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1. New York Co. Buys Into Four Lenox Park Bldgs. -

3150 Lenox Park Blvd., 6750 Lenox Center Drive, 6745 Lenox Center Court and 6775 Lenox Center Court Memphis, TN 38115

2. Westwood Apt. Complexes Sell for $1M in Foreclosure -

Memphis-based Washington Manor Investments LLC has bought the Oak Run and Southern Pines apartment complexes at 1960 Florida St., 25 Belz Blvd. and 41 Belz Blvd. at a Friday, April 27, foreclosure sale for $1 million.

3. Condo Market Shows Signs of Rejuvenation -

As the housing market begins a slow but steady comeback, the condominium sector is contributing its part after a particularly dreadful slump.

Shelby County saw 67 condo sales in April, a 5 percent improvement from 64 condo sales in April 2009 and a 24 percent improvement from 54 condo sales in March, according to the latest figures from real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

4. State Files Permit to Replace Oakhaven Driver Service Center -

3200 E. Shelby Drive
Memphis, TN 38118
Permit Amount: $2.6 Million

Project Cost: $2.6 million
Permit Date: Applied April 2010
Completion: End of 2010
Owner: State of Tennessee
Tenant: State of Tennessee Department of Safety
Contractor: Mayer Construction Co. Inc.
Architect: Looney Ricks Kiss Architects Inc.

5. RiverTown Fetches $1.6M For Six Condo Units -

RiverTown LLC, the company that developed and built RiverTown on the Island condominiums, has sold six units in the complex’s building No. 3 to a pair of investors for a combined $1.6 million.

6. Grand Island Files Permit For Mud Island Apartment Complex -

300 Grand Island Drive
Memphis, TN 38103
Permit Amount: $12.1 Million

Project Cost: $19 million
Permit Date: Applied November 2009
Completion: 2012
Owner: Grand Island Partners
Tenant: Grand Island
Contractor: Keith and David Grant Homes LLC
Architect: MMH Hall Architects and Planners Inc.

7. Building Permit Filed For Grand Island Apartments -

The group bringing the 204-unit Grand Island apartments to Mud Island has filed a $12.1 million building permit with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement. Grand Island Partners, an affiliate of Grant & Co., filed the permit with plans to break ground in the spring, said company president Keith Grant.

8. Housing Divided -

A couple of years ago, when Clay Thompson of Memphis decided it was time to stop renting, he set his sights on the Downtown condominium market. He was especially interested in the old warehouses in the South Main Historic Arts District that had been converted to condos.

9. Mud Island Apartments to Bolster Existing Condos -

It took a tax break from the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. to get the project going, but construction of Grand Island, a $19 million, 204-unit apartment complex slated for Mud Island, got the green light this week and will commence in November.

10. Initiative Brings Home Closer for Downtown Workers - Local homebuilder Grant & Co. is launching a program it hopes will entice Downtown employees to live closer to their workplaces.

The “Work Downtown, Live Downtown” promotion kicks off this week for the company’s RiverTown on the Island condominiums, providing a variety of incentives to any Downtown worker who buys a home there.

The first phase of RiverTown – on Mud Island just south of HarborTown – was recently completed. Its four buildings contain 39 units, which range from 1,200 to 3,200 square feet and in price from $199,000 to $650,000.

The company spent the past several months doing the standard billboard, radio and print marketing campaign for the development’s condos, selling 12 homes in the process. Now it hopes to jumpstart condo sales activity with this latest promotion.

Grant & Co. president Keith Grant said the company will target Downtown’s largest employers – such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Morgan Keegan & Co., Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, AutoZone and First Tennessee.

Grant figures the Downtown work force must include a huge untapped market of people interested in living closer to their offices.

“There’s 70,000 people that work Downtown and there’s only (27,000) that live Downtown,” he said. “This is an incentive designed specifically for Downtown businesses.”

Touting the perks

The promotion will revolve around “white glove” tours starting Sept. 6 and held each weekend next month to showcase the homes and tout the benefits of living Downtown for those who already work there.

First of all, Grant said the company hopes to single out the convenience factor.

