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VOL. 123 | NO. 34 | Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Daily Digest

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First South Buys Gallina Centro Parcel

     First South Credit Union has purchased an acre of land on the west side of the multi-use Gallina Centro retail center, on Houston Levee Road between Winchester Road and West Poplar Avenue in Collierville.
     The Bartlett-based credit union, which spent $906,040 on the vacant land, has 13 branches in the Memphis metropolitan area including its call center, but no presence in Collierville.
     Delynn Byars, senior vice president of marketing for First South, said the credit union would be building its 14th branch on the site, but it has not formed definitive plans yet as it works out details with a builder on architecture and a construction timeline.
     Byars added that entering the Collierville market was imperative for First South's growth plans. The credit union is the second largest in Memphis, with $324 million in assets and $255 million in deposits, according to the latest FDIC data.
     Gallina Centro was developed by Boyle Investment Co., which sold the parcel to First South as Gallina Centro LLC. The deal closed Feb. 8.
     The retail center's tenants include Kroger, Kohl's, Stein Mart and Pier 1 Imports; Walgreens and McDonalds are on outparcels.
     Gallina Centro is owned by a Phoenix-based real estate investment trust (REIT) called Cole Credit Property Trust II Inc., which owns several Memphis Walgreens locations. Cole Credit Property Trust II, a division of Cole Cos., bought the center last March for $17.8 million under the name Cole MT Collierville TN LLC.

Council Gets Look At Bass Pro Proposal

     Memphis City Council members at today's meeting are to get their first detailed look at the tentative agreement to build a Bass Pro Shops retail store in The Pyramid.
     The terms worked out between Bass Pro executives and city Housing and Community Development Director Robert Lipscomb on the Jan. 31 deadline is not the binding agreement some council members had hoped for. But other council members say enough is there, given the company's stability, to build on. Still other council members predicted the terms worked out between Lipscomb and Bass Pro would change in the intervening two and a half weeks.
     They have. The original agreement would have given Bass Pro a year and a half to come up with design plans. Lipscomb since has said the option for an additional six months after the year-long planning period is no longer part of the terms.
     Council members also are expected to vote on an ordinance prohibiting children under the age of 18 from soliciting money from drivers while standing in roads or on medians. The ordinance is expected to have the support of all council members.
     The meeting begins at 3:30 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall, 125 N. Main St.

Bookstore Owner Joins Strip Club Legal Fight

     The owner of two adult-oriented bookstores has joined the owners of seven Memphis strip clubs in taking both the city and county governments to court over a new county ordinance regulating activity in the clubs and other adult businesses.
     East Brooks Books Inc., which operates the Getwell Bookmart at 1275 Getwell Road and the Airport Adult Theatre at 2114 E. Brooks Road, filed a complaint Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee that asks for an injunction to stop enforcement of the county ordinance, according to The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com.
     The ordinance forbids serving or having beer and other alcoholic beverages in the clubs. It also requires workers and owners to clear a criminal background check in getting a permit to own or work in the clubs. The ordinance is based on a state law and it applies not only to the county but the city of Memphis, where all of the county's strip clubs are.
     Because the Memphis City Council opted not to pass its own ordinance by the first of this year, the county ordinance applies to the city.
     The strip club owners filed their own version of the same suit in January.
     The original suit claims the new ordinance violates their First and 14th Amendment rights to freedom of speech and equal protection, respectively. It also questions whether the ordinance approved by the Shelby County Board of Commissioners last year can apply to the city of Memphis in the absence of City Council approval.

Another Foreclosure Notice Filed Against Alexander

     A first-run foreclosure notice appears on Page 30 of today's Daily News against Charles Alexander, who has seen more than 20 foreclosure notices filed against his properties in the past week.
     The property facing foreclosure is lot 27 in F.P. McDonald's Lake Subdivision, or 3007 Waverly Ave. The property was mortgaged in June 2005.
     U.S. Bank National Association is the owner and holder of the debt. The property is scheduled for sale March 13 at noon at the southwest Adams Avenue entrance of the Shelby County Courthouse.
     The property is subject to a tax lien filed by the Internal Revenue Service in October 2006 for $1,247.10. Oakland Deposit Bank is listed as a subordinate lienholder.
     Attempts to reach Alexander at several phone numbers have been unsuccessful.
     For details and the full text of the foreclosure notices filed against Alexander recently, visit www.memphisdailynews.com.

Roberson Reappointed To TN Regulatory Authority

     Tennessee Regulatory Authority chairman Eddie Roberson has been reappointed by Gov. Phil Bredesen to the four-member regulatory body.
     The TRA sets rates and service standards for privately owned utilities including information technology.
     Roberson, who was first appointed to the TRA in May 2006, is one of two recent appointees.
     Bredesen also appointed Mary W. Freeman, his legislative director and a Memphis native, to replace Ron Jones on the body. Freeman is the first black woman to serve on the TRA, which took up many of the duties of the old Public Service Commission in the mid-1990s. The position Freeman will take starting July 1 is a joint appointment among Bredesen, House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh and Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey.
     Roberson and Freeman join Memphian Sara Kyle and Tre Hargett of Bartlett on the TRA.
     Among the items on the TRA's agenda is an investigation of the proposed sale of the fiber optics company Memphis Networx by Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division to Communications Infrastructure Investments of Louisville, Colo.

Bredesen Wants Changes To DUI Law

     Gov. Phil Bredesen already has laid out his top priorities for the current legislative session. But he has many more ideas contained on a complete list of his agenda.
     The 79 proposals include immediately revoking licenses for anyone arrested for drunken driving, a reshuffling of the state veterans' homes board and allowing the state to sell confiscated liquor in online auctions.
     Other administration bills would: Make murdering a probation or parole officer a capital crime; allow TBI agents to make traffic stops while in pursuit of suspects; create environmental rules for rock harvesting; and require people charged with most felonies to give up their handgun carry permits pending the completion of their criminal cases.

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