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Editorial Results (free)

1. HipD: Donelson Finds Its Cool Side -

The tag “Hip Donelson” evoked plenty of snickers, eye rolls and snarky comments when it first appeared. After all, the local joke goes, Donelson’s known for hip replacements – not hipsters.

2. Discover Labor Day Getaways Close to Home -

Labor Day, the traditional end to summer. Public swimming pools are closing and college football is getting underway.

It’s also time for one last getaway before fall settles in, especially if you have school-age children.

3. Lot Shortage Poses Next Roadblock -

Local homebuilders say a dearth of developed lots is slowing down the new housing rebound, weighing down an industry still trying to drag itself out of the rubble left by the worst recession in decades.

4. Busy Street -

Evidence for the attractiveness of Downtown’s South Main neighborhood can be found in any of several corners.

One example is at 314 S. Main St., where Café Pontotoc opened its doors about two weeks ago. Owners Milton and Cherie Lamb wanted to establish a comfortable neighborhood bar that serves wine, local beers and small plates in a setting where patrons get used to coming in to unwind.

5. Uphill Climb -

Shelby County’s homebuilding industry is off to a slow start in 2014, with builders filing 16.6 percent fewer permits in the second quarter than in the same three-month period a year ago.

Builders filed 245 permits in Shelby County in the second quarter, compared with 294 permits in the second quarter of 2013, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com. Builders filed 191 permits in the first quarter.

6. Couple Find Business Love in Cordova Thrift Store -

Keith and Carol Choukalas had fallen in love. Not with each other – that was old business, happened years ago – but with Murray, Ky., home of Murray State University.

They had sent two of their children to MSU and they had a dream of moving to Murray, finding a business to buy, and living out the rest of their days near the lake. They had even bought a house.

7. Thigh High Jeans Prepares to Launch Retail Truck -

Painter Kerry Peeples and photographer Ann Smithwick are in the process of renovating a 1970s-era trailer that will allow them to take their Memphis-based blue jean company mobile, spreading fashionable, unique threads across the city.

8. March Building Permits Drop 35 Percent -

Homebuilding declined significantly in March compared to a year ago, with builders filing 35.2 percent fewer permits than last year.

Builders pulled 57 permits in March, down from 88 permits in March 2013, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com. The 57 permits filed by builders in March was down from 67 permits filed in February.

9. Lot Dearth Problematic for Builders -

A dwindling supply of developed lots could threaten the nascent local homebuilding rebound, according to homebuilders.

“It’s going to eventually sidetrack the recovery because there’s not enough lots being developed to replace the supply,” said Charles Morgan of Vintage Homes LLC.

10. Cost Crunch -

The aftermath of the housing crash and economic recession produced a roller coaster of changes in construction costs, one with more peaks than valleys.

And local construction industry officials and homebuilders say they’re still struggling with fluctuating prices for materials.

11. Are Weddings Really Worth Huge Expense? -

Ray’s Take I once heard it said that large cathedral weddings cost around $1,000 per step – and some churches have long aisles! According to TheKnot.com, U.S. couples spend an average of over $25,600 on their weddings. Of course, that’s the “average” amount. When you take the mean cost – the point where most weddings cluster – the cost is just over $18,000 – still a substantial sum.

12. New Home Permits See Slight Bump -

Despite bitterly cold temperatures that plagued the Memphis area last month, homebuilders pulled slightly more housing permits in January when compared to the same month last year.

Shelby County homebuilders filed 64 permits in January, up from 57 permits filed in January 2013 and 53 permits in December 2013, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

13. Building Permits Dip in 2013 -

Last year turned out to be a mixed bag for Shelby County homebuilders, who filed fewer permits in 2013 than they did in 2012 but sold slightly more homes.

Homebuilders filed 860 permits in 2013, down 6.3 percent from 918 permits filed in 2012, but still far above the 700 permits filed in 2011, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

14. Slow Job Growth Yields Dip in New-Home Permits -

Shelby County homebuilding activity continued to cool off in November, with builders filing fewer permits and selling fewer new homes compared to the same month a year ago.

