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VOL. 6 | NO. 5 | Saturday, January 26, 2013

Daily Digest

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Former Harrah's Headquarters Sells for $4.1 Million

The previous owner of the East Memphis office complex at 1023 Cherry Road has reinvested in the asset for $4.1 million.

The buyer was RBM Cherry Road Partners, which originally leased the 113,556-square-foot campus to Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. in 1999 and owns the adjoining property, Oaksedge. RBM Cherry Road Partners is an entity of Memphis-based RBM Venture Co., the private investment company of the R. Brad Martin family.

The sale closed Tuesday, Jan. 22.

CB Richard Ellis Memphis brokers Johnny Lamberson and Terry Radford represented the seller, New York-based MLMT 2004-MKB1 1023 Cherry Road LLC, in the sale of the campus located next to the Dixon Gallery and Gardens.

MLMT 2004-MKB1 1023 Cherry Road LLC bought the embattled office property for $6.4 million during a substitute trustee’s sale in October 2009 at the Shelby County Courthouse.

Originally developed for Promus Hotels in 1985 and renovated for Harrah’s in 1995, the property has been vacant since Harrah’s moved its Memphis corporate office to 7216 Goodlett Farms in 2006. The Goodlett Farms campus was subsequently vacated in 2008 when Harrah’s relocated its Memphis operations to Las Vegas.

The campus consists of two buildings – one that’s 59,159 square feet and one that’s 54,397 square feet. The property also contains a covered parking structure.

The buildings were 52.1 percent leased as of May, but are both empty. Harrah’s currently is still under lease for the 59,159-square-foot building until April 2017. The lease for the 54,397-square-foot building expired in April.

The Class B office complex’s 2012 appraisal from the Shelby County Assessor of Property, including land and building, was $2.4 million.

$6.5 Million Financing Provided for Orleans Apartments

The commercial/multifamily division of Memphis-based community bank Financial Federal has arranged $6.5 million construction financing through U.S. Bank NA on the second phase of luxury The Orleans at Walnut Grove apartments.

The 18-acre site north of Walnut Grove Road between Gray’s Creek and Houston Levee Road is now developed; the 180-unit first phase is 75 percent leased. The Phase II construction loan closed Jan. 8, allowing an additional 96 units to be delivered in May.

Wes Misenhelter, owner of Lakeland-based Wesscorp Communities, is the developer of Orleans at Walnut Grove apartments, filing under the entity Orleans Apartment Community LLC on the Shelby County Register of Deeds for the second phase financing. Wesscorp’s $6.5 million mortgage matures Jan. 31, 2017.

Total project financing is $19.5 million for both phases of the $30 million project.

Amenities at the Orleans at Walnut Grove include a 3,500-square-foot clubhouse, a 2,200-square-foot fitness center, and a salt-water pool with palm trees and cooking area. A paved walking path will be added with Phase II incorporating the 20-acre lake to the north. Jim Bogan of MNB Architects is the lead architect and Fisher & Arnold Inc. is the engineer.

Hillwood Partnership Buys Airways Distribution Center

Dallas-based Hillwood Investment Properties, in a partnership with Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and the Hillwood-Brookfield Industrial Partners fund, acquired the 556,000-square-foot Airways Distribution Center Building D in the DeSoto County submarket.

The Class A facility, at 228 Access Drive in Southaven, is 100 percent leased by Kimberly-Clark Corp.

The purchase comes after Hillwood and Brookfield Asset Management bought five Class A buildings in Southpark Distribution Center for $37.3 million in July from TIAA Realty Inc.

That deal came on the heels of the Hillwood’s acquisition of Pilot Distribution Center warehouse for $7.5 million, as well as its $13.5 million purchase of the former Mazda North America Inc. distribution center in Olive Branch earlier in 2012.

The December purchase of Airways Distribution Center Building D was one of eight industrial properties the Hillwood/Brookefield Partnership acquired during the month totaling 2.6 million square feet. The transactions increased the portfolio’s size to 9.7 million square feet across markets in Atlanta; Baltimore; Chicago; Memphis; Indianapolis; Inland Empire, Calif; Orlando; and Philadelphia/South New Jersey.

