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VOL. 129 | NO. 18 | Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Daily Digest

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Miller Creek Apartment Complex Sells for $44 Million

The 330-unit Miller Creek at Germantown apartment complex in Southeast Shelby County has sold for $43.8 million.

TS Miller Creek LLC, an affiliate of Aventura, Fla.-based real estate investment trust Trade Street Residential, bought the relatively new apartment complex in a Jan. 21 special warranty deed from the developer, Miller Creek Residences LLC.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property lists the multifamily complex’s address as 8747 Winchester Road, while the Shelby County Register of Deeds lists it as 3769 Skipping Stone Trace.

The complex occupies 20 acres at the southwest corner of Winchester and Forest Hill-Irene roads. The assessor, which doesn’t have dwelling details for the recently completed complex, shows a 2013 appraisal as $3.1 million.

In conjunction with the purchase, the buyer filed a 26.3 million loan through New York Life Insurance Co. Trade Street Residential chief financial officer Richard Ross signed the trust deed. Trade Street Residential also owns Arbors River Oaks, according to the company’s website.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Investment Firm Buys Majority Stake in Sedgwick

Investment firm KKR is acquiring a majority ownership stake in Memphis-based Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc., a provider of technology-enabled claims and productivity management solutions.

The agreement announced Monday, Jan. 27, calls for KKR buying the stake for about $2.4 billion from the current group of investors. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter.

Sedgwick handles more than 2.1 million claims each year and has fiduciary responsibility for claim payments totaling more than $11 billion. Sedgwick and its affiliated companies deliver services to clients in 200 offices throughout the U.S. and Canada.

– Andy Meek

County Commission Moves Temporarily

The Monday, Jan. 27, meeting of the Shelby County Commission was the last for a while in the commission chambers on the ground floor of the Vasco Smith County Administration Building.

The lobby entrance on the Main Street Mall and the commission chambers are about to undergo a renovation that began last year to modernize the government building.

The lobby renovation work begins Feb. 3 with the closing of the mall entrance and a new temporary entrance on the Second Street side of the building.

The commission will hold its twice-monthly voting meetings in the fourth floor committee room with a fifth floor overflow room where the meeting can be seen via closed-circuit television.

The renovation work on the lobby and commission chambers is expected to be complete in early August.

The chambers were last renovated in the early 1990s, when the commission expanded from 11 to 13 members. The commission moved its meetings to City Hall in the City Council chambers at that time.

– Bill Dries

Flowers Recognized With AIA Award

Memphis attorney and architect Josh Flowers has been honored with the American Institute of Architects’ Young Architects Award.

Flowers, the in-house legal counsel for Hnedak Bobo Group, served as AIA Memphis chapter president in 2012. He founded and currently hosts the Emerging Professionals Leadership program, which connects young architects with AIA Fellows. As the knowledge director for the AIA National Young Architects Forum, Flowers launched “YAF Fireside Chats” at the 2013 national convention.

The Young Architects award is given to members who display leadership on the field early in their careers. The 2014 recipients included 18 architects, the largest group to be awarded the honor.

– Amos Maki

Opposing Sides Speak Out on School Vouchers

Opposing sides to a school voucher program in Tennessee are holding a series of events this week as Republican lawmakers and the governor try to reach a compromise on voucher legislation.

Tennesseans Reclaiming Educational Excellence, a grassroots organization opposed to vouchers, held a news conference on Monday in the Legislative Plaza across from the state Capitol. And the Beacon Center of Tennessee, a free market think tank that is advocating for a broader voucher program, has an event scheduled for Tuesday.

Last week, Republican state lawmakers filed a school voucher bill they hope will be acceptable to Gov. Bill Haslam, who has repeatedly said he favors a more limited version of the program that gives parents another option for educating their children.

TREE president Lyn Hoyt says more resources should go toward public schools rather than vouchers.

– The Associated Press

Audit of Children’s Services Finds Numerous Problems

An audit of the Tennessee Department of Children's Services finds that the state child-welfare agency is plagued with numerous problems, including its failure to report the deaths of children in its custody.

The audit also found that DCS conducted sloppy child-abuse investigations and was not adequately tracking juvenile delinquents put on probation.

The audit, which was conducted by the state comptroller's office, was released on Monday.

It found that the agency needed to do a better job of investigating child abuse and neglect complaints. It also found that the agency had violated a state law requiring it to report the deaths of children in its custody to the legislature.

DCS has come under fire for a series of failures. A commissioner appointed last year has vowed to reform the agency.

– The Associated Press

Senate to Vote on Latest Attorney General Election Proposal

The state Senate was scheduled to take up a measure Monday that seeks to change the way Tennessee's attorney general gains office.

Under a proposed constitutional amendment, the attorney general would stand for popular election rather than being appointed by the state Supreme Court.

Critics say making the attorney general an elected position would require them to seek heavy campaign contributions and threaten the nonpartisan and independent nature of the office.

They also question the need for the resolution when the full chamber voted 22-9 last year in favor of a proposal to have the attorney general appointed by a joint convention of the General Assembly.

The current system has withstood legal challenges, but opponents argue it conflicts with language in the state constitution that says justices "shall be elected by the qualified voters of the state."

– The Associated Press

Southwest Airlines Announces International Flights

Southwest Airlines Co. is expanding beyond the continental United States with flights beginning in July to the Caribbean.

The airline began selling tickets on Monday for flights to Aruba, the Bahamas and Jamaica. The Southwest flights will start July 1 and operate from Atlanta, Baltimore and Orlando.

Southwest has been talking about going international for several years.

– The Associated Press

Survey: Businesses More Optimistic, But Not Hiring

Businesses expect their companies to perform better this year but that optimism still isn't translating into a push to hire more workers, according to a new survey from the National Association for Business Economics.

Of the 64 members who responded to NABE's January survey, most said they saw stronger sales in the final months of 2013, and 43 percent expect their companies to modestly hike selling prices this year. That's the highest percentage in more than 12 months. Most respondents don't expect the new health care law or the Federal Reserve's easing of its stimulus policies to have a major impact on business, either. However only 37 percent expect to create jobs in the next six months, the same as in NABE's October survey.

For the fourth quarter, only about a quarter of respondents said their companies expanded payrolls. Those most likely to report increased hiring were from the manufacturing, finance, insurance and real estate sectors.

About 70 percent of those who responded to NABE's survey predict that the economy will grow between 2.1 and 3 percent this year. That is little changed from October, but it is more optimistic than the 2.3 percent growth forecast by the Fed.

– The Associated Press

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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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