has been beneficial to alleviate the damage caused by flipping houses. Bradley, who owns the Equinox Realty Group, shares the same sentiments, believing better opportunities come with having strong ties within the community.

“You create opportunities to have something better in the community,” Bradley said. “At this point, it’s really about helping people who are trying to do good things with the community.”

For more information about Buying the Block campaign, visit BuytheBlock.com

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Change is Brewing Across the Nation!

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Ben & Jerry’s new cold brew ice cream supports a new vision for public safety

You don’t have to be a barista to enjoy Ben & Jerry’s newest Limited Batch flavor—a cool combination of cold brew coffee ice cream, marshmallow swirls and fudge brownies. “Change is Brewing” was created to help transform the nation’s approach to public safety to one that prioritizes community needs.

Change is Brewing is part of Ben & Jerry’s ongoing work to advance racial justice, calling for the nation to divest from a broken criminal legal system and invest in services that help communities thrive, like mental health treatment, counseling, substance use treatment, and healthcare.

Ben & Jerry’s is joining more than 70 other organizations in supporting The People’s Response Act, landmark legislation introduced by Congresswoman Cori Bush. The legislation was written to transform a system that disproportionately criminalizes Black and Brown people into a system that provides resources to help every community, and especially communities of color, thrive.

The People’s Response Act was developed in partnership with community organizers, grassroots organizations, and movement partners, including the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL).

“The Movement for Black Lives welcomes Ben & Jerry’s support of The People’s Response Act, which would expand a new vision for public safety rooted in public health; and their investment in local organizations working every day in service of a new future for Black people,” said Monifa Bandele, member of the leadership of M4BL’s Policy Table. “Now is the time for Congress to embrace bold, courageous leadership and join Congresswoman Cori Bush in co-sponsoring The People’s Response Act and ensuring its final passage.” 

“We appreciate Congresswoman Cori Bush for having the courage and vision to introduce the People’s Response Act, legislation that would boldly transform public safety in America,” said Jabari Paul, US Activism Manager for Ben & Jerry’s. “We’ve come to understand that public safety is also a matter of public health. Congresswoman Bush’s legislation begins to make that important link by creating a public safety division within the Department of Health and Human Services.” 

The deep, rich coffee flavor in Change is Brewing is from BLK & Bold, the first Black-owned, nationally distributed coffee company that gives 5% of its profits to initiatives that support youth in need. Greyston Bakery, a values-led supplier and longtime Ben & Jerry’s partner, provides the scrumptious fudge brownies. The bakery has an “open hiring” policy that provides opportunities for people facing barriers to employment. On the pint, Black multi-disciplinary artist Laci Jordan paints a colorful picture of what the world might look like when Black people feel safe and all communities can thrive.

Change is Brewing will be available as a Limited Batch flavor at participating Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops and on store shelves for a suggested price of $4.49-5.69. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Change is Brewing will go to grassroots groups working to transform public safety in America. To learn more, visit benjerry.com/change.

About Ben & Jerry’s

Ben & Jerry’s is an aspiring social justice company that believes in a greater calling than simply making and selling the world’s best ice cream. The company produces a wide variety of super-premium ice cream and Non-Dairy/vegan desserts using high-quality ingredients and lots of big chunks and swirls. As a certified B Corp, Ben & Jerry’s incorporates its vision of Linked Prosperity into its business practices via values-led sourcing initiatives when purchasing ingredients. Ben & Jerry’s is distributed in more than 35 countries in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, franchised Scoop Shops, and via on-demand delivery services. Ben & Jerry’s, a Vermont corporation and wholly owned subsidiary of Unilever, operates its business on a three-part Mission Statement emphasizing product quality; a fair financial return; and social, racial, and environmental injustice around the globe. The Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, guided by Ben & Jerry’s employees, granted $3.4MM in 2020 to support progressive, justice-focused grassroots organizing around the country. For up-to-date information, visit benjerry.com.

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Luby’s, Inc. Signs Agreement to Sell the Fuddruckers Franchise Business to Nicholas Perkins

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Luby’s, Inc. (“Luby’s” or the “Company”) (NYSE: LUB), today announced the Company has entered into an agreement to sell the Fuddruckers franchise business operations to a newly formed affiliate of Nicholas Perkins. The Company had previously sold/franchised a number of Company owned Fuddruckers restaurants to a Perkins affiliate, making him one of the largest Fuddruckers franchisees. 