Medtronic Foundation Gives Grants to 11 Nonprofits

The Medtronic Foundation has awarded $260,000 in grants to 11 nonprofit groups serving people in Memphis and the Mid-South.

A group of Memphis Medtronic Spinal employees review and award the funds. The 11 recipients are Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association, Emergency Services Program; Memphis Food Bank, Hunger’s Hope Food Distribution; The Pink Palace Museum; Memphis Oral School for the Deaf, Sound Beginnings Family Training Program; Shelby Farms Park Conservancy, Summer Camp Program; Junior Achievement of Memphis & the Mid-South, BizTown; Porter-Leath Children’s Center, Pre-School/Headstart Program; Craigmont High School, FIRST! Robotics High School Team; Hamilton High School, FIRST! Robotics High School Team; St. Mary’s Episcopal School, FIRST! Robotics High School Team; and Horn Lake High School, FIRST! Robotics High School Team.

Since Medtronic was founded in 1949, the company has contributed $700 million in Medtronic Foundation grants, Medtronic cash contributions and medical device donations.

Nike Inc. to Hold Construction Symposiums

Nike Inc. will hold two construction symposiums Feb. 7 and Feb. 8 at the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, 1 N. Front St., to inform locally-owned, small, women-owned and minority businesses of the construction opportunities that will come from its $301 million distribution campus expansion in North Memphis. Businesses will hear from Nike officials on the scale and timing of the project and how local companies can take advantage of chances to submit bids.

In addition, representatives from Economic Development Growth Engine, the Mid-South Minority Business Council Continuum, the Black Business Association, Memphis Office of Resources & Enterprise, National Association of Women Business Owners, The Memphis Minority Contractors Association and others will be available to provide information on how their agencies can assist in the project.

This construction/contractor symposium is only for persons and entities in the construction industry. Vendors that are not in the construction industry will be turned away. The two symposiums will take place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on both days. Those interested in attending either symposium should contact Brenda Montgomery at 543-3500 or bmontgomery@memphischamber.com to reserve a spot.

Peer Power Initiative Seeks Development Director

The Peer Power Foundation is conducting a national search for a development director for the nonprofit organization that seeks out high performing high school and college students to tutor other students.

The eight-year-old effort started by Memphis commodities trading firm founder Charles McVean at his alma mater, East High School, has a goal of raising $350,000 to $500,000 annually. The fundraising effort to be led by the development director will support the existing efforts by Peer Power and fund an expansion into other schools and even other school districts.

The foundation’s board of directors has set a March 15 deadline for applications for the position.

Bellevue Dairy Building Demolition Begins

Demolition contractors began work on the old dairy building at 1039 S. Bellevue Blvd., Thursday, Jan. 24, for the South Memphis Alliance Inc.

The alliance is raising $6 million to build a center for several nonprofit agencies on the site and last summer kicked off the effort by removing the enormous milk bottle structure on the roof of the plant. The structure will be refurbished and become part of the Children’s Museum of Memphis.

The alliance, which focuses on social services to foster children, wants the center that replaces the dairy to become more of a gateway to the Soulsville neighborhood to the west of Bellevue.

Meanwhile, a laundromat on the other side of Bellevue from the dairy is nearing completion. It will be operated by the alliance, which plans to offer social services there and operate that part of the business with money it makes from the laundromat.

Work Under Way on East Memphis Mellow Mushroom

Mellow Mushroom has applied for a building permit for its second Memphis-area location at 5138 Park Ave.

A $750,000 building permit was filed with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for converting the existing 7,854-square-foot building into a restaurant with a patio for Mellow Ventures LLC.

Belz Enterprises is listed as the owner of the property in Eastgate Shopping Center, although Belz sold the 445,907-square-foot shopping center for $31.5 million in January 2011 to Dallas-based Arrow Retail.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property lists the owner as Eastgate Center LLC out of Dallas.

