Graceland Manor Sells for $550,000

Graceland Manor LLC has bought the 80-unit Graceland Manor apartment complex at 2118 E. Raines Road at a foreclosure sale, financing it with a $500,000 loan through KEB NY Financial Corp. KEB NY was also the original lender that foreclosed on the property.

The complex, built in 1973, sits on 5 acres on the north side of Raines Road west of Airways Boulevard. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2010 appraisal is $1.2 million.

The original owner, Graceland Property LLC, bought the apartment complex at a foreclosure sale in May 2009 for $1.4 million. Graceland Property financed that purchase with a $1.1 million loan through KEB NY Financial Corp. A default on that loan prompted the most recent foreclosure sale.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Kate Simone

Delta to Fly Between Memphis and Mexico City

Delta Air Lines Inc., which operates a hub at Memphis International Airport, announced Tuesday morning it would begin a weekly nonstop flight between Memphis and Mexico City beginning in early 2011.

The Atlanta-based airline will commence the route Jan. 8, operating the flight on Saturdays with a 124-seat Airbus A319 aircraft.

Local business leaders touted the new route as a way to bolster commerce and culture between Memphis and Mexico.

“Mexico is the second-largest trading partner in the Memphis area and this new flight will further strengthen the trade ties between our regions,” said John Moore, CEO, Greater Memphis Chamber, in a statement. “When you put together the coming I-69 corridor with the confluence of rail, river and runway here in Memphis, our city is well-positioned to continue growing trade ties to Mexico and Latin America.”

Arnold Perl, chairman, Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority, said the addition is also a sign that Delta remains pleased with Memphis as one of its seven U.S. passenger connecting hubs.

“Delta continues to show its confidence in the Memphis hub with new flights and it is critical that the Memphis community continues to demonstrate its partnership and support for our hometown airline,” he said in a statement.

“Each new route is a major investment and our new Mexico City service will only succeed with the support of Memphis-area travelers.”

Memphis currently has nonstop international flights to Amsterdam, Toronto, Cancun, Mexico, and Montego Bay, Jamaica. The airport also has seasonal service to Cozumel, Mexico, and to Vancouver, British Columbia.

– Eric Smith

One Commerce Investors Get Longer PILOT

The Center City Revenue Finance Corp. has agreed to tack five years onto the 15-year tax freeze the board awarded to a group of investors that’s buying One Commerce Square and negotiating to bring Pinnacle Airlines Corp. to the Downtown tower.

The 15-year tax freeze would have saved the group more than $5 million in taxes. But between getting the first tax freeze and signing a letter of intent with Pinnacle to negotiate a lease, the investors had to make concessions that cost more money than they’d planned, leading them to go back for a 20-year tax freeze.

Pinnacle is in the midst of negotiating a long-term lease at One Commerce with the investors, who include Karl and Gail Schledwitz, Terry Lynch, Gary Prosterman and a partnership called Worthington Hyde Partners (AutoZone founder J.R. “Pitt” Hyde III, John Pontius and Robert Worthington).

– Andy Meek

Carpenter Withdraws Resolution on School Budgets

Shelby County Commissioner Mike Carpenter has withdrawn a resolution calling for a change in state law governing the role the commission plays in approving budgets for both public school systems here.

The commission now has little authority over the Shelby County Schools budget and none over the Memphis City Schools budget. The county is the only local funder of county schools and the major local funder of the city schools.

Carpenter’s resolution proposed legislation that would have required both school systems to submit their budgets to the commission. Any disagreement between the two would have gone to binding mediation.

Commissioner Steve Mulroy offered the amendment to make it non-binding mediation and Carpenter agreed. But when the commission voted to delay the resolution expressing support for such legislation, Carpenter withdrew the matter entirely.

– Bill Dries

Commission Approves New Morgue

The legal agreements are in place for the construction of a new Regional Forensic Center.

The Shelby County Commission approved this week the agreements between Shelby County and the state for the construction of the new morgue.

The new center will be built on Poplar Avenue between the Juvenile Court parking lot and Morris Park. The current center is on Madison Avenue near the interstate.

Shelby County Medical Examiner Karen Chancellor has said the current center is inadequate and the building has structural problems, including high levels of lead on its upper floors.

Lifeblood, a regional blood bank, has expressed an interest in the Madison Avenue property, according to County Finance Director Jim Huntzicker.

Groundbreaking for the center could come as early as December with construction taking about 14 months, according to Chancellor.

The state of Tennessee will issue $13 million in bonds to build the new center and contribute $5 million to the county’s debt service. Shelby County provides the land and will lease the center from the state. The center’s jurisdiction is as a regional facility for several West Tennessee counties.

– Bill Dries

Valero Gives $10K to Agape

Valero Energy Corp. has donated $10,000 to Agape Child & Family Services.

The donation will support Agape’s Families in Transition Program, which serves homeless pregnant women and their children.

The donation came from funds raised as part of the 2010 Valero Texas Open and Benefit for Children Golf Classic in San Antonio in May.

Valero team member Shelly Chandler nominated Agape to receive the gift. As part of this support, Valero was named the title sponsor of Agape’s annual golf tournament in September.

The Families in Transition Program provides housing and job skills training while reconnecting homeless pregnant women with their families and other important relationships.

– Taylor Shoptaw