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VOL. 126 | NO. 42 | Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Daily Digest

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Collierville Land Sells at Foreclosure Sale

Memphis-based CGL Investments LLC has bought two parcels of vacant land in Collierville at a foreclosure sale for $942,400. The parcels were originally owned by MSMM-II Realty Investment Co., which defaulted on a 2005 loan.

The parcels listed on the sales deed include 1.3 vacant acres at the northeast corner of Byhalia Road and Winchester Boulevard East and 1.3 vacant acres at the southeast corner of Houston Levee Road and Winchester Boulevard.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2010 appraisal for the first parcel was $282,000; the 2010 appraisal for the second parcel was $658,000.

At the same time the foreclosure sale document was filed with the Shelby County Register of Deeds, CGL filed a loan document for $1.2 million through BancorpSouth Bank.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Kate Simone

S. Main Business Design On Tap at DRB

Design plans for a new South Main business originally presented as “Red Velvet,” a cupcake and wine eatery, are due to go before the Center City Commission Design Review Board Wednesday.

The board meets at 5 p.m. in the CCC office, 114 N. Main St.

Neil Armstrong, the project applicant, appears to be changing some aspects of the business’s concept, though little of the architectural design. However, the shop’s primary signage will now simply read “carrot,” according to the CCC.

The changes are a result of cupcake chain Gigi’s Cupcakes threatening legal action because of the chain’s belief that Armstrong was working with someone on his concept in a way that violated a non-compete agreement. The name of Amanda King, who used to work for Gigi’s, was in the original business plan, but Armstrong told The Daily News she has never been a founder, partner, employee or owner of the LLC he set up.

“Although the Center City Commission cannot provide funding to the proposed business until the legal issues are resolved, we are still hopeful that this development project will go forward, whether cupcakes are the product or not,” CCC president Paul Morris told The Daily News. “Mr. Armstrong has exciting renovation plans for a great South Main building, and we look forward to working with him to advance those plans. And if Gigi’s wants to open a location Downtown, then we will work with them too. We’re not taking sides in the legal dispute. We are just standing by ready to work with any retailer who wants to take advantage of the growing retail market in Downtown Memphis, the most densely populated neighborhood in the region.”

– Andy Meek

Q4 Retail Vacancies, Asking Rates Decline

Memphis’ retail market continued a trend of declining vacancy in the fourth quarter of 2010 as vacancy dropped from 13.6 percent to 13.1 percent – representing the lowest vacancy rate in the Memphis Metropolitan Statistical Area in more than three years – according to CB Richard Ellis Memphis’ Q4 Retail MarketView.

Meanwhile, the average asking rate dropped from $9.64 per foot to $9.49 per foot, representing the lowest average asking rate in more than three years.

The three submarkets that struggled the most – with both the lowest asking rental rates and the highest vacancy rates – were the North, South, and Southeast submarkets.

On the other hand, the East submarket – which had the lowest vacancy rate in the third quarter of 2010 – continued a positive trend, lowering that rate further to just 5.3 percent for the fourth quarter of 2010. In addition, the East submarket saw an increase in average asking rent from $12.82 per foot to $12.95 per foot.

Net absorption was positive in every quarter for 2010, although the fourth quarter had the lowest total at 9,036 square feet. The East and North submarkets accounted for two-thirds of the net absorption for 2010.

Two notable store closures in the fourth quarter were Samuel’s Furniture and Schnucks, both in Cordova on Germantown Parkway.

– Sarah Baker

Commission Approves Funds for Mitsubishi Infrastructure

The Shelby County Commission has approved $1 million in infrastructure funding for the Mitsubishi Electric plant to be built in southwest Memphis.

The transfer of funding to the city of Memphis, which has also put up $1 million, came at Monday’s commission session.

Commissioner Henri Brooks tried unsuccessfully to add an amendment requiring the company to acknowledge it must abide by federal anti-discriminatory guidelines under Title 6 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

But the Luttrell administration for the first time challenged her on the specific point of whether Title 6 applied.

Brooks contended it did because Mitsubishi gets “federal assistance.”

Deputy County Attorney Mark Allen, however, said Mitsubishi’s contracts as a government supplier do not make it a Title 6 recipient.

Brooks ultimately was the only no vote on the funding.

“It’s important for someone to raise the issue and make sure these tax dollars are not going for the status quo,” she said.

Mitsubishi executives said they have anti-discrimination procedures as part of its operations that are reviewed.

Adding Title 6 language has been a constant theme of Brooks’ political career.

– Bill Dries

Cash Delays Releasing Budget Books to MCS Board

The Memphis City Schools board will get a budget proposal for the new fiscal year from Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash on March 14 and it will be voted on by the MCS board on April 7.

Both dates are later than originally scheduled. But the new timeline is sticking with the date of delivering the budget proposal to the Memphis City Council and Shelby County Commission on April 15.

Cash was to deliver budget books to the board this week containing the first draft of his spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

But this week he put that off citing the “tentativeness” of ongoing funding talks with the city of Memphis.

Cash described the budget deliberations as “the most challenging” of all of the fiscal years he’s seen since he came to Memphis. Cash arrived just as the Memphis City Council cut $57 million in 2008, a cut that prompted a Chancery Court lawsuit and two court orders requiring the city of Memphis to pay the money back.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. said just last week that he and Cash have been talking about a payment plan. And Wharton’s budget deliberations have included several scenarios in which the city would either pay the money in a lump sum, pay a lower lump sum or pay over several years.

Like Wharton, Cash said his budget proposal will probably include several different scenarios.

– Bill Dries

Rhodes and Foote Family to Make Announcement

Rhodes College officials and the family of the late Memphis author and historian Shelby Foote will make an announcement about his works Friday on the Midtown college campus at 2000 North Parkway.

Word of the press conference came with few clues. But it is being held in the Paul Barret Jr. Library.

Foote, who died in 2005, wrote a three-volume history of the Civil War over nearly 20 years that ended with the release of the third volume in 1974.

Foote was featured prominently in Ken Burns’ 1990 PBS documentary on the war.

– Bill Dries

HealthGrades Ranks Memphis in Top 50

HealthGrades, an independent health care ratings organization, named Memphis one of the top 50 cities in the U.S. for health care. HealthGrades ranked cities according to patient outcomes at each of the nation’s 5,000 nonfederal hospitals, and cities with the highest concentration of top hospitals were named in the top 50 cities for health care.

Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis, Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women and Baptist Memorial Hospital-Collierville were the city’s top-ranked hospitals.

“Memphians should be proud to have such high-quality, patient-care centered hospitals in their city,” said Zach Chandler, vice president and metro market leader at Baptist Memorial Health Care.

This is the ninth year HealthGrades has independently analyzed the clinical quality performance of all nonfederal hospitals across the country in 26 procedures and diagnoses. In the study, the company reviewed approximately 40 million hospitalization records from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from 2007, 2008 and 2009.

– Aisling Maki

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 66 180 11,618
MORTGAGES 81 223 15,202
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 21 68 2,979
BUILDING PERMITS 0 392 27,646
BANKRUPTCIES 90 218 11,180
BUSINESS LICENSES 26 63 4,101
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 99 422 16,906
MARRIAGE LICENSES 19 62 3,526

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