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VOL. 126 | NO. 246 | Monday, December 19, 2011

Daily Digest

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Whitney Cap. Files Loan for 99 N. Main Apts.

Memphis 99 Tower LP, an entity affiliated with New York-based Whitney Capital Co. LLC, has filed a $6.7 million trust deed through Oak Grove Commercial Mortgage LLC for The Renaissance Apartments at 99 N. Main St.

The 209,824-square-foot, Class B apartment building, formerly known as 99 Tower Place Apartments, includes 243 studio, one- and two-bedroom units on 25 floors. Built in 1968, it sits on 0.2 acres at the northwest corner of North Main Street and Jefferson Avenue. Amenities include a laundry facility, rooftop pool and fitness center.

Memphis 99 Tower LP bought the property in 1993 for $4.1 million; the Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2011 appraisal is $4.4 million.

Whitney Capital owns the adjacent five-story parking garage, which is attached to Morgan Keegan Tower via a walkway over Jefferson.

The New York company describes itself as a developer, owner and manager of affordable housing, with holdings in seven states: Arizona, Colorado, New York, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas and Washington. Its other Tennessee property is Countryside North apartments, north of Reese Road in Bartlett. Both properties are managed by Whitney Management Corp.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Medtronic Spent $1.3M on Lobbying in Q3

Medtronic Inc., the world’s largest medical device maker, spent $1.29 million in the third quarter to lobby Congress on issues affecting its implants, according to a government disclosure form.

Medtronic’s Spinal and Biologics Business is based in Memphis.

The company’s lobbying budget was up slightly from the $1.18 million spent in the second quarter and $1.03 million spent in the same period last year.

Medtronic lobbied on bills designed to repeal a 2.3 percent tax on certain medical devices that goes into effect in 2013. The tax was part of the Obama administration’s health reform law of 2010 and is intended to raise more than $20 billion in revenue over the next decade to expand health coverage to uninsured Americans.

Industry executives have complained that the fees will raise their costs and force them to lay off workers, though the Obama administration argues device companies will benefit in the long run as more patients become eligible to receive their products.

The company also lobbied on bills that would reform the Food and Drug Administration’s system for approving certain medical devices.

For more than 30 years the FDA has granted speedy approval to devices that are similar to products already on the market. This so-called 510(k) process is cheaper and faster than the review process for first-of-a-kind devices, which must go through rigorous medical testing.

– The Associated Press

MAAR Awards Past Prez Blume

Gary Blume received the Memphis Area Association of Realtors’ Outstanding Service Award at the association’s 2011 awards luncheon Wednesday, Dec. 14.

Blume, manager of RE/MAX Elite, served as MAAR’s president in 1984.

– Sarah Baker

ArtsMemphis Announces New Grant Program

ArtsMemphis is using a $750,000, three-year lead gift from The Assisi Foundation of Memphis Inc. to launch a new initiative to support the arts outreach programming of museums, performing arts companies, visual arts centers and other arts groups in Shelby County.

Over the first half of 2012, ArtsMemphis will convene arts groups and undergo a research process through the University of Memphis to better refine the objectives and areas for impact of the program.

Grant awards will be made to eligible groups starting in July 2012. By working together, arts organizations across the county will increase collaboration among groups, reduce barriers for audiences and expand the work of arts education in the community.

The announcement comes after an 18-month information-gathering process among ArtsMemphis, The Assisi Foundation of Memphis, Memphis City Schools, Shelby County Schools and arts educators

In fiscal year 2011, ArtsMemphis awarded $2.8 million to the Memphis arts community through 280 grants.

– Sarah Baker

IDB Electrolux Committee to Meet Thursday

The Memphis-Shelby County Industrial Development Board will hold an Electrolux committee meeting Thursday, Dec. 22.

The meeting will be at 7:30 a.m. in the SunTrust Bank building, 999 Shady Grove Road, suite 208.

Agenda items include consideration of a Delta Regional Authority grant for infrastructure in Frank C. Pidgeon Industrial Park. The board also will discuss a road expansion reimbursement agreement with Electrolux Home Products Inc. as well as whether to approve payment of two invoices to engineering firm Allen & Hoshall.

– Andy Meek

MCS To Vote On Contracts for SE Grade School

The Memphis City Schools system votes Monday, Dec. 19, on a contract to buy 12.4 acres of land on the northwest corner of Ridgeway Road and Belle Forest Drive for a new Southeast Memphis elementary school.

The school, which generated much discussion, would open in the 2013-2014 school year, the first year of a consolidated public school system in Shelby County.

Countywide school board members are also asked at Monday's meeting to approve the $350,000 contract this month and also approved a $14.9 million construction contract with EMJ Corp.

The school will include kindergarten through fifth grade and will be built to hold 1,200 students.

MCS officials said the school would relieve overcrowding at nearby Oak Forest, Germanshire, Newberry, Winridge and Hickory Ridge elementary schools, all of which are operating over capacity.

Nearby Shelby County Schools are also operating near their capacities.

– Bill Dries

'Drinking Made Easy' to Air Memphis Episode in Jan.

The TV show “Drinking Made Easy” recently visited Memphis to film and will air an episode on the city in January.

Hosted by Zane Lamprey and Steve McKenna, the show visits cities and experiences the local drinking culture. While in Memphis, Lamprey and McKenna visited The Peabody hotel, Blues City Café, Silky O’Sullivan’s and Silly Goose Lounge. They also spoke with Boscos Squared brewmaster Chuck Skypeck.

The episode will air Jan. 4 at 7 p.m. on HDNet.

– Taylor Shoptaw

Ramsey May Support Sunshine Law Change

Tennessee Senate speaker Ron Ramsey says he may support changes to Tennessee’s open government laws to allow officials more leeway to discuss official business in private.

The Blountville Republican stressed to reporters he’s against weakening what is known as the Sunshine Law but said that local officials shouldn’t have to fear prosecution for meeting in private.

The Tennessee County Commissioners Association has been promoting a change to the state’s 37-year-old law to allow private meetings among officials as long as a quorum is not present.

Ramsey said he hasn’t seen any legislative proposals on the matter and didn’t say what specific changes he’d support.

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, a former Knoxville mayor, has announced he opposes changes to the open meetings law.

– The Associated Press

Health Benefits Framework Would Give States Say

The Obama administration is rolling out a health benefits framework for millions of Americans who will get private insurance through the health care overhaul – and states get to decide the specifics.

It’s tricky territory for the feds, who don’t want to be labeled “Big Brother” on health care.

The framework proposed Friday, Dec. 16, allows states to pick from several federally approved options, ranging from packages offered to government employees to a health maintenance organization.

– The Associated Press

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