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VOL. 122 | NO. 218 | Thursday, November 15, 2007

Daily Digest

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Foreclosure Notice Filed Against N. Memphis Apartments

     A first-run foreclosure notice has been filed against a North Memphis multifamily site that recently has been operated as a homeless shelter, according to The Daily News Online.
     Deeper Life Christian Church Inc. in Tampa, Fla., owns the site and is listed as the loan borrower.
     Lender Reinhold Taylor Jr. filed the notice after Deeper Life defaulted on a $24,000 loan for the property at 1107 Pearce St., according to the notice and loan documents. The property is slated to be sold at auction Dec. 7.
     The full text of the first-run foreclosure notice is on Page 29 of the Foreclosures section of Wednesday's Daily News and at www.memphisdailynews.com.
     Information on the 1107 Pearce site first came to light in May, when another property - a lot at 357 W. Mitchell Road in Westwood - entered foreclosure proceedings. A Deeper Life representative told The Daily News at that time that the church owned the Mitchell Road property as well as the North Memphis site.
     The 1107 Pearce property is an eight-unit apartment building built in 1961. Though photos of the site from several years ago show boarded-up windows and a flooded driveway, The Daily News' visit in May showed a much different picture. Windows and part of the building's roof had been replaced and the lawn had been mowed at that time.
     Raymond Newton told The Daily News in May that he runs a shelter out of the building, which he said he's leased from Deeper Life for about two years.
     Reached by phone Wednesday, Newton said he runs a "help center" from the site. He referred calls to Deeper Life.
     Representatives of the church did not immediately return phone calls.
     See The Daily News' investigation involving the 357 W. Mitchell property in the May 10 edition at www.memphisdailynews.com.

Commercial Sales Up 18 Percent in October

     Shelby County commercial real estate sales jumped nearly 18 percent from September to October, although they fell short of the torrid pace in October 2006, according to the latest data from real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.
     There were 93 commercial sales in October totaling $167 million, which is double the total sales price of September's 79 sales of $83.6 million.
     The average sales price of $1.8 million per transaction for the month marked a 25.3 percent increase over the $1.1 million average sales price during September.
     The 38119 ZIP of Quince/Ridgeway in East Memphis led the way in dollar amount with four sales totaling $16.2 million. The 38116 ZIP of Whitehaven had the highest number of sales with 13, for a total price of $266,642.
     The increases are tempered when compared to the same month last year. October was down 11.4 percent from the October 2006 totals of 105 sales comprising $111.5 million, for an average of $1.1 million.
     Year-to-date sales indicate that 2007 could be another banner year in the county. The 991 sales through Oct.31 are up 6.3 percent from the same period in 2006. And the $2 billion in sales to date are far above the $1.3 billion at this time last year.
     The average sales price is also up. Transactions have averaged $2 million in 2007 compared to $1.4 million in 2006.

Center City to Consider Two Minority-Owned Projects

     One of the stated priorities of the Center City Commission has been to increase minority participation and ownership Downtown. The CCC board of directors will consider two requests today that would do just that.
     Stone Investment Group LLC will appear before the board to request a $47,000 loan to cover project costs for repairs and renovations to 831 Danny Thomas Ave. A $32,000 loan already has been approved, but the investors want the additional $15,000 needed to cover the entire cost of the project.
     Board members also will hear from Dwaine Quarrells, who is asking for a nearly $9,000 increase to an already approved $52,000 loan for repairs and renovations on the Greenlaw Street Apartments at 267 Greenlaw Ave.
     Board members also will receive committee reports from the Clean & Green, Safety & Security, and Traffic & Transportation committees.
     The meeting begins at noon today at the CCC, 114 N. Main St.

Gulotta Named Director Of Economic Development

     Memphis Mayor Willie W. Herenton and Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr. have appointed Charles Gulotta as director of the Memphis and Shelby County Office of Economic Development.
     The joint office, housed in the Division of Planning and Development, is responsible for implementing the city and county's economic development initiatives.
     The Office of Economic Development, which administers a number of economic development programs including the payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) program of the Memphis and Shelby County Industrial Development Board, has been without a permanent director since 2005. A nationwide search was held for an individual with a proven track record in business recruitment and retention as well as workforce development.
     The search came from a major overhaul of the PILOT program as well as the renewed focus on economic development efforts through the creation of the MemphisED Plan, a component of the Memphis Fast Forward initiative.
     Gulotta currently serves as president of The Alliance, which is the chamber of commerce and economic development office in Corinth, Miss. He will assume the new role Dec. 10.

FedEx Kicks Off Trees for Troops

     FedEx Corp. and the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation have kicked off their annual "Trees for Troops" program.
     The program was kicked off recently in Columbus, Ohio, where 300 trees will be picked up and delivered to activated service members and their families stationed overseas.
     In coming weeks, tree growers, retailers and FedEx will be donating and delivering approximately 20,000 trees to more than 35 bases in the United States and overseas.
     The program began in 2005, when 4,300 trees were delivered to troops and military families in the U.S. and overseas.
     Last year, FedEx Express and FedEx Freight donated all transportation and logistical services to collect and deliver almost 12,000 trees to 25 military bases. This year, the public will have opportunities to participate by purchasing trees for sale at 40 retail locations nationally.

Minority Business Council Nominates MLGW for Awards

     Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division has been nominated for the Mid-South Minority Business Council's Corporation of the Year Award.
     MLGW is a two-time winner of the MMBC Corporation of the Year award.
     MLGW's supplier diversity coordinator, Kimberly Lehew, also has received a nomination for MMBC's Advocate of the Year. The nomination is the second one for Lehew, who previously won the award in 2005. The Advocate of the Year award is given to an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to exceptional service in the area of supplier diversity.
     This year marks the 10th anniversary of the utility company's Supplier Diversity program, which aims to foster economic parity with minority-, women- and locally owned small businesses. More than $225 million has been spent with diverse suppliers since the program began, according to a company statement.
     The council's 2007 Robert R. Church Sr. Achievement Awards will be held Friday at noon at the Holiday Inn-University of Memphis, 3700 Central Ave.

Existing Home Sales Expected To Hit Five-Year Low in 2007

     Sales of existing homes in the U.S. are forecast to decline to a five-year low in 2007, a trade group for real estate agents said Tuesday, and the outlook for 2008 is worsening.
     The ninth-straight downwardly revised monthly forecast from the National Association of Realtors calls for U.S. existing home sales to fall 12.7 percent this year to 5.66 million, down from 6.48 million last year and the lowest level since 2002.
     Last month, the association predicted a 10.8 percent drop from a year ago, signaling a growing realization that the housing market woes are deeper than originally feared.
     The trade group's chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said the housing market is likely to experience a "modest" recovery next year as mortgage markets stabilize.
     Yun's forecast shows existing home sales bottoming out in the current quarter, then rebounding by mid-2008.
     However, many other economists are far less optimistic. They predict weak sales, sinking new home construction and falling prices through next year and emphasize that those problems could worsen if the economy sinks into a recession.
     New home sales are expected to plummet as buyers remain uncertain about stepping into the market. NAR predicts new home sales will sink to 693,000 by 2008, the lowest level since 1995.
PROPERTY SALES 85 205 21,165
MORTGAGES 76 206 24,338
BUILDING PERMITS 183 321 43,755
BANKRUPTCIES 48 92 13,560