“Rather than fight the traffic, why not live in an area like the Island, where you can relax in the afternoons looking off your balcony at the Mississippi River and not have to worry about driving 30 minutes home,” he said. “You can drive five minutes home, or walk home or take the trolley home.”

Next comes the amenities on and near Mud Island, which have been enhanced in the past few years with numerous shops and services within the HarborTown development and in neighboring Uptown.

“When HarborTown first started, it started kind of slow just because they didn’t have those kinds of amenities – you didn’t have a grocery store to go to, there wasn’t a gas station, there weren’t any schools at the time, no restaurants to speak of,” Grant said. “So, it’s definitely made it a lot nicer to live on the island now that you have all that on that end of Downtown.”

Grant & Co. will offer buyers one of three incentive packages valued at $3,000 each: an appliance package that includes a refrigerator and washer/dryer; an entertainment package that includes a plasma screen TV; and a decorator package that includes a choice of multiple wall colors and blinds.

‘Building the market’

Getting people to move Downtown has proven more difficult this year. Residential sales in Downtown’s 38103 ZIP code declined 32.7 percent in the first seven months of 2008 compared to the same period last year.

Just 224 homes sold from January through July this year, down from 333 in 2007, according to the latest data from Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

Downtown’s condo market, though still the most robust in Shelby County, decreased 33.9 percent through the end July; the year has seen 125 condo sales Downtown compared with 189 in the same period of 2007.

Condo sales Downtown did increase in July from the previous month and the same month a year ago, a positive note in the eyes of Jeff Sanford, president of the Center City Commission.

“No question, the housing market has slowed, but I would suggest that Downtown has fared better than other parts of the community,” Sanford said. “One, apartment occupancy rates have held over 90 percent. Secondly, the number of condos being sold Downtown – while short of what they were in comparable periods two and three years ago – nonetheless are showing strength. These are not the best of times, but Downtown is more than holding its own.”

How much it continues to hold its own remains to be seen. While Grant & Co. harbors long-term plans for RiverTown of bringing 200 homes to the site, that is on hold until sales of existing units pick up.

Grant said he hopes the latest promotion brings the needed spark.

“One of the reasons we developed it the way we did with multiple buildings was so we could continue at a pace that fits the market,” Grant said. “Some people have to put up a building with 50 or more units in it, then what happens is you encounter a slower market like we’re in now and you slash prices to move property. In our situation, we’re building to the market. We’ll start new buildings as we sell the homes that we have now.”


11. Banks Remain Top Home Sellers in Local Market -

The list of Shelby County's top residential sellers for February was once again highlighted by banks and trust companies - not homebuilders - extending a trend that sprouted last year in the wake of rising foreclosures.

12. Down Time -

It was the year the Cordova headquarters of Shelby County's largest homebuilder was foreclosed and sold at auction.

Yet 2007 was the same year that four homebuilders broke ground on the massive six-phase Villages at White Oaks development near Arlington.

13. Numbers Confirm That '07 Construction Went From High-Octane to Running on Fumes -

As president of one of Memphis' largest homebuilders and a 35-year industry veteran, Jerry Gillis of FaxonGillis Homes had no trouble summing up construction activity during the past year: "It started out with a bang and ended with a whimper." Indeed it did.

14. Events -

The Exchange Club Family Center is accepting registration through Friday for mentors for a 12-week youth mentoring program. The program is designed to enhance the organization's Comprehensive Anger Management Program (CAMP), which presents a life skills model for teens and parents. Mentors must be 21 years old and have a valid driver's license. Hours are flexible based on the mentor and client schedules, and training will be provided. For information, call Gayla Hake at 276-2200, Ext. 134.

15. Archived Article -

6420 Knight Arnold Road Ext.
Memphis, TN 38115
Sale Amount: $14.8 million

Sale Date: June 30, 2006

16. Archived Article: Daily Digest - Land Near Florida Street

Land Near Florida Street

Financed for $7.3 Million

Rivertown Development LP has financed two parcels near Florida Street and Belz Boulevard for $7.3 million, according to The Daily News Public Records Database, www....