Homebuilders pulled 58 permits in November, down 23.6 percent from 76 permits filed in November 2012, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

15. Shelby County Homebuilding Slows in October -

Shelby County homebuilding activity cooled in October, with builders filing fewer permits and selling fewer new homes compared to October 2012.

Homebuilders pulled 54 permits in October, down 38.6 percent from 88 permits filed in October 2012, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

16. Upholstery and Design Author to Visit Memphis -

If you have a quality piece of furniture that has seen better days but still has potential, or family heirlooms and flea market finds you’ve wanted to transform, an Austin, Texas-based upholstery and design expert will be offering hands-on advice in Memphis next week

17. Upholstery and Design Author to Visit Memphis -

If you have a quality piece of furniture that has seen better days but still has potential, or family heirlooms and flea market finds you’ve wanted to transform, an Austin, Texas-based upholstery and design expert will be offering hands-on advice in Memphis next week

18. Shelby County Housing Permits Drop 14 Percent in Quarter -

Shelby County’s homebuilding industry showed signs of cooling in the third quarter, with builders pulling 14 percent fewer permits than in the same period a year ago.

Builders filed 197 permits in Shelby County in the third quarter, compared with 229 permits in third quarter 2012, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

19. Tommy Bronson Sporting Goods Stays True to Roots in New Spot -

For Tommy Bronson Sporting Goods, cooler temperatures in the air mean one thing – hunting season.

20. Shelby County Building Permits ‘Stable’ in August -

Shelby County home building activity was relatively flat in August, with builders pulling slightly more permits while selling fewer new homes compared to August 2012.

Homebuilders pulled 72 permits in August, up 9 percent from 66 permits filed in August 2012, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

21. Building Permit Activity Cools in July -

Shelby County home building activity cooled in July, with builders pulling fewer permits and selling fewer new homes compared to July 2012.

Homebuilders pulled 77 permits in July, down 6.1 percent from 82 permits filed in July 2012, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com. The average permit in July measured 2,958 square feet and $225,199 compared to 3,080 and $229,633 in July 2012.

22. Made in Memphis -

Memphis’ geography is limited to roughly 300 square miles, but its identity stretches beyond the city limits, resonating to the far corners of the globe.

The city’s brand has obvious cornerstones, such as its place in the nation’s cultural topography. But setting aside those no-brainers, like the rock ‘n’ roll innovator whose mansion in Whitehaven still attracts gawkers from around the world, a lot of what makes Memphis’ story is the story of what’s made in Memphis.

23. ‘Transition Period’ -

The number of permits pulled by homebuilders in the second quarter was flat with the same period last year. Shelby County homebuilders filed 269 permits during the second quarter of 2013, the exact same number they filed in the second quarter last year, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

24. Loeb Enjoying Strong Demand in East Memphis -

Pomp & Poise, a new gift store concept specializing in home and garden items, has signed a new lease at Park Place Center.

Pomp and Poise will occupy 1,400 square feet at the East Memphis retail center at the southwest corner of Park Avenue and Ridgeway Road.

25. Barbecue Bible -

For 29 years, Corky’s Ribs & Bar-B-Q has been serving up pulled pork and ribs with a side of beans, slaw and innovation.

In 1984, founder Don Pelts, who owned The Public Eye in Midtown at the time, was waiting patiently for the location at 5259 Poplar Ave. in East Memphis to come available. When it finally did, he found himself surrounded by fast food joints, so he added his own drive-thru.

26. New School Media Blends Film, Music Into ‘Funky’ -

In 2007, Sean Faust and business partner Brad Ellis came together with Memphis music icon Doug Easley to create a company offering full-service audio and video recording and mixing services.

27. Coffee, Beer Bar Coming Downtown -

Downtown residents and visitors will soon be able to grab a cup of joe, locally brewed beer and a fresh sandwich or salad in one convenient spot.

Taylor Berger, partner in YoLo Frozen Yogurt & Gelato, and partners Mitch Buckner (of Bella Café in Pink Palace) and Daniel Flanagan (of Chiwawa, the newly opened Southern-inspired eatery near Overton Square) have signed a lease for 2,755 square feet of retail space in the ground floor of Van Vleet Flats, 122 Gayoso Ave.

