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VOL. 123 | NO. 16 | Thursday, January 24, 2008

Daily Digest

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Bartlett Bank Site Sells For $2.9 Million

     A bank property on U.S. 64 leased to FirstBank has sold to a Charlotte, N.C., investment company for $2.9 million. Bayrock Freedom LLC, an affiliate of Bayrock Investment Co., bought the property at 8398 U.S. 64 in Bartlett from Getwell Partners - Hwy 64 Realty Investment Co.
     The purchase includes about an acre of land with a 4,372-square-foot bank building built in 2000 and currently leased to FirstBank. The site is on the north side of U.S. 64 west of New Brunswick Road on an outparcel to Wal-Mart Supercenter.
     The Shelby County Assessor's 2007 appraisal was $1.1 million. The seller, Getwell Partners - Hwy 64 Realty Investment Co., bought the property in September 2006 from Trustmark Bank for $1.8 million.
     Bayrock bought the site for investment purposes and no changes are planned, said asset manager Matt Bogdovitz.
     The company's holdings are largely in medical office buildings, retail sites and financial offices, Bogdovitz said, adding the company has multiple holdings in Tennessee but no others in Memphis.
     Bayrock, which was started in 1973, liked the Bartlett site because of "great demographics," Bogdovitz said.

City Directors Confirmed by Council

     All 13 city division directors and city Chief Administrative Officer Keith McGee were confirmed Tuesday by the Memphis City Council. The slate was nominated by Mayor Willie Herenton at the start of his fifth term of office.
     All but one of the nominees received a unanimous vote. The exception was City Engineer Wain Gaskins who squeaked by on a 7-6 council vote.
     Gaskins is at odds with several council members over the need for a traffic light at Third Street and Holmes Road in South Memphis. Gaskins has said there is a need for turning lanes at the dangerous intersection. But he hasn't committed to the traffic light, saying only that it will be looked at again.
     For years, the traffic light was a sore spot for former council member Edmund Ford. His son, current council member Edmund Ford Jr., said Tuesday he was "concerned and sort of disappointed" at Gaskins' response.
     Council member Shea Flinn, who, along with council member Reid Hedgepeth, produced a video of the dangerous intersection to make the point, said he was concerned with Gaskins' continual response of, "We'll get back to you." All three were among the six no votes against Gaskins.
     There will be some changes in the year ahead for the city engineer's office as well as the county engineer's office, according to Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr. He told the Sales and Marketing Society of the Mid-South earlier this month, "We're going to be combining our engineering functions. When I took office ... we had a lot of area that was undeveloped. We're pretty well-developed now. So, we're going to contract with the city of Memphis for the engineering function."

Buckeye to Cut Staff, Offers Q2 View

     Buckeye Technologies Inc., a specialty fibers maker, said it will cut 20 to 25 staffers at a plant in British Columbia due to a stronger Canadian dollar and high transportation costs.
     However, Buckeye added it expects fiscal second-quarter earnings to more than triple from a year ago.
     Buckeye said it will cut 20 to 25 employees at its plant near Vancouver due to the loss of some business from an undisclosed, longtime customer.
     Meanwhile, the company expects second-quarter net income between 34 cents and 36 cents per share on 14 percent higher revenue, up from 10 cents per share a year earlier.
     That is greater than analysts' expectations of 30 cents per share, according to a Thomson Financial poll.
     Results were helped by higher pricing, higher wood volume and cost cutting, the company said.

Davidson Hotel Names Clayton Senior VP for Administration

     Davidson Hotel Co. has named Robert J. Clayton to its senior vice president of human resources and administration post. Clayton will oversee the development of systems for recruiting, training and retaining employees, compensation and benefit packages,
     legal compliance and associate relations packages.
     Clayton has worked in human resources for 20 years. Most recently, he was the vice president of human resources for OfficeMax Inc.
     He has a bachelor's degree in marketing and a master's of business administration in marketing and finance from Wayne State University in Michigan. Clayton is also an adjunct professor at Roosevelt University in Chicago.
     Memphis-based Davidson Hotel Co. is one of the country's 10 largest independent hotel management companies. It currently owns and operates 30 upscale hotels with approximately 8,000 rooms across the U.S. The brands
     include Westin, Sheraton, Hyatt, Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Embassy Suites, Doubletree, Marriott, Renaissance, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn.

Terminix Receives QualityPro Designation

     Terminix, the Memphis-based pest control company, has earned what is regarded as the industry's "mark of excellence," one that less than 2 percent of the nation's pest control companies attain.
     The award Terminix recently received is the QualityPro designation from the National Pest Management Association. The NPMA has
     5,000 member organizations, and the QualityPro designation is designed to enhance consumer confidence in pest management professionals.
     Terminix, a division of The ServiceMaster Co., serves more than 2 million customers in 46 states and 14 countries.

House Leaders, Paulson Negotiate on Stimulus Bill

     Top House leaders and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Wednesday tallied the cost of measures to jolt the economy out of its slump as the three sought a swift bipartisan deal on a recovery package that could move through Congress within weeks.
     House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, are taking the lead in Capitol Hill negotiations, with the centerpiece of the measure expected to be a tax rebate similar to, but bigger than, the $300 to $600 checks sent out in the summer of 2001. The two huddled for a lengthy working breakfast at the Capitol with Paulson, President Bush's point man on the package.
     "We looked at a lot of different options," Boehner told reporters, adding that the threesome reached "no conclusions or agreements." He said it would "require a great leap of faith" from both parties to find common ground.
     Senior lawmakers in both parties met Tuesday with Bush, who has proposed a stimulus plan worth about $150 billion. Combined with Iraq war costs and decreasing corporate tax revenues because of the economic slump, a package that size would more than double last year's deficit spending of $163 billion, according to new congressional budget estimates.
     Bush expressed optimism that his administration can reach quick agreement with Congress.
     "I believe we can find common ground to get something done that's big enough, effective enough so that an economy that is inherently strong gets a boost - to make sure that this uncertainty doesn't translate into more economic woes for our workers and small-business people," Bush said.
     Perhaps the most important obstacle to overcome is differences of opinion over who should receive rebate checks. Democrats want to deliver help to low-income workers who may not pay income taxes because they make too little or benefit from tax credits such as the child tax credit.
     Thus far, talks have focused on setting the parameters of a bill combining rebates with GOP-sought tax breaks for businesses, as well as Democratic-backed help for the unemployed and those on food stamps.

This report compiled by Rosalind Guy with contributions from reporters Bill Dries and Andy Meek, research analyst Kate Simone, editorial assistant Rebekah Hearn and The Associated Press.
PROPERTY SALES 140 207 19,653
MORTGAGES 128 196 22,629
BUILDING PERMITS 166 367 40,371
BANKRUPTCIES 40 102 12,588