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VOL. 123 | NO. 41 | Thursday, February 28, 2008

Daily Digest

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Covington Way Warehouse Sells for $550,000

     An 11,000-square-foot, flex-space warehouse at 5065 Covington Way has sold to a Pennsylvania limited partnership for $550,000. Rodino LP bought the property from CP Perimeter Point LLC, with the deal closing last week.
     The warehouse sits on 1.07 acres at the southeast corner of Covington Way and Covington Pike. The Shelby County Assessor's 2007 appraisal was $306,500.
     CP Perimeter Point bought the property and an adjacent building at 5055 Covington Way in June 2006 for $500,000.
     The buying company shares an address in King of Prussia, Pa., with Maaco Enterprises Inc., an auto painting and auto body repair chain with one Memphis location at 5653 Mt. Moriah Road. A Maaco spokesman said she had no knowledge of a new location on Covington Way and that if something is in the works, it's in the very early stages.

Deutsche Bank Heads January Seller List

     Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. - a division of Frankfurt, Germany-based Deutsche Bank AG - was Shelby County's top residential home seller for January in terms of dollar amount, according to the latest data from real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.
     Deutsche Bank sold 62 homes in the month - a 29.2 percent rise from the 48 it sold in January 2007 - for a total of $4.3 million. Its average sales amount was $70,122.
     The increase occurred because the organization acted as the trustee for numerous securitization trusts and, in some cases, as custodians for mortgage documents, said Deutsche Bank spokesman John Gallagher.
     The company's large number of sales stemmed primarily from Shelby County's rise in foreclosures during the past year, a growing trend in the latter half of 2007.
     There were 529 residential sales for the month averaging $163,852 and totaling $86.7 million, an increase from the 350 totaling $41.5 million in January 2007.
     Deutsche Bank was followed in dollar amount by U.S. Bank NA with 50 sales totaling $3.9 million; Housing and Urban Development with 67 sales totaling $3.4 million; Kevin and Sharon Kimery with one sale totaling $2.1 million; and Chamberlain & McCreery Inc. with eight sales totaling $2 million.
     HUD's 67 sales led the county for the month, followed by Deutsche Bank's 62, U.S. Bank's 50, Wells Fargo NA with 35 and Bank of New York Trust Co. with 26.
     On the commercial side, the trend was numerous companies selling at least one property - but not much more than that. Of the 99 entities that made a sale, only five sold more than one.
     The top commercial seller in terms of dollar amount was Fair Oak LLC, which notched two sales totaling $17.7 million. The company recently sold Poplar Place Townhomes and Collier Village apartments.
     Ty Investments LLC had the highest number of sales with three totaling $1.1 million.
     All told, there were 105 commercial sales in January averaging $1.3 million and totaling $137.4 million.

Complaint Filed Over Police, Union Talks

     Contract talks between the city of Memphis and the Memphis Police Association began this month without the president of the police union. In light of that, the MPA and its president, Lt. Gene Hulley, filed a complaint this week in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, according to The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com.
     The suit was filed over the continuing dispute with Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin and the city of Memphis.
     Hulley and the union are seeking compensatory and punitive damages and a temporary injunction allowing Hulley to participate in the contract talks.
     Hulley was elected president of the union in November, marking the third time in the MPA's 35-year history that a lieutenant has served in the post.
     But Godwin announced in December that he had not given nor had Hulley sought permission to serve in the post. Godwin said in a December information bulletin that "members of management will not hold an elected office" with the union because those ranked lieutenant and higher "are not covered by this agreement."
     Godwin also pointed out that the two other union presidents who wore silver bars had sought and been granted permission from previous police directors before they were elected union leaders.
     Hulley took office as leader of the union in January despite Godwin's ultimatum to take a demotion to sergeant or give up the union post.
     According to the lawsuit filed Monday, Hulley showed up for a working lunch with city leaders in February designed to set the stage for upcoming labor negotiations with the MPA and other unions representing city employees. At the luncheon, he was ordered to leave by Deputy Chief Jim Tusant.
     Police contract negotiations opened last week and Hulley attended as an observer. But the city took the position that Hulley couldn't meet with the union's negotiating team when it caucused in private "and he could not have any involvement in the negotiation process."
     Hulley and the union claim the city's actions have violated their Constitutional rights to free speech and assembly and the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.
     No date has been set for a hearing on the request for a temporary injunction.

Three Foreclosures Filed Against Patricia Alexander

     Three first-run foreclosure notices for properties owned by Patricia M. Alexander appear beginning on Page 38 of today's Daily News. She is the wife of Charles Alexander, who has seen more than 25 foreclosure notices filed on his properties in the past two weeks.
     The properties facing foreclosure are 3009 Crystal Ave., 524 E. Olive Ave. and 1006 Oakview St. All three properties were mortgaged on Sept. 27, 2001. Washington Mutual Bank is the owner and holder of the debts.
     The Oakview Street and East Olive Avenue locations are slated for foreclosure sale March 20 at noon at the southwest Adams Avenue entrance of the Shelby County Courthouse. The Crystal Avenue property is scheduled for sale March 27 at the same location.
     For more information on the Alexanders and previous foreclosure notices filed against them, visit www.memphisdailynews.com.

CCHS Receives Grant For Frayser Center

     Christ Community Health Services (CCHS) has received a community enhancement grant for $16,300 for its Frayser Health Center.
     The grant will help provide new equipment and supplies that will be used for women's health. A new Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure instrument, which diagnoses and removes abnormal tissue from the cervix, will be bought using the grant money.
     CCHS was founded in 1995 as a nonprofit, Christian-based organization focusing on the fulfillment of the emotional, physical and spiritual needs of underprivileged, medically underserved populations of Memphis.

FedEx Employees can Sue Over Age Bias, Court Says

     The Supreme Court decided Wednesday that employees who claim job discrimination should not suffer because of mistakes made by the federal agency charged with investigating their allegations.
     The 7-2 ruling allows an age discrimination lawsuit to proceed against Memphis-based FedEx Corp.
     The majority opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy is critical of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which failed to notify FedEx that 14 employees had filed a complaint. Companies must be told about complaints before discrimination lawsuits can be filed.
     As a result of the EEOC's failure to notify, the two sides lost the benefit to engage in an informal dispute resolution process.
     The lower court that will now hear the case "can attempt to remedy this deficiency" by allowing for conciliation and possible settlement, Kennedy wrote.
     In dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas said the majority of the court is effectively absolving the EEOC of its obligation to administer the law correctly. Thomas, who led the EEOC in the 1980s, was joined by Justice Antonin Scalia.
     The EEOC has acknowledged it erred in this case, and others, and has said it has tightened its procedures to avoid similar mistakes in the future.
     Federal law requires plaintiffs to file a complaint with the EEOC and wait 60 days before they sue an employer. The law is intended to give the EEOC the opportunity to notify the company accused of discrimination, investigate the charges and seek to resolve them before a suit is filed.
     The FedEx employees said FedEx courier Patricia Kennedy filed a form with the EEOC in December 2001 that included the information necessary to comply with that law and that the suit she and her colleagues filed in April 2002 should be allowed to proceed.
     A district court dismissed the case, but the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, based in New York City, ruled in March 2006 that the case should be allowed to proceed. The court found that the EEOC's failure to follow through on Kennedy's complaint and notify FedEx should not preclude the plaintiffs' right to sue.
PROPERTY SALES 124 481 17,865
MORTGAGES 127 530 20,565
BUILDING PERMITS 195 891 36,836
BANKRUPTCIES 52 262 11,426