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VOL. 128 | NO. 170 | Friday, August 30, 2013

Daily Digest

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South Junction Files $14.8 Million Loan

Just a few days after its permits were filed, the development group building the 197-unit South Junction apartments Downtown has taken out a $14.8 million construction loan for the project.

South Junction Partners – through a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) program via the Memphis Center City Revenue Finance Corp. – filed the deed of trust Aug. 27 with SunTrust Bank.

The development group, which is led by Henry Turley Co., earlier this week filed a series of building permits totaling $10.4 million for the multifamily property that will rise on the vacant northwest and southeast corners of Carolina Avenue and Florida Street, in the South Main Historic Arts District.

The permits call for “three-story wood framed apartment buildings” at the following addresses: 727 E. Mann Circle, 726. E. Mann Circle, 725 W. Mann Circle, 35 W. Georgia Ave., 649 Florida St., 18 W. Carolina Ave. and 9 E. Carolina Ave.

The commercial loan lists an address of 7 E. Georgia Ave. Turley signed the trust deed on behalf of South Junction Partners and Paul Morris signed on behalf of the CCRFC.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Business Women's Group Looks to Re-Form Memphis Chapter

A group of local businesswomen is meeting Friday, Aug. 30, to discuss re-establishing a Memphis chapter of the Business and Professional Women of Tennessee. The group is meeting at 11:30 a.m. at Jason’s Deli, 3473 Poplar Ave.

Meeting organizer Martha Ervin said the group welcomes any woman who is interested in “sharpening your leadership skills, developing opportunities to meet and share experience with other women and becoming more informed on issues crucial to women in business.”

Ervin is finance chair for Business and Professional Women of Tennessee, a state affiliate of BPW Foundation. The national group is an advocate for women on work-life balance and workplace equity issues.

– Jennifer Johnson Backer

Archer-Malmo Listed Among Fast-Growing Firms

Memphis-based marketing communications firm archer-malmo is included on the fourth annual Agency 100 list from industry publication “The Agency Post.”

The list includes the fastest-growing advertising and marketing agencies in the U.S. The agencies listed on the Agency 100 demonstrated substantial growth over the past three years.

Founded in 1952, archer-malmo employs 130 full-time professionals and was listed as having a 46 percent growth rate.

– Andy Meek

Chamber Teams Up With Gazelles Growth Institute

The Greater Memphis Chamber has teamed up with online executive education company Gazelles Growth Institute to offer members access to online training from the nation’s top business experts at an exclusive discount.

The Gazelles Growth Institute has arrangements with other chambers of commerce across the U.S., including the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, and plans to expand its offer to chambers in Canada and Australia as well. Through the partnerships, chamber members can purchase a corporate membership at a 10 percent discount.

– Andy Meek

Miss Lee’s Preschool Earns Reaccreditation

Miss Lee’s Preschool, the preschool of Grace-St. Luke’s Episcopal School, has been reaccredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

The accreditation includes more than 450 criteria and 10 standards on which a preschool’s operations are judged every five years.

The preschool, which was founded in 1924 and became part of Grace-St. Luke’s Episcopal School in 1987, has been accredited since 1998.

Miss Lee’s has a current enrollment of 125 students, including three new classrooms for 2-year-olds that opened in August. The new classrooms were added in an expansion several years ago during a renovation of Grace-St. Luke’s.

– Bill Dries

US Economy Grew at 2.5 Percent Rate in Spring

The U.S. economy grew at a 2.5 percent annual rate from April through June, much faster than previously estimated. The steep revision was largely because U.S. companies exported more goods and imports declined.

The Commerce Department said second-quarter growth was sharply higher than the initial 1.7 percent rate it reported last month. And the growth this spring was more than double the 1.1 percent rate from January through March.

The improvement in the trade deficit helped offset a weaker government spending.

Economists expect growth will stay at an annual rate of around 2.5 percent in the second half of the year, helped by steady job gains and less drag from federal spending cuts. Still, some say higher interest rates might restrain the economy’s expansion in the second half.

Rates could rise even further if the Federal Reserve decides to reduce its $85 billion a month in bond purchases at its September meeting. The Fed will consider the stronger second-quarter growth when making a decision next month. The bond purchases have helped keep long-term borrowing rates low.

– The Associated Press

Average 30-Year Mortgage Rate Declines to 4.51 Percent

Average U.S. rates for fixed mortgages declined this week but stayed close to their highest levels in two years.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan fell to 4.51 percent. That’s down from 4.58 percent last week, the highest since July 2011.

The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage dipped to 3.54 percent from 3.60 percent, also the highest since July 2011.

Rates have risen more than a full percentage point since May when Chairman Ben Bernanke first signaled that the Federal Reserve might reduce its bond purchases later this year. The purchases have helped keep long-term interest rates low.

Mortgage rates remain low by historical standards. But the sudden spike in rates could slow the housing recovery’s momentum.

U.S. sales of newly built homes dropped 13.4 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 394,000, the government said last week. That’s the lowest level in nine months.

Also in July, fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes for the second straight month, according to the National Association of Realtors. Still, the decline has been modest and the level of pending homes sales remains close to a 6 ½ -year high reached in May.

Mortgage rates have been rising because they tend to follow the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. The yield also has surged on speculation that the Fed’s stimulus will slow. But the rate on the 10-year note declined this week to 2.78 percent from 2.90 percent last week.

– The Associated Press

Unemployment Aid Applications Fall to 331,000

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits remained near the lowest level in more than five years last week, a sign that companies are cutting few jobs.

First-time applications for benefits fell 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 331,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, inched up 750 to 331,250 after falling to its lowest level since November 2007 the previous week.

Applications for unemployment benefits reflect layoffs. At the depths of the recession in March 2009, they numbered 670,000. The average has fallen 10 percent this year.

All told, nearly 4.5 million people received unemployment benefits in the week that ended Aug. 10, the latest period for which figures are available. That’s about 30,000 more than in the previous week.

The figures “signal no let-up from the recent pace in employment growth, which has been strong enough to keep unemployment trending down,” said Jim O’Sullivan, an economist at High Frequency Economics. “If anything, claims are suggesting further acceleration.”

Though employers are cutting few jobs, most have yet to start hiring aggressively. Fewer layoffs can increase net job gains, even if hiring doesn’t rise much.

Employers have added an average of 192,000 jobs a month since January. That’s enough to gradually lower the unemployment rate, which fell to 7.4 percent in July.

– The Associated Press

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 35 250 5,016
MORTGAGES 60 382 6,608
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 38 1,517
BUILDING PERMITS 179 720 11,979
BANKRUPTCIES 54 257 5,216
BUSINESS LICENSES 24 89 2,025
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 92 443 6,907
MARRIAGE LICENSES 16 81 1,422

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