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VOL. 122 | NO. 64 | Friday, April 6, 2007

Daily Digest

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Collierville, Memphis Apartments Sell for Nearly $36 Million

     Dogwood Creek Apartments in Collierville and Hunters Trace Apartments in Memphis have sold for $35.8 million.
     G&I V Dogwood Creek LLC bought the Collierville complex from Dogwood Creek-Memphis LLC for $24.2 million, while G&I V Hunters Trace LLC bought the Memphis complex from Hunter's Trace-Memphis LLC for $11.6 million. The buying entities are a partnership between New York-based DRA Advisors LLC and Memphis-based Fogelman Management Group (FMG). FMG was also one of the partners in the selling entities, and will continue to manage both complexes, said Kevin Jackson, senior vice president of FMG.
     The 278-unit Dogwood Creek was built in 1997 and sits on 35.47 acres on the east side of Houston Levee Road north of Wolf River Boulevard in Collierville. The Shelby County Assessor's 2006 appraisal was $17.1 million. The 192-unit Hunters Trace was built in 1986 and sits on 11.67 acres at the northeast corner of Great Oaks and Quail Hollow roads. Its 2006 appraisal was $6.9 million.
     Both facilities have swimming pools, tennis courts, fitness centers and other community amenities.
     FMG's partner in the deal, DRA Advisors, owns the Koger Center in East Memphis, along with a number of other Memphis-area apartment complexes and office buildings. DRA in February bought Mid-Memphis Tower, the 416,000-square-foot office building at 1407 Union Ave.

South End's Cummins-Midsouth Soon to Receive Makeover

     The Cummins-Midsouth Building at the corner of Georgia Avenue and Riverside Drive in Downtown soon will undergo a makeover that will include façade changes, renovations to the existing building and a three-story addition of condo/apartment space. The name also will be changed to Arthouse.
     The $25 million project will be the first major mixed-use facility in the South End.
     Terry Lynch of Southland Cos. and Tony Bologna of Bologna Consultants commissioned Michael Walker, principal of JBHM Architects, to design the renovations and additions to the building.
     "We chose JBHM because of their experience in historical projects, as well as multi-family housing," Lynch said. "We have been very impressed with their commitment and responsiveness to this project."
     The plan for the current Cummins-Midsouth Building involves the renovation of the exterior as well as the basement and the first floor to add parking and retail space.
     The second phase will be the addition of living space.

Pulitzer Prize Winners Visit University of Memphis

     Two Pulitzer Prize winners will be on the University of Memphis campus later this month.
     Political columnist David Broder will address the Freedom of Information Congress at 5 p.m. April 17 and famed author John Updike will follow at 7:30 p.m. Both events will be held in the Michael D. Rose Theatre and are free and open to the public.
     Broder, a national political correspondent for The Washington Post, will discuss freedom of the press, the First Amendment and the state of journalism today. He was awarded the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary.
     Updike, who won two Pulitzer Prizes for fiction, also has won numerous other prizes and literary awards. Two of his novels, "Rabbit Run" and "The Witches of Eastwick," have been adapted for film.

Weather, Possible Subprime Impact Dampen Pending Home Sales

     A forward-looking index based on pending home sales indicates bad weather, and possibly the loss of some subprime lending, will dampen sales closed in March and April, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
     The Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in February, stood at 109.3, down 8.5 percent from February 2006 when it reached 119.4, but is 0.7 percent higher than a downwardly revised reading of 108.5 in January. Earlier, mild weather caused the index to spike at 113.3 in December.
     David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, said there has been a steady narrowing from year-ago readings since last July.
     "If it wasn't for the unusually bad weather in February, we'd be seeing a better performance in pending home sales," Lereah said in a statement. "We also may be seeing some fallout from a decline in subprime lending, but a slight improvement in the more volatile month-to-month index is encouraging. The data suggests an underlying stabilization is taking place in the housing market, but it will take another month or two to clarify.
     "Problems in the subprime mortgage market will become more apparent over time, and they will modestly depress the overall level of improvement in existing-home sales we expect as the year progresses."
     The index is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when
     the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing.
     An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, the first year to be examined and the first of five consecutive record years for existing-home sales.

