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VOL. 123 | NO. 182 | Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Daily Digest

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ProLogis Files $3.6M Permit For Warehouse Rehab

ProLogis has filed a $3.6 million permit for additional repairs on its Hickory Hill facility, which was severely damaged in the storms that ripped through the area on Feb. 5. The warehouse is at 5700 Challenge Drive.

The permit was a refiling of the original permit ProLogis filed in June. ProLogis filed an initial permit of $1.1 million with the city-county Department of Construction Code Enforcement to begin rebuilding the foundation of the damaged warehouse.

“There’s just some minor changes that needed to be made,” said Mo Sheahan, a spokeswoman with ProLogis. “The development is still on track.”

The 427,500-square-foot building was built in 1995 and sits on 19.5 acres in the Hickory Hill North neighborhood north of East Raines Road and west of Hickory Hill Road. Prologis-MacQuarie Tennessee III LLC is listed as owner.

The contractor for the project is Denver-based The Conlan Co.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2008 appraisal of the property is $12.1 million.

According to an earlier interview with The Daily News, Sheahan said the project should be completed by the end of the year. She also told The Daily News that the Challenge Drive property was the only building to suffer serious damages and that the building’s tenants were temporarily relocated to other properties following the storm.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

Big Fall in Energy Pushes Consumer Prices Down

Consumer prices in August posted the first monthly decline in nearly two years as Americans finally get a break from surging energy prices.

The Labor Department reported Tuesday that consumer prices edged down 0.1 percent last month, a significant improvement from a 1.1 percent price spike in June and a 0.8 percent rise in July. The cost of gasoline and other fuels have plunged, reflecting big drops in crude oil prices.

The decline, which was in line with expectations, may give the Federal Reserve the room it needs to cut interest rates if Fed officials feel a rate reduction could help stabilize turbulent financial markets.

Stocks turned in their worst performance since 2001 on Monday, with the Dow Jones industrials plunging 500 points on worries about a teetering financial system.

Fed officials were meeting to review interest rates as of press time Tuesday. The possibility of a rate cut has suddenly reappeared, given the chaotic reaction to the bankruptcy filing by Lehman Brothers on Monday and the pressured sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America as a severe credit crisis has triggered the biggest restructuring of Wall Street since the 1930s.

The 0.1 percent drop in consumer prices in August was the first monthly decline since prices fell by 0.5 percent in October 2006, another time where energy prices took a big decline.

Core inflation, which excludes energy and food, was also well behaved in August, edging up by a slight 0.2 percent, after two months when core prices had risen by 0.3 percent. Both the overall decline and the small increase in core inflation were in line with economists’ expectations.

Even with the dip in overall prices, paychecks continued to be under pressure. Weekly wages of non-supervisory workers dropped by 2.5 percent in August compared to a year ago, the 11th straight month in which wages have been down on a year-over-year basis.

Over the past 12 months, overall inflation is up by 5.4 percent. That’s a slight improvement from the 5.6 percent rise for the 12 months ending in July, which had been the largest year-over-year increase in 17 years. Core inflation is up 3.4 percent over the past 12 months.

Energy prices plunged by 3.1 percent in August, the biggest one-month drop since October 2006. Gasoline prices fell by 4.2 percent, natural gas slid 5.8 percent and home heating oil prices dropped by 9.6 percent.

Food costs continued to surge upward in August, rising by 0.6 percent after a 0.9 percent increase in July. Prices for fruits and vegetables showed big gains.

Prices for clothing posted a 0.5 percent gain during the month while the price of airline tickets, reflecting previous monthly gains in jet fuel, showed a 1.6 percent increase.

Mueller CEO Resigns, New Executive Named

William D. O’Hagan, CEO of Mueller Industries Inc., will resign his post effective Dec. 31. O’Hagan was diagnosed with lung cancer in October and currently is undergoing treatment. He will continue to advise the company as a consultant and will be designated as a director emeritus.

Greg L. Christopher will take over the post effective Jan. 1. Christopher, 46, has worked closely with O’Hagan for almost 20 years and has served in various capacities at Mueller, most recently as chief operating officer.

“During (O’Hagan’s) tenure, net income increased at a compounded annual rate of 13.7 percent and the company was regularly included in Forbes Platinum List of Best Big Companies in America,” said Chairman Harvey L. Karp.

Memphis-based Mueller Industries is a manufacturer of copper tube and fittings and other accessories related to the construction industry.

RISE Foundation Names Board Members

The RISE Foundation has named its 2008-2009 board of directors.

The members are Jay Healy, board chair; Beverly Robertson, vice chair; Marianne Parrs, treasurer and chair of the Finance Committee; Chuck Schadt, secretary; Tomeka Hart, community initiatives chair; Scott Cromie, new markets chair; and David Waddell, board development chair.

Members of the board include Marsha Campbell, Dennie Carey, Scott L. Cleveland, Robert Fogelman II, Steve Fracchia, Hugh Fraser, Anika Graham, Frank Langston, David Mendelson, Ann Morgan, Tom Patronis, Martha L. Perine-Beard, Herman Strickland, Mark Sutton, LaTonya Thigpen, Nikki Tinker and the Rev. George Yandell.

RISE Foundation staff members serving on the board are Beth Dixon, president and CEO, and Shelia Terrell, chief operations officer.

State to Revoke Licenses Of Parents Owing Support

The state is warning parents delinquent on child support payments that they risk losing driver’s licenses, professional licenses and hunting and fishing licenses if they don’t pay.

The state Department of Human Services reported Tuesday that letters are being delivered to parents across the state who are behind at least $500 and haven’t made a payment in more than 90 days.

More than 7,000 licenses were revoked last year for failure to pay, and there are more than 20,000 licenses currently at risk. Professional licenses that could be revoked include those of registered nurses, real estate agents, security guards and teachers.

Parents can prevent revocation if they contact their local child support offices to set up payment plans or simply repay the past due amounts.

PROPERTY SALES 51 328 20,960
MORTGAGES 58 387 24,132
BUILDING PERMITS 170 842 43,435
BANKRUPTCIES 50 288 13,468