Wolf River Blvd. Property Sold in Lieu of Foreclosure

Wolfby GP has sold two commercial areas on Wolf River Boulevard for $1.7 million in lieu of foreclosure, according to a filing with the Shelby County Register of Deeds. The parcels are 15.5 acres and 18.9 acres, according to the filing, and are on the west side of Wolf River Boulevard north and south of Byhalia Road. The Shelby County Register of Deeds’ combined 2010 appraisal was $3.8 million.

The sale filing was accompanied by a document in which SunTrust fully released Wolfby GP from its liens.

In a subsequent filing, SunTrust quitclaimed the parcels to Nashville-based ECG Wolf River for $1.6 million.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Kate Simone

Signage Items Slated for DRB Meeting

The Center City Commission Design Review Board will discuss a signage application by Family Dollar at the board’s meeting Wednesday, which starts at 5 p.m. in the CCC office, 114 N. Main St.

The application by Family Dollar, 831 Thomas St., concerns two internally illuminated pole signs and two internally illuminated wall signs.

The board also will discuss a variety of other signage regulations at the Wednesday meeting.

– Andy Meek

County Pension Fund Climbs 15.2 Pct. in 2010

Shelby County’s pension fund had a very good year in 2010.

Factoring in payouts over the year as well as the rise in value, the basket of pension fund assets that provides benefits to a few thousand county retirees saw a 15.2 percent gain. From December 2009 to December 2010, the fund value rose from $844.76 million to $943.42 million.

David Pontius, manager of pension investments for Shelby County, attributed the good year to the fund’s stocks being up 22 percent and bond portfolios earning 14 percent.

– Andy Meek

Boggs, English Awarded at MRA Gulf Tribute Banquet

Members of the city’s restaurant industry gathered at the Hilton Sunday evening for the Memphis Restaurant Association’s 47th Annual Banquet, “A Tribute to the Gulf Coast.”

More than 500 restaurant owners, chefs, vendors and food enthusiasts attended the event, which helped generate awareness for the Gulf Coast’s struggling seafood industry.

The association also honored veteran food industry vendor Brad Leslie of Data Cash Register with the Associate Member of the Year Award, while chef Kelly English, owner of Restaurant Iris, took home the Restauranteur of the Year Award.

Wight Boggs, a former MRA executive director and outgoing advisory board member, was presented with a proclamation from the City of Memphis declaring Jan. 30 “Wight Fulton Boggs Day” in honor of her more than two decades of dedication to the Memphis Restaurant Industry.

The annual banquet is the main fundraiser for the Memphis Restaurant Association, a support organization dedicated to the success of the restaurant industry.

Proceeds from the banquet help cover operating expenses that allow MRA to continue its educational programming and governmental services for the local restaurant community.

– Aisling Maki

Clear Channel Outdoor Picks New Memphis Division Prez

Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. has tapped a new president and general manager for its Memphis division.

Don Nolan will be responsible for Clear Channel Outdoor’s operations in the area and will report to Midwest Group President Rod Firestone.

Nolan formerly was vice president of real estate and public affairs for Clear Channel Outdoor’s Atlanta division, where he managed more than 900 land leases and deployed a network of 24 digital displays. He also previously served as Clear Channel Outdoor’s Chattanooga division president and general manager.

– Andy Meek

Motorsports Park Sale Closes for $2.1 Million

Investor Joe Lubeck has closed on Memphis Motorsports Park from Dover Motorsports Inc. for $2.1 million.

Lubeck placed the highest bid for the tract at an auction on Dec. 14. Lubeck is managing partner of Jupiter, Fla.-based Palm Beach International Raceway, formerly Moroso Motorsports Park.

A news release said the new owners hope to have the track open in April.

The multi-track complex – formerly home to NASCAR and NHRA races – includes a 0.75-mile asphalt oval, a 0.25-mile championship drag strip and a 1.77-mile road course.

– Sarah Baker

Oscar Nominated Shorts to be Screened in Memphis

The Academy Award nominees for Short Film (Animation) and Short Film (Live Action) have been announced and will be screened by On Location: MEMPHIS Feb. 13 at Malco’s Studio on the Square, 2105 Court Ave.

The animation films to be screened are “Day & Night,” United States; “Let’s Pollute,” USA; “The Lost Thing,” an Australian and United Kingdom co-production; “Madagascar, Carnet De Voyage,” France; and “The Gruffalo,” a UK and Germany co-production.

The live action films to be screened are “The Confession,” UK; “The Crush,” Ireland; “God of Love,” USA; “Na Wewe,” Belgium; and “Wish 143,” UK.

The short films will be screened Feb. 13 with the animated shorts beginning at 4:30 p.m. followed by the live action shorts at 7 p.m.

Tickets will be on sale in the lobby on the day of the show beginning at 1 p.m. and are $10 for each screening.

For more information including a description of each short film, visit www.onlocationmemphis.org.

– Taylor Shoptaw

Builders Began Work On Fewer Projects in 2010

Builders began work on fewer homes, shopping centers and other projects in 2010, pushing total building activity down to the lowest point in a decade.

Construction spending dropped 10.3 percent last year, marking the fifth annual decline, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. It fell to $814.18 billion in 2010, the lowest level since 2000.

And the year ended on a weak note. Builders started fewer homes and other projects in December, pushing activity down 2.5 percent for the month.

Builders have struggled with falling demand since the housing bubble burst, triggering a deep recession. The downturn sharply lowered overall economic activity and that cut into demand for office buildings, hotels and shopping centers.

Analysts said harsh winter weather had some impact on the weak December numbers. But other factors are likely to keep the industry from seeing significant gains in the early months of this year.

Homebuilders are having a hard time competing with the record number of foreclosures and declining home prices. The budget crises at the state and local level, along with fading federal stimulus money, have governments pulling back on projects. Rising vacancy rates and declining rents are dragging on commercial real estate construction.

David Wyss, an economist for Standard & Poor’s in New York, said a healthy level for the construction industry would have spending around $1.5 trillion annually — almost double the level in 2010. He said it will probably take until the middle of this decade to reach that point.

– Associated Press

Tenn. Budget Cuts Could Affect Summer Pool Plans

Tennessee’s budget woes could affect your swimming plans this summer.

The state Department of Environment and Conservation’s efforts to cut spending include closing six seasonal swimming pools at state parks. The move would save nearly $200,000 and would eliminate 20 seasonal jobs.

Commissioner Bob Martineau is proposing to replace those pools with splash pools that would be cheaper to maintain and would not require lifeguards.

Martineau told Republican Gov. Bill Haslam at budget hearings Tuesday that other potential cuts include eliminating 28 positions in the state’s groundwater protection program, including 14 currently filled jobs.

The commissioner said most of the workers are involved in processing sewage permits, which have declined because of the downturn in new construction.

– Associated Press