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VOL. 122 | NO. 106 | Friday, June 8, 2007

Daily Digest

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United Housing Moves Forward With Wolf River Bluffs

     United Housing Inc. (UHI) has bought 23.7 acres on James Road in Frayser, the last puzzle piece in its 113-acre Wolf River Bluffs subdivision. Ralph C. Bethea Jr., doing business as Kingdom of God-America, sold the land for about $350,000.
     Now that the property for the 300-house development has been pieced together, the nonprofit agency is ready to start clearing land for phase one, said UHI executive director Tim Bolding. The organization has filed a $1.7 million loan through Renasant Bank for development of the first 35 lots.
     Bolding said UHI plans to begin clearing land in about six weeks, and lots are expected to be turned over to private builders in about six months.
     The project is the affordable housing agency's largest - and it's also a departure from UHI's normal fare.
     "We met with the neighborhood and they were adamant that they wanted to see higher-priced housing. So while we typically have worked at United Housing in houses that are less than $100,000, this will be a departure ... because that's what the neighborhood wants," Bolding said. "The neighborhood wants to see higher-priced homes come back in and begin to increase the value of properties in the Frayser community."
     The houses are expected to be about 1,800 square feet and will sell in the $150,000 to $200,000 range, Bolding said.
     The seed of the project began when the late Humphrey Folk of Folk's Folly Prime Steak House fame donated about 65 acres to the organization. From there, Bolding said, UHI was able to assemble 113 acres of contiguous land.
     UHI was started in 1994 as an affiliate of United Way of the Mid-South. Initial funding came from Housing and Urban Development grants, and the group now leverages grant funds with private financing.
     In 2006, the group closed its 1,000th affordable housing transaction.
     For details on UHI and its Wolf River Bluffs development, see The Daily News' May 1 lead story at www.memphisdailynews.com.

County Quitclaims Land For Senior Care Community

     Shelby County government has quitclaimed 20 parcels of land to Dr. Ivory Taylor, owner of the Taylor Brown Apothecary, according to The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com.
     Taylor, who opened his small community pharmacy at 568 Poplar Ave. in December 2004, wants to give a shot in the arm to his part of the medical district a few blocks from Downtown. The goal is to build what he's calling a "senior care community" - ultimately a collection of 30 to 40 single-family homes, none with price tags more than $100,000, which can be sold and leased to senior citizens.
     Development of the homes could begin as early as next month, he said, and most will have such features as a 24-hour emergency line for seniors to use for fast care. All of the properties he purchased recently from the county are not contiguous, but most are - with all of them generally in the area of Florida Street in Downtown Memphis.

State Tax Lien Filed Against Medshares

     A state tax lien has been filed against Medshares Nursing Services of Middle Tennessee, according to The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com.
     The notice of state tax lien filed with the Shelby County Register of Deeds states that the "lien exists on all property and all rights, title and interest in property acquired prior to or subsequent to the filing of this notice that belongs to the named taxpayer."
     Tennessee Department of Revenue spokesperson Ruth Ann Pursley said they do not put dollar amounts on their liens and the amount is not public record.
     "We would have to get the company's permission to release that information," she said.
     The company address listed is 2714 Union Ave., Suite 307.
     Last year, WREG News Channel 3 aired a story about Medshares, a former home health care provider at 2714 Union Ave. Extended. Apparently the company sold all its assets to Intrepid USA of Minnesota after failing to reorganize in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy started in 1999, according to the story.
     In the process, Channel 3 reporter Andy Wise said the company left behind more than 100,000 medical records in storage facilities in Byhalia, Miss., and Collierville.
     Washington and Medicare officials were calling the abandonment of the records a violation of federal medical privacy laws.
     It's unclear if the two companies are related in any way. A phone number listed for Medshares Management Services at the Union Avenue Extended address has been disconnected.

IRI to Provide Market Insight to Fred's

     Fred's Inc. has announced an agreement with Information Resources Inc. (IRI), a global provider of consumer, shopper and retail market intelligence and insights.
     Fred's will use IRI's Apollo space planning software suite, Apollo Total Store and Apollo Professional to drive overall sales and improve profits, as well as add efficiency to its supply chain process.
     Apollo Total Store is a database-driven desktop software product that allows users to analyze store layouts and plan the use of store space at the macro level. The software will help Fred's better understand the product and category performance within the aisles and departments of specific stores.
     Also, the Apollo software will enable Fred's to analyze how specific store sections are merchandised down to the shelf level.
     "We are constantly looking for new ways to better serve our unique customers' needs and shopping behaviors," said John D. Reier, president of Fred's Inc., in a statement. "(Using the Apollo software) ultimately means that we can select the optimal store layout, item selection and shelf placement for each of our stores and meet the demands of our customers."

D.C.-Based Firm Recommended For Downtown Retail Study

     The Retail Study Selection Committee of the Center City Development Corp. voted Thursday to recommend Washington- based consulting firm Economics Research Associate Downtown Works to prepare a retail development strategy for Downtown.
     The Center City Commission (CCC) has begun to recruit more retail to the area via the launch of an incentive fund that can provide business owners with some much-needed capital.
     Last year, the CCC hired former Downtown business owner Katrina Shelton as a business recruitment manager in an effort to lure more retail businesses Downtown.
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 91 91 21,363
MORTGAGES 63 63 16,257
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 4 7 1,494
BUILDING PERMITS 166 167 42,087
BANKRUPTCIES 34 40 6,619
BUSINESS LICENSES 13 13 3,110
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0