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VOL. 126 | NO. 81 | Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Daily Digest

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Stonebriar Properties Buys Land in Stonebriar Phase 5

Germantown-based Stonebriar Properties LLC has bought 63 lots in Stonebriar Planned Development, phase 5, as well as 30 acres of vacant land in the development, from Land Solutions LLC for $2.5 million.

A $400,000 loan was filed at the time of purchase through Rotenberry Living Trust.

In conjunction with the sale, Land Solutions LLC quitclaimed common areas in Stonebriar phases 1 through 5 and 4.9 acres of vacant land to the Stonebriar Homeowners Association Inc. Land Solutions also quitclaimed one common area to Levelle and Dawn Salter.

In addition to the sales and $400,000 loan, the parties modified two earlier loans Land Solutions LLC had taken out through Trustmark National Bank, changing the amount owed based on paydown and naming Stonebriar Properties as the new borrower. The modified loan amounts were $2.1 million and $595,000.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Kate Simone

Memphis Ranks 7th in World as Best for Young Artists

The Bluff City has been ranked by Flavorwire as one of the Best Cities for Young Artists.

Flavorwire.com is the culture blog of Flavorpill.com, an online cultural network and city guide covering art, books, events, music, pop culture and world news.

Memphis ranked seventh on the list of international metropolises, which includes Macau, São Paulo, Montreal, Las Vegas, Brussels, Jakarta and Dresden.

According to Flavorwire, after having been priced out of cities such as Melbourne, New York and Barcelona, young artists are gravitating toward new artist-friendly communities in unexpected parts of the world. These blossoming creative cores share several attributes in common, including city funded projects and an abundance of public works.

Writer Annemarie Dooling said Memphis’ low cost of living and public works are just two factors that make the city attractive to creative types.

“They may have sauntered in for the delicious home-cooked meals, but creative minds have come to love the sleepy Southern town thanks to initiatives like Live from Memphis and the UrbanArt Commission,” Dooling writes. “The crowning achievement, Memphis in May, is a month-long shindig celebrating foodies, at the World Championship BBQ Cooking Contest, musicians, at the Beale Street Music Festival, and a kitschy International Week where one far-flung country is celebrated. Guerilla artists, you’ve met your match. No medium is too weird for Memphis.”

– Aisling Maki

Architecture Billings Index Still in Holding Pattern

The first quarter of 2011 has seen the Architecture Billings Index remain virtually unchanged and right at, or slightly above, the break-even level.

The ABI reflects the approximate nine- to 12-month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending.

The American Institute of Architects reported the March ABI score was 50.5, a negligible decrease from a reading of 50.6 the previous month. This score reflects a modest increase in demand for design services. Any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings.

The new projects inquiry index was 58.7, up significantly from a mark of 56.4 in February. The South saw a 49.7 index in March, the lowest of all four regions.

Sector indexes were as follows: commercial/industrial (54.7), multifamily residential (50.8), mixed practice (49.8) and institutional (48.0).

“Currently, architecture firms are essentially caught swimming upstream in a situation where demand is not falling back into the negative territory, but also not exhibiting the same pace of increases seen at the end of 2010,” AIA chief economist Kermit Baker, said in a statement. “The catalyst for a more robust recovery is likely financing, with stronger growth occurring only when lending institutions begin approving credit for construction projects with much greater regularity.”

– Sarah Baker

Cadence Bank, Cintas Sponsor Shred Day

Cadence Bank and Cintas Document Management continue their fifth annual Community Shred Day this week, providing an opportunity for Memphis residents and businesses to bring documents to a Cadence Bank location where they will be destroyed for free.

The shred day is Tuesday from 9 a.m. until noon at the Folk’s Folly Cadence Bank branch, 591 S. Mendenhall Road. Free shredding will be provided onsite, and it’s limited to five boxes of paper documents per person.

It’s not necessary to remove paper clips, staples or bindings. However, Cintas will not shred CDs, floppy disks, aluminum cans, plastic bottles, magazines, newspapers or cardboard containers.

More than 50,000 pounds of documents were shredded during last year’s event.

– Andy Meek

Public Relations Society Elects Board Members

The Memphis chapter of the Public Relations Society of America has announced its newly elected board members for 2011.

The new board members are Vickye Hester of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, president; Jonathan Lyons of Obsidian Public Relations, secretary; John Wallach of the Navy Office of Community Outreach, treasurer and delegate; Beth Simkanin, assistant treasurer; Daphne Thomas, vice president of membership; Stephanie Nichols of SWN Communications, director; Bob Phillips of Thompson Berry Public Relations, director; Marvin Stockwell of the Church Health Center, director; and Beena White of cocoabeens communications, delegate. The Memphis chapter is made up of close to 200 members with positions at large corporations, small private companies, consulting firms, nonprofit agencies, educational institutions and freelancers.

– Taylor Shoptaw

Law Firms Announce New Hires, Additions

The Memphis legal community has seen a flurry of new hires, additions and other personnel announcements of late.

Andrew Sakalarios has joined Glankler Brown PLLC as an associate. He concentrates his practice in tax, trust and estate and general business law, with a practice that focuses primarily upon estate planning, including the drafting of wills and trusts, estate administration, including the preparation of inheritance, gift, estate and income tax returns.

Brian Faughnan has joined the firm of Thomason, Hendrix, Harvey, Johnson & Mitchell PLLC. Faughnan, who is known for expertise in legal ethics and has a growing practice representing lawyers and law firms, is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of appellate law, commercial litigation and mass tort litigation.

Finally, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC has elected 13 new shareholders across the firm, including two attorneys in its Memphis office: Lori Patterson and Jennifer Sink.

Patterson represents broker-dealers, investment advisers and members of the securities industry in all types of cases and regulatory actions. She also regularly represents local governmental entities and officials in suits related to local government, elections and voting issues.

Sink focuses her practice in medical malpractice and nursing home litigation, representing physicians and other health care providers, medical groups, hospitals, regional nursing homes and inpatient rehabilitation hospitals.

– Andy Meek

New-Home Sales Rose Nationally in March

More people bought new homes in March, giving the battered industry a small lift after the worst winter for sales in almost a half-century.

New-home sales rose 11 percent last month from February to a seasonally adjusted rate of 300,000 homes, the Commerce Department said Monday. That follows three straight monthly declines. Still, the pace remains far below the 700,000 homes a year that economists view as healthy.

Sales of new homes fell last year for the fifth consecutive year and the market is showing no signs of rebounding. Economists say it could take years before sales return to a healthy pace.

The median price of a new home rose nearly 3 percent from February to $213,800. New-home prices are about 34 percent higher than the median price for re-sales. That’s more than twice the markup in healthy housing markets.

– The Associated Press

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 57 280 1,209
MORTGAGES 55 244 916
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 8 52 151
BUILDING PERMITS 158 699 2,751
BANKRUPTCIES 37 157 618
BUSINESS LICENSES 12 77 276
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0