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VOL. 123 | NO. 45 | Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Daily Digest

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Life Time Fitness Inc. Buys Collierville Land

      Life Time Fitness Inc. has bought 9.8 acres in Collierville from HBO Holdings LLC to build a health club, the company's first facility in Tennessee, according to its Web site.
     Operating in the transaction as LTF Real Estate Co. Inc., Life Time Fitness spent $4.4 million on the parcel, which is on the east side of Houston Levee Road, north of Poplar Avenue. The sale closed Feb. 20.
     Calls to the Chanhassen, Minn.-based company were not returned by press time.
     Michael Bourne, managing partner for Memphis-based HBO Holdings, said the addition of a fitness and recreation center in a booming part of the metropolitan area makes sense.
     "I think it's a good fit, especially with the population that Germantown and Collierville have," Bourne said.
     The overall development, called Ballard Property Planned Development, is a 55-acre site where Memphis-based Retirement Cos. of America is building a new facility.
     HBO originally bought 20 acres in that development, of which 10 acres still are available. Bourne said the company is targeting banks and other office tenants for the remaining land, including two to three outparcels.
     According to Life Time Fitness' Web site, most of its centers "include an expansive selection of premium amenities and services in a resort-like setting. Amenities include indoor and outdoor swimming pools, basketball and racquet courts, personal training and group fitness programming, child care centers, cafes and spas."
     

Design Review Board to Hear Beale Street Landing Proposal

     Proposals for a 590-foot floating dock, a 10,000-square-foot building and park areas for the $29 million Beale Street Landing project will go before the Center City Commission's Design Review Board today.
     The Riverfront Development Corp., which has controlled development along the riverfront since 2000, is developing Beale Street Landing. The project will feature a floating dock and five islands set at different heights along the Mississippi River.
     Other construction projects going before the board today include a proposed renovation of the 31,000-square-foot, Welcome Wagon/Snyder Building, at 30 N. Second St., for mixed-commercial use, as well as the renovation of 8 S. Main St. The Main Street project is for the proposed renovation of a four-story building into three rental apartments and 1,800 square feet of commercial space.
     The meeting begins at 5 p.m. at the CCC, 114 N. Main St.
     

HEHFB to Discuss Pershing Park PILOT

     The Health, Educational and Housing Facility Board of the city of Memphis will meet today at noon at HEHFB, 65 Union Ave., Suite 1120.
     The board will discuss a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes extension for Pershing Park Apartment among other issues.
     For more information, call 527-6400.
     

Six Foreclosure Notices Filed Against Alexanders

     Six first-run foreclosure notices have been filed against Charles W. and Patricia Alexander. They appear in today's Daily News starting on Page 34.
     Four of the notices filed are against Charles Alexander, one notice is filed against Patricia Alexander and the final notice names both Alexanders as the grantees.
     The properties scheduled for foreclosure are 924 and 926 J.W. Williams Lane, 645 Leath St., 254 E. Alston Ave., 1333 Breedlove St. and 1007 N. Bingham St.
     The East Alston Avenue and Leath Street properties are scheduled for sale March 26 at noon at the southwest Adams Avenue entrance of the Shelby County Courthouse. The remaining properties are slated for sale April 3 at the same time and location.
     FirstBank Branch 60 is listed as an interested party for the Leath Street property, while Patricia Alexander is listed as an interested party on the J.W. Williams Lane properties.
     The North Bingham Street property is subject to an Internal Revenue Service tax lien filed Jan. 17 for $5,096.09.
     The Breedlove Street property is subject to the same tax lien, in addition to another IRS lien filed in October 2006 for $1,247.10.
     There have been nearly 50 foreclosure notices filed since February against properties owned by the Alexanders. For more information on the previous notices, visit www.memphisdailynews.com.
     

Snowflake Launches Prototype for ID System

     Memphis-based biometrics company Snowflake Technologies, a subsidiary of Luminetx Corp., has launched a prototype for its identity verification system known as vein pattern recognition, or VPR.
     An individual who already has been registered in the system by a scan of the subcutaneous vein patterns in his or her hand simply holds the same hand in place in the device for a second to verify identity. The system works because, like a snowflake, no two vein patterns are alike, company officials said.
     "Once thought to be only part of sci-fi and government espionage movies, biometrics solutions are real and readily available to progressive companies today," said Brad Silver, the company's vice president of business development. "Soon companies can use this technology to enhance employee accountability, improve processes and reduce errors. A company's customer will also benefit from the convenience and privacy offered by vein pattern recognition. Forget PINs, signatures and photo IDs. You already have everything you need to confirm your identity, and it's just below the skin's surface."
     

IP Shares Upgraded In Light of Price Increase

     An analyst upgraded shares of International Paper Co. on Tuesday and forecast gains from a price increase for uncoated freesheet paper, which is used in office printing and other items such as envelopes.
     Goldman Sachs analyst Richard Skidmore raised his rating on shares of the paper and wood products company to "Buy" from "Neutral" and said International Paper and Domtar Corp. are poised to gain from a price increase on uncoated freesheet paper. Skidmore already has a "Buy" rating on Domtar.
     "We view this as an important turning point for the industry, as historically, paper prices have declined in periods of slowing U.S. economic growth," Skidmore wrote in a client note.
     Despite economic weakness, producers have curtailed capacity to match supply and demand, Skidmore said. This has left the uncoated freesheet market relatively tight.
     "As a result of the tight market, producers are seeing uncoated freesheet paper prices move higher," Skidmore wrote.
     Last month, International Paper said fourth-quarter profit fell sharply from a year ago, when it recorded a big gain from the sale of forest land. But when adjusted, profit beat expectations.
     Operating profit in printing paper, which includes copier paper, rose about 2 percent to $314 million because of higher prices for paper and market pulp in North America and Europe.
     

Medtronic Paid $140K To Lobbying Firm

     Medical device maker Medtronic Inc. paid a lobbying firm a little more than $140,000 in 2007 to lobby on health care legislation, including a proposal requiring device makers to report gifts to physicians.
     Medtronic paid Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP $140,000 in the second half of the year and less than $10,000 in the first half of the year, according to a disclosure form posted online this month by the Senate's public records office.
     Minneapolis-based Medtronic's Spinal and Biologics business is headquartered in Memphis.
     Lobbying on its own behalf, Medtronic spent $1.7 million last year to make known its stance on legislation affecting patents and medical device sales.
     Lobbyists are required to disclose activities that could influence members of the executive and legislative branches under a federal law enacted in 1995.
     

Tennessee's Corker Part of Colombia Delegation

     U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., returned late Sunday from a three-day visit to Colombia that was partly an attempt to prod Congress into passing the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement.
     The congressional delegation that included Corker was led by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez and was joined by U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, Small Business Administration Administrator Steven Preston and seven members of the House of Representatives. Among various stops on the trip, the U.S. delegation joined Colombian president Alvaro Uribe for a town hall meeting that included hearing directly from local residents.
     

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 43 43 12,074
MORTGAGES 78 78 15,834
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 3,130
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 28,832
BANKRUPTCIES 97 97 11,768
BUSINESS LICENSES 18 18 4,292
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 190 190 17,922
MARRIAGE LICENSES 43 43 3,711

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