28. Shelby Home Permits Stagnate, Sales Decrease -

New home permits were flat in February compared to the same month last year. 

Shelby County homebuilders filed 70 permits in February averaging 3,142 square feet and $222,975, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com. That compared to 72 permits filed in February 2012, averaging 3,520 square feet and $294,109.

29. Changeover -

It was almost 40 years ago, but Nancy Smith remembers the one year the men’s pro tennis tournament was held at the Mid-South Coliseum; her father had box seats. But even more memorable is that not long after the tournament moved to The Racquet Club of Memphis, a young and unknown Czech player came to town and, in that far simpler time, stayed at her parents’ house.

30. Avant Finds Soul, Passion in South Main Neighborhood -

In 2002, Ben Avant, now 35, was a young, Charleston, S.C.-based stock and bond trader with a world of possibilities at his feet and a heavy choice to make.

31. Builder Permits Rise 10 Percent in November -

The National Association of Homebuilders said Tuesday, Dec. 18, that sentiment across the homebuilding industry rose to its highest level since the middle of 2006.

National housing permits in November posted a 26.8 percent increase from November 2011. And while they’re not up quite that much, local starts are seeing increases as well.

32. Midtown Momentum -

The Midtown real estate market has long been an anomaly compared to its Bluff City counterparts, with fundamentals as diverse as its demographics.

“The types of real estate that you’ll find in Midtown can be some of the most expensive or some of the most modest when it comes to prices and facility,” said Gary Myers of Gary Myers Co. “Retail in particular.”

33. Permits Up 89 Percent in October -

Local homebuilders filed 89 percent more new home permits during October compared to October of last year.

Shelby County homebuilders filed 83 permits last month, a healthy boost from the 44 filed during October 2011, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com. October permits also posted a 6 percent increase from the 78 permits filed during September.

34. Vintage Homes Wins Bronze in National Housing Awards -

Vintage Homes has received a Bronze in the 2013 National Housing Quality Awards.

The 33-year-old homebuilder was recognized for facing challenges to its business model and revamping itself successfully. Vintage Homes also received credit for its marketing strategy, Opportunity for Improvement program and implementation of business technology tools.

35. Building Permits Show Little Change -

Local homebuilders didn’t change much the amount of new home permits they filed during the third quarter compared with the same period last year.

Shelby County homebuilders filed 218 permits during the quarter (July to September), compared with 216 filed during the same period in 2011, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com. Third-quarter permits marked a 12 percent drop from the 249 permits filed during the second quarter of this year.

36. 5 Best Practices For Leveraging Pinterest -

Part two of a two-part series Virtual scrapbooking site Pinterest has quickly taken the world of social media by storm, leaving some business owners and marketers scratching their heads about how exactly to leverage their time investment accordingly.

37. Biz License Filings Rise in Q2 -

The number of business licenses filed with the Shelby County Clerk’s office increased 2.7 percent to 1,397 in the second quarter of 2012 from 1,360 for the same period last year, according to The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com.

38. June Permits Up 45 Pct. -

Last month proved to be a positive one for local homebuilding activity, with a 45 percent increase year over year in new home permits.

Shelby County homebuilders in June filed 81 permits averaging 3,154 square feet and $233,996, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

39. Active Builders -

Local homebuilders filed 54 percent more new home permits during the second quarter compared with the same period last year.

Shelby County homebuilders filed 247 permits during the quarter (April to June), compared with 160 filed during Q2 2011, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

40. Lights, Camera, Action -

The pot of state money available to spur film production in Tennessee got a couple million dollars richer a few months ago.

Thanks to a measure sponsored this past legislative session by state Sen. Mark Norris, R-Collierville, an additional $2 million is now available to incentivize film production in the state. But the good news goes deeper than that seven-figure sum for Tennessee’s film industry.

41. AA Concepts Files Permit Next to Urban Outfitters -

Houston-based retailer AA Concepts Inc. will soon fill the space to the east of Urban Outfitters Inc. at the gateway to the Cooper-Young community in Midtown.

42. ‘Value Proposition’ -

This is the first in a two-part series looking at the state of the local travel agency industry.

