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VOL. 125 | NO. 151 | Thursday, August 5, 2010

Daily Digest

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Mississippi Co. Buys Two Self-Storage Facilities

A Gulfport, Miss.-based company has bought two Memphis self-storage facilities for a total $2.9 million.

Northwest and Southern Self Storage Partnership sold its facility at 3891 Thomas St. to TSRE III Northwest LLC for $1.5 million. The purchase was financed with a $1.1 million loan through Virtus Storage Investment III LP. The same seller sold its 4740 Getwell Road facility to TSRE III Southern LLC for $1.4 million. It was financed through Virtus for $1 million.

The Thomas Street self-storage facility was built in 1995 on 3.53 acres on the northwest side of Thomas Street between North Watkins Street to the north and Creston Avenue to the south, in Northside Commercial subdivision. The Shelby County Assessor’s 2010 appraisal is $1.7 million.

The Getwell Road facility was built in 1998 on 4 acres on the east side of Getwell Road south of East Shelby Drive. The assessor’s 2010 appraisal is $1.5 million.

– Kate Simone

MLGW to Consider Prescription Drug Contract

On the agenda for Thursday’s Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division board meeting is a resolution awarding a contract for a managed prescription drug program to Express Scripts Inc. in the amount of $53.5 million.

Also at Thursday’s meeting, the board is scheduled to take action on a resolution approving a third of four renewal terms on a $38,685 contract with Media Source for television production work.

The board meets at 3 p.m. in the MLGW Administration Building, 220 S. Main St.

Andy Meek

Five-Year Lease Signed for City Market

A five-year lease has been signed between City Market, an upscale grocery and deli planned for Downtown that’s been in the works for a few months, and 66 S. Main LP.

Hamida Pirani, who will be a managing partner of the store, expects it to open sometime in November. It’s coming to the ground floor of Radio Center Flats, the apartment development at 66 S. Main St., and its look and feel will be that of an Old World market offering freshly prepared food.

Its fare will have a local and international flavor, and it will also serve grocery basics like milk and eggs.

The store’s look will include tall ceiling beams and concrete floors. It won’t be far from major landmarks like The Peabody, so the owners hope it becomes a hit among Downtowners and visitors alike.

– Andy Meek

Buckeye Board Declares 4-Cent Dividend

Memphis-based Buckeye Technologies Inc., which makes specialty fibers, said Wednesday that its board of directors declared a regular quarterly dividend of 4 cents.

The dividend is payable on Sept. 15 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on Aug. 16.

Shares of Buckeye rose 85 cents, or 7.3 percent, to $12.54 in afternoon trading. The stock has traded between $6.30 and $15.33 over the last 52 weeks.

– The Associated Press

District Map Makes Charter Commission’s Agenda

The Metro Charter Commission takes up a district map for a proposed Metro Council at its Thursday meeting.

The 4 p.m. session at the Vasco Smith County Administration Building, 160 N. Main St., is the next-to-last meeting of the group drafting a consolidation charter. The charter goes to voters on the Nov. 2 ballot.

The commission will be working during the final hours of the county general election campaigns. Polls close Thursday at 7 p.m.

The map sets district lines for the 25-member legislative body that is an important feature of the proposed new local government.

A consulting firm hired by the charter commission has been tweaking some of the lines to make each district either all in the city of Memphis or the urban services district of the new government or in the county outside the city, which is the general services district.

Charter commissioner Jim Strickland said in some cases that may not be possible.

Still to come are decisions on the judicial branch and what kind of qualifications the charter should set for some offices appointed by the metro mayor and confirmed by the metro council.

By state law, the charter group must complete its work by Tuesday. The commission’s final meeting is Monday.

The proposed charter must pass in a pair of votes on Nov. 2. It must win in the city of Memphis and in the county outside of Memphis in order for the new government to take effect.

– Bill Dries

MSO’s Chen Named Chicago Sinfonietta Director

Mei-Ann Chen, the new music director for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, has been named music director for the Chicago Sinfonietta beginning in 2011.

Chen’s Chicago contract is for four years and her shorter conducting schedule in Chicago will not alter her commitments with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra.

“We are delighted to see Mei-Ann’s selection to this second directorship, and we look forward to a collaborative partnership with an acclaimed program in a major American city,” said Ryan Fleur, MSO’s president and chief executive officer, in a release.

Chen will succeed Maestro Paul Freeman, the founder of the Chicago orchestra, who is retiring at the end of the 2010-2011 season.

– Taylor Shoptaw

Small Business Must Search for Oppty., Gibson Says

Opening up local government contracts to small businesses is a two-way street.

And small-business owners have to be as good at searching for opportunities as they expect local government to be in opening up the process, said Shelby County Commissioner J.W. Gibson.

“I think we really find ourselves stuck with the negativity of the past and we don’t become as assertive as we need to be to keep up to date with all of the changes that are going on,” said Gibson, speaking as a small-business owner.

Gibson was reacting to recent coverage in The Daily News. The stories detailed efforts by both candidates for mayor, Mark Luttrell and Joe Ford, to address concerns by some small-business owners during the course of the race for mayor.

Gibson cited the attendance of 200 small-business owners who showed up for a recent session on government contracts sponsored by the Greater Memphis Chamber.

“Each (county) department head came before this group and they shared with that group their projected spending for the upcoming year,” Gibson said. “Along with that, the purchasing department has set aside about eight to nine different areas where only locally owned small business would be given an opportunity to bid on those areas.”

– Bill Dries

PROPERTY SALES 116 288 17,672
MORTGAGES 143 337 20,372
BUILDING PERMITS 139 488 36,434
BANKRUPTCIES 43 158 11,322