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VOL. 123 | NO. 58 | Monday, March 24, 2008

Daily Digest

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Cordova Retail Center Fetches $55.2 Million

     The Countrywood Crossing shopping center on Germantown Parkway in Cordova sold last week to an out-of-town real estate investor for $55.2 million in three separate transactions involving the property's strip centers and outparcels. The deals closed March 17.
     The buyer, Countrywood 1031 LLC, is a locally based limited liability affiliate of Inland Real Estate Exchange Corp., an entity of Oak Brook, Ill.-based real estate investment trust (REIT) Inland Real Estate Group of Companies Inc.
     The multi-building retail center sits on close to 60 acres at the intersection of Germantown Parkway and Market Plaza Drive. Tenants include Gordmans department store, Dick's Sporting Goods, Shoe Carnival, Ulta cosmetics store, Ross Dress for Less and Kirkland's Home, a home accessory store.
     The shopping center was built by Round Rock, Texas-based StoneCrest Investors LLC, whose owners, Brad Smith and Greg Herman, formerly worked in Memphis for Weston Cos.
     Countrywood Crossing's myriad selling entities, which each held different portions of Countrywood Crossing, include GRH Glenwood LLC, MRH Venture Capital LLC, Stephens Holdings LLC, Memtex Development No. 1 LLC, Ryan Family Ventures LLC, Smith Family Ventures III LLC, Herman Family Ventures III LLC, Ryan Family Ventures III LLC, Smith Family Lot 5 LLC, Herman Family Lot 5 LLC and Ryan Family Ventures II LLC.
     The transactions were financed with a $36.8 million loan through RBS Citizens NA doing business as Charter One. A 1031 exchange is a transaction in which an investor defers capital gains taxes from a real estate sale by reinvesting the money into another property.
     Attempts to reach the buying and selling parties were unsuccessful.

Operation Safe Community Holds Safe City Briefing

     An Operation Safe Community progress briefing will be held Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at FedExForum.
     It's been more than a year since OSC revealed its goal to make Memphis and Shelby County one of the safest communities of its size by 2011.
     At the event, OSC partners will provide a briefing on 2007 progress, the next steps for 2008 and how the OSC plan for public safety is playing a critical role in economic growth as part of Memphis Fast Forward.
     OSC partners include Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton, Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr., Shelby County District Attorney General Bill Gibbons and the University of Memphis Center for Community Criminology and Research.

State Unemployment Rate Up Slightly From January

     The state's unemployment rate for February was 5.3 percent, up .4 percentage point from the January rate of 4.5 percent, according to the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development.
     In February 2007, the unemployment rate was 4.5 percent.
     The national unemployment rate for February was 4.8 percent, down from the January national rate of 4.9 percent.
     January to February declines occurred in retail trade employment, which was down 2,800. Financial activities employment lost 700 jobs and hospital employment lost 400 jobs.
     Employment gains took place in state government educational services employment, which increased by 3,400; educational and health services employment ,which increased by 2,800; and transportation, which increased by 1,900.

Justin Timberlake Makes Local Donations

     Memphis-area native and pop star Justin Timberlake has made two separate donations of $100,000 each to the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum and to the Memphis Music Foundation.
     Timberlake is in Memphis working on the independent movie "The Open Road."
     He presented the money last week to Rock 'n' Soul Museum executive director John Doyle, museum board chairman Joel Hobson and Dean Deyo, president of the Music Foundation.
     Doyle said the museum would use the money to "further achieve its mission of telling the story of Memphis music and perpetuating its legacy" as well as to advance music education for students throughout Shelby County.
     "The Memphis Music Foundation is extremely grateful to Justin for his generosity and for his continued commitment to the advancement of Memphis' great musical legacy worldwide," Deyo said. "He is a great role model for students and a great musical ambassador for our city."

Joel Osteen Brings 'Voice of Hope' to Memphis

     A television evangelist who's known for his ever-present smile and the positive messages he preaches is bringing his "voice of hope" to Memphis.
     Joel Osteen, senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, will host "A Night of Hope" April 6 at 7:30 p.m. at FedExForum.
     Osteen and his wife, Victoria, have been touring since 2004, but this is their first visit to Memphis. Memphis is just one of about 20 cities where the Lakewood Church family plans to hold their workshop.
     Osteen said his wife, children, siblings and mother also will participate in the event.
     Osteen took over Lakewood Church in early 2000 after the death of his father, who was leader of the church at the time.
     Tickets cost $15 and are available at the FedExForum box office or Ticketmaster outlets.

Open Records Office Establishes Web Site

     A new statewide open records office has set up a Web site and a phone number to serve as an outlet for citizens who need access to government records or similar aid.
     Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury John Morgan said the Web site, www.comptroller.state.tn.us/openrecords/index.htm, will include background on the new state office, advisory opinions it produces and contact information for citizens to use in determining where to submit open records requests and questions. Citizens also may call 866-831-3750.
     The new open records office is part of the state comptroller's office.

St. Jude Awarded Grant For Biochemistry Research

     St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has been awarded a $322,438 grant for biochemistry research.
     The grant was awarded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, part of the Department of Health and Human Services.
     The grant will fund Dr. Janet F. Partridge, an assistant member of the Department of Biochemistry, in her research in the establishment of heterochromatin, or tightly packaged DNA. Partridge has been studying the formation of heterochromatin and how it contributes to cancer and Down syndrome.
     Partridge's research has revealed the processes by which human cells divide and replicate. With the grant, she will be able to continue her research and learn more about preventing problems such as miscarriages, cancer and Down syndrome, which are prevalent in people who have had errors in the division of their DNA cells.
PROPERTY SALES 103 137 4,008
MORTGAGES 84 131 4,521
BUILDING PERMITS 178 368 9,636
BANKRUPTCIES 50 110 2,995