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VOL. 125 | NO. 89 | Friday, May 7, 2010

Daily Digest

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Apartment Complexes Sold to S.D. Company

The Warren and Tulane apartment complexes sold April 30 for a combined $4.4 million. A trio of Rapid City, S.D.-based entities – Warren Apartments LLC, Tulane Apartments I LLC and Tulane Apartments II LLC – bought the properties.

The seller was Warren and Tulane Apartments LP, which sold the complexes in three separate special warranty deeds. Robert Qualls signed the deeds as general partner for the seller.

The first property, the 248-unit Warren apartments at 1340 Clementine Road, sold for $2.2 million.

Built in 1970, the Class D complex sits on 14.08 acres on the north side of Clementine Road east of Elvis Presley Boulevard. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2010 appraisal is $1.6 million.

The second property, the 200-unit Tulane Apartments at 4717 and 4787 Tulane Road, sold in two warranty deeds for $845,310 and $944,746.

The first parcel was built in 1968; it is a 100-unit Class D complex that sits on the west side of Tulane. Its appraised value is $1.4 million.

The second parcel was built in 1969. It is a 100-unit Class D complex that is adjacent to the other Tulane property. Its appraised value is $845,400.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

Eric Smith

Fred’s Total Sales Sees Slight Increase

Fred’s Inc. has reported total sales for the four-week fiscal month of April increased 1 percent to $137.6 million from $136.6 million in April 2009.

Comparable store sales for the month rose 0.6 percent on top of an increase of 5 percent in the same period last year.

Fred’s total sales for the first three months of fiscal 2010 increased 3 percent to $471.7 million compared with $458.4 million for the same period last year. Comparable store sales increased 2.2 percent compared to an increase of 2.8 percent in the same period last year.

– Taylor Shoptaw

Productivity Gains Slow, Signal Job Growth Ahead

U.S. companies are running out of ways to increase productivity from leaner workforces, a sign that they may need to step up hiring in the months ahead.

That was the takeaway from reports released Thursday by the U.S. Labor Department.

Productivity grew at an annual rate of 3.6 percent in the first quarter, better than economists had expected. But it still declined sharply from growth that exceeded 6 percent for each of the previous three quarters.

The job market is improving, according to a second Labor report. Applications for unemployment benefits dropped for a third straight week, decreasing by 7,000 to 444,000.

Still, economists predict the April jobless number, which is to be released Friday, will show unemployment stuck at 9.7 percent for a fourth straight month.

The economy has been growing since last summer, though firms have been slow to hire back workers. Many have opted instead to push their slimmed-down workforces to produce more.

That has translated into a surge in productivity. It grew at annual rates of 7.6 percent, 7.8 percent and 6.3 percent in the second, third and fourth quarters of last year.

Now, economists think companies are nearing the limits of how much they can expand output without hiring more workers.

For all of 2009, productivity, the amount of output per hour of work, rose at a 3.7 percent rate, nearly double the 2 percent increase in 2008. It was the fastest annual increase in productivity in seven years.

– The Associated Press

Waddell and Associates Hires First COO

Memphis-based Waddell and Associates has hired its first chief operating officer, Ed Brundick, a former senior vice president and director of wealth management services at Morgan Keegan & Co. Inc.

“Ed is a lawyer. He’s an MBA. He’s a certified financial planner. He’s just dripping with degrees,” said Waddell and Associates president and CEO David Waddell. “He’s got a black belt in our business. I expected to have to go through a very frustrating and long search, and Ed just walked through the door and it was wonderful.”

Andy Meek

Program Helps Youths Appreciate Architecture

The winners of the Architecture and Our Youth: 2010 Design Competition, sponsored by Memphis Heritage Inc. and AIA Memphis, will be announced Monday.

Students were asked to interpret a historic building or space through an art medium of their choice then write an essay about the property they selected.

Art Center Supply Store provided support for the project.

The public is invited to the reception from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday at 2282 Madison Ave.

For more information, contact Memphis Heritage at 272-2727.

Tom Wilemon

Crisis Could Have Been Milder, Geithner Says

The financial crisis could have been “less severe” if the government had moved faster to contain the damage, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Thursday.

“I do not believe we were powerless,” Geithner told a special panel investigating the roots of the crisis. “I would say that if the government of the United States had moved more quickly to put in place better-designed constraints on risk-taking ... then this would have been less severe.”

Geithner said the lack of authority for regulators to restrain financial risk was a fundamental cause of the 2008 crisis.

Financial overhaul legislation now before the Senate would close gaps to give regulators needed powers to curb risk-taking by firms operating outside traditional rules, he said. Regulators didn’t know before the crisis hit how that “shadow” banking system could shake the foundations of the economy, Geithner said.

Geithner testified at a hearing of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, which is investigating the roots of the crisis that plunged the country into the most severe recession since the 1930s and brought losses of jobs and homes for millions of Americans.

Geithner praised a vote by the Senate on Thursday to protect taxpayers from losses in the failures of large financial institutions. But he also warned against affording exemptions in the legislation from new rules for certain types of financial activities. “We have to create a strong set of rules that no institution can escape,” he said.

– The Associated Press

Barge Tows Hampered by River Flooding

Flooding on the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers is interfering with commercial barge traffic.

Mark Mayfield, general manager of Tennessee Valley Towing in Paducah, Ky., told The Paducah Sun tow operators have volunteered to suspend use of the Cumberland River, including Lake Barkley. They also are reducing the size of their tows from 15 barges to 12 barges on the Tennessee River, including Kentucky Lake.

Mayfield also said his company has told crews to run only in daylight, if they think that’s necessary.

In Nashville, Volunteer Barge and Transport President Mark Hommrich said there is flood damage to the control room at Cheatham Lock and Dam near Ashland City that will hamper barge traffic to Nashville, even after the Cumberland River returns to normal flow.

– The Associated Press

Justice Dept. Plans Lawsuit Against Arkansas System

The U.S. Department of Justice is preparing to file a lawsuit against Arkansas’ system for serving the developmentally disabled.

Justice Department spokesman Alejandro Miyar said the lawsuit will address allegations the state is not complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act at all six centers for the disabled. He declined to provide details.

Spokesman Matt DeCample for Gov. Mike Beebe said the state hasn’t seen the lawsuit but is not surprised. DeCample said the Justice Department wants to close the state-run human development centers.

State Department of Human Services spokeswoman Julie Munsell said DHS is waiting to see details of the lawsuit so a response can be prepared.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 36 154 6,546
MORTGAGES 34 94 4,129
BUILDING PERMITS 201 554 15,915
BANKRUPTCIES 43 126 3,396