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VOL. 127 | NO. 53 | Friday, March 16, 2012

Daily Digest

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Construction Loan Filed for Lamar Crossing Apts.

A $5.4 million construction loan has been filed for Lamar Crossing Apartments at 2881 Lamar Ave., a complex that in recent years has been held by a number of owners and the subject of multiple development efforts.

Current owner Lamar Apartments LP filed the development loan through Hunt Capital Partners LLC, stating in documents it plans to develop a low-income housing apartment complex. The loan matures in April 2013 and HCP-ILP LLC is listed as an investor limited partner.

Lamar Apartments LP, whose key principal is Bluff City Community Development Corp., received the property via quitclaim in October, financing it at the time for $3.5 million through Nessko TN LLC. That loan becomes subordinate to the new one.

Lamar Crossing was a planned $12 million construction project at the time of its 2007 groundbreaking. The 120,000-square-foot, 120-unit property, which sits on 7.1 acres along Lamar just north of Interstate 40, was 85 percent complete when it ran into financial trouble in 2009 and Arvest Bank reclaimed it.

It changed hands a couple of times before Nessko TN bought it last May, quitclaimed it to Lamar Apartments LP and granted the entity a $3.5 million multifamily loan.

Bluff City CDC is the developer behind April Woods Apartments and Bickford Square Apartments, affordable-housing developments in North Memphis.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Evolve Designated Preferred Lender

Evolve Bank & Trust has been designated a preferred lender within the U.S. Small Business Administration Preferred Lender Program.

That means Evolve Bank & Trust will have the authority to issue the loan guaranty agreement and other necessary loan approval forms to allow qualified small businesses to receive an SBA-backed loan.

Evolve’s SBA division, which was added in 2011, is in Denver. Evolve Bank & Trust is based in West Memphis and currently operates five full-service branches in Arkansas and Tennessee and more than 25 mortgage production offices nationwide.

– Andy Meek

National Guard Base to Get C-17 Aircraft in 2013

U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz confirmed Wednesday, March 14, that eight C-17 aircraft will replace the C-5A fleet at the Tennessee Air National Guard base in Memphis in fiscal year 2013.

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., asked for a specific timeline for the transition as Schwartz testified before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense in Washington.

“I would like to give you the exact timeline,” Schwartz said. “But I think that is a reflection of a larger effort that’s under way to reshape airlift capabilities by retiring the big aircraft, the 27 remaining C-5As and repopulating with C-17s.”

The new cargo planes due at the base will deliver troops and cargo to military bases as part of a new Air Force strategy.

– Bill Dries

DeWitt Spain Airport to Mark Flood Anniversary

Memphis International Airport executives are planning to mark the one-year anniversary of the flooding of DeWitt Spain Airport in Frayser.

The airport was heavily damaged May 5 when a levee near the airfield broke as the Mississippi River and its tributaries reached their highest levels since 1937.

The airfield reopened in August and is still operating with a temporary office building that the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority plans to replace with a permanent structure.

Meanwhile, February passenger counts for Memphis International Airport showed a 16.7 percent drop from February 2011. The passenger count of 533,474 compared to 640,806 a year ago – before Delta cut a large number of regional flights into and out of Memphis International starting in August.

The 177 scheduled flights for February was 28 percent less than the 246 flights in February 2011.

For the calendar year, the number of passengers is down 18.6 percent from 2011 with just more than 1 million.

The 701.3 million pounds of cargo handled at Memphis International Airport in February was a 5.3 percent increase from a year ago. The 1.3 billion pounds of cargo for the calendar year so far is up 4 percent from a year ago.

– Bill Dries

Rhodes Named Finalist for Service Honor Roll

Rhodes College has been named a Presidential Award Finalist in the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

Fourteen higher education institutions were selected as finalists. Honorees were announced at the American Council on Education’s annual meeting this week.

Since 2006, the Honor Roll has been administered by the Corp. for National and Community Service. The Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities.

More than 80 percent of Rhodes students participate in service. Twice, the college has been ranked No. 1 on Newsweek’s “Most Service-Oriented” list of schools.

– Taylor Shoptaw

Orpheum Theatre Names New Board Members

The Orpheum Theatre and its parent organization, the Memphis Development Foundation, has announced 10 members joining the Orpheum board of directors. The new members are: Chuck Treadway, Thomas & Betts president and chief operating officer; Don Young, Smith and Nephew senior vice president, corporate sustainability; Andy Taylor, Gerber/Taylor Capital Advisors Inc. partner; Gary Smith, Apperson Crump PLC attorney; Alan Mullen, Crew Training International president; Scott Hennessy, True Temper Sports Inc. president; Keri Gage, SunTrust private wealth management/senior vice president; Robert Cox, Glassman, Edwards, Wyatt, Tuttle & Cox PC attorney; Bo Allen, First Tennessee executive vice president; and Sara Adams, community volunteer.

The Memphis Development Foundation has also announced its new officers and executive committee. The 2012 executive committee includes: Jim Wiertelak, chairman; Suzanne Landers, past chairperson; Kathy Manning-Loeb, secretary; Tom Newbern, treasurer; and Steve Black, legal counsel. Members at large include Karen Fields-Isaacman, Joe Lammel, George Alvord and David Pickler.

Board members serve two-year terms and are eligible to serve three consecutive terms.

– Sarah Baker

UTHSC Awarded Grant to Study Strep Infections

Dr. Harry S. Courtney, professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, has received a $126,000 grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a subsidiary of the National Institutes of Health. The award will fund research on streptococcal infections that will be conducted over a two-year period.

Courtney’s research is on molecular mechanisms of group A streptococcal infections, which can range from mild and self-limiting infections of the throat and skin to highly invasive diseases with significant rates of morbidity and mortality. Cases of severe, invasive infections by the bacteria have been increasing throughout the world. The bacterial infections are limited to humans, but the basis for why is unknown.

The findings from Courtney’s study lay the foundation for developing therapies or vaccines to block this bacteria.

– Aisling Maki

Mortgage Rates Rise, Still Near Historic Low

The average rate in the U.S. on the 30-year fixed mortgage hovered near historic lows this week.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday, March 15, that the U.S. rate on the 30-year loan increased to 3.92 percent. That’s up from 3.88 percent the previous week. The rate touched 3.87 percent four weeks ago, the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.

The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage rose to 3.16 percent, up from a record low of 3.13 percent last week.

– The Associated Press

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 50 299 14,717
MORTGAGES 59 436 19,330
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 14 91 3,796
BUILDING PERMITS 135 697 35,330
BANKRUPTCIES 58 306 14,034
BUSINESS LICENSES 22 87 5,013
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 121 483 21,433
MARRIAGE LICENSES 22 104 4,557

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