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VOL. 123 | NO. 128 | Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Daily Digest

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Louisville Company Buys Apartment Complex for $41M

NTS Realty Holdings LP of Louisville, Ky., has bought the Colonial Grand at Shelby Farms apartment complex for $41 million. The transaction occurred in two separate warranty deeds – one for $25.2 million and one for $15.8 million – with an NTS Realty Holdings entity called Shelby Farms Apartments LLC acting as buyer.

Both sales closed Friday upon completion of due diligence on the property and about two weeks after NTS Realty Holdings announced its acquisition intent.

The company bought the apartment complex, at 536 Shelby Grove Drive, from Colonial Realty LP and Colonial Properties Services Inc., entities affiliated with Birmingham, Ala.-based Colonial Properties Trust. The property also was quitclaimed, or transferred, from the sellers to the buyer.

In conjunction with the sale, Shelby Farms Apartments took out two loans totaling $27.8 million from Colonial Properties Services. The deal also included an assignment of rents and leases.

Colonial Grand at Shelby Farms was built in 1998 and renovated in 2006. It has 450 apartments, with about 150 of those built during last year’s Phase II.

The sale carries the second highest price tag among all commercial real estate deals in Shelby County to date in 2008, following only the Countrywood Crossing portfolio, which fetched $55 million in March.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports


Council to Discuss Police Residency Requirement

The Memphis City Council today will vote on a new residency requirement for the Memphis Police Department.

The proposal by council member Harold Collins would permit the department to hire officers who live outside of Shelby County. But it would require those officers to have $1,200 a year deducted from their paychecks as a way of making up for the city property taxes they wouldn’t pay by living outside Memphis.

Since taking office in January, the council has debated various proposals to recruit more police officers and bring the force up to 2,500. The force is now at just more than 2,000.

Some council members argue the city should be able to hire people who meet qualifications regardless of where they live. Other council members say Memphis should be policed by Memphians or at least by Shelby Countians.

Also on the agenda are the appointments of Henry Brenner and former council member Dedrick Brittenum to the Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division board.


Wharton Makes Appearance At Chism Event

Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr. was among the Democratic elected officials making an appearance at Shelby County Board of Commissioners member Sidney Chism’s annual pre-Fourth of July gathering.

The Saturday event off Horn Lake Road in Southwest Memphis has become the successor to the old St. Peter’s picnic in Midtown for campaign signage and literature as well as local political culture in general.

Candidates on the Aug. 7 ballot were well-represented, but Wharton had a key spot just inside the entrance where his campaign logo from his 2002 and 2006 campaigns was displayed prominently, albeit without any mention of an office. And Wharton supporters were handing out a card with a photo of Wharton sitting at a desk with his head down and pen in hand tending to his official duties. The caption was “A C Still Working.” The other side of the card was a recap of accomplishments during his six years in office.

Wharton worked the crowd at the picnic with several assistants accompanying him and handing out the cards.

He denied any specific political motives when asked if the cards meant he was still running as well as still working.

“It’s a report card. I’ve been keeping such a low profile I want to let them know that I’m still working,” Wharton told The Daily News. “People are entitled to know that I’m still working. I’m their hired hand and you have to let people know what you’re doing. That’s all that is.”

Wharton is serving his second consecutive term as county mayor and is prevented by term limits from serving a third consecutive term in that office. Even if a charter amendment to expand the term limits to three consecutive terms is approved by voters in August, Wharton and those currently on the County Commission are not included in the expansion.


Ford Trial in Nashville Again Delayed

A Nashville public corruption trial of former state Sen. John Ford has been delayed a second time in as many weeks.

Jury selection was set to begin Monday morning, but attorneys said Ford’s defense lawyer, Assistant Public Defender Isaiah Gant, was admitted to a Nashville hospital.

WMC-TV reported on its Web site that Gant underwent surgery Sunday after an inflamed finger didn’t respond to antibiotics.

U.S. District Court Judge Todd Campbell delayed jury selection until today.

Ford is accused of taking $800,000 in consultant payments from TennCare contractors to promote those private companies’ interests while he held elected office.

Jury selection was originally to have begun June 24, but Gant accused prosecutors of not turning over documents relating to grand jury testimony until June 20.


Utility Assistance Program Discontinued Starting Today

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton’s office late last week released information about the city’s decision to put an end to the City of Memphis Utility Assistance Program in the fiscal year that begins today.

In a brief statement, the mayor’s office said the program will not be funded in the new fiscal year. The city will, however, continue providing assistance to social service agencies.

Herenton had announced the new utility assistance plan in April, a $2.5 million program intended to help low-income Memphians pay their power bills.


Luminetx, Novation Sign Supplier Contract

Luminetx Corp. has signed a three-year supplier contract with Novation, a heath care group purchasing organization.

Novation is the health care contracting services company of VHA Inc., University Health System Consortium and Provista LLC.

Through the Luminetx/Novation deal, Novation’s member base of more than 14,500 can access custom Novation group purchasing discounts as they relate to Luminetx’s signature product, the VeinViewer.

The VeinViewer allows health care professionals to clearly see accessible veins in real time. The product limits the number of “sticks” a patient must endure, making the procedure easier on both the doctor and patient.

Through its affiliations with VHA, UHC and Provista, Novation represents 44 percent of the staffed beds in the U.S., 49 percent of the nation’s hospital admissions and 52 percent of the surgeries in the country.


State Impact Uncertain From Tripling Cigarette Tax

Officials are still assessing the impact of the tripling of Tennessee’s cigarette tax as some smokers have begun buying in other states to save money.

Tennessee’s cigarette tax increased July 1, 2007, in a move intended to help fund a half-billion dollar plan to improve public schools. Now the tax is higher than that of eight neighboring states.

Three months later, the state also launched a ban on smoking in offices, restaurants and other public places and limited smoking to adult-only businesses, such as bars or smoking lounges.

Tennessee ranks No. 5 nationally in tobacco use at 24.3 percent, behind Kentucky (28.2 percent), West Virginia (26.9 percent), Oklahoma (25.8 percent) and Missouri (24.5 percent), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention records show.

“We call it the ‘Tennessee trifecta,’” said Pete Fisher, vice president for state issues at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, an anti-smoking advocacy group in Washington. “For a tobacco-growing state that still has one of the highest smoking rates in the country, the increase in cigarette taxes, smoking restrictions and anti-smoking education coming in the same year is truly historic.”

While the higher tobacco tax has more than doubled revenues from smokers, the extra levy generated $62.3 million less in its first 10 months than predicted. That contributed to Gov. Phil Bredesen announcing plans to cut more than 2,300 state government jobs this summer.


Muvico to Close Peabody Place Theater

After almost 10 years in operation, the Muvico theater Downtown in Peabody Place Retail & Entertainment Center reportedly will close its doors after this weekend.

Former and current employees of the cinema chain told The Daily News the theater will close Monday and that Sunday will be the theater’s last day ofbusiness. Calls to Muvico’s corporate headquarters were not returned.

The theater’s closure puts the Peabody Place mall closer toward a major repositioning that Belz Enterprises Inc. reportedly is planning, one that includes carving new hotel suites and a lobby, among other things, out of existing space at Peabody Place.


RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 133 1,342
MORTGAGES 0 131 1,047
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 20 39 190
BUILDING PERMITS 0 305 3,056
BANKRUPTCIES 17 135 753
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 53 329
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0