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VOL. 125 | NO. 215 | Thursday, November 4, 2010

Daily Digest

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Blueknight Refinances Channel Ave. Property

Blueknight Energy Partners LP has financed property in Memphis – as well as other states – through JPMorgan Chase Bank NA.

The Memphis properties include 1285 Channel Ave. and three lots in the Shelby County Port Commission’s Industrial Subdivision. The 1285 Channel site is 15.2 acres at the southeast corner of Channel Avenue and Port Street. The southeast side of the property backs up to the river. The Shelby County Assessor’s 2010 appraisal of 1285 Channel is $709,800.

The loan for 1285 Channel (also known in loan documents as the “Memphis Terminal”) is for $4 million; the loan for the other three parcels (known as the “Memphis Em Marathon Terminal”) is for $429,909. Neither lists a maturity date.

Blueknight Energy Partners LP announced Oct. 25 it had raised new equity and repaid indebtedness under its prior credit agreement, at the same time it refinanced its properties in 23 states. The announcement came at the same time Charlesbank Holding entered into an agreement to buy 50 percent of Vitol Holding’s interest in the entity that controls the company’s general partner.

A call to Blueknight was not returned by press time

Blueknight Energy Partners LP owns and operates facilities that store, process, gather and transport materials for companies that produce, distribute and market crude oil and asphalt product.

The other states covered by the loan (some as credit lines, trust deeds, mortgages and open-end mortgages) are Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Kate Simone

September Home Sales Decline Nearly 16 Pct.

Total home sales for September dropped 15.9 percent from August, with 1,026 total sales recorded in the Memphis Area Association of Realtors MAARdata property records database. The catalog includes records of all property transactions in the Memphis area, including Shelby, Fayette and Tipton counties.

Monthly sales volume also took a significant hit, with 9.9 percent drop month to month.

While total home sales for the year decreased 4 percent, average sales price for September saw a 0.5 percent increase year-to-date, jumping from $127,634 in 2009 to $128,322 in 2010.

September existing sales saw a 4.5 percent decrease year-to-date, while new home sales saw a 6.3 percent increase. Non-bank sales dipped 14.5 percent year-to-date, and bank sales decreased 18.6 percent.

“With the summer ending and school starting back up, it’s not surprising to see a decline,” said MAAR president Glenn Moore in a statement. “It is encouraging, however, that new home sales increased about 6 percent from the same point in 2009.”

Inventory from August to September dropped 2.3 percent, with 9,399 units listed for sale.

– Sarah Baker

GTx Receives Government Grants

GTx Inc. has been awarded $1.2 million in federal grants from the Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project Program.

The $1 billion program was established by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law.

The program provides a tax credit or cash grant to companies with 250 or fewer employees to cover up to 50 percent of investments to create new therapies.

Memphis-based GTx will receive separate payments of $244,000 for five cancer research programs.

– Tom Wilemon

Bill and Melinda Gates Visit Hamilton, Ridgeway High Schools

For the one-year anniversary of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s announcement it would invest more than $90 million in Memphis City Schools, the famous heads of the charitable foundation made a surprise appearance in Memphis.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, toured Hamilton High School and visited Ridgeway High Wednesday, affording the Gateses an up-close look at the schools and the opportunity to talk to students and faculty.

The Gates Foundation grant to MCS, announced late last year, is part of a national effort to research what it means to be an effective teacher.

– Andy Meek

Delta’s Oct. System Traffic Jumps 8.6 Percent

Delta Air Lines Inc.’s system traffic increased 8.6 percent compared to October 2009 on a 9.5 percent increase in capacity, according to a report released Wednesday. Load factor, or the percentage of seats filled with passengers, decreased 0.7 points to 83.4 percent.

Domestic traffic increased 6.4 percent year over year on a 7.3 percent increase in capacity. Domestic load factor dipped 0.8 points to 83 percent.

International traffic increased 12 percent year over year on a 13 percent boost in capacity. Again, load factor decreased 0.8 points to 84 percent.

Delta serves more than 160 million customers each year, with more than 13,000 daily flights. Memphis International Airport is one of the Atlanta-based company’s seven U.S. hubs.

– Sarah Baker

2010 Ethan Award Goes to Memphian Jay Myers

Memphian Jay Myers, the founder and CEO of Interactive Solutions Inc., is the 2010 Ethan Award winner.

Myers won the literary award for his book “Keep Swinging,” which details his rise as an entrepreneur, the low moments and how he bounced back from them.

Myers’ company is an integrator of videoconferencing, distance learning, telemedicine and audio-visual sales and support. Since the company’s founding 14 years ago, ISI has been named to the Inc. 500/5000 list five times, and “Keep Swinging” has appeared on the Inc. magazine Business Best Seller List the past six consecutive months.

“Winning the 2010 Ethan Award is the biggest thrill of my professional career,” Myers said.

– Andy Meek

Bush Memoir Details Frist as Possible VP

Former President George W. Bush considered a running mate switch in 2004 – the possibility of replacing Dick Cheney with former Tennessee Sen. Bill Frist, according to Bush’s memoir, “Decision Points,” being released next week.

Bush said it would have helped dispel the myth that Cheney was the real power behind the throne and “demonstrate that I was in charge,” Bush says in the book, according to the New York Times.

The NYT, which obtained an early copy of the book, said Bush writes that Cheney is the one who offered to drop out of the race in mid-2003. Bush writes in the book that he spent several weeks considering whether to replace Cheney with Frist, ultimately deciding he was happy with the job Cheney was doing.

– Andy Meek

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