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VOL. 122 | NO. 42 | Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Daily Digest

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Dick's Sporting Goods to Enter Memphis Market

     Fitness buffs and athletes in the Bluff City soon will have a new resource from which to buy their wares. Investors are working to close a deal that could bring Dick’s Sporting Goods to the Memphis market.
     A building permit for $3.87 million recently was issued to Linkous Construction Co. Inc., StoneCrest Investments LLC and Dick’s Sporting Goods for property at 2393 Germantown Parkway in Cordova, according to The Daily News online, www.memphisdailynews.com.
     The deal should become official later this week between Round Rock, Texas-based StoneCrest and Tombo Properties Inc., a business formed to handle the sale of several parcels of property along Germantown Parkway, including the land where Kohl’s department store now sits. Tombo Properties Inc. sold the property to Kohl’s in 2002, said attorney John Maxwell.
     Maxwell is president of Tombo Properties, and in the past has represented the family who owned it.
     “That was all vacant land, and now it is not vacant land anymore; most of it is not,” Maxwell said. “And we intend before we are finished – which hopefully won’t be too much longer – we think it will all be useable land for commercial purposes.”
     “It originally started with 132 acres,” Maxwell said. “The original tract ran from Costco on the north, and a Memphis Light Gas & Water (MLGW) substation facing Germantown Road was on the south, and it ran from Germantown Road and back to the interstate.”
     Dick’s will join only a handful of other sporting goods stores in the Memphis market. The Sports Authority is the only big-box retailer in the Memphis market. It operates two stores in the area – on Ridgeway Road in East Memphis and on Wolfcreek Parkway near Wolfchase Galleria Mall.
     Dick’s started in Binghamton, N.Y., in the late 1950s. The big-box retailer sells sporting goods and apparel, including everything from kayaks to guns.
     Over the years, Dick’s has grown from a small family-owned store to a publicly traded company that opened more than 30 stores in 2006. No one at Dick’s corporate office in Pittsburgh, Pa., would comment.
     Company policy does not allow comment on a future store until it’s completed and begins hiring employees. However, the as-yet unfinished store has had a posting for a store manager on its Web site since Nov. 2.
     In early February, the company acquired Golf Galaxy in a deal worth $225 million. Golf Galaxy currently operates 65 stores in 24 states – including a store on Germantown Parkway. The Golf Galaxy store is almost directly across the street from the site Dick’s will occupy, Maxwell said.
     Dick’s currently operates almost 300 stores in the United States. Dick’s already operates stores in Chattanooga, Knoxville and Nashville, so it just seems like a natural progression for the stores to come to Memphis, said Scott Barton, vice president of retail services for CB Richard Ellis.
     And stores such as The Sports Authority and smaller independently owned retailers should take notice, he said.
     “(Dick’s is) going to be a tough competitor for places like that,” Barton said. “They have good prices, and given their size, they’ve got a selection that is tough to beat.”
     Dick’s also bought sporting apparel retailer Galyan’s Trading Company Inc. about 18 months ago. Galyan’s was based in Indiana, and its stores often featured rock-climbing walls and other amenities.
     StoneCrest is owned by Brad Smith and Greg Herman, formerly the founders and executive officers of Memphis-based Weston Retail Properties Inc. and Weston Retail Management Co. Inc. StoneCrest specializes in commercial real estate development, investment, brokerage, leasing and property management throughout the South, according to the company’s Web site.

Development Under Way On 222-Lot Collierville Subdivision

     A 222-lot residential subdivision called Rolling Meadows is being built on Sycamore Road in Collierville.
     The land is about 116 acres and is divided into three phases. The first phase, comprised of 58 lots, already has been completed and sold to several buyers, who have completed their takedowns and begun construction of homes.
     The second phase, which sits on about 25 acres and is comprised of 59 lots, currently is being built. Jon McCreery, managing partner of Chamberlain & McCreery Inc., said construction for the second phase will begin in the next month. The subdivision is scheduled to be completed by the first quarter of 2008.
     The total development cost of all three phases will be about $4.1 million. Two mortgages for $4.4 million were taken out from BancorpSouth Feb. 23.

