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VOL. 126 | NO. 244 | Thursday, December 15, 2011

Daily Digest

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Merion-AllianceBernstein Venture Buys Stonebridge Apts.

A joint venture between Merion Realty Partners and an affiliate of AllianceBernstein U.S. Real Estate Partners LP has bought Stonebridge Apartments from CMS Stonebridge LLC for $21.9 million as part of a 20-property multifamily portfolio purchase the companies announced in October.

The entity, called AB Merion Stonebridge LLC, closed on the deal Dec. 6.

The Stonebridge purchase includes 500 Class B apartments on three parcels totaling 32.3 acres, with a 2011 appraisal from the Shelby County Assessor of Property totaling $18.7 million.

Stonebridge Apartments, bounded by U.S. 64 to the north, Berryhill Road to the east and Fletcher Trace Parkway to the south, uses the address 9135 Morning Ridge Road.

The first parcel, which the assessor lists at 9135 U.S. 64, includes 200 units built in 1994 on 14.1 acres with a 2011 appraisal of $7.5 million. The second, listed at 9225 U.S. 64, includes 230 units built in 1995 on 12.5 acres and appraised at $8.6 million. And the third, listed at 0 Fletcher Trace Parkway, includes 70 units built in 1994 on 5.7 acres and appraised at $2.6 million.

In conjunction with the purchase, AB Merion Stonebridge LLC assumed CMS Stonebridge’s $18.5 million loan through Fannie Mae dated Nov. 1, 2010.

The joint venture between Wynnewood, Pa.-based Merion Realty Partners and New York-based AllianceBernstein announced in October it planned to buy a portfolio that included 4,900 units in 20 properties across several Southeastern states. The deal was expected to close in two tranches in December, according to Merion’s website. The portfolio included Class B, garden-style apartments requiring about $14 million in capital improvements and value-add upgrades, according to the site.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Pinnacle SVP Resigns From Subsidiary

Pinnacle Airlines Inc. Senior Vice President of Operations Robert K. Muhs has resigned effective Jan. 13. He had been head of operations for the subsidiary of Pinnacle Airlines Corp. since 2010.

Muhs is leaving the Memphis-based regional air carrier at a financially volatile moment.

His resignation comes days after Pinnacle Airlines Corp. CEO Sean Menke announced the company has hired a consultant and is seeking to renegotiate or change its agreements with employees, labor groups and the major airlines with whom it has contracts.

– Bill Dries

Kreuger Expansion Wins $5 Million State Grant

The State Funding Board has approved $20 million worth of infrastructure and jobs training grants for seven projects around Tennessee.

The panel unanimously approved the state Department of Economic and Community Development’s request on Wednesday, Dec. 14, without debate.

The projects include $7 million each to improve sites in Murfreesboro and Lebanon, where online retailer Amazon.com plans to build facilities.

The other grants include $5 million for an expansion of a Kreuger Tissue Group plant in Memphis; $2.5 million for electrical components maker Thomas & Betts in Portland and Athens; $2.2 million for a new Sprint call center in Bristol; $1.8 million for an expanded Carlex automotive glass facility in Nashville; and $1.6 million for General Motors’ plant in Spring Hill.

The plants are projected to create more than 2,800 new jobs.

– The Associated Press

Education Realty Trust to Negotiate U of K Project

Education Realty Trust Inc. – a Memphis-based developer, owner and manager of collegiate housing – has been selected to negotiate the potential revitalization and expansion of more than 9,000 residence hall beds at the University of Kentucky over the next seven to 10 years.

Phase I includes Education Realty assuming management of the university’s 6,000-bed housing on July 1. It also includes the development, construction and ownership of a 600-bed, on-campus community for undergraduate honors students, to be available for occupancy by August 2013.

Education Realty is currently negotiating this first phase of UK’s on-campus revitalization.

Beds will be privately funded and owned on land leased from the university. The project will be financed through Education Realty’s On-Campus Equity plan – The ONE Plan – in which the company uses its equity and financial stability to fund projects on university land.

– Sarah Baker

New York Singer to Perform at Memphis Law Firm Party

The Memphis law firm of Glassman, Edwards, Wade & Wyatt PC will host New York singer Gary Russo at its holiday party. Russo is a construction worker who made a name for himself after taking to the Big Apple’s streets during his lunch hour to sing for passersby.

Memphis attorney Richard Glassman saw him perform in New York and invited him to appear at the firm’s party.

Russo has been featured on National Public Radio, “Good Morning America,” “Access Hollywood,” “Fox and Friends,” “Inside Edition” and more. He also has written a book, “Don’t Die with your Song Unsung.”

Russo, known as the “2nd Avenue Subway Sinatra,” is a lifelong New Yorker who lives in Queens.

To see a video of Russo perform, visit the Daily News blog at blog.memphisdailynews.com and click on “Blue Collar Sinatra.”

– Andy Meek

Literacy Mid-South to Hold Holiday Book Drive

Literacy Mid-South will host a holiday open house and book drive Friday, Dec. 16, from noon to 3 p.m. at its office, 902 S. Cooper St.

Guests can bring new children’s books to donate to the book drive, which will serve children across the city. The event will also feature carolers from the Memphis Academy of Health Sciences, as well as adult students who benefit from the organization.

Tours will be offered and donations are accepted.

For more information, call 327-6000 or visit www.literacymidsouth.org.

– Taylor Shoptaw

Haslam Reflects on First Year

Gov. Bill Haslam has taken on teachers and lawyers to win battles to toughen tenure and cap lawsuit damages since his January inauguration, but he hasn’t had as much success uprooting Wall Street protesters.

Haslam said he isn’t worried that the standoff with Occupy Nashville has tarnished his freshman year in office.

In a recent interview with The Associated Press, the Republican governor pointed to the removal of protesters in other cities, from New York to Los Angeles, as vindicating his view that the protesters presented sanitation and security problems.

Since state troopers raided the encampment on the plaza across the street from the Capitol in October and made 55 arrests, the state has had to back down.

Haslam ordered the charges dropped when Nashville courts refused to jail the protesters, and the state isn’t fighting a federal court order that found the raids violated the First Amendment rights of the protesters.

– The Associated Press

CEOs of Big Companies Don't Plan to Hire

Two-thirds of chief executives of the largest U.S. companies don’t plan to hire in the next six months, mainly because of sluggish growth in the United States and financial turmoil in Europe.

The Business Roundtable said Tuesday, Dec.13, that about one-third of its member CEOs expect to add employees and spend more on large equipment in the next six months. That’s little changed from three months ago.

The group predicted in its quarterly outlook survey that the economy will expand 2 percent next year. That’s not enough to produce job growth. Instead, existing employees will be expected to handle any increased business.

The roundtable’s outlook index was essentially unchanged, at 77.9, compared with 77.6 three months ago. The group surveyed 130 members in the first half of November.

In November, employers added 120,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate fell to 8.6 percent from 9 percent.

– The Associated Press

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