U of M-Area Multifamily Sells for $2.4M

Polk Rental Properties of Memphis LLC has bought a multifamily portfolio of three University of Memphis-area apartment complexes for $2.4 million. The apartments are at 3251, 3341 and 3427 Southern Ave. The seller was Sycamore Bank, which weeks before had reacquired the properties in a substitute trustees’ sale following a foreclosure. The sale to Polk closed Sept. 29.

The apartment complexes – the 38-unit Southern Station Apartments at 3341 Southern Ave., 40-unit Barclay House Apartments at 3427 Southern Ave. and the 70-unit Southern Oaks Apartments at 3251 Southern Ave. – had been sold Aug. 31 for a combined $2.5 million back to Sycamore Bank following a foreclosure.

The properties’ previous owner, Memphis-based Porter Properties LLC, had defaulted on a $1.5 million loan through Sycamore Bank dated Nov. 30, 2005.

Richard J. Myers of the law firm Apperson, Crump & Maxwell PLC was appointed substitute trustee in July and sold the apartment complexes to Sycamore Bank in a substitute trustee’s sale Aug. 31 on the steps of the southwest corner of the Shelby County Courthouse.

The multifamily properties are situated among eight other apartment complexes on the south side of Southern Avenue and the west side of South Highland Street in the U of M area.

Porter Properties bought the Southern Station Apartments for $780,000 from Southern Station Ltd. Porter Properties bought the Barclay House Apartments for $680,000 from Makowsky Family LP and Ringel Family LP.

Southern Station, built in 1968, is a 34,133-square-foot complex on 1.58 acres; the Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2009 appraisal is $921,800. Barclay House, built in 1964, is a 25,100-square-foot complex on 1.39 acres; its appraisal is $727,000. And Southern Oaks, built in 1986, is a 68,020-square-foot complex on 2.28 acres; its appraisal is $927,100.

Polk Rental Properties filed a $2.4 million loan through Sycamore Bank for the purchase.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

Fred’s Key Sales Measures See Increases in Sept.

Memphis-based Fred’s Inc. has reported total sales for September increased 4 percent to $166.6 million from $160.5 million in September 2008.

Sales in stores open at least a year rose 3.3 percent in September, beating analyst expectations.

Sales at stores open at least a year are considered a key measure of retailer performance because they measure growth at existing stores rather than from newly opened ones.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters predicted an increase of 0.3 percent.

Fred’s total sales for the eight-month year-to-date period that ended Oct. 3 decreased 1 percent to $1.187 billion compared to $1.201 billion for the same period last year.

Excluding stores closed, total sales from ongoing stores increased 2 percent in the first eight months compared to the same period last year. On a comparable store basis, year-to-date sales increased 0.9 percent compared to 3.1 percent in the same period last year.

By the end of September, Fred’s opened two pharmacies, an upgraded prototype of its store in Bartlett and closed nine stores.

Local Venture Capital Funds Among TNInvestco Finalists

Two Memphis venture capital funds are among the 10 finalists announced this week that are in line to receive money under TNInvestco.

Gov. Phil Bredesen signed into law earlier this year legislation creating the TNInvestco program, whereby insurance companies contribute venture money and get tax credits for their investment.

The two Memphis finalists are Innova Fund II LP and Memphis Biomed Ventures Tennessee I LLC. The six winners will be announced around Nov. 1.

Attorney General Sues Employment Agency Owner

The Tennessee attorney general’s office has filed a lawsuit against a West Tennessee woman who operated employment agencies in Memphis.

Attorney General Bob Cooper filed suit on behalf of the Division of Consumer Affairs against Linda McCluskey.

In a news release, Cooper’s office said McCluskey owns Britton James & Associates, but formerly operated as The Franklin Group of America, Hamilton Clark International and The Renaissance Group International.

The suit accuses McCluskey of charging job seekers an upfront fee. Tennessee statute allows employment agencies to collect fees only after placing applicants in paid jobs.

The state seeks restitution for customers and an injunction to prevent McCluskey or her associates from breaking the law.

No telephone listing for Britton James & Associates was available.

Obama Loan Relief Plan Hits Goal Early

The Obama administration said Thursday that 500,000 homeowners have had their loans modified under its mortgage relief plan, reaching a goal set over the summer.

The $50 billion program, launched in March, is designed to reduce foreclosures by lowering borrowers’ monthly payments to more affordable levels. The program was slow to get going, but officials still believe the program is on track to help between 3 million and 4 million borrowers within three years.

The government also has launched a new effort to streamline the application process and simplified income and documentation requirements. And top administration officials were meeting Thursday with executives at large mortgage servicing companies to discuss their progress under the program.

“We’ve put significant pressure on servicers to ramp up their efforts,” said Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan. “We’re holding them to higher performance standards.”

However, many housing advocates have been disappointed with the plan’s progress and say that getting a loan modification is still a battle. Most lenders, they say, are still unwilling to reduce the borrowers’ principal balance.

TennCare Enrollment Up Since January

A report shows about 84,000 TennCare enrollees in the so-called “Daniels class” have been cut since a court ruling in January. A TennCare spokeswoman said, however, overall TennCare enrollment has increased.

An Oct. 2 report obtained by the Chattanooga Times Free Press shows the 84,000 “Daniels class” enrollees represent more than half of the 147,000 enrollees whose eligibility became subject to state review after a federal court ruling in January. The group originally qualified for TennCare under the federal Supplemental Security Income program.

While that group is smaller, TennCare spokeswoman Kelly Gunderson said that for the same period – through June – overall enrollment in TennCare is up by more than 25,000, to about 1.23 million, due mainly to hard times from the economy.