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VOL. 124 | NO. 71 | Monday, April 13, 2009

Daily Digest

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IHOP Slated For Old Applebee’s in Cordova

The former Applebee’s restaurant at 1106 N. Germantown Parkway in Cordova has sold for $1.3 million in a special warranty deed to an entity called Hotcakes Cordova Venture LLC, which will redevelop the building into an International House of Pancakes. The deal closed April 2.

The buyer is related to The Trilogy Group LLC, an Atlanta-based firm that is a preferred developer of IHOP restaurants around the country. The seller was Gourmet Systems Inc.

The 4,883-square-foot building sits on 1.28 acres on the east side of Germantown Parkway, north of the intersection with Macon Road. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2009 appraisal is $1.2 million.

This will be Trilogy’s first IHOP development in the Memphis area, said the company’s founding member and managing partner, Leon Novak. He said Trilogy is working on some other sites in Tennessee for IHOP redevelopment.

Glendale, Calif.-based IHOP Corp. bought Applebee’s International Inc. for about $1.9 billion in cash in 2007. Novak said this former Applebee’s location was ideal for IHOP, and that reconfiguring the restaurant from Applebee’s to IHOP will bring drastic changes to the property.

“The Applebee’s chain is owned by IHOP, and for whatever reason, the demographics or the competition were such that Applebee’s didn’t see the opportunity to do as well as an IHOP concept, so there’s going to be an extensive renovation to the building to convert it,” Novak said.

David Blass, a partner at The Trilogy Group, said there wouldn’t be any square footage added during the renovation, but the $500,000 construction price tag will transform the building into the traditional blue-roofed IHOP.

“We are pretty much taking it back to barebones and, when it is finished, it is going to look like an IHOP, inside and out,” Blass said.

Construction began Monday, with expected completion in 70 days and opening in about 90, Blass added. The restaurant will be operated by local IHOP franchisee owner David Reller.

Hotcakes Cordova Venture filed a $1.6 million loan through Branch Banking and Trust in conjunction with the purchase to perform the renovation.

There are nine IHOP restaurants in the Memphis area. As for Applebee’s, numerous restaurants closed in Memphis within the past few years, and there are five remaining in the metropolitan area: one in Memphis, one in Bartlett, one in West Memphis and two in DeSoto County.

The Memphis and Bartlett locations are owned by DBAPPLEF LLC, which bought the restaurants in 2008.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

Former Tiger, NFL Player Awarded $950K Over RMK Losses

A Memphis native and former professional football player has won the largest award yet from a financial industry panel hearing claims involving a group of former Regions Morgan Keegan mutual funds.

Former University of Memphis Tiger Jerome Woods, whose football career included a 10-year stint with the Kansas City Chiefs, has won $950,000 as a result of the arbitration claim he filed over losses in the RMK funds.

Woods’ Nashville attorney Naill Falls told The Daily News his client is pleased with the arbitrators’ ruling.

“Like most investors, the Woods were not interested in speculative risk, but Morgan Keegan recommended these highly risky funds indiscriminately, loading up their clients with these funds without disclosing their true risks,” Falls said.

Woods started his collegiate career at Northeast Mississippi Community College. He was drafted by the Chiefs in the 1996 NFL draft after two seasons with the University of Memphis Tigers.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) made the decision in the Woods case. Generally, the panel does not qualify its decisions.

Earlier this month, Morgan Keegan spokeswoman Kathy Ridley said about the results of the RMK arbitrations: “Overall results support our belief that there were no improprieties in the management of these funds. We plan to continue a vigorous defense of all claims.”

Services Set For Lipscomb & Pitts’ John Pitts

Visitation will be today and funeral services will be Tuesday for John Pitts, a co-founder of Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance LLC.

Pitts, who was 82, died Thursday. In 1954, he co-founded the firm that would grow into the largest privately held insurance agency in the Mid-South.

Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. today at Independent Presbyterian Church at 4738 Walnut Grove Road. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the church. Canale Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements. Memorials may be sent to John Pitts Memorial Eagle Scout Fund, Boy Scouts of America, 171 S. Hollywood St., Memphis, TN 38112.

The agency will close its offices at noon Tuesday so employees may attend the funeral service. 

Homeland Security Awards $2.5M to Memphis Co.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded $2.5 million to Inland Rivers Ports & Terminals Inc. in Memphis.

The grant was part of the final allocations under the fiscal year 2009 Port Security Grant Program. The funding comes from the $400 million appropriated for the Port Security Grant Program, which provides funding to port areas for protection of port infrastructure from terrorism.

More Than $2 Billion Available for Child Care

States will share $2.3 billion in federal stimulus money to pay for child care programs and help less fortunate people get needed vaccinations, Vice President Joe Biden announced last week.

Biden said $2 billion will be available to the Child Care and Development Fund to help states pay for child care for more parents who are working, looking for work, getting job training or furthering their education.

Another $300 million in money and grants is being made available to help less fortunate people get vaccinations.

Most of the money will be used to buy vaccines, which will be distributed to states through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Money will also be spent to educate the public on the importance of getting their shots.

President Barack Obama signed the $787 billion stimulus bill into law in February, saying the package of increased federal spending and tax cuts will create jobs and help pull the economy out of its worst slump since the Great Depression.

Obama also tapped Biden to oversee stimulus spending. The vice president meets regularly with Cabinet secretaries and their designees for updates on what their departments are doing. He also holds regular conference calls with governors and mayors to discuss the stimulus.

Deep Personnel Cuts Made In Memphis Schools Budget

Memphis City Schools will cut 340 jobs under a budget approved by the school board.

During a long session Thursday night, board members repeatedly questioned Superintendent Kriner Cash about his plans to launch new initiatives while laying off personnel.

The board voted 7-2 in favor of the $875 million budget.

The board did not approve Cash’s proposals to create a school police force and close River City High School.

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