Commercial Real Estate Experts Offer Reviews, Forecasts

     See what real estate prognosticators have to say about the Memphis-area commercial market at the fourth annual Commercial Property Forecast Summit. Presented by the Memphis Area Association of Realtors (MAAR) Commercial Council, this year's Summit will be held Wednesday at the Hilton Memphis beginning at 8 a.m.
     It features presenters discussing five commercial real estate sectors: Industrial - Al Andrews, Panattoni Development Co.; Office - Nick Clark, Clark & Clark; Retail - Bob Loeb, Loeb Properties; Multifamily - H. Eric Bolton Jr., Mid-America Apartment Communities Inc.; and Land - Bob Dalhoff, Dalhoff Thomas Daws.
     "We are honored to have such an outstanding lineup of presenters for this year's Summit," said Summit Chairman Earl Blankenship, president and CEO of Mercury Investment Management, in a statement. "Considering that each of these gentlemen has risked significant capital in Memphis-area commercial real estate over many years, we feel they are especially qualified to speak about the current market and offer their projections for the coming year."
     The Hilton Memphis is at 939 Ridge Lake Blvd. Cost for the Summit is $40 for MAAR Commercial Council members and $60 for non-members. Advance registration is required; registration form is available at www.maar.org.

U of M Hosts Women's History Month Events

     In celebration of March being Women's History Month, the University of Memphis will hold a series of events throughout the month.
     The U of M also will hold its first Women's History Month Symposium March 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Panhellenic Building Ballroom.
     Topics include presentations on research and social engagement by graduating master of arts students in women's studies. Talks will be held on "Women in the Professions: Then and Now."
     Presenters include U of M literary scholar Dr. Ladrica Menson-Furr and U of M historians Margaret Caffrey and Janann Sherman. Other presentations include the "Generations of Women Moving History Forward," which will include panelists U of M President Shirley Raines, Memphis City Councilwoman Carol Chumney, Shelby County Commissioner Henri Brooks and My Harrison, special agent in charge of the local FBI office.

TV Show Gives Exposure To Parking Facility

     It isn't always a high-pressure race to make a person's flight on time, but some national exposure on the CBS show "The Amazing Race" nevertheless might give a boost to a local parking facility near Memphis International Airport.
     When the TV show premiered Feb. 18, one of the first stops made by participants in the Emmy Award-winning reality show was Airport Fast Park at Miami International Airport. The company's Memphis presence is at 2201 Winchester Road.
     The TV show portrayed what local officials hope customers see here as well: The offsite parking facility offers a speedy, inexpensive parking alternative to airport parking. The TV exposure also was important because drivers generally avoid offsite airport lots, thinking it will take extra time to drive to and from the airport, according to Fodor's, the world's largest publisher of English language travel and tourism information.
     Airport Fast Park is a business unit of Fast Park, headquartered in Cincinnati. The company operates offsite airport parking facilities in eight markets throughout the country, including Memphis.

ACLU Denounces Bill as Discriminatory

     The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee (ACLU-TN) is urging senators to vote "no" on SB201, a bill requiring all driver's license examinations be given in English.
     The logic behind the bill, according to its supporters, is since road signs are printed in English then drivers should know how to speak English.
     There are no statistics to indicate Tennessee drivers who take translated tests are less safe than those who take the exam in English, said Tennessee Department of Safety officials who testified before the state House Subcommittee on Public Safety and Rural Roads last April.
     ACLU-TN officials who want the bill to die in the Senate argue the bill violates Title VI of the U.S. Civil Rights Act that states "no person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefit of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal funds assistance."
     Tennessee is one of 44 states currently allowing driver license exams to be translated into different languages.
PROPERTY SALES 69 119 21,696
MORTGAGES 64 113 16,530
BANKRUPTCIES 28 64 6,781