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VOL. 123 | NO. 174 | Friday, September 5, 2008

Daily Digest

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Local Ownership Group Buys Tennis Club for $4.4M

Tennis Club of Memphis LLC, a partnership led by Doug Carpenter and Brian Sullivan of the carpenter | sullivan | sossaman advertising firm, has bought The Racquet Club at Memphis at 5111 Sanderlin Ave. in East Memphis for $4.4 million. The amount was almost a quarter less than the Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2008 appraisal of $5.7 million.

The seller was Racquet Club Inc., whose president, Mac Winkler, bought the club from Memphis cotton merchant William Dunavant Jr. in 1992. Winkler also ran the club’s two professional tennis tournaments, the men’s Regions Morgan Keegan Championships and the women’s Cellular South Cup.

In a separate deal announced at a Wednesday press conference, Tennis Club of Memphis and San Jose, Calif.-based Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment will take over ownership and management of those tournaments.

The new ownership group financed the purchase with a $3 million loan from Regions Bank. Sullivan signed the trust deed as president of Golden Set LLC, sole member of Tennis Club of Memphis.

The Racquet Club sits on 11.94 acres at the southwest corner of Sanderlin Avenue and White Station Road. Its popular men’s tennis tournament, which annually draws some of the world’s best players, has been held here since 1976. The women’s tournament was moved from Oklahoma City in 2002.

Attempts to reach the buyer for comment were unsuccessful by press time.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

Home Sales Continue Downward Trend

Shelby County’s home sales experienced another month of decline in August, slipping 28.3 percent from the same month a year ago, according to the latest data from real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

Just 1,481 homes were sold in August, down from the 2,066 sold in August 2007. For the first time all year, the average sales price dropped dramatically. Homes sold at an average price of just $132,122 last month, down 17.4 percent from $159,968 in August 2007.

Also, the total sales volume in dollars for the month was merely $195.7 million, a 40.8 percent decrease from $330.5 million a year ago.

August’s sales also marked a 5.8 percent decline from the 1,572 homes sold in July.

The top area for sales was the Arlington/Lakeland ZIP code of 38002, which saw 83 homes sold in the month; granted, that was a 34.7 percent dropoff from the 127 sales it saw in August 2007. Only four ZIP codes – Greenlaw’s 38105, Defense Depot’s 38114, South Memphis’ 38126 and Hickory Hill South’s 38141 – saw increases in sales from the same month a year ago.

Year to date, sales in Shelby County are down 22.6 percent, with 11,590 sales through Aug. 31, 2008, compared to 14,966 sales through Aug. 31, 2007. The total sales volume in dollars this year is $1.59 billion, down 32.5 percent from $2.36 billion in 2007.

Meanwhile, condominium sales fell 33 percent in August compared to the same month a year ago. Just 75 condos sold last month, while 112 sold in August 2007, according to the most recent Chandler Reports data.

Year-to-date condo sales are down 27 percent: 2008 so far has seen 573 condo sales versus 785 at the same point in 2007.

One positive note is the increased sales price for condos. They averaged $156,467 per sale in August, up 9.1 percent from $143,468 in August 2007.

InMotion, U of M Win $400K Grant

The InMotion Musculoskeletal Institute and the University of Memphis have been awarded a $400,000 software grant from LifeModeler Inc. The grant will be used to create kinematic models that could be developed to aid orthopaedic surgeons during clinical operations by immediately testing the fit of implanted devices such as total hips and knees.

The software grant is the result of two recent scientific leadership hires at InMotion. The first is Dr. John Williams, who is the jointly appointed InMotion director of biomechanics and professor in the University of Memphis Department of Biomedical Engineering. Williams has a long history and expertise with the software, and he will direct all research with the modeling technique at InMotion and the U of M. He most recently was employed at a large medical device company in Warsaw, Ind., and has served multiple academic appointments in his career.

The second hire is Dr. William Mihalko, who is a jointly appointed InMotion director of reconstructive research and associate professor in the University of Tennessee Health Science Center Department of Orthopaedic Surgery-Campbell Clinic. Mihalko will provide clinical expertise and will collect data from surgical procedures to enhance certain aspects of the models created by Williams. Mihalko was recruited to Memphis from the University of Virginia.

Le Bonheur Receives $55K Grant for HIV, AIDS Work

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued a $55,500 grant to help Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center deliver services to certain people suffering from HIV and AIDS.

The grant was awarded under Title IV of the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act, which has been described as the country’s most sizable federally funded relief program for HIV/AIDS victims.

The 9th U.S. Congressional District, which encompasses Memphis, has received more than $6 million for education and other programs related to the HIV/AIDS virus in 2008, according to the office of U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis.

Air National Guard To Open New Base

The Tennessee Air National Guard will hold a grand opening ceremony to unveil its new base near the southeast corner of Memphis International Airport at 4607 Galaxy Drive.

The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at the new base.

The Tennessee Air National Guard’s 164th Airlift Wing, currently at the north end of the airport, will relocate to this larger facility in the coming weeks.

The new 118-acre facility is designed to house the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy, the largest plane in the Air Force fleet.

The $245 million project began in June 2006 and is the result of a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Defense, Tennessee Air National Guard, FedEx Corp., and the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority.

Food Bank To Change Name

Starting this month, The Food Bank will become the Mid-South Food Bank.

The name was changed to convey the regional reach of food distribution and programs and the organization’s mission to fight hunger in 31 Mid-South counties in West Tennessee, North Mississippi and East Arkansas.

The Mid-South Food Bank was started in 1981 as a program of MIFA (Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association), and it became an independent nonprofit organization in 1988.

First Tennessee Selects PHH Mortgage

First Tennessee Bank, a subsidiary of First Horizon National Corp., has selected PHH Mortgage to streamline its retail mortgage loan origination, processing and loan servicing.

FTB now will offer a low price program for many types of mortgages and will provide customer incentives if the bank does not meet agreed-upon mortgage closing dates on conventional loans for purchases.

First Tennessee closed on the sale of its mortgage business outside Tennessee to MetLife Bank N.A. on Aug. 31 and will continue to provide mortgage loans throughout the Tennessee region.

First Tennessee will provide access to mortgage loans by telephone, the Internet and its branch network. PHH employees will support these sales by performing the loan processing, underwriting and closings in the name of First Tennessee.

IP Sells 13K Acres To Chesapeake Energy

Memphis-based International Paper Co. has completed the sale of about 13,000 net acres of mineral rights in the Haynesville Shale natural gas formation in Northwest Louisiana to Chesapeake Energy Corp. for $263 million.

This transaction was structured as a like-kind exchange of assets for property associated with IP’s recent acquisition of Weyerhaeuser’s Containerboard, Packaging and Recycling business.

John Faraci, IP’s chairman and CEO, said the company will continue to look for ways to monetize its remaining U.S. forestlands, real estate and mineral holdings to pay down debt, strengthen its balance sheet and focus on the company’s global paper and packaging business.

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