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VOL. 125 | NO. 83 | Thursday, April 29, 2010

Daily Digest

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Willow Lake Sold to Lender Following Foreclosure

The Willow Lake Apartment complex at 2774 S. Mendenhall Road in Hickory Hill has been sold back to the lender following a foreclosure.

NW-Willow Lake, an affiliate of Columbus, Ohio-based Nationwide Life Insurance Co., paid $7 million for the 841-unit apartment complex in an April 7 substitute trustee’s deed.

The property sits on about 46 acres along the east side of South Mendenhall Road south of where it splits from Mount Moriah Road.

The property’s previous owner, Sun Pac of San Jose, Calif., defaulted on a $9 million loan through Nationwide dated Dec. 10, 2004. That was a refinance of the company’s original loan.

Bradley L. Ottinger of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC was appointed substitute trustee and sold the property on the Shelby County Courthouse steps.

Willow Lake (also known as Willowlake) comprises four parcels, two of which are vacant land with nominal values.

The other two parcels contain a combined 841 units and 850,000 square feet of space spread across multiple buildings at the property.

Built in 1969, the complex has a combined appraised value of $13 million, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2010 data.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

Eric Smith

Highwoods Inks Deal With C.H. Robinson Worldwide

Raleigh, N.C.-based Highwoods Properties Inc. this week announced that the Memphis office of global logistics and transportation provider C.H. Robinson Worldwide has signed a lease on 9,900 square feet of office space at 3400 Players Club.

Tony Argiro represented Highwoods Properties during the leasing process. Debra Bell of Phoenix-based Mohr Partners represented C.H. Robinson Worldwide.

Founded in 1905, C.H. Robinson Worldwide provides multimodal logistics services to some 35,000 customers through a network of more than 235 offices and about 7,200 employees spread around the world.

– Eric Smith

Buckeye Technologies Reports Improved Q3 Net Income

Memphis-based Buckeye Technologies Inc. had third quarter net income of $19.3 million, or $0.49 per share, the company reported this week.

That compared to net income of $4.3 million or $0.11 per share during the same period last year.

Company chairman and CEO John Crowe said average selling prices of the company’s products are expected to improve in the near future.

Buckeye is a manufacturer and marketer of specialty fibers and nonwoven materials.

Andy Meek

Q1 Looks Brighter For Cadence Financial

The first three months of the year looked brighter for Starkville, Miss.-based Cadence Financial Corp., whose banking unit operates several branches in Shelby County.

Cadence set aside less money during the quarter to cover souring loans.

The provision dropped to $1.6 million from $32.8 million in the first quarter of 2009.

Cadence chairman and CEO Lewis Mallory said it was the bank’s lowest provision for loan losses in more than two years.

Cadence lost $1.2 million in the first quarter, a big improvement over Q1 2009’s net loss of $84.2 million.

– Andy Meek

MLGW Introduces New Electronic Bill Service

Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division will introduce a new My Account electronic bill payment service Saturday that will give residential customers additional payment options.

Payment methods for residential customers will include bank checking or savings account, Visa, MasterCard credit or debit card, Discover card and ATM debit card.

In addition, there will be no more transaction fees to the customer for these types of payments.

All My Account users will retain their current UserID, but will receive a new password during the transition.

Customers will receive two e-mails this week that contain the UserID and password for login that will be effective Saturday.

Customers who previously used the one-time payment system now must register and log in to My Account to make an electronic payment.

A 12-month bill history for the account also will be available with the new system for customers who opt to enroll in paperless eBilling.

– Taylor Shoptaw

Memphis Musicians To Release Record Benefiting Haiti

JEA Right Now Records, a Memphis-based record label, will release a song in May titled “A Message from Memphis” to benefit Haitian relief efforts.

The project included more than 40 Memphis-based recording artists, producers, arrangers and performers including Kirk Whalum, Alexis Grace, David Porter, the Bar-Kays, J. Blackfoot and Wendy Moten.

The song will be sold as a single with a companion DVD featuring footage of the making of the project. All proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross Relief Fund in support of rebuilding Haiti. The funds will be managed and distributed by the city of Memphis for distribution to the Red Cross.

The song will be available to purchase May 11 at www.amessagefrommemphis.com and in record stores May 18.

– Taylor Shoptaw

New Ramsey Ad Promises To Slash 7 Tenn. Agencies

Republican state Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey in his latest political advertisement promises to cut seven of 22 state agencies if elected Tennessee governor.

Spokeswoman Rachel Taylor said Wednesday that Ramsey’s changes would include folding the Department of Children’s Services into the Department of Human Services; Mental Health would become part of the state Health Department; and the Revenue and Financial Institutions departments would be placed under the Department of Finance and Administration.

Ramsey, a Blountville auctioneer, in the ad repeats a favorite line from the campaign trail about how he started his first surveying businesses “with just a pickup truck and a prayer.”

Taylor said the initial buy for the new ad is worth about $128,000.

– The Associated Press

Income Tax Resolution Measure in Jeopardy

Legislation that would declare an income tax and payroll tax unconstitutional in Tennessee could be in jeopardy.

The House Budget Subcommittee on a voice vote Wednesday placed the measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Tony Shipley of Kingsport behind the budget, meaning the proposal will be revisited if any money is left after the state’s spending plan is set.

The panel’s action was because of a cost for publishing notification of the amendment.

Even though the measure passed the Senate 25-7 last month, the tight budget year may prevent the bill’s passage.

If it does pass, the earliest it could go before voters is 2014.

– The Associated Press

GOP Won’t Cut Pre-K Funding In State Budget Plan

A Republican alternative to close Tennessee’s budget gap won’t include changes to the state’s pre-kindergarten program, state Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey said.

Ramsey said that while he has been a skeptic of expanding pre-K in the past, there will be no effort to cut the program.

Republicans are working to craft an alternative to Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen’s proposal to raise $85 million by lifting a sales tax cap on big-ticket items. The overall projected shortfall for the upcoming budget year is about $150 million beyond what Bredesen addressed in his original spending plan.

House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada suggested earlier this week that changing the funding mechanism for the $83 million-per-year pre-K program could be a way to find money.

The pre-K program is currently available to children who qualify for free and reduced priced meals. Since 2005, the Bredesen administration has created 786 new pre-K classrooms. There are now a total of 934 state-funded classrooms in the state, serving more than 18,000 children a year.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 98 172 17,556
MORTGAGES 101 194 20,229
BUILDING PERMITS 223 349 36,295
BANKRUPTCIES 52 115 11,279