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VOL. 122 | NO. 203 | Thursday, October 25, 2007

Daily Digest

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California Investors Buy Fairgrounds Mini Storage

     A California limited liability company has bought Fairgrounds Mini Storage at 2472 Southern Ave. for $1.3 million. Circle H LLC, which has an address in Chico, Calif., bought the property from Fairgrounds MiniStorage LLC. The deal closed Monday.
     In conjunction with the purchase, Circle H LLC filed a $956,250 loan through IndyMac Commercial Lending Corp.
     The mini-storage facility sits on 1.73 acres on a triangular parcel bounded by Southern Avenue to the south and railroad tracks to the northeast. A Coca-Cola bottling plant is to the east of the facility.
     Built between 1963 and 1985, the complex's buildings total more than 36,000 square feet and include storage units, one apartment and an office. The Shelby County Assessor's 2007 appraisal was $618,300.
     Representatives from Fairgrounds Mini Storage and Circle H LLC were not available by press time.

More Foreclosure Notices Filed For Fred Elam Cos.

     Foreclosure notices have been filed for five lots and a 4.9-acre parcel of land owned by local real estate companies affiliated with Fred Elam Mortgage, according to The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com.
     Five of the lots are in the Chelsea Estates, Raleigh Estates and Royals Oaks subdivisions. Construction deeds were filed for those lots earlier this year by Logos Inc., according to the Shelby County Register of Deeds. Fred Elam signed as president of Logos Inc.
     The 4.9 acres were owned by Gold Key Realty, a company also affiliated with Fred Elam Mortgage. The property is near Addington Drive and Old Raleigh-Millington Road.
     All of the property is scheduled to be sold at auction Nov. 9 at noon, according to The Daily News Online.
     Last month, Memphis-based Elam Mortgage and Realty, and Fred Elam Enterprises LLC received 16 foreclosure notices for some of the companies' rental properties.
     At the time, when reached by cell phone, Elam said the properties would not be foreclosed on, but that they were going to be stopped through a short payoff sale.
     Attempts to reach Elam were unsuccessful before press time.

Third Street Project Goes Before CCC Board

     A new construction mixed-use project at Third Street and Vance Avenue will be discussed at today's Center City Commission board of directors meeting.
     The $7.2 million project will include a five-story, 80-room hotel, restaurant and convenience store and gas station. It also will include retail space, office space and covered and uncovered parking.
     The project qualifies for a 20-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT), but the current Center City Revenue Finance Corp. cap is 15 years. The applicant, Nelson Properties Development, plans to go before the board and ask to be awarded the full 20 years.
     The meeting begins at noon today at the CCC, 114 N. Main St.

Luminetx Forms Partnership With Israeli Company

     Memphis-based Luminetx Corp. announced Wednesday a strategic partnership with the global technology company Explay for ultra-miniaturized video projection technology.
     Explay is a technology company based in Herzliya, Israel. The company supplies highly miniaturized, flexible projection
     technology for consumers and medical, automotive and military markets.
     Luminetx said it plans to use the video projection as a key component of future medical imaging products.
     The agreement between Luminetx and Explay involves investment, as well as cooperative research and development activity between the two companies.
     Luminetx initially visited with Explay leadership to research additional technology options for the VeinViewer product line. During due diligence, Luminetx officials said they discovered that a true leader in mobile projection technology existed.
     VeinViewer is the first and only patented technology to locate subcutaneous veins and project real-time images directly onto the surface of the skin.

Austin Pointe Sold To Las Vegas Investor

     Woodyard Realty Corp. has sold the Austin Pointe Apartments, a 112-unit apartment community in the Raleigh/Bartlett submarket for $2.7 million, to an undisclosed Las Vegas investor.
     Ferguson Property Group acquired the property several years ago and renovated it to supply safe and affordable housing to area residents.
     "Everyone wins in these situations after renovation - the residents get nice homes that they can be proud of, the city gets an improved area and the new purchaser out of Las Vegas gets a great return on a property that should be easy to manage and in good condition," said Woodyard Realty president Steve Woodyard in a statement.
     This is the 32nd apartment complex Woodyard Realty has closed this year. The company also has a new division that has closed more than 213 bulk sales of new and existing single-family homes and condominium units for local home builders and condo developers.

Existing Home Sales Hit Worst Slump in 16 Years

     Sales of existing homes plunged by a record amount in September as turmoil in mortgage markets added more problems to a housing industry in its worst slump in 16 years.
     The National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday that sales of existing homes fell 8 percent in September, the largest decline to show in records dating to 1999. The seasonally adjusted annual sales rate of 5.04 million existing homes was also the slowest pace on record.
     The weakness in sales translated into further pressure on prices. The median price - the point at which half the homes sold for more and half for less - was $211,700 in September, down by 4.2 percent from the sales price a year ago. It marked the 13th time out of the past 14 months that the year-over-year sales price has decreased.
     The 8 percent decline in sales was bigger than the 4.5 percent decline that had been expected.
     The slowdown in sales meant that the inventory of unsold homes rose to 4.4 million units in September. At the September sales pace, it would take 10.5 months to eliminate the overhang of unsold homes, a record length of time.
     Economists are worried that the huge levels of unsold existing and new homes will put further downward pressure on prices.
     The troubles in housing have been a drag on overall economic growth, increasing worries that the housing slump and related credit market troubles could become so severe that they will push the country into a recession.
     However, many private economists believe that the Federal Reserve, which cut a key interest rate for the first time in four years last month, will continue cutting rates in a campaign to make sure that the weakening economy does not tumble into a full-blown recession.
     Analysts said the price declines will worsen in coming months until inventories are reduced to more sustainable levels. Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, predicted that the housing troubles will prompt the Fed to cut rates by a quarter-point at its meeting next week.
     "The housing crunch is accelerating. The Fed can't stand by and watch," Shepherdson said.
PROPERTY SALES 0 133 1,342
MORTGAGES 0 131 1,047