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VOL. 126 | NO. 35 | Monday, February 21, 2011

Daily Digest

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CVS/Pharmacy Buys Former Union Ave. United Methodist Land

CVS 4992 TN LLC, an affiliate of Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS/pharmacy drug store chain, has officially bought Union Avenue United Methodist Church property at 2117 Union Ave., at the southwest corner of Union Avenue and South Cooper Street. CVS paid $2.3 million to St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, formerly known as Union Avenue United Methodist Church Inc.

It’s a project that’s undergone much scrutiny, pitting CVS supporters against an organized effort from Memphis Heritage Inc.

In December, Chancellor Walter Evans denied a motion that would have stopped work on the site. At the center of the suit was a 1912 deed turned up by Memphis Heritage attorneys that included a clause limiting the use of the property to a place of worship.

Evans said a full reading of the deed did not specifically ban a commercial use.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Kate Simone

Willow Lake Foreclosure Sales Slated for Friday

The foreclosure sale of the 17-building, mixed-use Willow Lake Business Park and Corporate Park in Hickory Hill has been postponed until Friday, Feb. 25, at noon at the Shelby County Courthouse, 140 Adams Ave.

The foreclosure is being pursued because borrowers of the mixed-use property – listed as five separate Delaware limited liability companies related to Chicago-based HSA Commercial Real Estate – defaulted on a $67 million loan through Countrywide Commercial Real Estate Finance Inc. dated Dec. 28, 2006. That loan was later assigned to LaSalle Bank National Association and then to U.S. Bank NA.

The property includes multiple addresses on Raines Road, Willow Lake Boulevard, Knight Road, South Perkins Road and Cromwell Cove. Included property descriptions list parcels in Willow Lake Business Park, Chickasaw Cession, Corporate Park and Hickory Hill Industrial Park.

Three of HSA’s top executives – Robert E. Smietana, John E. Shaffer and Melissa S. Pielet – are listed as sole members of the various Willow Lake properties on the Shelby County Register of Deeds.

HSA has more than 16 million square feet of property worth more than $2 billion in the U.S. Since 2007, HSA has spent close to $75 million on Memphis acquisitions that encompass about 2.6 million square feet, or 16 percent of its nationwide portfolio.

– Sarah Baker

Cadence Bank CEO Stepping Down

Lewis Mallory, the chairman and CEO of the holding company for Cadence Bank, is stepping down.

Mallory has served as Cadence’s CEO since 1978, leading the bank through a period in which it grew beyond its home market in northeast Mississippi to markets in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

Cadence also grew from about $100 million in assets to more than $2 billion. It has about $1.6 billion today.

Cadence president Mark Abernathy is expected to be elected as CEO. Paul Murphy Jr., president of the private equity company in the process of buying Cadence, is expected to be elected Cadence’s chairman.

The news comes the same week regulators approved the deal between Cadence and Community Bancorp that will inject more than $100 million in new capital into Cadence and take the bank company private. The bank also will keep its name and identity.

The transaction is expected to close the first week in March.

Cadence has worked for a few years to raise fresh capital unsuccessfully. Regulators also asked Cadence to adhere to a turnaround plan, and time was beginning to run out on the bank recovering its footing when it first agreed to a merger last year with Trustmark Bank’s parent company, then ditched that plan for a merger with Community Bancorp.

– Andy Meek

MAAR to Host Forum on Bartlett Real Estate

The Memphis Area Association of Realtors will host the second in a series of community real estate forums Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Bartlett City Hall, 6400 Stage Road.

Real estate professionals from the Bartlett area and a representative from the City of Bartlett’s planning and economic development department will offer information on the state of local real estate in Bartlett, as well as answer questions from the public.

The forum – planned in partnership with the City of Bartlett – is open to all Bartlett residents and is intended to offer localized information on the real estate industry from professionals who have a concentration of experience in the Bartlett area.

“We had a successful community forum last month in Collierville and I expect it will be the same in Bartlett,” MAAR president Leon Dickson said in a statement. “We’ll be making available important data about the local market. I again would anticipate thoughtful questions from the public and helpful answers from the panelists. Our goal is for citizens to return home with a better understanding of the housing market in their community.”

Bartlett residents may submit questions before the event by e-mail to don.wade@maar.org or by posting them on MAAR’s Facebook page.

– Sarah Baker

Indie Memphis to Present 'Hiding' Documentary

Indie Memphis will partner with Shady Grove Presbyterian Church to present a free screening of the documentary “Hiding” Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Malco Theatre’s Studio on the Square, 2105 Court Ave.

“Hiding” tells the story of a group of North Korean refugees attempting to find freedom in a modern-day underground railroad or face being caught and sent back to punishment through hard labor or possible execution.

The screening will be followed by a conversation with members of Liberty in North Korea. LiNK produced the film as part of their mission to redefine the North Korea crisis through creative storytelling while providing emergency relief to refugees and pursuing an end to the human rights crisis.

LiNK members will explain how their organization is rescuing refugees from hiding and how audience members can help.

The screening is free and open to the public. For more information about LiNK, visit www.linkglobal.org. For more information about the screening, call Indie Memphis at 214-5171 or visit www.indiememphis.com.

– Taylor Shoptaw

MCA Students Win Broadside Competition

The work of two seniors from the Memphis College of Art has been selected as the winning entry in the National Portfolio Day Association juried competition.

The entry, an informational broadside, will be produced in Memphis and distributed in late summer to over 60,000 high schools and junior colleges throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The entry was created by MCA students Marie Provence, a senior illustration major from Lawrenceville, Ga., and Samantha Taggart, a senior graphic design major from Moss Point, Miss.

MCA submitted two entries, placing first and second.

In addition to the winning selection by Provence and Taggart, second place went to students Gina Davis, a senior graphic design major from Memphis, and Justin Wheeler, BFA 2010 in illustration, from Shreveport, La.

Associate Professor David Charles Chioffi directed the project in conjunction with Associate Professor Joel Priddy.

This will mark the fourth time MCA has produced the national broadside in six years of competition. Additionally, MCA is the only college to host three National Portfolio Days annually.

– Aisling Maki

Hallmark Offering Pre-Paid Cards

Running out of stamps is no longer an excuse to not send those birthday cards on time.

Hallmark Cards Inc. said Thursday it has teamed with the U.S. Postal Service to launch greeting cards that include postage-paid envelopes, allowing would-be cardgivers to just sign, seal and drop in the mail.

More than 200 so-called “PostagePaid Greetings” are on sale now, with the first seasonal cards to go on sale around Easter. Birthday, sympathy and other perennial cards will cost $3.99, while holiday-themed and seasonal ones will cost between $2.69 and $3.99.

The cards will be sold through Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Walgreen Co., CVS Caremark Corp. and other retailers.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 73 147 18,012
MORTGAGES 89 184 20,749
BUILDING PERMITS 117 258 37,094
BANKRUPTCIES 55 114 11,540