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VOL. 129 | NO. 3 | Monday, January 06, 2014

Daily Digest

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Stonebrook Apartments Owner Files $4.6 Million Loan

The owner of the 244-unit Stonebrook Apartments at 6371 Winchester Road in Hickory Hill North has filed a $4.6 million loan on the property.

WRH Shelby Woods Ltd., an affiliate of St. Petersburg, Fla.-based WRH Realty Services Inc., filed the multifamily deed of trust, assignment of leases and rents, security agreement and fixture filing Dec. 30 through M&T Realty Capital Corp.

WRH president and CEO J. Mark Rutledge signed the trust deed as president of the borrowing entity, which bought the complex¬ – formerly the Shelby Woods Apartments – in 1996 for $2.5 million.

Built in 1976, the Class C multifamily property contains 257,160 square feet and sits on 13.8 acres along the south side of Winchester Road between Ridgeway Road and Kirby Parkway. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal was $4.6 million.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Whole Foods to Open Poplar Store Jan. 14

Whole Foods Market will open its new store on Poplar Avenue in East Memphis Jan. 14 at 9 a.m.

The new store, 5014 Poplar Ave., opens next door to the current Poplar Avenue location, which closes for good Jan. 12 at 6 p.m.

The new, 42,000-square-foot store features an organic salad bar, in-store smoked barbecue and beer venue, fresh-made gelato, a scratch bakery, natural body care and nutritional supplements and a growler station with five beers on tap.

“We are expanding our offerings in all departments, and bringing in new products and new experiences for all our customers,” said Jeff Turngren, store team leader for Whole Foods Market Memphis.

Whole Foods will host a grand opening celebration Jan. 14 starting at 8 a.m., including live music, free coffee and a gift card raffle with cards ranging from $5 to $500. A bread-breaking ceremony, similar to a ribbon-cutting, will start at 8:40 a.m.

The new store will also host WEVL’s Rhythm & Brews, a night of barbecue, beer and live music, Thursday, Jan. 18, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are $5 and include beer sampling and barbecue. All proceeds go to WEVL.

– Amos Maki

Wedgewood Commons Sells for $33.9 Million

An Illinois-based real estate investment trust has acquired the Wedgewood Commons Shopping Center in Olive Branch, Miss., from Stonecrest Investments LLC.

Inland Real Estate Income Trust Inc. bought the 159,258-square-foot retail center for $33.9 million.

The property, located at the northeast corner of Goodman and Pleasant Hill Roads, consists of four buildings and an existing structure suitable for the development of an additional 10,838 square feet of leasable space, increasing the center’s retail space to more than 170,000 square feet.

Wedgewood Commons is 100 percent leased, with tenants that include TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, Michaels, Rack Room Shoes, AT&T, TCBY, GNC and Sport Clips. The property is shadow-anchored by a Target “P Fresh” store, the retailer’s grocery-focused store format, which Inland did not acquire.

Stonecrest Investments CEO Bradley D. Smith said Stonecrest is still pursuing a 42,000-square-foot expansion of Wedgewood Commons.

“We’re very bullish on DeSoto County, Olive Branch and Southaven, and we’re continuing to pursue development opportunities in those markets,” Smith said.

– Amos Maki

Memphis Black Arts Alliance Suspends Operations

The Memphis Black Arts Alliance and its Firehouse Community Arts Center and Academy have suspended operations through March 31.

The organization is using that time to study the future of the alliance using input from stakeholders.

By March 31, according to the group, a decision will either be made to shift to new leadership and execute a new plan of action, or the group will dissolve effective June 30.

– Andy Meek

Civil Rights Museum President Named Communicator of the Year

The Memphis Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is naming Beverly Robertson, president of the National Civil Rights Museum, as the chapter’s 2014 Communicator of the Year.

Robertson will be honored at a PRSA event Thursday, Jan. 9, from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the University Club.

Robertson, who also is principal of TRUST Marketing and Communications Consortium, has more than 25 years of experience in public relations and community relations, communications, strategic planning and research.

– Andy Meek

MLGW Closes Whitehaven Office for Remodeling

Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division will close its Whitehaven community office at 1111 E. Shelby Drive for remodeling starting Monday, Jan. 6.

The remodeling is expected to take 45 days.

Until the reopening, customers using the Whitehaven office can use the Downtown community office at 245 S. Main St., the north office at 2424 Summer Ave. or the Millington office at 5131 Navy Road.

– Bill Dries

Arkansas' December Revenue Beats Forecast

An early deposit from securities fees collected by the state helped keep Arkansas' December revenue above what it was forecast to be and above the previous December's, state finance officials said Friday.

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration said that the state's net available revenue last month totaled $472.1 million, which was $15.6 million above December 2012's and $2.8 million above forecast. The state's net revenue for the fiscal year that began July 1 totaled $2.5 billion through December, which was $32.2 million above forecast and which exceeded the previous fiscal year's first half total by $85.2 million.

The state's coffers were boosted by an early $5.7 million deposit from securities fees collected from brokers, which offset sluggish sales, individual income and corporate income tax collections last month.

"Otherwise we would have $4 or $5 million down," Gov. Mike Beebe told reporters at the state Capitol. "But that's within the margin of error for being on forecast for the month.

Individual income tax collections totaled $245.3 million, which is $2.3 million above last year and $1.9 million below forecast. Sales tax collections totaled $186.5 million, which was $5.6 million above last year and $4.1 million below forecast.

Finance and Administration Director Richard Weiss said that he expects state income tax collections in early 2014 to be low compared to last year after state taxpayers reported income in 2013 to avoid higher federal rates that were taking effect.

– The Associated Press

December Auto Sales Falter; 2013 Still Best in 6 Years

December U.S. auto sales slowed a bit from the brisk pace earlier this year, but automakers still were on target to finish 2013 with the best numbers in six years.

Nissan posted an 11 percent gain for December and Chrysler managed a 6 percent increase. But General Motors, Toyota, Ford and Volkswagen each posted disappointing numbers. Still, most major automakers reported at least a 7 percent increase for 2013, and analysts expect full-year sales to be up around 8 percent to 15.6 million when all the numbers are in. That would be the highest sales figure since 16.1 million in 2007.

"The auto industry was a consistent bright spot in the economic recovery throughout 2013," Bill Fay, Toyota division group vice president, said Friday in a statement. "We expect the economy will continue to gain strength in 2014, with car sales rising to pre-recession levels."

But automakers may need to do more to lure shoppers into showrooms. Analysts say discounts rose in December, and there were signs that automakers were beginning to lower prices to match competitors. That could foreshadow better deals in the new year, especially on pickup trucks and midsize cars.

GM's December sales were off more than 6 percent as sales of its top-selling model, the Chevrolet Silverado pickup, fell 16 percent. Toyota sales were down 1.7 percent from a year ago, while Ford sales were up only 1.8 percent for the month. Volkswagen, which has struggled all year, saw sales fall 23 percent.

– The Associated Press

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 69 311 15,028
MORTGAGES 83 338 19,668
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 43 3,838
BUILDING PERMITS 0 512 35,842
BANKRUPTCIES 61 243 14,277
BUSINESS LICENSES 16 120 5,111
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 70 316 21,749
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 75 4,632

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