On display in the hallways of A & I Travel Service Inc. at 5124 Poplar Ave., is a series of vintage, black-and-white agency photographs from one of the company’s first offices, which was located in Downtown Memphis.

43. Homebuilding Permits Rise During May -

May’s new home permit totals saw a significant upswing year over year, and homebuilders attribute the improvement to low inventory levels and low interest rates.

Shelby County homebuilders filed 91 permits in May – a 78 percent increase from the 51 filed during May 2011 – according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

44. Building Blitz -

Some of the city’s prominent homebuilders huddled up at McDonald’s on Winchester and Tchulahoma roads around 4:30 a.m. on Monday, June 4, trying to decide what the weather had in store for the first morning of the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis/Memphis Area Home Builders Association Home Builders Blitz.

45. ‘New Enthusiasm’ Yields Permit Rise -

While new-home sales remain low, average new-home sales prices are increasing, along with the number of permits and permit amounts.

Shelby County homebuilders filed 75 permits in April – up 36 percent from the 55 filed during April 2011 – according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

46. Habitat for Humanity Preps for Home Builders Blitz -

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis, the Memphis Area Home Builders Association and Emmy Award-winning television personality Steve Thomas will join forces Monday, June 4, to kickoff Habitat for Humanity International’s Home Builders Blitz 2012.

47. Cook Named Director At Memphis Farmers Mkt. -

Allison Cook has been named market director at Memphis Farmers Market. Cook brings her marketing and business management experience to the position, and also has volunteered at the market and its Harvest Celebration fundraisers for three years.

48. March Permits Improve 47 Pct. -

Last month proved to be a positive one for local homebuilding activity, with a 47 percent increase year over year in new home permits.

Shelby County homebuilders in March filed 75 permits averaging 3,224 square feet and $243,143, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

49. Permits Rise 60 Pct. in Q4 -

Local homebuilders filed 60 percent more new home permits during the fourth quarter compared with the same period last year, but as with 2011’s overall total, there were several underlying factors that created artificially high year-over-year totals.

50. Permits Remain Flat in 2011 -

Last year’s new home permits filed by local homebuilders were unchanged from the year prior, and inventory continued to deplete due to lack of demand.

Shelby County homebuilders filed 742 permits during 2011, compared to 740 in 2010, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

51. Vintage Homes Helps Buyers Build Credit -

Vintage Homes LLC created its Home Buyers Connection program two years ago, and the company is forecasting 2012 to be its most successful year yet.

52. Permit Increase Implies ‘False Hope’ -

Local homebuilders filed 75 percent more new home permits during November compared to the same month last year, but there are several underlying factors in those artificially high year-over-year totals.

53. Vintage Homes Named Builder of the Year -

Charles Morgan, president of Memphis-based Vintage Homes LLC, was named 2011 Builder of the Year by the Tennessee Housing Development Agency Monday, Oct. 17, at the Governor’s Housing Summit in Franklin, Tenn.

54. Home Starts Jump 20 Percent -

Local homebuilders filed 20 percent more new home permits during the third quarter compared to last year, giving 2011 its best quarter so far, but experts say there are still obstacles on the horizon.

55. Building Momentum -

Local homebuilders were busy in August, filing more permits than the same month a year ago.

Shelby County homebuilders filed 73 permits last month, a 21.7 percent increase from 60 filed in August 2010 and a 19.7 percent increase from 61 filed in July, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

56. New-Home Permits Improve 12 Percent -

Local homebuilder permits saw a healthy bump last month, and industry experts said the rest of year looks promising as well.

Shelby County homebuilders filed 61 permits in July, an 11.7 percent increase from 55 filed the same month a year ago and a 35.5 percent increase from 45 filed in June, according to the real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

57. ‘Worse and Worse’ - Local homebuilders filed 35 percent fewer new home permits for the second quarter compared to last year, and experts say there’s a ways to go before signs of recovery emerge.

Shelby County homebuilders filed 142 permits during Q2 (April to June), down from 220 in Q2 2010, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

58. Permits Dip 21 Percent in May -

While local homebuilders filed fewer permits in May than they did during the same month a year ago, average sales price – of both pulled permits and builder new-home sales – saw a significant leap.

