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VOL. 126 | NO. 26 | Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Daily Digest

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Sterling Townhomes Financed for $3.2M

Roslyn Heights, N.Y.-based Apollon Holdings LLC has financed Sterling Townhomes, 4187 Rainbranch Drive in Whitehaven, through Berkadia Commercial Mortgage LLC for $3.2 million. The loan matures in February 2046.

Apollon bought the property – formerly Loft Apartments – in 2007 and began a renovation into condominiums. It was part of Apollon’s $43 million investment in Memphis between 2005 and 2007.

Apollon was founded by George Fakiris in 1971 and has properties across the U.S. and overseas.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Kate Simone

10-Year PILOT Requested for 115 Union Ave. Project

The Center City Revenue Finance Corp. will vote on a requested 10-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes benefit for the developers of a mixed-use commercial and residential project at 115 Union Ave.

The CCRFC meets Tuesday at 9 a.m. in the Center City Commission conference room at 114 N. Main St.

The developers behind the 115 Union project submitted the idea to the CCRFC for PILOT approval in June 2008, but the economic downturn made financing hard to obtain, and plans eventually were put on hold. A previous CCRFC PILOT approval also expired.

The project now has financing through Triumph Bank.

The plan calls for 23 apartments, as well as retail space, a mini gym, conference room and more. The project will cost a little less than $4 million, it’s planned to be completed in August, and the developers also plan to go before the Center City Development Corp. to apply for a $101,000 development loan.

– Andy Meek

UTHSC Dept. of Physiology Ranked 3rd in North America

The Department of Physiology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis has been ranked third out of 186 physiology departments in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico by the American Physiological Society.

The department has moved up from its seventh place ranking in the 2009 annual survey, which is based on an institution’s research dollars, number of faculty and amount of research space. With 19 full-time faculty members and a budget of more than $16 million, UTHSC’s faculty generates an average of $586,499 per member.

Dr. Gabor Tigyi, chair of the UTHSC Department of Physiology, said he believes the higher ranking is the result of the faculty attracting seven new grant awards from the National Institutes of Health. In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act infused the NIH with a one-time grant of approximately $8 billion to fuel exceptional scientific endeavors aimed at improving the length and quality of life of U.S. citizens.

The department has a team of nearly 100 among faculty, staff and students and UTHSC is in the planning stages for the new Translational Science Research Building, which will be the new home for the department’s investigators.

Its Integrated Biomedical Sciences Program (IBSP) allows graduate students to train in faculty laboratories at UTHSC, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Veteran Affairs Medical Center.

– Aisling Maki

2010 Brought $531M in Downtown Investment

The Center City Commission’s 2010 year-end recap has been released and is now posted online.

Downtown saw $531 million in total completed investment during 2010.

Those completed private sector projects include the expansion of Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center ($327 million); the completion of Court Square Center ($49 million); the Courtyard Marriott Downtown ($21.1 million); and the Barboro Flats mixed-use commercial and apartment development ($18.2 million).

There’s currently $2.4 billion in public and private investment in Downtown projects under way or that have recently been completed.

Nineteen new retailers opened their doors Downtown during 2010. Downtown also welcomed new restaurants, charter schools, a hotel and 2 higher learning institutions.

The CCC’s affiliate boards administered office and retail grants that secured almost 600,000 square feet of leased space Downtown during the year.

“Downtown’s 6.5 square miles is only a small part of Memphis – about 2 percent of its geographic area – but this relatively small space is our whole community’s brand and a powerful talent magnet that is also the answer to unsustainable sprawl,” the 2010 recap reads. “If we get this 6.5 square miles right, we can change our image, attract more people and jobs to our community and set ourselves on a path toward financial sustainability.”

– Andy Meek

SCOTN Chief Justice Clark to Speak in Memphis Wed.

Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Cornelia Clark will be in Memphis Wednesday as the keynote speaker for the kickoff luncheon for the Memphis Area Legal Services Campaign for Equal Justice.

The luncheon at Calvary Episcopal Church, 102 N. Second St., begins at noon.

The MALS fundraising campaign raised more than its $300,000 goal in 2010.

Clark began her two-year term as chief justice in September.

During a busy January, Clark administered the oath of office to new governor Bill Haslam and called on attorneys and law firms across the state to increase pro bono efforts this year.

To bolster pro bono efforts, the court established its own “Access to Justice” initiative in June to work with the MALS effort and similar legal services agencies across the state.

– Bill Dries

Tenn. Democrats Optimistic About Bipartisanship

Some Tennessee Democrats say they’re optimistic about having a bipartisanship relationship with Republicans this legislative session despite a hard stance by the GOP on a West Tennessee issue.

House Republicans were uncompromising last week on a measure that would give Memphis schools more time to make a transitional plan if city voters decide to let their school system merge with the Shelby County system.

A provision of the proposal requires a transitional plan be developed by a planning commission. Several Democrats proposed measures that would ensure the panel is diversified, but all failed.

Republicans control the House, Senate and governorship. Every committee in both chambers is headed by a GOP member.

However, Miller said he’s optimistic what happened last week won’t be the tone for the rest of the session and that “there will be a little give and take.”

– The Associated Press

Dollar General Opens on Elvis Presley Blvd.

A new Dollar General store has opened at 3909 Elvis Presley Blvd. and will be hosting a grand opening event Feb. 12 at 8 a.m.

The first 50 shoppers will receive a $10 Dollar General gift card and the first 200 customers will receive a Dollar General tote bag, among other special deals and free prizes.

For more than 70 years, Dollar General Corp. has offered shoppers national and private brands of food, housewares, seasonal items, cleaning supplies, basic apparel and health and beauty products.

The new store offers a fresh layout with seasonal products in the center of the store and coolers at the front.

The new store employs about six to 10 people.

– Allison Buckley

Board Cautious About Revenue Estimates

Economic forecasts call for a growth in Tennessee revenues, but the State Funding Board is taking a cautious approach toward setting projections for the upcoming budget year.

Comptroller Justin Wilson said Monday that it would be equally damaging for the panel to either overestimate or underestimate tax collections.

Finance Commissioner Mark Emkes, who will play a key role in crafting Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s budget proposal, said he was encouraged by improving economic indicators.

Emkes said the growth won’t be enough to stave off budget cuts but that some of the deepest reductions may be averted.

James White, executive director of the Legislature’s Fiscal Review Committee, said the Tennessee work force has gained back about half the 212,000 jobs lost during the recession but said it could be two more years before the state erases all the job losses.

– The Associated Press

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