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VOL. 123 | NO. 180 | Monday, September 15, 2008

Daily Digest

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Value Place Portfolio Sells for $12.2 Million

A group of investors has paid $12.2 million for a portfolio that includes two Value Place hotels – one at 7060 Riverdale Bend Road in Southeast Memphis and one at 5787 Shelby Oaks Drive in Northeast Memphis.

The buyers and their ownership percentage are as follows: Triterra Investment Portfolio I LLC (37.74 percent); True Capital Partners I LLC (18.87 percent); Russ Taplin Memphis LLC (28.77 percent); Sherman Memphis VP LLC (5.65 percent); and Cortona 2008 LLC (8.97 percent).

The hotels are now operated by Mill Valley, Calif.-based Terrapin Investment Management. That company’s principal, Anthony Jon “Tony” Sherman, also signed as manager for each of the buying entities. Calls to Sherman for comment on the acquisitions were not returned by press time.

The seller was VP Partners 3 LLC and VP Partners 5 LLC, local entities related to Fort Smith, Ark.-based Whitt Properties, a real estate development company that builds Value Place hotels.

The Riverdale Bend Road Value Place hotel sits on roughly two acres near Riverdale Road and Tenn. 385. The 45,100-square-foot hotel was built in 2006. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2008 appraisal is $3.2 million.

The Shelby Oaks Drive property sits on 1.46 acres near Sycamore View Road and Interstate 40. Hotel specs and the most recent appraisal were not available on the Assessor’s Web site.

The purchase was financed by an $8.3 million loan through Farmers Insurance Group Federal Credit Union.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

Grizzlies’ Mayo Buys Southwind Home

Memphis Grizzlies rookie Ovinton J’Anthony “O.J.” Mayo has bought a home on East Golf Walk Circle in Southwind, according to The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com. Mayo paid $755,000 for the 5,242-square-foot home, which sits on 0.47 acres and was built in 2000. He financed it with a $566,250 loan from First Republic Bank.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2008 appraisal is $691,500. The sellers were Robert V. and Linda D. Davis, who paid $675,000 for the home in 2002.

Retail Sales Fall Short Of Expectations

Frugal shoppers cut back again in August, driving down sales at the nation’s retailers for the second month in a row, further proof the economy is losing traction.

The Commerce Department reported Friday that retail sales dropped by 0.9 percent last month. Economists expected sales to rise by 0.3 percent.

Sales in July also turned out to be even weaker than previously thought, falling by 0.5 percent, the worst showing in five months.

Stripping out auto sales, which were strong in August, sales at all other merchants fell by 0.7 percent, the worst showing since December. That figure also was sure to disappoint economists, who were calling for a smaller, 0.2 percent dip.

Cutbacks were widespread.

Sales fell at electronics and appliance stores, clothing shops, building and garden stores, and department stores. Gasoline sales also dipped as prices retreated. Sales at furniture and home furnishing stores were flat. Those losses swamped gains elsewhere, including auto dealers, sporting goods, books and music stores, grocery stores and health and beauty shops.

Removing sales at gasoline stations, all other sales would have been flat in August.

Many stores recently reported weak sales for August. The few bright spots: Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, and Costco Wholesale Corp., where shoppers focused on low prices.

Even the recent drop in gasoline prices, which reached a record high in mid-July of above $4 a gallon, didn’t entice shoppers to splurge last month. Prices still remain high and costs for many other things are going up, taking a bite out of paychecks.

Many analysts predict shoppers will lose steam in the months ahead, slowing overall economic activity.

Economic growth clocked in at a brisk 3.3 percent pace in the spring, thanks to strong exports and more spending at home as the government’s tax rebates motivated shoppers. However, growth in the current July-September quarter could slow to a 1.3 percent pace, according to some projections.

Tenn. to Offer Health Coverage To Unemployed

Gov. Phil Bredesen said the state now will offer its Cover Tennessee health coverage program to unemployed and underemployed workers.

The new category is called Tennesseans Between Jobs, and it provides coverage to anyone who has worked at least one 20-hour week in the last six months and had an annual income less than $43,000.

The coverage is also available to workers whose hours have been reduced to fewer than 20 hours a week over the last six months.

Participants will be responsible for paying two-thirds of the monthly premium. That share of the premium will average about $74 a month for nonsmokers who meet the target weight and are in their 30s.

But the monthly responsibility will jump to about $218 a month for overweight smokers in their 60s.

Foreclosure Filings Increase, But at Slower Rate

Foreclosure filings in August increased 27 percent compared to the same month

a year ago, a significantly slower pace than in previous months, according to data released last week.

Nationwide, 303,800 homes received at least one foreclosure-related notice in August, up 12 percent from July, RealtyTrac Inc. reported. That means one in every 416 U.S. households received a foreclosure filing last month.

August’s increase, however, was smaller than the two prior months. June and July both had year-over-year increases in foreclosure filings of 50 percent or more. Still, the total number of foreclosure filings is the highest since RealtyTrac began issuing its report in January 2005.

Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac monitors default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions. More than 90,893 properties were repossessed by lenders nationwide last month – up more than half from 43,141 in August 2007, the company reported.

Memphis Theological Seminary To Honor Former President

Memphis Theological Seminary will dedicate its newly acquired and renovated historic home in honor of former president Dr. David Hilliard and his wife, Patsy.

It will be called Hilliard Hall.

Hilliard Hall was bought in 2006 to provide additional classroom and office space as part of MTS’ campus expansion plan. Future expansion includes a larger chapel and library in addition to classroom and administrative space.

Hilliard served MTS in many capacities, including four terms as trustee, two terms as interim president and adjunct faculty.

U of M to Offer Career, Internship Expo

The University of Memphis Office of Career Services and the Academic Internship Office will offer U of M students and alumni the opportunity to find jobs and internships at the Annual Career and Internship Expo.

The expo will be held Sept. 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the ballroom at the Holiday Inn-University of Memphis, 3700 Central Ave.

More than 90 employers will be present, including FedEx, Nike, International

Paper Co., Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. and Johnson & Johnson.

Employers may conduct on-site interviews, so attendees should dress professionally and bring copies of their resumes.

There is no charge to attend the expo.

More information can be found at www.memphis.edu/careerservices.

Cash to Speak At Chamber Forum

The new superintendent of Memphis City Schools, Dr. Kriner Cash, will be the featured speaker at the coming Memphis Regional Chamber Breakfast Forum.

Cash will present “Our Kids. Our Future” Sept. 25 from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at The Peabody hotel, 149 Union Ave.

Cash will share his vision on what it will take to develop a first-class workforce through the school system.

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PROPERTY SALES 95 253 13,695
MORTGAGES 96 261 15,827
BUILDING PERMITS 250 500 28,258
BANKRUPTCIES 57 178 8,828

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