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VOL. 123 | NO. 99 | Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Financing in Place For Towne Center at Soulsville

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915 E. McLemore Ave.
Memphis, TN 38106
Loan Amounts: $5.8 million; $1.5 million; $1.5 million

Loan Dates: May 5, 2008

Maturity Dates: N/A

Borrower: New Towne Center Inc.

Lenders: Wachovia Community Development Enterprises V LLC ($5.8 million and $1.5 million); U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration ($1.5 million)

Details: Financing has been secured for Towne Center at Soulsville, an $11.5 million redevelopment of the land across from the Stax Museum of American Soul Music in South Memphis. The LeMoyne-Owen College Community Development Corp. (LOC-CDC), operating as New Towne Center Inc., took out three loans totaling $8.8 million, with the rest of the project cost coming from grants.

Towne Center at Soulsville is a lifestyle center with 77,000 square feet of mixed-use space, including a grocery store, shoe and clothing stores, post office, beauty salon, environmental court, full-service restaurant, food court and office space. LOC-DOC is still looking for a commitment from a bank or credit union, as well as a place for children. Also, the project will include 13 single-family, market-value homes called the Villas at Soulsville. Towne Center at Soulsville will begin with the razing of a barber shop and grocery store at Neptune Street and McLemore Avenue.

“We’ve got a couple of buildings we’ve got to get knocked down, but all the money’s in the bank and we are ready to rock and roll,” said Jeffrey Higgs, LOC-CDC’s executive director.

The center is projected to open May 2009. Self Tucker Architects Inc. is architect; the contractor has not been chosen.

12140 Donelson Farms Parkway

Arlington, TN 38002

Permit Amount: $1 million

Project Cost: $14 million

Permit Date: Applied May 2008

Completion: Summer 2009

Owner: Shelby County Schools

Tenant: Shelby County Schools

Architect: Bounds and Gillespie Architects PLLC

Contractor: TBA

Details: Shelby County Schools has filed application to build a new elementary school in Arlington. The new school, designed to hold about 1,000 students, is a direct result of overcrowding at Arlington and Lakeland elementary schools, said Richard Holden, chief of operations for the school district.

Bidding for the construction contract opens May 28, with construction set to begin July 1 and completion scheduled for next summer in time for the 2009-10 school year. The school will feed into Arlington Middle. The school board will handle naming of the school once its attendance boundaries are established, but “the public will be involved in suggesting names for the school,” Holden said. The $14 million price tag includes land, design, construction, furniture, fixtures and equipment. A new Arlington school was in the works for almost five years, but it was delayed by a court-ordered desegregation plan.

Lot on Wolf Trail Cove

Germantown, TN 38138

Loan Amount: $2.7 million

Loan Date: May 8, 2008

Maturity Date: N/A

Borrower: Wolf Trail Medical Partners

Lender: Merchants and Farmers Bank

Details: Wolf Trail Medical Partners will build a two-story, 10,800-square-foot medical building in the Blair James Commercial Subdivision on Wolf Trail Cove in Germantown. The building will be a duplicate of the company’s first medical office in the development, which is 100 percent leased by a single tenant. The property is just off Germantown Parkway, a block north of Wolf River Boulevard. The new building will be next to the existing one, fronting Wolf Trail Cove and visible from Germantown Parkway. Wolf Trail Medical Partners is looking for a single user or multiple tenants for the new building, which should be finished around September with move-in scheduled for October.

Mark C. Johnson Commercial Realty is handling the leasing of the building. Grinder Haizlip Construction Co. Inc. is the general contractor and JBHM Architects is the building’s architect.

912 Ridge Lake Blvd.

Memphis, TN 38120

Permit Amount: $2.2 million

Project Cost: N/A

Permit Date: Applied May 2008

Completion: TBA

Owner: Benihana Inc.

Tenant: Benihana Inc.

Architect: WD Partners

Contractor: TBA

Details: Miami-based Benihana Inc. will rebuild its East Memphis restaurant that burned down in February, a company spokesperson confirmed last week. The new Benihana will be in the same spot where it opened 29 years ago.

“It’s always been our intent to rebuild,” said Jeannie Means, senior director of marketing for Benihana. “Memphis is an important market for us. We’ve been there for almost 30 years. We have 70 employees that are waiting to come back and we’re anxious to welcome them back.”

The 8,000-square-foot restaurant destroyed by fire had been renovated two years ago as part of the company’s “Next Benihana” design, which entailed a contemporary Japanese look and feel. The new restaurant is expected to be built with the same look. Means said the completion date is unknown until the building permit is issued.

PROPERTY SALES 85 205 21,165
MORTGAGES 76 206 24,338
BANKRUPTCIES 46 90 13,558