The purchase by the Perkins affiliate, Black Titan Franchise Systems LLC, encompasses the master ownership of the Fuddruckers brand worldwidei. The Fuddruckers brand currently has 92 locations operating in the United States, including 13 locations operated by affiliates of Mr. Perkinsii. It is currently anticipated the Fuddruckers franchise brand sale transaction could provide Luby’s, Inc. with approximately $18.5 million of value (most of which will be derived from the purchaser’s issuance of a note to Luby’s and assumption of certain liabilities). There can be no assurance that the Company will realize or receive the full value of such consideration. The Company does not currently plan to adjust the estimated liquidation value of the Company as a result of this transaction. This amount is in addition to the value the Company will realize from the sale of Company owned real estate at a number of Fuddruckers Company owned stores.

“We’re excited to be purchasing Fuddruckers and look forward to working with Fuddruckers’ many dedicated, highly capable franchisees to further build this brand,” said Mr. Perkins, CEO of Black Titan Franchise Systems. “As a Fuddruckers franchisee, I have a vested interest in ensuring that all Fuddruckers franchisees have the resources, infrastructure, and operational and marketing support they need to maximize their return on investment. This strategic alignment, when combined with the fact that we sell the ‘World’s Greatest Hamburgers’™, will ensure the long-term success of the brand and our franchisees.”

The sale of the Fuddruckers franchise operations is another step in the execution of the previously announced plan of Luby’s to sell its assets, pay its liabilities, and return the remaining cash to shareholders under a formal plan of liquidation and dissolution approved by its shareholders on November 17, 2020. The Company and its financial advisor ran a robust sales process for the Fuddruckers franchise business, contacting over 150 entities before accepting the best offer, which came from the Perkins group. The Special Committee of the Board of the Company is being advised by Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP on legal matters and Brookwood Associates on financial matters. The Company is also being advised by Sidley Austin LLP on legal transaction matters. The purchaser is being advised by Gebhardt & Smith LLP on legal matters and Intyllus Advisors LLC on financial matters.

The agreement between Luby’s and the purchaser is subject to normal and customary conditions for transactions of this nature. The transaction is not subject to a financing contingency. The parties currently anticipate the transaction will close within the next ninety days.

Update on Previously Announced Sale of Fuddruckers Locations

Luby’s, Inc. has now also completed the transfer of operations for all five additional Company owned Fuddruckers locations to affiliates of Black Titan Holdings, LLC at Tempe, AZ, Kansas City, KS, St. Louis, MO, MacGregor, Houston, TX, and Creekside, Tomball, TX. Luby’s is also in advanced discussions to complete a sale/franchise of an additional, 14th, Fuddruckers Company owned store to Black Titan, who will continue to run that store as a Fuddruckers franchise.

Following all these transactions, Luby’s, Inc. will have only five remaining stand-alone Company owned Fuddruckers stores operating as well as four combo Fuddruckers operating with Luby’s Cafeterias.

About Luby’s

Luby’s, Inc. (NYSE: LUB) previously announced its plan of liquidation and dissolution, which was approved by its shareholders on November 17, 2020. Besides today’s announcement of the agreement to sell the Fuddruckers business, Luby’s is actively seeking buyers for its Luby’s Cafeterias restaurant business segment and Luby’s Culinary Contract Services business segment, which provides food service management to sites consisting of healthcare facilities, corporate dining locations, sports stadiums, as well as sales of certain frozen Luby’s entrees through retail grocery stores. Luby’s also owns real estate assets related to its operations, for which it is also in the process of actively seeking buyers.

About Black Titan / Nicholas Perkins

Black Titan Franchise Systems LLC is a special purpose entity formed to own the Fuddruckers franchise business. The Company is affiliated with Nicholas M. Perkins and Black Titan Holdings, LLC which owns and operates 13 Fuddruckers franchises with plans to acquire two additional Fuddruckers locations. Mr. Perkins also owns and operates other food industry related companies. 

Contact: Blair Walker at pr@blacktitaninvestments.com

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Method Man Launches Tical World™

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Method Man is a multi-talented personality, having transitioned his multi-platinum, award-winning success in the music industry into the film industry, with an award-winning career in acting and producing; as an NAACP Award-winning actor in Power: Book II and executive producing “Wu-tang: An American Saga,” now entering its second season on Hulu. Now, the self-proclaimed “comic book geek,” and host of the Marvel / Method podcast, is following in the footsteps of Stan Lee by launching his own comic universe, Tical World, featuring original characters that will evolve into storylines for interactive comic books, TV shows, feature films, and video games. Tical World is breaking new ground by releasing original characters, artwork, and music in both physical, traditional form and via non-fungible tokens (NFTs). His anthology is a sharp contrast to the “cash grabs” that NFTs have become synonymous with, by launching an ongoing, interactive world that is centered around creating a new experience through which to connect with his fans. TuneGO®, Inc. will secure the content and creative rights for Method Man’s Tical World in the patented TuneGO Vault.

Tical World will be an interactive comic community, giving audiences the opportunity to offer creative direction, interact with characters, purchase NFT rights to ownership, and create new storylines. Fans can sign up for limited-capacity early access to the Tical World community at https://www.tical.world.