Mellow Mushroom’s original Memphis location is at 3075 Village Shops Drive in Germantown. For its second local operation, the Georgia-based pizza franchise will join other pizzerias in the East Memphis area such as Memphis Pizza Café, Hog and Hominy and the soon-to-be second location of Broadway Pizza at Poplar Avenue and Mendenhall Road.

State Honors Meritan With Three-Star Recognition

Memphis-based Meritan Inc., a not-for-profit organization that provides social and health care services to people with special needs, has been recognized by the state of Tennessee for providing outstanding service to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The “three-star” recognition from the state Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities identifies Meritan as a leader among service organizations that help citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities to improve their quality of life.

In December, Meritan also was identified by the Council on Accreditation for its commitment to quality management and improvement.

Meritan is a nationally accredited social service agency serving a four-state area focusing on the needs of seniors, visually and developmentally disabled individuals and special-needs foster children.

City Schools Leaders Against MASE Charter Renewal

Memphis City Schools administrators are recommending the countywide school board not renew the charter school Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering at the board’s voting meeting next week.

The alternative to accepting the administration’s recommendation would be to extend the charter of the school for another 10 years.

Memphis City Schools superintendent Kriner Cash said at a Tuesday, Jan. 22, board work session that he and his staff recommend non-renewal because the charter school is in the state’s bottom 5 percent of schools in terms of student performance.

Board members had lots of questions about where students at the charter school would go and if the schools in their attendance zones are also among the bottom 5 percent.

More debate is likely on the issue at next week’s meeting before the board votes.

The board also reviewed plans to demolish the old Lincoln Junior High School gymnasium in South Memphis, which has been vacant for five years.

Demolition contractor David Moore Inc. has agreed to demolish the building at no cost to the school system in return for the external bricks and any copper that may be left in the building. Moore is also demolishing Graceland Elementary School for the school system and agreed to do the Lincoln gymnasium as part of a package deal, according to school system administrators.

The school board votes on the demolition next week as well.

City Council Delays Forrest Park Discussion

The Memphis City Council delayed to its first meeting in February a committee discussion about a proposal by council member Myron Lowery to rename Nathan Bedford Forrest Park to include the name of Ida B. Wells, the anti-lynching crusader of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Lowery was out of town for Tuesday, Jan. 22, committee sessions.

That didn’t stop council members Bill Boyd and Janis Fullilove from exchanging words about the Confederate general, slave trader and first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Boyd contends Forrest’s title did not make him a founder of the group.

In other action, the council approved a planned development for The Pyramid that includes its redevelopment as a Bass Pro Shops retail center.

The council approval, necessary to include a hotel in the plans, came with no debate.

Approved on third and final reading was an ordinance that creates a caterer’s permit for the storing, selling, manufacturing and distribution of “light alcoholic beverages.”

Also approved was a special use permit for an outdoor flea market at the old Imperial Bowling Lanes, 4700 Summer Ave.

James Lee House B&B Granted Development Loan

The conversion of the longtime vacant James Lee House into a luxury bed-and-breakfast inn is moving along in Victorian Village.

The Center City Development Corp., an arm of the Downtown Memphis Commission, granted developers Jose Velazquez and J.W. Gibson a $130,000 development loan for The James Lee House Bed & Breakfast at 690 Adams Ave. at its Friday, Jan. 18, meeting.

The plans are to convert the 8,100-square-foot James Lee House into a five-suite, luxury bed-and-breakfast inn, an investment of about $2.3 million.

The mansion, built in the 1840s at Adams and Orleans Street, is designated by the Library of Congress and has been vacant since 1959.

The project was awarded a 10-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes term from the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. earlier this month. The design plans will be presented to the DMC’s Design Review Board in February.

Construction is scheduled to begin in February and be completed by November. The architect for the project is Fleming Associates Architects PC and the contractor is Montgomery Martin Contractors LLC.

Terminix Closes on Six Acquisitions

Terminix, a division of The ServiceMaster Co., in December closed six asset acquisitions with a collective annualized revenue topping $10 million, the Memphis-based company reported Tuesday.