59. Builder Struggles Continue Into Spring -

As permits decline and construction costs rise, local builders urge prospective buyers to act now before the price of new homes continues to climb.

Shelby County builders filed 46 new home permits in April, a 58 percent decrease from 111 permits in April 2010, according to the latest data from real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

60. March Permits Down Half From Last Year -

Shelby County builders filed 51 new home permits last month, a 51 percent decrease from 104 permits in March 2010 – a dip they attributed to the now-expired homebuyers tax credit.

“Us being down isn’t really a story, it was last year being up was the story because of the tax credit,” said Sean Carlson, principal with Regency Homebuilders LLC. “If the tax credit wasn’t there, there wouldn’t be those jumps in numbers.”

61. Q1 Permits Slip 29 Percent -

For the first time in recent history, homebuilder sales didn’t exceed starts in the first quarter, a sign that demand has caught up with supply.

But both numbers – sales and starts – decreased from the same period a year ago, halting the notion that housing recovery is imminent.

62. Vintage Homes Adds Consumer Credit Expert -

Vintage Homes LLC has recently added consumer credit expert Craig Cline to its team as director of the Home Buyers Connection.

63. Builders Struggle to Turn ‘Lookers’ Into Buyers -

While Shelby County builders filed just 24 permits last month – a 41.5 percent decrease from 41 permits in January 2010 – industry professionals are confident the numbers will be corrected by the close of the first quarter as the weather improves.

64. Events -

The University of Memphis Law Review will host a symposium titled “Memphis in the Law” Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, 1 N. Front St. Registration is $235 for persons seeking continuing legal education credit. For more information or to register, call 489-0150 or visit www.memphis.edu/lawreview/symposium.php.

65. Building Blocks -

Shelby County builders filed 681 new home permits last year, a 13.8 percent increase from 587 permits in 2009 according to the latest data from real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

66. Monthly Building Dips, But 2010 Numbers Up -

While the holidays typically slow down the pace of building new homes, November’s permits took a bigger hit than usual as the industry continues to work through the recession.

Shelby County homebuilders filed 38 permits last month, a 34.5 percent decrease from 58 permits the same month a year ago, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

67. Building Permits Hold Steady -

Shelby County homebuilders filed 49 permits last month, a 2 percent increase over the same period a year ago, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports.

But that marked 2 percent decrease from the 50 permits filed in September and an 11 percent decrease from 55 permits filed in August. Homebuilders filed 48 permits in October 2009.

68. Constructech Magazine Recognizes Vintage Homes -

Vintage Homes LLC was recently awarded a 2010 Vision Award by Constructech magazine.

The Memphis-based homebuilder received the Gold award in the Builder/GC (General Contractor) Residential $6 million-$25 million category.

69. Low Home Sales Yield Slow Job Growth -

As the unemployment rate for the construction industry climbed to 17.2 percent in September, local construction experts say the residential numbers are a direct reflection of sales activity.

The construction industry lost 21,000 jobs in September, and over the past 12 months, the industry has lost 210,000 jobs, according to the most recent employment report by the U.S. Department of Labor.

70. South Main Etsy Event Showcases Local Artists -

The recession-era culture has seen many consumers shunning big-box retailers and mass-produced goods in favor of independently-owned shops and more sustainable products.

The 3/50 Project, a popular ‘buy local” viral campaign launched in March 2009, warns consumers that only $43 of every $100 they spend with national retailers stays in their local community. As for online shopping, the return is zero.

71. Homebuilding Shows Slight Improvement -

Memphis area homebuilders agree that business is looking up, but they also agree that a complete recovery will be slow in coming.

Local builders filed 725 permits between September 2009 and August 2010, according to the latest data from real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

72. Consigned to a Cause -

When the women of Les Passees sit down to discuss the Stock Exchange – the nonprofit group’s largest annual fundraiser, which kicks off with a preview party Thursday at 7 p.m. – they don’t talk much about the sale itself.

