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VOL. 116 | NO. 67 | Friday, April 5, 2002

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Downtown building gains new rep to welcome new ownership Downtown building gets new attitude By SUE PEASE The Daily News A Downtown building, which formerly housed an international organization that welcomed newcomers, recently gained a new representative to promote its sale. Garland Co. Real Estate garnered the exclusive right to market the Welcome Wagon building at the corner of Court Avenue and Second Street, said owner Gary Garland. The building was up for auction Dec. 13, when the mortgage holder, BancorpSouth bid the mortgage value to keep it whole. "After a short period of time, the bank decided to allow us to professionally market the property for them," Garland said. The building at 30 N. Second St. is often referred to as the Welcome Wagon building, because it was the headquarters for Welcome Wagon International Inc. It also has the address 145 Court Ave. tagged onto it and the most recent owner was headquarters for Snyder Home Builders LLC. The building was built in 1903 for the Commercial Appeal. Welcome Wagon occupied it from the 1940s to the mid-1990s, according to those familiar with the history of the building. The organization no longer exists in its original form. Commercial real estate representative Cavett Fallis with Garland Co. said its not necessarily a huge building but portrays grandness. "Its not that its such a huge building, but it projects such an image of solidity and strength," Fallis said. The four-story building includes 22,228 square feet in its first through four stories, plus an 8,957-square-foot basement. Fallis said the structure was sound, but the building will need some renovation. It appeared as though there were renovations done in the 1970s, he said. While there are a variety of uses a developer could undertake, Fallis said on preliminary view, the building probably lends itself better as office space. "But, there are a lot of people with a lot of ideas that are making new things work, so thats why we dont want to limit anybody," he said. Architects Shaw and Pfeil built the building in a transitional Renaissance Revival to Beaux Arts style, according to documents provided by Memphis Heritage. The building at one time housed WMC Channel 5 on the fourth floor. It is listed in an area called the Court Square Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places. According to Memphis Heritage documents, Court Square Historic District was a prestigious location for the retail and professional businesses, and as Memphis experienced a building boom from the late 1800s to early 1930s, it is reflected in buildings such as the Exchange Building and Porter Building in the district. Court Square, to this day, is open space filled with fountains and park benches. Originally, the square was intended as the site of a future courthouse, which was built elsewhere. The latest sales figure on the building shows a transaction in June 1997 for $165,000, according to the Shelby County Assessors Web site. The building was most recently appraised for $1 million, according to information on the Web site.
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 133 1,342
MORTGAGES 0 131 1,047
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 20 39 190
BUILDING PERMITS 0 305 3,056
BANKRUPTCIES 17 135 753
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 53 329
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0