The acquisitions include: McCauley Brothers Termite and Pest Services’ operations in two California cities; Pestmaster Services’ corporate operations in six California cities and franchise operations in Grover Beach, Calif.; BioGuard Pest Control’s operations in four U.S. cities; Spring Professional Home Services’ operations in Davenport, Iowa; and Foothills Pest Control’s operations in Chandler, Ariz.

Terminix, which is the world’s largest pest-control provider, has more than 3 million customers in 47 states and 14 countries.

Southeastern Forms New Longleaf Fund

Southeastern Asset Management has launched the Longleaf Partner Global Fund, a new fund that seeks long-term capital growth.

The fund works to achieve its objective by investing largely in U.S. and non-U.S. companies believed to be significantly undervalued. It’s not a diversified fund; it’s generally invested in 15 to 25 companies. The fund also has an unconstrained portfolio, investing in companies of all market capitalizations without limit to geography.

Attorneys Want Changes to Conservatorship Law

The state lawyers group is recommending changes in state law governing conservatorships.

Courts can appoint conservators to handle affairs of people a judge deems incapable of making their own decisions. Under a conservatorship, a person’s right to make health care, financial and other personal decisions can be stripped away.

The Tennessean reported the Tennessee Bar Association met during the weekend and approved recommendations to the legislature. Among them is a provision for placing a person in a conservatorship on an emergency basis. The period of an emergency conservatorship would be no more than 60 days and a hearing would be held within five days.

The emergency plan is one of 16 recommendations approved by the bar.

The recommendations come after a series of hearings conducted by a panel of the bar association. At a Sept. 20 hearing in Nashville, several people testified all of their assets disappeared after conservatorships were established for them.

The bar group decided to make recommendations after the Legislature considered a series of changes to the law last session. Lawmakers passed two changes. One requires that a proposed conservator reveal whether he or she has a criminal record. The other requires disclosure of any relationship with the person being conserved.

Regions Financial Swings to Gain in Fourth Quarter

Regions Financial Corp. swung to a gain in the fourth quarter after a year-ago period weighed down by the sale of an investment management subsidiary.

The big regional bank, based in Birmingham, Ala., said Tuesday that despite “challenging economic headwinds,” Regions has increased loans to middle market companies and auto lending, launched new consumer products and invested aggressively in its mobile and online platforms.

However, the bank earned less from interest on loans as its total loan book shrank – a trend it blamed on consumers continuing to pay down old debt.

Regions’ net income was $261 million, or 18 cents per share, in the period ended Dec. 31. That compares with a loss of $602 million, or 48 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Adjusted to exclude goodwill impairment and costs related to the early termination of an investment, the bank said it earned 22 cents per share.

Net interest income fell to $818 million from $849 million in 2011’s fourth quarter. Net interest income combines interest on loans that the bank collects and interest on deposits and debt that the bank pays out. It is a measure of the bank’s ability to profit from its lending.

Fogelman Management Adds Seven Properties

Fogelman Management Group has been awarded seven management contracts totaling more than 1,700 units in Tennessee, Georgia, Kansas and Oklahoma.

These newly managed communities are: 330-unit Miller Creek at Germantown, 202-unit Blair Towers and 344-unit Ten Mile Creek in Memphis; 216-unit Quail Landing in Oklahoma City; 192-unit Miller Station at Peachtree in Atlanta; 177-unit Park Place at Town Center in Leawood, Kan.; and 251-unit Bella Palazzo in Overland Park, Kan.

This marks Fogelman Management Group’s entrance into the state of Oklahoma. Company president Mark Fogelman said in a statement that Oklahoma City is a “strong market with great economic fundamentals” and that the firm will continue to add units in the area.

Fogelman Management Group is now managing more than 19,000 apartment homes, valued at more than $1.5 billion and located within 14 states and 24 cities across the Southeast, Southwest and Midwest regions of the country.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 66 378 15,444
MORTGAGES 67 456 20,235
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 12 121 4,007
BUILDING PERMITS 175 1,046 36,888
BANKRUPTCIES 58 290 14,633
BUSINESS LICENSES 16 80 5,209
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 76 388 22,205
MARRIAGE LICENSES 28 111 4,774

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