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VOL. 122 | NO. 220 | Monday, November 19, 2007

Daily Digest

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Improvement Planned For Properties in $31M Deal

     New York-based Nightingale Properties and equity partner Reuben Stein of Memphis have bought five properties in Memphis, Cordova and Collierville for more than $31 million with plans to hold them long term.
     The sellers are limited liability companies related to Trezevant Enterprises.
     The properties include Chickasaw Gardens at 3109-3183 Poplar Ave. in Memphis; a FedEx Kinko's and Princess Nails at 1130 Germantown Parkway in Cordova; a stand-alone Corky's at 743 W. Poplar Ave. in Collierville; Shops of Collierville at 845-879 W. Poplar Ave. in Collierville; and The Country Club Collections at 2140-2150 Poplar Ave. in Collierville.
     The deal was financed with a $25.6 million loan through Lehman Brothers Bank FSB.
     Stein represented Nightingale in the transaction, and Anthony Lopes and Jody McKibben of Investec Realty Services LLC represented Trezevant.
     Stein and Nightingale, which bought the properties doing business as several limited liability companies, have partnered in deals for the last 2 1/2 to 3 years, Stein said.
     He said the partners plan to make improvements to the properties, though some need more work than others.
     "We're going to do a facelift for sure on Chickasaw Gardens," Stein said, adding they plan to upgrade office space above the retail center.
     After that, the partnership plans to hold the properties.
     "We are long-term holders. We're in it for the long haul. We just really want to have a nice base in Memphis. We feel like it's a strong market and stable market," he said. "... It's very rare to come upon a city like Memphis in the real estate world. I wouldn't call it a gold mine, but I'd call it a stable mine, where you pick out a couple of pieces of gold every month and you're happy."

Open Meetings Law Tops Commission Agenda

     The Shelby County Board of Commissioners is expected to tackle the state's open meetings law, a hot topic across Tennessee lately, at its meeting today.
     A subcommittee that will vote on recommended changes to the state's open meetings law, which has been characterized by some as antiquated and outdated, recently voted in favor of a change that would make it legal for members of the same governing body to "meet" as long as the number doesn't reach a quorum.
     A quorum is the number of members required to conduct business.
     Commissioner Steve Mulroy has introduced a resolution to support the recommendations of the open meetings subcommittee of the Joint Study Subcommittee on Open Government relative to the quorum standard.
     Other items to be discussed include a resolution approving Mayor A C Wharton Jr.'s appointments of several individuals to boards, commissions and offices of Shelby County government.
     A resolution also will be discussed regarding the granting of one-time cost of living bonuses this month to certain Plan B retirees.
     The meeting begins at 1:30 p.m. in the first floor chamber of the Shelby County Administration Building, 160 N. Main St.

FedEx Lowers Earnings Expectations

     FedEx Corp. has cut its earnings expectations for the fiscal second quarter and full year amid soaring fuel costs and a troubled U.S. freight market.
     For the second quarter ending Nov. 30, the company expects to earn $1.45 to $1.55 per share, compared with a previous forecast of $1.60 to $1.75 per share. For the fiscal year ending in May, the company forecasts earnings of $6.40 to $6.70 per share, down from a prior range of $6.70 to $7.10 per share.
     "Since September, our fuel costs have increased more than 8 percent, or $85 million," said Alan B. Graf Jr., FedEx chief financial officer. "While we have dynamic fuel surcharges in place, they cannot keep pace in the short-term with rapidly rising fuel prices.
     "In addition, less-than-truckload freight trends in the FedEx Freight segment remain weak, despite economic signs that the decline in U.S. industrial production has hit bottom. We are taking prudent steps to reduce expenses, and are reviewing our capital investment plans for further reductions."
     Morgan Stanley analyst William Greene said he had hoped FedEx would have been able to avoid a drop in earnings on the strength of the international package and domestic ground package segments.
     Both UPS and FedEx recently had announced rate increases averaging about 4.9 percent for next year.
     The UPS rate increase affects ground, air express and international shipments that originate in the United States and take effect Dec. 31.
     FedEx said in late October the increase affects its air shipping rates within the U.S. and for export in 2008. It said its rates are expected to go up for ground shipping in the U.S. as well.

Martin Named Sr. VP of ServiceMaster

     Steve Martin has been named senior vice president and chief financial officer for The ServiceMaster Co.
     Martin succeeds vice chairman and chief financial officer Ernie Mrozek, who will transition out of his current position by early next year. Mrozek has been based in the company's Downers Grove, Ill., headquarters office, which recently relocated to Memphis.
     Martin has worked in finance for TruGreen, a ServiceMaster company, since 2000. Previously, he was senior vice president and controller for Promus Hotel Corp. in Memphis, and a partner in the Audit and Business Advisory Services business for Arthur Andersen, also in Memphis.

Morgan to Leave Company He Formed in 1969

     Allen Morgan, 65, chairman of Morgan Keegan & Co., vice chairman of Regions Financial Corp. and a member of the Regions board of directors, is retiring from all three positions effective Dec. 31, the companies announced last week.
     Morgan founded Morgan Keegan in 1969. The company is now a subsidiary of Birmingham, Ala.-based Regions Financial Corp.
     Morgan helped Morgan Keegan grow from one office to more than 400 offices in 19 states. He served as chairman and chief executive officer of Morgan Keegan from 1969 to 2003. His company was acquired by Regions in April 2001.
     One of the highlights of his career, Morgan said in a statement, was merging the firm with Regions.

Stanford Financial Gives $1.76M to St. Jude

     Stanford Financial Group has presented St. Jude Children's Research Hospital with a check for $1.76 million from the inaugural Stanford St. Jude Championship held in June.
     The donation from the event is the largest contribution in the 34 years that St. Jude has been the exclusive benefiting charity of Memphis' PGA Tour event.
     Stanford chief financial officer James Davis and golfer Vijay Singh joined Tony Thomas from St. Jude and Laurie Tucker, senior vice president of corporate marketing with FedEx, to present the check.
     The increased donation is primarily the result of funds raised through a unique program developed by Stanford Financial that provides a season-long fundraising component to the Stanford St. Jude Championship.
     As part of its commitment to extend the fundraising efforts beyond the week of the tournament, Stanford Financial created the Eagles for St. Jude program. With the program, Stanford is donating $1,000 for every Eagle carded on the PGA Tour.
     The 2008 Stanford St. Jude Championship will be held June 2-8 at TPC Southwind.

Nursing Homes Launch Crimestoppers Program

     Two Covington nursing homes are launching a zero tolerance for crime platform with the help of sponsors INSOUTH Bank and the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation.
     The Covington Manor and Covington Care Center will participate in the Senior Crimestoppers program, which operates much like a neighborhood watch program.
     The Senior Crimestoppers program offers cash rewards up to $1,000 for
     information regarding a crime or the return of stolen property. Each nursing home resident also will receive a personal lockbox for valuables and medication.
     INSOUTH Bank has committed to sponsoring Senior Crimestoppers in the two nursing homes for the next five years as part of its ongoing community reinvestment activities.
     The bank will invest $1 million in government agency securities held by the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation, and income from the investments will finance the Crimestoppers program at the senior facilities.
PROPERTY SALES 84 275 3,673
MORTGAGES 41 139 2,418
BANKRUPTCIES 23 79 1,983