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VOL. 127 | NO. 194 | Thursday, October 04, 2012

Daily Digest

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Lamar Avenue Super 8 Sells for $1.3 Million

The Super 8 hotel at 4060 Lamar Ave. in Oakhaven near Memphis International Airport has traded hands for $1.3 million.

Regents Group LLC bought the 24,344-square-foot hotel Sept. 28 from Motel Management LLC, whose member Gopal Govan signed the warranty deed.

Built in 1997, the two-story hotel sits on 2.38 acres on the northeast side of Lamar near its intersection with Winchester Road. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2012 appraisal is $1.1 million.

In conjunction with the purchase, Regents Group filed a $1.2 million trust deed through Trust Co. Bank. Kishor Patel signed as chief manager and Kamlaben Patel signed as secretary of the buying company.

The transaction also included an assignment of leases and rents from Regents Group to the lender.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Hotel Developer to Seek Extension From CCRFC

RPD Hotels LLC, the developer of Downtown Memphis Hilton Hotel project, is preparing to go before the Memphis Center City Revenue Finance Corp. seeking a one-year closing extension of its previously approved 20-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes.

Bridget Chisholm, managing member of RPD Hotels, said in the application that the extension is “needed to complete the financing and investor due diligence now that the structure and project has been right-sized – meaning the rooms have been reduced from 300 to 275 to improve the operating performance and reduce costs.”

The total project at the corner of Linden Avenue and Fourth Street is $67.7 million and includes $41.6 million of taxable revenue bonds issued by the Industrial Development Board, $19.8 million in private and owner equity, and $500,000 in contributions from the city of Memphis for infrastructure work.

The division of the Downtown Memphis Commission meets Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 9 a.m. at The Crump Building, 114 N. Main St.

– Sarah Baker

Barnhart Acquires New York Crane Business

Memphis-based Barnhart Crane & Rigging has acquired Syracuse, N.Y.-based C&S Crane & Rigging Inc. for an undisclosed amount.

C&S has served industrial, commercial and public sector customers throughout upstate New York since 2008 with 15-ton to 200-ton cranes and specialized rigging equipment. All C&S Crane & Rigging employees have been hired by Barnhart and will continue to operate from the existing location on Fly Road in East Syracuse.

Founded in 1969, Barnhart provides engineered solutions to complex lifting and transportation services for the power generation, petrochemical and renewable energy industries from 25 locations nationwide. The acquisition will complement Barnhart’s existing world-class innovation and nationwide inventory of specialized equipment, Barnhart CEO Alan Barnhart said in a written statement.

“The acquisition of the C&S Rigging Co. gives us greater access to a very important geography: upstate New York,” Barnhart said. “With this new branch we will be able to better serve our customers in this area, particularly those in renewable and nuclear energy.”

Ron Peckham, president and CEO of the C&S Cos., said the sale is evidence of the improving private economy in Central New York and will allow C&S to focus on its other construction-related offerings.

– Sarah Baker

Indie Memphis Festival Gets New Tech Elements

There’s a decided South by Southwest feel to this year’s Indie Memphis Film Festival, based on a lineup the nonprofit organization announced this week.

For the 15th annual festival, which happens Nov. 1-4, the festival has added new innovation and technology events on topics that range from design trends to digital storytelling, data management and the innovation economy. That’s in addition to screening the independent films and showcasing musical acts that are a staple of the event.

Speakers presenting during the festival come from companies like FedEx, Microsoft and Google. The festival will take place in Overton Square, with sessions held at Playhouse on the Square, Studio on the Square and Circuit Playhouse.

One of the new events takes place Nov. 1 with the Microsoft Experience Center and Windows 8 Boot Camp with hands-on opportunities with some of their newest technologies and products.

On Nov. 2 is Creative Conversations, a series of panels focused on innovation, digital storytelling and innovation economy. Featured presenters include FedEx CIO Rob Carter, Google’s head of strategic planning for agency development Abigail Posner, Digitas vice president of brand content Eric Korsh, and BBDO chairman and chief creative officer David Lubars. There also will be a session on inclusive innovation.

And from Nov. 1 to Nov. 4, the LaunchMemphis 48 Hour Hack will be held. Developers and diverse professionals will work with Windows 8 App to build apps, video games and Web tools over the course of a single weekend.

– Andy Meek

AutoZone's Olsen Set to Retire This Year

AutoZone Inc. corporate development officer Robert Olsen is retiring later this year, the Memphis-based auto parts retailer announced Tuesday, Oct. 2.

In a statement, AutoZone chairman, president and CEO Bill Rhodes said Olsen’s leadership across the organization has been invaluable and has led to “tremendous” development of the company’s Mexico and ALLDATA businesses.

The company said Olsen is retiring “around the end of the calendar year.”

As of Aug. 25, AutoZone sells auto and light truck parts, chemicals and accessories through 4,685 AutoZone stores in 49 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and 321 stores in Mexico.

– Andy Meek

Electrolux Construction Reaches Milestone

Construction on the Electrolux North America Cooking Products Memphis plant reached a milestone this week as workers put the company logo and name on the headquarters building in the Frank C. Pidgeon Industrial Park.

“We’re on the backward half of construction,” Electrolux project director Adam Roberts said as crews with the Williams Sign Co. fastened the letters to the side of the building facing Paul R. Lowery Road. “We’re to the point where we can put the sign on the building. We’re getting closer to completion. It’s a major stop along the journey of finishing the building.”

The plant will make stoves and ranges in several product lines that will be phased in with their opening dates.

The Electrolux Memphis plant is expected to employ 1,200 people.

Meanwhile, a few miles away, construction continues on the Mitsubishi Electric Power Products Inc. plant, which will make large power transformers.

– Bill Dries

State Comptroller: Waive $25 for Records Requests

Comptroller Justin Wilson’s move to automatically waive the first $25 in fees for public records requests is drawing praise from open government advocates.

The proposed rules were scheduled to be reviewed by state lawmakers Wednesday. They would also give the comptroller the discretion to waive all costs related to public record searches and copies.

“The fee waiver provisions are progressive for Tennessee and should be a model for other state and local agencies,” said Frank Gibson, the founding director of the Tennessee Coalition on Open Government.

TCOG is a nonprofit alliance of citizen, professional and media groups, including The Associated Press. The group is committed to promoting government transparency.

Wilson said the new rule is motivated in part because it can cost his office more money to process a payment than the actual cost charged for a records request.

“That’s not efficient government,” he said.

Wilson’s decisions to waive total fees will be made on a case-by-case basis – and only if he finds the requests within reason.

“I’m absolutely in favor of open records, but I don’t want it to be abused,” Wilson said. “If there are excessive requests, you need to pay for it.”

The Public Records Act says all state, county and municipal records are to be available for inspection by any Tennessee citizen, unless the record is specifically exempt under a myriad of provisions in the code allowing for confidentiality.

Gibson said the law doesn’t require government entities to collect fees for records requests, it simply allows them to adopt reasonable rules on the costs.

– The Associated Press

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 79 146 10,368
MORTGAGES 95 202 13,529
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 19 43 2,687
BUILDING PERMITS 0 393 24,700
BANKRUPTCIES 62 122 10,014
BUSINESS LICENSES 21 37 3,773
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 99 248 14,805
MARRIAGE LICENSES 27 58 3,225

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