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VOL. 125 | NO. 135 | Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Daily Digest

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WelshInvest Buys Two Sites in Airport Industrial Park

Two limited liability companies affiliated with Minnesota-based WelshInvest have bought property in Airport Industrial Park from Principal Life Insurance Co. for $20.6 million.

Exeter 4460 Holmes LLC bought property at 4460 E. Holmes Road for $11.5 million. That site includes a 449,600-square-foot warehouse built in 1998 on 21 acres on the north side of East Holmes east of Malone Road, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property, whose 2010 appraisal is $14.6 million.

Exeter 4495 Citation LLC bought property at 4495 Citation Drive for $9.1 million. That property includes a 366,800-square-foot warehouse built in 1997 on 33.4 acres northeast of the 4460 E. Holmes site, according to the assessor. The 2010 appraisal is $11.9 million.

The city/county Industrial Development Board quitclaimed both sites to Principal Life Insurance Co. in 2006.

WelshInvest is an affiliate of Welsh Cos. LLC. Founded in 1977, the parent company handles many aspects of commercial real estate, including brokerage, property management, development and financing, among other things. WelshInvest doesn’t own any other properties in Tennessee, according to a property map on the company’s website. A call to Welsh was not immediately returned.

Welsh Property Trust Inc. announced July 1 it was withdrawing plans for an initial public offering, citing unfavorable market conditions. The company filed registration in March for a proposed IPO “in an effort to source lower-priced capital to finance the purchase of additional real estate,” according to a statement on Welsh’s website.

Source: The Daily News & Chandler Reports

– Kate Simone

Obama Backs Cohen in Re-election Bid

President Barack Obama is backing U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, in the 9th Congressional District Democratic primary between Cohen and former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton.

Cohen – an early supporter of Obama during the 2008 Democratic presidential primary when it was still being hotly contested – welcomed the endorsement. An ally of Herenton said Obama’s endorsement might backfire on the incumbent congressman.

“Congressman Cohen is a proven leader in the United States Congress and a strong voice for Tennessee,” reads Obama’s statement, distributed by the Cohen camp. “Together, we passed historic health care reform, and together we’re continuing the fight to renew our economy and bring jobs back to the American people.

“I am proud to stand with Steve and support his re-election to Congress.”

In response, Cohen said he was grateful for the president’s support and looks forward “to continue working closely with the President and his administration during the 112th session of the United States Congress.”

Herenton campaign manager Sidney Chism said he was disappointed Obama waded into the race, but said “I’m not concerned with how much influence it’s going to have.”

“It might hurt Cohen,” Chism said, alluding to the president’s poll ratings that have lost some of their original luster.

Chism also noted not all of Obama’s political endorsements have worked out – with notable examples earlier this year including candidates for Senate in Massachusetts and gubernatorial candidates in Virginia and New Jersey.

“It ain’t all good, but I kind of regret that it’s taken place,” Chism said.

Herenton had scheduled a Tuesday afternoon press conference to announce his own endorsements. Check The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com., for updates.

Andy Meek

Cummins Inc. Will Lay Off 100

Cummins Inc. could lay off up to 100 employees in Shelby County between July 15 and Sept. 15, according to a notice filed with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

The company, based in Columbus, Ind., manufactures and distributes service engines and related technologies globally. Its products include fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems.

Cummins Inc., which filed the layoff notice, is a separate company from Cummins Mid-South LLC. Cummins Mid-South is the exclusive distributor of the engine products in the region, but it is not part of the corporation.

Cummins Inc., which filed the notice, has a Memphis distribution center at 4155 Quest Way.

Tom Wilemon

FEMA Specialists at Collierville Home Depot

Homeowners rebuilding after the spring floods can receive valuable information from hazard mitigation specialists with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at The Home Depot store in Collierville all week.

The specialists can answer questions about protecting homes from future disaster damage, as well as offer other home improvement tips and techniques.

Topics will include mold and mildew cleanup and prevention, flood insurance, flood- and wind-resistant building methods, wind straps and other measures to make homes stronger and safer. Publications on these topics will also be available.

FEMA mitigation specialists will be at the store, 345 Market Blvd. in Collierville, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day through Saturday.

There is no cost to talk with the specialists.

Eric Smith

County Tax Rate Remains $4.02

After one more try to cut the Shelby County property tax rate by five cents, Shelby County Commissioners voted this week to keep the tax rate at $4.02.

The commission approved the stable tax rate on third and final reading Monday. The rate is $4.06 in the county outside Memphis to pay for rural school bonds.

Commissioner Mike Carpenter moved for the five-cent reduction and got a recommendation for it in committee sessions last week. Carpenter argued the tax rate should have been reduced because the county didn’t need the entire cushion it had built into the tax rate for appeals in the last property reappraisal process.

Interim County Mayor Joe Ford argued against the reduction saying it would upset budget plans and leave the county with no cushion in the event revenues funding the new budget take an unexpected dip.

The commission also voted down Ford’s six appointees to a Prevailing Wage Commission. The appointees needed seven votes to pass and got only five when commissioners Sidney Chism, Henri Brooks and John Pellicciotti abstained.

Carpenter’s resolution to change the county’s leave policy going forward to create a personal leave account for all employees was deferred for a month. The policy would cap the number of leave days county employees can amass or bank.

And the Unified Development Code passed on the second of three readings with several amendments sought by the Memphis city school system.

The amendments address a move in the code to get new schools build on collector or arterial streets that are at least four lanes.

– Bill Dries

Bioworks Selects Southwest for Green Project

The Memphis Bioworks Foundation will spend a $2.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to fund green jobs training programs in two states.

Bioworks chose Southwest Tennessee Community College as the principal training partner and will receive $1.4 million of the grant. Southwest will work other community colleges and job training programs in the Mid-South on the green careers project.

The grant program, which was funded with federal stimulus money, began in January and ends in January 2012.

– Tom Wilemon

Methodist Hospital Attains ‘Gold’ LEED Status

The new Women’s and Children’s Pavilion at Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital is the first hospital in the Southeast to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification.

Only a handful of hospitals nationally have obtained the gold certification. Ninety percent of the construction waste from a demolition to make room for the new hospital was diverted from landfills and recycled. The hospital also is built of environmentally friendly materials, such as bamboo floors, a renewable wood source.

The design includes several energy and water saving features.

Team partners in achieving the certification include Allen & Hoshall, TRO Jung/Brannen and Flintco Cos. Inc.

– Tom Wilemon

PROPERTY SALES 57 280 1,209
MORTGAGES 55 244 916
BUILDING PERMITS 158 699 2,751