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VOL. 126 | NO. 133 | Monday, July 11, 2011

Daily Digest

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New York Investor Buys Sharky's, Shopping Ctr. Sites

Aaron Muschel, a New York real estate investor, has bought Goodlett Commons shopping center and the Sharky’s Gulf Grill site on Poplar Avenue in separate transactions within days of each other for a total $4.5 million.

Muschel bought the Sharky’s site from RABF Holdings LLC for $2.5 million on July 1.

The property is a 6,291-square-foot, one-story restaurant building built in 1980. It sits on 1.3 acres on the south side of Poplar Avenue west of Briarcrest Avenue, with the south side of the property backing up to Poplar Pike.

In conjunction with the sale, Muschel and RABF filed an agreement modifying a $1.6 million loan filed in December 2008 through Triumph Bank and increased to $1.8 million in August 2009. Under the modified agreement, Triumph increased Muschel’s loan to $1.9 million and extended its maturity date to June 2014.

RABF Holdings bought the site in December 2008 for $1.9 million. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2011 appraisal was $2 million.

On June 29, just days before the Sharky’s property purchase, Muschel bought Goodlett Commons shopping center at 1674 Kirby Whitten Road, as well as a 0.6-acre vacant parcel on Goodlett Farms Parkway, from North Mississippi Real Estate Management LLC for $2 million.

North Mississippi Real Estate Management LLC is a related entity to RABF Holdings LLC, sharing two of the same principals.

Goodlett Commons includes a 12,980-square-foot Class A strip shopping center built in 2008 on 0.9 acres at the southwest corner of Kirby Whitten Road and Goodlett Farms Parkway. The 0.6-acre vacant parcel is adjacent to the east of the shopping center, at the southwest corner of Goodlett Farms Parkway and Raleigh LaGrange Road.

North Mississippi Real Estate Management bought the two parcels in separate transactions in December 2006, paying $358,760 for the then-vacant shopping center parcel and $121,000 for the 0.6-acre parcel. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2011 appraisal of the shopping center parcel is $1.6 million; the appraisal of the vacant parcel is $121,600.

In conjunction with the sale, Muschel and North Mississippi Real Estate Management filed an agreement modifying a $1.9 million loan through First Capital Bank. Under the terms of the modified loan, the new principal balance is $1.7 million, with the loan maturing in July 2014.

Reached at his New York home, Muschel declined comment on the purchases.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Kate Simone

Frontier Airlines' Christie Appointed as Pinnacle CFO

Edward Christie is the new vice president and chief financial officer of Memphis-based Pinnacle Airlines Corp.

Christie’s appointment was anticipated. He had been a partner at Vista Strategic Group LLC and before that was senior vice president at Frontier Airlines Inc. He worked at both companies with Sean Menke, the new Pinnacle president and CEO.

“Ted was a key player in helping us manage the significant challenges we faced,” Menke said in a written statement. “His experience in the airline and financial industries make him a perfect fit to lead the strong, experienced financial team we have in place.

Christie will start the Memphis job by July 25.

He succeeds Peter D. Hunt as CFO. Hunt left Pinnacle in June to become CFO of the California-based regional airline Virgin America. He left after the March resignation of Pinnacle CEO Phil Trenary.

– Bill Dries

Pohlman Named President of ACEC of Tennessee

Mike Pohlman, CEO and president of Pickering Firm Inc., was named president of the American Council of Engineering Cos. of Tennessee on Wednesday, July 6. The organization represents more than 100 engineering firms statewide with chapters in Memphis, Nashville, Southeast Tennessee and East Tennessee.

Pohlman has been associated with Pickering Firm since 1979. Over the years he has held positions such as project manager, team leader for the facilities design group and his current role as leader of the firm in operation of 140 associates in five locations.

ACEC of Tennessee is a statewide organization founded in 1968 committed to providing leadership on business issues affecting engineering firms and to increasing public awareness of the value of engineering.

– Houston Cofield

UTHSC Awarded $1M for Brain Tumor Study

The U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, the contracting element of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, has awarded The Center for Cancer Research at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center $1 million to fund a study on brain tumors.

The study, titled “Novel Methods in Brain Tumor Research,” is lead by Dr. Lawrence Pfeffer, Muirhead Professor of Pathology and director of The Center for Cancer Research, and Dr. Christopher Nosrat, DDS, professor of Dentistry and director of the CCR Oral Cancer Division.

Spread over a two-year period, the grant will support advanced technologies used in brain cancer research and equipment to help the interdisciplinary team improve the diagnosis of brain cancer and develop insights for treating the disease.

The research team will assess whether activation of certain cellular components are key elements in the aggressive behavior of the most malignant form of brain cancer. The study will examine the cancer stem-like cells and whether cancers that metastasize to specific brain regions are due to tumor microenvironments. The research will be conducted using a high-resolution optical imaging technique that can examine the different expressions of genes activated in a particular cancer type.

– Aisling Maki

Norris Reappointed to Tenn. Tech. Development Corp.

Tenn. Sen. Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville, has been reappointed to the Tennessee Technology Development Corp. board of directors by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey. Norris’ new term on the board runs through June 2015.

The TTDC is a nonprofit corporation created by state law to expand and enhance science- and technology-based businesses throughout the state in pursuit of sustainable new industries.

The TTDC works with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, local business development organizations, the investment community and various research institutions to recruit and strengthen technology companies in the state.

Norris, an attorney with Adams and Reese LLP in Memphis, lives in Collierville and represents the West Tennessee counties of Shelby, Tipton, Lauderdale and Dyer in the state senate.

– Andy Meek

Construction Unemployment Drops to 15.6 Percent in June

Despite a loss of 9,000 jobs in June, the construction industry unemployment rate dropped to 15.6 percent – the lowest level since December 2008 – according to the Friday, July 8, employment report by the U.S. Labor Department. Meanwhile, the construction industry has added 2,000 jobs compared to the same time last year.

The nonresidential building construction sector lost 400 jobs in June and was flat year-over-year, with employment standing at 657,300. The residential building construction sector shed 1,500 jobs for the month and has lost 15,900 jobs, or 2.8 percent, from the same time last year. Specialty trade contractor employment fell by 5,300 from May and 4,900 jobs, or 0.1 percent, from June 2010. The heavy and civil engineering construction sector shed 1,800 jobs for the month, but has added 23,000 jobs, or 2.8 percent, compared to the same time last year.

Across all nonfarm industries, the nation added a disappointing 18,000 jobs in June, far short of the consensus expectation of a 125,000 monthly job increase. Year over year, nonfarm employment has expanded by 1 million jobs or 0.8 percent.

Private industries added 57,000 jobs in June and have added 1.7 million jobs, or 1.6 percent, since the same time last year. Government employment shrunk by 39,000 jobs for the month and 659,000 jobs, or 2.9 percent, year-over-year.

Overall, the nation’s unemployment rate rose to 9.2 percent in June.

– Sarah Baker

PROPERTY SALES 28 290 16,197
MORTGAGES 33 165 10,087
BUILDING PERMITS 184 608 38,544
BANKRUPTCIES 33 125 7,597