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VOL. 125 | NO. 157 | Friday, August 13, 2010

Daily Digest

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21 Acres in Lakeland in Foreclosure

Twenty-one acres near Canada Road and Highway 64 in Lakeland have been foreclosed upon, according to a first-run notice in the foreclosures section of today’s Daily News.

Renasant Bank foreclosed on the property after Stonebridge Properties defaulted on a $1.5 million credit line trust deed taken out in September 2001. Stonebridge is a Tennessee partnership composed of William Koeneman and Clair D. Vanderschaaf Jr., according to the foreclosure notice.

The property is composed of three lots, all on the west side of Canada Road. One is bounded by Highway 64 to the south; the second is bounded by Kingsridge Drive to the south; and the third is bounded by Kingsridge Drive to the north.

The property is slated for sale at the Shelby County Courthouse on Sept. 3.

The full text of this notice is available in the foreclosures section of today’s Daily News and at www.memphisdailynews.com.

Source: The Daily News Online and Chandler Reports

– Kate Simone

UTHSC Lays Off 33 Memphis Employees

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center has notified 33 non-faculty employees they will lose their jobs.

The layoff is a cost-cutting move by the university, which has received budget cutbacks from the state. The affected employees will remain on the university’s payroll until Sept. 30 and receive support from its human resources department as they search for new jobs.

Executive Vice Chancellor Ken Brown, who serves as UTHSC chief of staff, said although workforce reductions are “among the hardest decisions to make,” the layoff was in the best interest of state taxpayers.

Tom Wilemon

Two More Tenants Join Ridgeway Trace

Weingarten Realty Investors on Thursday announced the addition of two tenants – Yogurt Mountain and SportClips – to its Ridgeway Trace retail center at Poplar Avenue and Interstate 240.

Yogurt Mountain will lease 1,500 square feet and SportClips will lease 1,125 square feet, officials with Houston-based Weingarten said in a release.

This will be the first location in Memphis and third location overall for Yogurt Mountain, whose other two yogurt shops are in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Justin Robertson handled lease negotiations on behalf of Weingarten, and Danny Buring of The Shopping Center Group LLC represented Yogurt Mountain.

This will be Sport Clips’ 10th Memphis-area barber shop, including two in DeSoto County.

Robertson handled lease negotiations on behalf of Weingarten, and Shawn Massey of The Shopping Center Group represented Sport Clips.

The 300,000-square-foot Ridgeway Trace is anchored by Target, Best Buy, Sports Authority and PetSmart.

Tenants that have recently inked leases at the center, whose outparcels are still being developed and built, include Logan’s Roadhouse, Genghis Grill, Panera Bread and Mattress Firm.

Eric Smith

LUCB Approves Midtown Zoning Overlay

A Midtown zoning and development overlay advances to the Memphis City Council for a vote after winning approval this week from the Land Use Control Board.

The board approved the set of guidelines for development in a unanimous voice vote just a day after the City Council approved a countywide Unified Development Code that made the overlay possible.

The overlay began to take shape after a controversial plan to build a supermarket on the south side of Overton Square. Developers of the project withdrew it, citing community opposition to the plan.

Leading the opposition was Memphis Heritage executive director June West. West told the LUCB the overlay will give developers “the direction they need before they show up.”

West and other advocates of the overlay have said it gives developers an idea of what the community wants to see in the area. The overlay advocates mixed-use buildings closer to the street, with retail on the ground floor and residential above. Other features include limited or no parking in front, but instead parking to the side and rear.

The overlay takes in parts of Midtown outside a Medical District overlay and seven historic district overlays in residential areas.

About 30 supporters of the overlay, including West, stood to show their support for the plan. There was no opposition at the LUCB meeting at City Hall.

An amendment approved with the overlay altered parking counts for restaurants. The amendments lowered the number required from one space for every 100 square feet to one space for every 300 square feet.

“It’s just keeping it in line with where the UDC is going,” said Chooch Pickard of the Memphis Regional Design Center, the nonprofit firm that helped put the overlay together and held public hearings on it.

No date has been set for a City Council vote on the overlay which would be the final approval needed to implement the plan.

– Bill Dries

Teen Camp Good Grief Accepting Applications

Baptist Trinity Center for Good Grief is now accepting applications for the 10th annual Teen Camp Good Grief, which will be held Oct. 15-17.

Any teen ages 13 and 16 who has lost a loved one in the last two years is eligible for the free camp.

A bereavement staff will help teens communicate their feelings and explore their grief through support groups and activities involving art, music, journaling and recreation.

The camp is funded by a grant from the Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation. It will be held at Camp Bear Track in Drasco, Ark., and transportation, lodging and meals will be provided.

Camp applications are due Aug. 23. To request an application, make a donation or get more information, call 767-6767.

– Taylor Shoptaw

CCC Staff Recommend Grant for Le Bonheur Health Center

Center City Commission staff have recommended the CCC’s development corporation award a commercial office grant of $75,000 to Le Bonheur Community Health and Well-Being, a subsidiary of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare planning to sign a lease Downtown.

The organization is planning to sign a lease for the fourth and fifth floors of 50 Peabody Place, according to the organization’s grant application to the CCC. Le Bonheur anticipates completing an estimated $229,000 in tenant improvement work at the space by March 2011, with an estimated move-in date of March 11.

Programs to be housed at the space will include outreach to children and families at risk of physical, psychological or developmental problems; HIV/AIDS and asthma education and other related services; and early intervention work with young children, among other things.

Andy Meek

Medtronic Completes Purchase of ATS Medical

Medtronic Inc., the world’s biggest medical device maker, said Thursday its acquisition of heart device maker ATS Medical is complete.

Medtronic’s Spinal and Biological Business is based in Memphis.

Medtronic agreed to buy ATS in April for $350 million, or $4 per share. The deal also includes $20 million in debt held by ATS Medical.

– The Associated Press

Homes Lost to Foreclosure Up 6 Pct From Last Year

The number of U.S. homes lost to foreclosure surged in July, as lenders take back more properties from homeowners who have been in default for months on end.

Lenders repossessed 92,858 properties last month, up 9 percent from June and an increase of 6 percent from July 2009, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

Banks have stepped up repossessions this year to clear out the backlog of bad loans. July makes the eighth month in a row that the pace of homes lost to foreclosure has increased on an annual basis.

The number of homeowners who have fallen behind on their payments remains high, and these borrowers are being allowed to stay in their homes longer. That’s because lenders are reluctant to add to the glut of foreclosed homes on the market.

The number of properties receiving an initial default notice — the first step in the foreclosure process — rose 1 percent last month from June, but was down 28 percent versus July last year, RealtyTrac said.

– The Associated Press

S&P Raises Bartlett's Bond Rating to AAA

The city of Bartlett has gotten another stamp of approval from one of the major bond rating services.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has assigned a stable outlook and raised its rating on Bartlett’s general obligation debt one notch to AAA from AA+, which S&P’s attributed to the city’s “continued extremely strong financial condition, which we believe is likely sustainable given strong financial management.”

S&P’s also assigned a rating of AAA and stable outlook to the city’s series 2010 GO refunding and improvement bonds and series 2010 water and sewer revenue and tax refunding bonds.

The rating reflects the city’s moderate overall debt burden and status as an affluent bedroom community of Memphis.

Andy Meek

PROPERTY SALES 23 23 1,365
MORTGAGES 21 21 1,068
BUILDING PERMITS 117 117 3,173