Tical World Logo

The universe will be securely hosted on TuneGO’s next-generation global platform, with NFTs minted on the energy efficient Flow blockchain. The patented TuneGO Vault, which creates a verifiable and indisputable “digital record” of the entire creative process, will be used to ensure the content and creative rights of Tical World are transparently secured and protected. 

The first of the three Tical World NFT drops, called Part 1: The ORIGIN, will include:

  • Original one-of-a-kind artwork of the Tical World anthology—a Killa Beez-inspired painting on canvas, on display digitally at https://www.tical.world and entitled “Who M I?”, by renowned New York City artist Alex Smetsky, which will be signed to the buyer by Method Man and Mr. Smetsky.
  • Original 3D-enabled digital animation depicting part I of the anthology.
  • Unreleased, original audio by Method Man, with original music composition and production by Van Gogh.
  • Five physical and digital artist renderings of the five original Tical World comic characters, representing the comic universe’s “Da Vinci sketches,” and signed by artist Alex Smetsky.
  • The first minted gold VIP card for Tical World and Tical Athletics, Method Man’s athleisure brand, offering exclusive discounts, access to limited-edition designer collaborations, physical and digital apparel, and the capability for the cardholder to be the first to access new product drops.

“The owner of this NFT will be purchasing a piece of history—as if they were buying the original sketches of Star Wars, Marvel, and Harry Potter characters,” said Alison Ball, President of TuneGO. “Method Man’s Tical World is introducing a new interactive experience that combines the digital and the physical to give its fan community a say in the creative process. We are proud to work with Method Man, and a variety of other artists, to secure the ownership rights to the content they bring to today’s audiences in new ways.”

The environmentally friendly Tical World uses Proof-of-State design principles via Dapper Labs’ Flow blockchain, consuming thousands of times less energy than traditional Proof-of-Work blockchains like Ethereum. Combined with the TuneGO Vault, Method Man’s first NFT drop incorporates the world’s most advanced and environmentally friendly technology solutions for content security, creative rights protection, and equitable royalty collection.

Credit: Alex Smetsky

“The patented TuneGO Vault complements blockchain technology by adding an extra layer of transparency that enhances the long-term value of an NFT’s artwork and creative content throughout its lifespan,” said John Kohl, Co-Founder and CEO of TuneGO. “With the support of TuneGO, it is possible to own both the original physical, and digital, renderings of Tical World comic characters, all minted via the blockchain. As more artists introduce creative content through the minting of NFTs, we can help them prove they own what they create, and trade what they create as unique assets that can’t be copied or replaced.”

The enhanced, patented TuneGO Vault, launched earlier this year, is a first-of-its-kind solution giving artists and labels full control over the entire creative process, providing the ability to establish a chain of custody for a song, or pieces of artwork, prior to the minting of an NFT. This level of detailed tracking of creative rights and contributions has never before been available to artists.

About TuneGO

TuneGO® Inc. is leveling the playing field in the music industry. We streamline content and music rights management, creative collaboration, plus distribution, licensing, and promotion, on a single unified digital platform, enabling artists and creatives to focus on what they do best—making music. Our patented technology stores a complete, permanent digital record of the music creation process in the cloud, essentially digitizing an artist’s catalog while protecting creative rights throughout their career. TuneGO’s end-to-end ecosystem also offers streaming distribution, sync licensing opportunities, and promotional services to help artists take their music to the global stage.

By giving artists, labels, and publishers the capability to securely manage their digital content and control their creative rights on the same platform where they distribute and license their music—ensuring artists are paid all of the royalties to which they are entitled—TuneGO is breaking new ground in the music industry. To learn more, please visit www.tunego.com or contact TuneGO at info@TuneGO.com. TuneGO is a free download in the app store and is powered by cutting-edge technology which has more than 100 granted patent claims.

About Tical World

Method Man’s Tical World™ will be the first of its kind to provide a community owned, character-based experience that transcends the digital and physical world. As the origin story is told via exclusive artwork, animations, and music, the future will be unfolding as the characters, already slated for an original series of comic books, animated films, and video games, are released to the community. In addition, relevant designer collaborations across physical and digital apparel will be available on the Tical World Store at shop.tical.world, and through Method Man’s athleisure line, Tical Athletics. To learn more, and sign up for early access to Tical World, please visit www.tical.world.

Media Contact:
Kyle Kappmeier
JConnelly for TuneGO
973.975.7827
tunegopr@jconnelly.com 

Artist and Tical World™ Contact:
El Mannes
646.762.6427
media@ticalworld.com

SOURCE TuneGO, Inc.

Related Links

https://www.tunego.com/
https://www.tical.world/

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