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VOL. 128 | NO. 150 | Friday, August 02, 2013

Daily Digest

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Printer’s Alley Owner Files Building Permit

The developers bringing a $3.2 million loft-style apartment development called Printer’s Alley Lofts to 347 S. Front St. Downtown have filed a permit for the project.

Printer’s Alley LLC president Vince Smith filed a $1.7 million permit with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for the 33,449-square-foot building at South Front Street and Talbot Avenue. Smith and business partner Robert Mallory are planning a loft-style apartment and mixed-use development called Printer’s Alley Lofts.

Printer’s Alley LLC a year ago bought the 93-year-old property for $360,000 from Gary M. Dawson and Norma Dawson.

The project – for which the Center City Development Corp. approved an $85,000 development loan in March 2012 – involves two buildings. The 24,600-square-foot existing structure at Front Street and Talbot Avenue will be revamped to include 20 loft-style apartments.

A three-story building will also be constructed in the parking lot to include nine townhome-style units. The building also will have about 750 square feet of ground-floor retail and 17 secured parking spaces.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports
– Daily News staff

Fred’s Super Dollar Donates to Memphis Zoo

Fred’s Super Dollar this week continued its support of animal care, conservation and research at the Memphis Zoo, presenting the zoo with a check for $33,613 Wednesday, July 31.

The donation was part of the Memphis-based company’s Panda Pals campaign and helped mark the 20th anniversary of the opening of Cat Country at the Memphis Zoo.

The Panda Pals program, which has contributed more than $725,000 to the zoo since the campaign began in 2003, allows customers who visit any of the 155 Super Dollar locations in a 200-mile radius of the zoo to buy a $1 Panda Pals card, which is then displayed in the store where the card is purchased.

– Amos Maki

Community Bankers Group Praises Triumph Executive

The Independent Community Bankers of America has named Ed Gentry, executive vice president and chief lending officer with Memphis-based Triumph Bank, as an “Outstanding Community Lender.”

Gentry is among only a handful of bankers in the U.S. to receive that distinction by the ICBA. An article published in the July issue of ICBA Independent Banker magazine notes Gentry’s relationship with Triumph and how important his mentoring philosophy and leadership have been to the bank’s growth.

Gentry joined Triumph in February 2008 and has nearly 25 years’ experience.

– Andy Meek

Election Commission Certifies Suburban Referendum

The Shelby County Election Commission has certified the results of the July 16 referendums on forming suburban school districts.

Voters in each of the six suburban towns and cities in Shelby County overwhelming approved the ballot question. With certification of the results Wednesday, July 31, the next step for town commissions and board of aldermen in each municipality is to pass resolutions setting a date for the election of school boards in each town and city.

Suburban leaders have said they all plan to hold school board elections on Nov. 7. The goal of the suburban leaders is to open their school systems for the 2014-2015 school year.

– Bill Dries

USPS Considers Alcohol Deliveries

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has a wish list for raising cash for his financially ailing agency.

High on it is delivery of beer, wine and spirits.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Donahoe also endorsed ending most door-to-door and Saturday mail deliveries as cost-saving measures.

Donahoe says delivering alcohol has the potential to raise as much as $50 million a year. The Postal Service says mailing alcoholic beverages is currently restricted by law. Customers are even told to cover any logos or labels if they use alcoholic beverage boxes for shipments.

The agency lost $16 billion last year and is working toward restructuring its retail, delivery and mail processing operations.

A House committee has passed legislation that would cut letter deliveries to five days and phase out door-to-door deliveries.

– The Associated Press

Average Rate on 30-Year Loan Rises to 4.39 Percent

Average rates on U.S. fixed mortgages ticked up this week but are still low by historical standards, a trend that has helped the housing market recover.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average on the 30-year loan rose to 4.39 percent from 4.31 percent last week.

Rates are a full percentage point higher than in early May.

The average on the 15-year fixed loan increased to 3.43 percent from 3.39 percent last week.

Rates spiked in June after the Federal Reserve indicated it could slow its bond purchases later this year, which have kept long-term interest rates low.

But on Wednesday the Fed hinted it might hold off because the economy remains sluggish. And it noted for the first time that mortgage rates, which have fueled home sales, “have risen somewhat” from record lows.

Mortgage rates tend to follow the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which has also jumped on speculation that the Fed could slow its stimulus.

Despite the increases, mortgages are still a bargain for those who can qualify. And low rates are helping boost home sales in most markets and driving home prices up.

Home prices jumped 12.2 percent in May compared with a year earlier, according to the latest Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city index released Tuesday. That’s the biggest annual gain since March 2006.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country on Monday through Wednesday each week. The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

– The Associated Press

US Construction Spending Down 0.6 Percent in June

Spending on U.S. construction projects fell in June by the largest amount in five months as government building activity declined to the lowest level since 2006.

Even housing activity slowed but that setback was likely to be temporary.

Construction spending dropped 0.6 percent in June compared with May when spending had surged 1.3 percent, the Commerce Department reported Thursday, Aug. 1. It was the biggest decline since a 2.3 percent drop in January.

Housing construction was flat during the month with a gain in remodeling offsetting declines of 0.8 percent in single-family construction and a fall of 3.3 percent in multi-family projects. Residential construction has been a bright spot in a sluggish economy this year and that strength was expected to continue even though mortgage rates have risen from their lows.

Total construction stood at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $883.9 billion in June, 3.3 percent above the level of a year ago.

Even with the June slowdown in residential construction, activity in this area is 18.1 percent above the level from a year ago.

Nonresidential construction dropped 0.9 percent in June, reflecting weakness in the construction of offices, hotels and shopping centers. It marked the first decline in this category after four months of gains.

Government spending declined 1.5 percent to an annual rate of $261.1 billion, the lowest level since November 2006. State and local building was down 1.1 percent and federal construction projects fell 1.5 percent. All levels of government construction have been under pressure because of budget problems.

The government reported Wednesday that the overall economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, grew at an annual rate of 1.7 percent in the April-June quarter, marking the third straight quarter of lackluster growth. The economy barely edged ahead at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the last three months of 2012 and then grew by just 1.1 percent in the January-March quarter.

– The Associated Press

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 67 156 11,921
MORTGAGES 77 227 15,577
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 15 57 3,080
BUILDING PERMITS 222 606 28,832
BANKRUPTCIES 82 210 11,517
BUSINESS LICENSES 23 73 4,228
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 87 339 17,522
MARRIAGE LICENSES 18 61 3,625

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