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VOL. 122 | NO. 195 | Monday, October 15, 2007

Daily Digest

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Local Investment Company Buys Collierville Property

     Local investor Grant Properties LLC has bought vacant lots in Collierville's The Villages at Porter Farms in Collierville. Two sales deeds for $2 million and $2.1 million were signed Sept. 27.
     The sellers are Jane Porter Field and Joel H. Porter, who are associated with Porter Homes Inc., a Collierville-based company. Representatives at Porter Homes were unavailable for comment by press time.
     Three mortgages were signed in conjunction with the sale for $1 million, $3.3 million and $4.7 million - or $9 million in loans. The lender is Magna Bank. The maturity date for all three loans is Sept. 30, 2009.
     A quitclaim deed was also signed concurrently with the sale by Grant Properties, conveying a one-half interest in part of the property to Grant Homes LLC.
     The sold properties are on about 84 acres of vacant land.
     Grant Properties LLC shares a Memphis address with Grant & Co. Builders and Realtors, which is associated with Keith & David Grant Homes LLC, according to www.grantnewhomes.com.
     Representatives from Grant Properties also were unavailable for comment.
     

Mayor's Pay, Several Other Items Up for Grabs at Coming Meeting

     Tuesday's Memphis City Council committee meeting agenda is a long one, and not by accident.
     The council has signaled an interest in making a full-court press as the clock winds down on 2007, after which a majority-new council will be seated in January.
     Council chairman Tom Marshall is pushing a late-term agenda of action items, which explains the 42-item meeting agenda for Tuesday. Items up for discussion run the gamut from development in the University of Memphis-Highland Street neighborhood to labor negotiations between city unions and city government.
     Also on the agenda is an item that inspired fireworks at a recent council meeting: a proposed pay-raise for the city mayor.
     

Fred's Sales Rise Slightly As of Early October

     Fred's Inc. late last week reported record sales for the five-week and eight-month periods ended Oct. 6.
     Fred's total sales for September increased 2 percent to $161.4 million from $158.7 million in September 2006. Comparable store sales for the month rose 1 percent on top of a 5 percent increase in September last year.
     Total sales for the year-to-date period increased 5 percent to $1.2 billion compared to $1.1 billion in the year-earlier period. On a comparable store basis, sales increased 1.3 percent through the first eight months of fiscal 2007 compared to a 2.7 percent gain in the year-earlier period.
     The general merchandise discounter opened four new stores at the end of September, bringing total store openings to 22 for the year-to-date period. Company executives announced earlier this year that they would be closing some of their underperforming stores.
     Before the end of the year, the company plans to open 14 additional stores with no further closings.
     

Fred's Sales Rise Slightly As of Early October

     Fred's Inc. late last week reported record sales for the five-week and eight-month periods ended Oct. 6.
     Fred's total sales for September increased 2 percent to $161.4 million from $158.7 million in September 2006. Comparable store sales for the month rose 1 percent on top of a 5 percent increase in September last year.
     Total sales for the year-to-date period increased 5 percent to $1.2 billion compared to $1.1 billion in the year-earlier period. On a comparable store basis, sales increased 1.3 percent through the first eight months of fiscal 2007 compared to a 2.7 percent gain in the year-earlier period.
     The general merchandise discounter opened four new stores at the end of September, bringing total store openings to 22 for the year-to-date period. Company executives announced earlier this year that they would be closing some of their underperforming stores.
     Before the end of the year, the company plans to open 14 additional stores with no further closings.
     

Midtown Apartment Complex Sells to Boston Group

     The 122-unit Rosecrest Apartments in Midtown has been sold for almost $6.2 million, or $50,410 per unit, to a private equity group from Boston, according to the multifamily office of CB Richard Ellis Memphis. The deal closed Oct 5.
     Built in 1966, Rosecrest is a 10-story property with eight floor plans and a variety of amenities including a recreation room, swimming pool, business center, laundry facility and fitness center. Rosecrest is on Idlewild Street just north of Union Avenue.
     

Woodyard Realty Brokers Sale of Raleigh Apartments

     Memphis-based Woodyard Realty Corp. has announced the sale of the 24-unit Raleigh Pines Apartments. The complex sold Oct. 3 for $575,000 to an undisclosed California-based investor.
     Raleigh Pines is at 2789 Beverly Hills Road in Raleigh near Interstate 40, a new Nike Inc. facility and a Wal-Mart store.
     Woodyard officials cited a long history of stable income and residents as the primary draw to purchase the property.
     Courtney Barnes of Woodyard brokered the transaction. She said the acquisition offers the new owner a prime opportunity to maximize values based on a potential increase in rents.
     

Federal Budget Reaches Lowest Level in Five Years

     The Bush administration reported Thursday that the federal budget deficit fell to $162.8 billion in the just-completed budget year, the lowest amount of red ink in five years.
     The administration credited the president's tax cuts for helping generate record-breaking revenues but warned of an approaching "fiscal train wreck" unless Congress deals with unsustainable growth in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
     President Bush, appearing with his economic team to trumpet the news, noted that the deficit turned out to be $81 billion lower than it was projected to be in February. He said the deficit represents 1.2 percent of gross domestic product - less than the average of the last 40 years.
     "By keeping taxes low we can grow the economy, and by working with Congress to set priorities we can be fiscally responsible and we can head toward balance," Bush said after the meeting across the street from the White House. "And that's exactly where we're headed."
     The deficit for the 2007 budget year that ended Sept. 30 was 34.4 percent lower than the $248.2 billion deficit recorded in 2006, reflecting faster growth in revenues than in government spending.
     Administration officials said the government was on track to accomplish Bush's goal of eliminating the deficit by 2012. But Democrats said the improvement in the deficit this year did not mask the fact that Bush's economic policies transformed the budget surpluses of the Clinton years into record deficits and an unprecedented increase in the national debt.
     The debate over the president's signature tax cuts and their effect on the economy are certain to be played out in the coming presidential campaign. Republican candidates are vowing to make permanent Bush's tax cuts, which are due to expire at the end of 2010; Democrats want to roll back the tax cuts received by the wealthiest taxpayers.
     Both revenues and spending climbed to record levels in 2007. Spending rose by 2.8 percent to $2.7 trillion while revenues rose by a faster 6.7 percent to a record $2.6 trillion, a gain the administration attributed to the economic stimulus from the president's tax cuts.
     Bush recently signed into law a measure increasing the government's borrowing ceiling to $9.8 trillion. It was the fifth debt increase of Bush's presidency. The national debt is the accumulation of the annual deficits.
     During the Clinton administration, the federal budget ran a surplus for four consecutive years, something that had not been accomplished for seven decades.
     
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 91 158 16,219
MORTGAGES 98 179 18,735
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 13 36 2,497
BUILDING PERMITS 136 349 33,738
BANKRUPTCIES 63 115 10,429
BUSINESS LICENSES 30 47 5,350
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 24 53 6,326
MARRIAGE LICENSES 19 52 3,563