73. Back on the Air -

After being silent and nearly forgotten for more than 50 years, the radio station that helped launch the careers of such music pioneers as B.B. King, Johnny Cash, Howlin’ Wolf, Ike Turner, Carl Perkins, Albert King – and even Elvis Presley – is back.

74. Builders Look to Vesta for Business Boost -

The Memphis Area Home Builders Association gets some much-needed publicity this month with the Vesta Designer Home Showcase, which began over the weekend and runs through July 5.

The home show is being held at Neshoba Grove Subdivision in Germantown, an infill development at the northeast corner of Cordova and Neshoba roads, just west of Germantown Road near the Germantown Performing Arts Centre.

75. Rebounding Activity -

Shelby County homebuilders last month reached triple digits with new home permits for the first time in nearly two years.

But instead of congratulating themselves for the increase in activity, companies are focused now on maintaining momentum and further pulling themselves out of the biggest homebuilding slump in recent memory.

76. Residential Building Sees Uptick in February -

No other industry has been clamoring for spring more than homebuilders.

The horrid weather to start the year has prevented some companies from starting every home they hoped to get into the ground, so the recent rise in mercury has also raised their spirits.

77. Poor January Home Starts Blamed on Inclement Weather -

January’s foul weather wreaked havoc on homebuilders, as the barrage of snow, ice and cold temperatures severely limited the ability to start homes.

Shelby County builders filed just 36 new home permits last month, half of December’s 72, but a slight increase from the January 2009 total of 31, according to the latest data from real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

78. Q4 Permits Show Improvements -

A familiar trend in the housing industry played out during fourth quarter 2009. Like what happened with home sales and mortgages, building permits enjoyed a rare improvement as the year drew to a close.

79. ’09 Building Permits Tell Scary Tale -

For anyone who thought the homebuilding numbers couldn’t get worse than they did in 2008, that year looks like a housing boom compared to 2009.

Shelby County builders filed just 529 new home permits last year, a 43.7 percent decline from 940 permits in 2008 and a staggering 80 percent decline from 2,643 permits in 2007, according to the latest data from real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

80. Residential Building Heats Up in November -

Arlington is back in the news, although this time it has nothing to do with Mayor Russell Wiseman posting remarks on his Facebook page about President Obama and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” television special.

81. Housing Slump Makes Self Known In October -

Shelby County homebuilders continue to feel the brunt of the housing slowdown, as October saw builder sales plummet and housing starts reach a seven-month low.

Homebuilders filed just 38 permits for new homes last month, the worst period for starts since the March total of 30. That marked a 9.5 percent decline from 42 starts in October 2008 and a 33.3 percent decline from 57 starts in September, according to the latest from real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

82. Morgan, Vintage Homes Stays on Top in Trying Times -

Charles Morgan learned the homebuilding business from the ground up – literally.

The 58-year-old owner of Vintage Homes LLC began a nearly lifelong building career as a young boy working for his father’s framing and foundation subcontracting company. Morgan’s grandfather also worked in the framing and foundation field, so the basics of homebuilding run in his blood.

83. Mixing Old and New is a Great Design Strategy -

You probably didn't realize, when you put an ornate old picture frame next to the sleek Pottery Barn sofa in your living room, that you had your finger on the pulse of America's design culture.

But you did.

84. Mixing Old and New is a Great Design Strategy -

You probably didn't realize, when you put an ornate old picture frame next to the sleek Pottery Barn sofa in your living room, that you had your finger on the pulse of America's design culture.

But you did.

85. Paul Stanley's Fall From Grace -

Jim Kyle, a Memphis Democrat who serves as minority leader in the state Senate, gave the first lunchtime address of 2009 to the Memphis Rotary Club.

Rotarians got a bird’s-eye view of the state’s financial picture from Kyle, who described choices needed to close the state’s budget shortfall. Kyle this week announced his candidacy in the 2010 gubernatorial race.

86. Local Homebuilding Numbers Still Depressed -

Shelby County homebuilders continue chipping away at inventory by selling more homes than they start, but the industry remains mired in a slump as new home sales and permits hover at record lows.

