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VOL. 126 | NO. 4 | Thursday, January 6, 2011

Daily Digest

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Methodist Acquires Wolf River Medical Office

Methodist Healthcare has paid $1.9 million for the 10,118-square-foot medical office building at 7690 Wolf River Circle in Germantown.

The company, listed in the transaction as Methodist Healthcare – Memphis Hospitals, bought the property from Tower Medical Inc. in a Dec. 31 special warranty deed.

The purchase was part of Methodist’s acquisition of the internal medical practice Foundation Medical Group, announced last month. No financing was associated with the property sale.

The Class A office medical building sits on 0.93 acres in the Wolf River Professional Center Commercial subdivision, southwest of the Wolf River Boulevard and South Germantown Road intersection. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2010 appraisal was $1.5 million.

Ann Brown, one of the physicians in the Foundation Medical Group practice, signed the warranty deed as president of Tower Medical. The other physicians in the practice, whose name will remain the same, are Lynda Freeland, Jolie Porter and Martha Taylor.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Sears Closing Store in Raleigh Springs Mall

Sears Holding Corp. is closing the last remaining anchor store in the Raleigh Springs Mall.

The company announced this week an April 3 closing of the store, which will result in the loss of 91 jobs. Employees at the mall store will be offered opportunities to apply for jobs at other local Sears stores.

Kim Freely of Sears Holding said the Raleigh Springs store is closing because of “poor performance.”

Angela Whichard Inc., a Raleigh, N.C.-based real estate company, bought the mall and an outparcel in October 2009 for $750,000 from two subsidiaries of Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc. At the time, the sale did not include Sears.

Simon and later Whichard, which had bought Southland Mall in Whitehaven in 2000 and then sold it in 2004, changed the mall’s configuration over the years from its original floor plan in 1971.

When it opened, Raleigh Springs Mall was the city’s second enclosed shopping mall after Southland Mall. Sears was one of the original anchors.

The changes to the mall have been part of efforts to boost sales in what has been a tough economic atmosphere for them.

Sears has weathered those changes at other Memphis locations, including the Hickory Ridge Mall where a tornado in 2008 heavily damaged the Sears location there and other parts of the mall.

Sears remains an anchor in the mall, which was bought after the tornado by World Overcomers Church.

– Bill Dries

November Home Sales Decline 25 Percent

Memphis-area home sales for November fell 25.3 percent from the same month a year ago, according to data released this week by the Memphis Area Association of Realtors.

Home sales in the metropolitan area totaled 857 in November, down from 1,147 in November 2009. MAAR officials attributed the drop to the homebuyer’s tax credit, which was in effect last November but expired in early 2010.

Last month’s sales total also marked a 10.5 percent decrease from 958 homes sold in October. MAAR’s catalog includes records of all property transactions in Shelby, Fayette and Tipton counties.

One positive trend from the November report appeared in the average sales price. November’s homes averaged $138,088, up 10.3 percent from $125,248 in November 2009.

“We did see a nice bump in average sales price for November,” MAAR president Leon Dickson said in a release. “But we didn’t have the tax credit in play like we did in November of 2009, so it’s not surprising that total sales were lower.”

Meanwhile, inventory from October to November decreased 3.8 percent with 8,783 units listed for sale.

November’s sales volume of $118.3 million marked a 17.7 percent drop from $143.7 million in November 2009. Overall sales volume through November 2010 was $1.64 billion.

– Sarah Baker

Nashville Distributor to Manage ArtsMemphis Titles

Ingram Publisher Services Inc. this week announced the addition of ArtsMemphis as a new publisher client.

Ingram will manage distribution of the ArtsMemphis title “First Shooting Light,” as well as the newly released cooking anthology “Wild Abundance: Ritual, Revelry & Recipes of the South’s Finest Hunting Clubs.”

Ingram’s parent company, Nashville-based Ingram Content Group Inc., is the largest book wholesale distributor in the world, according to the company’s website.

“We are thrilled to be working with Ingram to expand the reach of our books to an even broader audience,” said Susan Schadt, president and CEO of ArtsMemphis. “The book industry and sales and distribution expertise that Ingram brings to the table is exactly what we need to sell more of our books for the benefit of our arts programs.”

ArtsMemphis raises funds to ensure excellence in the arts and to build a vibrant cultural community in the city. In the 2010 fiscal year, the organization allocated more than 95 percent of its annual campaign to award $4.3 million to the Memphis Arts community.

– Aisling Maki

Council Approves $3M in Triangle Noir Funding

Memphis City Council members have appropriated $3 million in federal funding to begin demolition of the Cleaborn Homes public housing development.

The demolition work, slated to begin in February, is part of a more ambitious 10-year $1 billion development plan called Triangle Noir. While the council approved the funding, some council members said they want to see a new name for the plan, which would take in the area south of FedExForum and move into South Memphis.

Council member Shea Flinn said the term “noir” has a “negative, dangerous, violent context.”

“We are voting on the appropriation, not the name,” countered council chairman Myron Lowery.

But the resolution came with a friendly amendment from council member Harold Collins urging the Wharton administration to change the name.

Housing and Community Development Director Robert Lipscomb has said the name is a way of referring to an area that covers numerous historical sites and communities that are an essential part of the city’s black history and heritage.

– Bill Dries

Sun Studio Sessions to Begin on WKNO

A new season of Sun Studio Sessions – half-hour episodes of TV broadcasts with performers or group recording at Memphis’ historic Sun Studios – has begun airing on public TV stations nationwide.

The show airs Saturdays at 11 p.m. on WKNO Channel 10, following the popular PBS series Austin City Limits.

In 2010, more than 200 public television stations aired the series, including in major markets like New York City, Dallas and San Francisco.

The 13-episode season includes performances by Backyard Tire Fire, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Garrison Starr, Jacob Dylan & 3 Legs and more.

See Friday’s edition of The Daily News for more.

– Andy Meek

Four New Members Named to Lawyer Ethics Board

The Tennessee Supreme Court has appointed four new members to the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility, which is responsible for overseeing the ethical conduct of attorneys.

They are Michael E. Callaway of Cleveland, Wade V. Davies of Knoxville, Michael U. King of Huntingdon and J. Russell Parkes of Columbia.

The court has also reappointed Kate Gooch and Clarence Halmon, both of Memphis, to the nine-member board.

Additionally, the court named Lela M. Hollabaugh of Nashville as chairwoman of the board and Halmon as vice chairman.

– The Associated Press

Red Cross, Elvis Encourage Blood Donations

The American Red Cross in Nashville is getting help from Elvis Presley Enterprises to encourage blood donations.

All blood donors in Nashville on selected dates through Feb. 28 will receive an Elvis-themed rock ‘n’ roll T-shirt.

They also will become eligible to win trips to Las Vegas and Graceland.

According to a news release from the Red Cross, blood collections tend to decline in January and February because of winter weather.

– The Associated Press

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