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VOL. 125 | NO. 235 | Friday, December 3, 2010

Daily Digest

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Cheddar’s Casual Café Comes to Memphis

Cheddar’s Casual Café has recently filed for a $1.4 million building permit for about 8,600 square feet at 7684 Winchester Road in Michael Lightman Realty Co.’s Centennial Commons development.

The free-standing Cheddar’s – an American casual dining chain – will be built to suit on a single-story wood slab and frame.

Arlington, Texas-based Cheddar’s has more than 90 locations across 20 states, primarily within the South and Midwest. This will be Cheddar’s first restaurant in the Memphis area and seventh in the state.

While the majority of Cheddar’s restaurants are company-owned and operated, it does have a choice group of long-term franchise partners.

Lexington, Ky.-based Greer Cos. is the project developer for Cheddar’s Memphis location. Greer – a commercial real estate development company – is the largest franchisee of Cheddar’s Casual Café, owning more than 20 locations.

Greer has Cheddar’s franchises in Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virgina, and plans to move to southern Ohio.

Gray Stubblefield of Nashville-based Cherry & Associates represented Greer in the deal. Danny Buring, partner with The Shopping Center Group LLC, represented the seller.

Cheddar’s is a unique concept, said Lee Greer of Greer Cos. It does not advertise, and instead relies on word of mouth.

“(Cheddar’s) is probably the highest volume restaurant in the country in terms of foot traffic,” Greer said. “Our check average is probably the lowest in the country as far as casual dining – you’d be shocked at the prices; huge portions and everything is made from scratch.”

Lexington, Ky.-based Murphy+Graves Architects were the architectural firm for the project. Lexington, Ky.-based engineering firms for the project include Brown+Kubican PSC for structural, Vision Engineers for civil and Shrout Tate Wilson Consulting for mechanical, plumbing and electrical.

Memphis-based Reeves Firm Inc. completed all of the landscaping, platting and surveying, while also helping to coordinate locally, said Joey Nolasco, director of Murphy+Graves.

Memphis’ Cheddar’s will employ 150, whereas most restaurants average 80 to 100, Greer said.

Construction will break ground at the beginning of 2011, Nolasco said. Cheddar’s expects a mid-year to fall opening depending on the weather.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Sarah Baker

Consolidation Resolution Wins Committee Approval

A resolution by Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy expressing support for the concept of government consolidation had six votes in committee sessions this week.

The resolution goes to the full 13-member commission Monday, where there is certain to be plenty of debate.

The commission approved a resolution in October expressing opposition to consolidation just weeks before voters rejected a metro consolidation charter at the polls.

Mulroy contends the October resolution applied to the charter proposal and not to the general idea.

But in committee debate Wednesday, several commissioners said it expressed opposition to both.

Other commissioners clashed with them on an interpretation of what voters were saying with their votes for or against the metro charter proposal.

Voters in the city of Memphis narrowly approved the charter. But in a separate referendum, county voters outside Memphis rejected the charter by a wide margin.

The charter had to win approval in both contests.

– Bill Dries

Magna Boosts Lending Power With Q10 Affiliation

Magna Bank has joined the Q10 capital network, a prestigious affiliation that gives the Memphis bank access to more sources of capital.

Q10 Capital LLC consists of 18 companies with 26 offices in 20 states. Those 18 member companies have relationships with more than 90 premier life insurance companies, pension funds and capital markets conduits throughout the country.

Frank Stallworth, executive vice president with Magna and president of its commercial real estate division, said Q10’s member firms are considered the best in the business.

“That represents the real benefit for our customers,” Stallworth said.

“We now have access to so many more sources of real estate capital. It’s the daily interaction among the 135 commercial mortgage bankers within the Q10 network that delivers the most reward and satisfaction. Their knowledge, advice, and contacts can all be used to help finance the various real estate projects for our customers.”

Magna is the third-largest bank based in Memphis as ranked by customer deposit share, according to the most recent numbers from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

– Andy Meek

Foreclosure Filed Against Contemporary Media Landlord

A first-run foreclosure notice has been filed against 460 Tennessee Street LLC, according to The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com .

The company defaulted on a $3 million loan dated Dec. 7, 2007, through Telesis Community Credit Union.

The property listed on the notice is 460 Tennessee St., a mixed-use office building in the South Main Historic Arts District. The 2010 appraisal is unchanged from 2009, at $1.1 million, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property.

The current owner is listed as Memphis Center City Revenue Finance Corp., with 460 Tennessee Street LLC, whose principal is prolific Downtown developer Robert G. “Bob” Williams Jr., having leasehold interest.

“It’s in the hand of the lawyers and I do not have anything new to add other than our wonderful world of lawyers – of which we have as many in Shelby County as they do of the country of France – I’m sure they’re handling it to the best of their abilities,” Williams said.

The 50,820-square-foot building – constructed in 1900 and renovated in 2001 – is home to Contemporary Media Inc., parent of such publications as the Memphis Flyer and Memphis Magazine.

The company is not related to the property owner.

Interested parties listed on the notice are Shelby County, Bank of Mason, J. Lester Crain, Tennessee Department of Revenue and the Internal Revenue Service.

The property is set for sale at 1 p.m. Dec. 27 at the southwest corner of the Shelby County Courthouse by Priority Trustee Services of TN LLC.

This is the second foreclosure notice filed against the property owner. Telesis foreclosed on 460 Tennessee Street LLC in July 2009, but Williams filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection the following month.

The full text of this latest foreclosure notice is available in the foreclosures section of Thursday’s print edition and online at www.memphisdailynews.com.

– Sarah Baker

Luttrell Considers Veto of County IT Plan

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell is weighing a veto of his administration’s plan to consolidate Shelby County government’s information technology operations to include other countywide elected officials.

The Shelby County Commission approved the plan in November but included an amendment that allows the elected county clerks to opt into the consolidated plan.

The commission voted down a companion resolution to hire a Chief Information Officer to head the new IT system.

Some of the clerks were hesitant to give up the autonomy they now have over IT operations independent of the county mainframe. They cited their autonomy as elected officials whose positions are established in the Tennessee Constitution.

“The reality of it is an organization as large as ours … from an efficiency standpoint can’t afford to have such a confederated IT program,” Luttrell said during Wednesday committee sessions.

Luttrell was leaving town Thursday to be gone through the weekend and said his inclination was to veto the resolution before the 10-day period runs out for him to act.

The commission would then have 30 days to decide whether to accept the veto or vote on a veto override. Luttrell said he hoped the commission would use those 30 days to see if the administration could reach a compromise with the elected officials who have problems with the approach.

Commissioner Wyatt Bunker said if Luttrell followed through on the veto, he would move for an override vote at Monday’s County Commission meeting. Other backers of the opt-in amendment proposed by Commissioner Heidi Shafer indicated they still support the amendment.

– Bill Dries

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 64 87 1,429
MORTGAGES 39 60 1,107
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 7 13 203
BUILDING PERMITS 92 209 3,265
BANKRUPTCIES 42 84 837
BUSINESS LICENSES 21 23 352
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0