Small-Business Entrepreneurs Discuss Their Successes

     As part of its Adult Enrichment Series, the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library at 3030 Poplar Ave. is hosting a panel discussion with three Memphis small-business entrepreneurs to discuss how they've made their businesses a success.
     A panel discussion titled "Memphis' Very Own" will be held Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Participants are Preston Klinke with Klinke Brothers Ice Cream, Mark Ottinger with Ugly Mug Coffee Co. and Rebecca Dinstuhl, president of Dinstuhl's Fine Candy. They will talk about the history of the companies and how their businesses have thrived in Memphis.
     Heather Lawson, adult services coordinator with the library, said the idea for the program first came when she read about Memphis-based Dinstuhl's sending some of their candy to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby last year. She said she began to think how interesting it was that this company started in Memphis and was doing so many interesting things and experiencing successes that reached beyond the area.
     "They're coming up with some really exciting things. And that's why they're so well-known," Lawson said.
     Each speaker will give a brief presentation that will last about 20 minutes followed by a 15-minute question-and-answer session.
     Ugly Mug Coffee will provide samples during the presentation.
     Admission is $10. Call 415-2700 for more information.

Baptist-Agape Partnership Gives Hand Up, Not Hand Out

     A local Christian, nonprofit agency has just received a donation to help expand the services it offers to homeless pregnant women and their children.
     Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. presented Agape Child & Family Services a $10,000 grant to benefit its Families in Touch (FIT) program.
     Agape's FIT program currently has the capacity to serve about 10 homeless women and their families at its North Memphis campus.
     The six-year-old program provides housing and job skills training to women who are referred to the agency from emergency shelters such as the Salvation Army as well as clinics and hospitals throughout the city.
     Candi Wood, FIT's program coordinator, said the grant will allow Agape to expand the service to more women in the near future.
     "We hope to expand to be able to have 15 women," Wood said, adding that the expansion is expected to take place this year. "We'd like to grow in the future beyond that, but that would take more money."
Partnering for a purpose
With the grant also comes the pledge for both organizations to work together to provide other services like prenatal care and educational opportunities for the women living in the FIT housing.
     Scott Fountain, Baptist senior vice president and chief development officer, said plans already are under way to implement some of the new projects.
     "Our chief nursing officer and vice president Beverly Jordan has been working to raise awareness in our patient care and assistance program," he said.
     And the president of the Baptist College of Health Sciences has been working to provide student resources and education to the women.
     Fountain also said Baptist officials are hoping to recruit some of the students from the college to provide baby-sitting services to the women living in the FIT temporary housing while they attend classes and work.
     Another aspect of the partnership between the organizations is the possibility of helping the FIT women obtain entry-level positions with the hospital.
     "We're looking at introducing them to health careers, particularly looking at opportunities to be patient care assistants, an entry-level health care career that often leads to nursing," Fountain said.
     The partnership between Agape and Baptist represents an obvious extension of the hospital's ongoing mission to provide services to the homeless population, he added.
Bringing help to the people
Unfortunately, Fountain said, there are stereotypical images of the homeless, but in fact, many of the homeless people in the community are women and their children. And that includes not just women fleeing abusive situations, but teenage mothers who've either been abandoned or neglected by their families.
     So, several years ago, Baptist launched its own program to provide health care services to homeless people.
     That realization led Baptist officials to launch a clinic, Hope Health Center for the Homeless, in 1997. The clinic was at the corner of Dudley Street and Madison Avenue.
     Over the course of a few years, Fountain said, fewer patients were coming into the clinic.
     "And we did some research and found that the primary problem was that the homeless don't have access to adequate transportation, so that when they had a health care issue, it was a hurdle for them to get a ride to the clinic," he said.
     So Baptist officials decided the best course of action was to take the clinic to the people. Teaming with Christ Community Health Services, Baptist leased a van that Christ Community already was using to provide health services to the local immigrant population.
     David Jordan, executive director of Agape, said he's very excited about merging services with Baptist.
     "I am really excited about the relationship with Baptist," he said. "It's the merging of two faith-based organizations coming together to put their hands around a common cause."
Lifting up
The goal for women who live in the FIT temporary housing is to receive a hand up, not a hand out.
     "They cook for themselves and they clean their own houses," Wood said. "We monitor to make sure they're getting their medical care."
     There's also a social worker and therapist on site to work with the families.
     Now with the partnership between Baptist and Agape, women in the program will have the opportunity to work toward greater self-sufficiency in avenues that may not have been possible before.
     "Research has been done in Memphis that shows that single parents need to earn about $14 to $16 per hour to live with their kids and survive," Jordan said. "And there's a huge gulf with many of the people in our community."
     Officials from both organizations believe this is the first step toward closing that gulf.
     During their time at the FIT campus - which can last up to two years - residents are required to save 30 percent of their income.
     Last year, FIT achieved an 87 percent success rate for previously homeless women leaving the program and entering into their own permanent home.
Written by Rosalind Guy
PROPERTY SALES 81 201 16,108
MORTGAGES 40 104 10,026
BUILDING PERMITS 130 336 38,272
BANKRUPTCIES 28 56 7,528