Homebuilders sold 53 homes in Shelby County in July, a 57.9 percent dip from 126 homes sold in July 2008 and a 34.6 percent dip from 81 homes sold in June, according to the latest data from real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

87. Q2 Building Permits Continue Downward Trend -

The homebuilding industry in the mid-2000s distinguished itself through a record-setting pace – each year it seemingly topped the previous one in terms of housing starts.

Now, the converse of that is true as builders consistently set new lows because of the ongoing housing crunch and credit crisis.

88. Building Permit Activity Abysmal in June -

Home permits continued to slide in June, reaching their lowest monthly mark in years as the demand for new housing remained soft and the building industry remained focused on sales.

Builders filed just 17 permits in Shelby County last month, down 77 percent from 74 permits in June 2008 and down 57.5 percent from 40 permits filed in May, according to the latest data from real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

89. MAHBA Mothballs First-Time Buyer Program -

As if builders didn’t have enough headaches, a new program launched last month by the Memphis Area Home Builders Association to increase home sales had to be scrapped because of a legality.

Don Glays and Stephen Hodgkins, MAHBA executive director and president, respectively, said a program in which the trade association would lend $8,000 of down payment money to homebuyers and recoup the money through the federal tax credit was rejected by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

90. Q1 Data: All Quiet on the Homebuilding Front -

When an industry slows down dramatically, it’s often said its business comes to a screeching halt. The demise of local homebuilding can’t exactly be summed up that way because it implies some kind of sound is being generated.

91. Real Estate Gloom Far From Over, Numbers Show -

The first two months of 2009 are in the books, and the real estate market has shown no signs of improving. For the second straight month, home sales declined by a third from the same month a year ago, proof that housing still needs to dig itself out of a deep hole.

92. Building Permits Consistent With ‘08 Doldrums -

Stephen Hodgkins, owner of Oaktree Homes LLC and president of the Memphis Area Home Builders Association, traveled to Washington last week with a contingent of builders to present ways the housing market could be repaired.

93. Local Building Reaches Historic Low -

The past 12-month period was the worst stretch for homebuilders in more than three decades, with permits totaling just 830 between December 2007 and November 2008.

That marks the only year housing starts didn’t reach 1,000 dating back to 1974, when permit figures were first available from real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

94. Vintage Homes, Next Solutions Form Partnership -

Charles Morgan founded Vintage Homes LLC in 1979 and spent the past three decades transforming it into one of Shelby County’s leading homebuilders.

95. Latest Numbers Paint Dreary Homebuilding Picture -

The homebuilding industry suffered another period of slower sales and fewer starts in October, signaling a continued crisis in the housing market.

Shelby County saw just 61 home sales by builders last month, a staggering 61.6 percent decline from the 159 homes sold in October 2007, according to the latest data from real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com. Last month’s total even marked a 53.1 percent dropoff from the 130 homes builders sold in September.

96. Multifamily Sector Steady to Good in Q3 -

The Memphis multifamily market once again proved itself resistant to the economic downturn, registering another period of improvement during the third quarter (July through September) as other sectors continued their slide.

97. Q3 Building Permits Plummet -

Listen to homebuilders’ language and it’s easy to discern their problems. Instead of using terms such as “expanding operations” and “ramping up production” – as they did a few years ago – builders now resort to phrases like “hunkering down” and “scaling back.”

98. U.S. Bank Leads Local Home Sales -

In these chaotic economic times, with bailouts and bankruptcies galore, with stocks sinking and foreclosures skyrocketing, one thing has remained consistent in Shelby County throughout 2008: Banks and trust companies have dominated the sales reports, and September was no different.

99. Deutsche Bank Leads Home Seller List -

Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. in August retained its spot as the top seller of homes in Shelby County in terms of dollar amount, marking the seventh month out of eight this year that the New York-based trust company ranked No. 1, according to the latest residential sellers report from real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

100. Lenox Homes Makes Adjustments In Poor Market -

Chris Christian had been in the homebuilding business long enough – more than 20 years – to know it was time to shake things up.

His company, Lenox Homes LLC, was still performing well from Arlington to DeSoto County to Downtown. But as the housing market contracted, as sales sagged and new-home starts shrank throughout the region, Christian figured he better adapt to the changing times or suffer the consequences.