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VOL. 126 | NO. 45 | Monday, March 7, 2011

Daily Digest

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Patriot Bank Buys Arlington Site

Patriot Bank has bought a 1.24-acre vacant parcel on Airline Road in Arlington from John Hyneman for $867,552.

The parcel is listed on the sale deed as an outparcel, part of a 23.8-acre tract of vacant land on the east side of Airline Road south of where Milton Wilson Drive dead-ends to the west. It’s part of 158.9 acres on four parcels John Hyneman bought from Belz/South Bluffs Inc. in July 2006 for $22,021.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2010 appraisal of the 23.8-acre tract was $391,300.

Patriot Bank opened in Millington in 2001 and has grown to six full-service banks in Shelby and Tipton counties, according to the bank’s website.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Kate Simone

Willow Lake Sale Slated for March 11

The foreclosure sale of the 17-building, mixed-use Willow Lake Business Park and Corporate Park in Hickory Hill has been postponed until Friday, March 11, at noon at the Shelby County Courthouse, 140 Adams Ave.

The foreclosure is being pursued because borrowers of the mixed-use property – listed as five separate Delaware limited liability companies related to Chicago-based HSA Commercial Real Estate – defaulted on a $67 million loan through Countrywide Commercial Real Estate Finance Inc. dated Dec. 28, 2006. That loan was later assigned to LaSalle Bank National Association and then to U.S. Bank NA.

The property includes multiple addresses on Raines Road, Willow Lake Boulevard, Knight Road, South Perkins Road and Cromwell Cove. Included property descriptions list parcels in Willow Lake Business Park, Chickasaw Cession, Corporate Park and Hickory Hill Industrial Park.

– Sarah Baker

Bartlett Business Expo to be Held Thursday

More than 80 local businesses and organizations will be featured at The Bartlett Business Expo Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Bartlett Recreation Center, 7700 Flaherty Place.

Businesses will be on hand to offer information about their products and service offerings and the expo will feature two information seminars.

The first seminar, titled “Consumer Scams – How to Avoid Becoming a Victim,” will be presented by Nancy Crawford of the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South at 10 a.m. The second is titled “Living and Leading Through Tough Times” and will presented by Nathan Green of Dale Carnegie Training at 2 p.m.

Admission to the Business Expo is free. Admission to the seminars is also free, but a space must be reserved at the registration booth.

The Business Expo is hosted by the Bartlett Area Chamber of Commerce in partnership with St. Francis Hospital-Bartlett and the city of Bartlett.

For more information, call the Bartlett Chamber at 372-9457 or visit www.bartlettchamber.org.

– Taylor Shoptaw

Univ. of Phoenix to Get New Memphis Director

The University of Phoenix campus in Cordova is getting a new director.

Current director Mark Amrein is relocating to another University of Phoenix location. A school spokesperson said the university is currently looking for the right person to lead the Memphis campus.

The Cordova campus has been in the midst of a renovation that included recently acquiring an additional 7,000 square feet of space and will bring two new classrooms and a remodeled student resource center to the campus.

– Andy Meek

FedEx, Delta, Southwest Make Fortune List

Memphis-based FedEx ranked as the eighth most-admired company in Fortune magazine’s annual ranking of corporations based on financial performance and corporate reputation.

In the 2010 Fortune listing, FedEx was 13th. It has been ranked in the Top 20 since 2001.

The magazine’s annual list of most admired companies also included Delta, which has a hub at Memphis International Airport, in the airlines section. Last year, Delta was ranked third among the airlines.

Southwest Airlines does not yet have a Memphis presence, but has bought AirTran, which flies out of MEM.

– Bill Dries

Jan. Nonres. Construction Spending Falls 6.9 Per.

Private nonresidential construction spending fell 6.9 percent in January, according to the March 1 report by the U.S. Commerce Department. Year-over-year, private nonresidential construction spending is down 13.2 percent.

Total nonresidential construction spending – which includes both privately and publicly financed construction – was down 3.3 percent in January and 5.3 percent lower from the same time last year, and now stands at $536.7 billion.

Those subsectors posting the largest monthly percentage losses in spending include lodging (down 20.2 percent), power (down 10.9 percent), health care (down 6.4 percent), amusement and recreation (down 6.2 percent), and office (down 5.2 percent).

Five of the 16 nonresidential construction sectors still managed to post increases for the month including conservation and development (up 5.5 percent), public safety (up 4.4 percent), water supply construction (up 2.3 percent), and transportation (up 1.2 percent).

Public nonresidential construction spending was flat for the month and up 2.5 percent from January 2010. Residential construction spending surged 5.1 percent for the month, but was still down 7 percent from the same time last year.

“The January construction spending data supports the notion that the recovery in nonresidential construction has not yet begun,” Associated Builders and Contractors chief economist Anirban Basu said in a statement.

– Sarah Baker

Construction Adds Jobs in February

For the first time in six months, the nation’s construction industry added jobs in February. Some 33,000 jobs were created, according to the March 4 employment report by the U.S. Labor Department.

However, on a year-over-year basis, construction employment is down by 24,000 jobs, or 0.4 percent.

The construction unemployment rate stands at 21.8 percent – more than twice the national average. However, unemployment is down from 22.5 percent in January and down from 27.1 percent the same time last year.

Hardest hit was the nonresidential building construction sector, which lost 2,000 jobs in February but is up by 3,500 jobs year-over-year as employment in that sector stands at 654,100 jobs.

Heavy and civil engineering construction gained 4,500 jobs in February and 26,600 jobs, or 3.3 percent, over the last 12 months.

The specialty trade contractor sector added 16,700 jobs for the month and 11,500 jobs, or 0.6 percent, year over year. This represents the first year-over-year increase for the sector since June 2008.

Residential building construction employment increased by 2,200 jobs in February, but is still down by 20,000 jobs, or 3.4 percent, from the same time last year.

– Sarah Baker

Nat'l Unemployment Dips, 192K Jobs Added

Employers hired in February at the fastest pace in almost a year, and the unemployment rate fell to 8.9 percent – a nearly two-year low.

The economy added a net 192,000 jobs. Factories, professional and business services, education and health care were among the sectors that hired. Retailers, though, trimmed jobs. State and local governments, squeezed by budget gaps, slashed 30,000 jobs, the most since November. Federal government hiring was flat.

Private employers added 222,000 jobs last month, the most since April. That shows companies are feeling more confident about the economy and their own prospects.

The job gains bolstered hopes that businesses will hire aggressively through the rest of the year and strengthen the economic recovery.

The unemployment rate is now at its lowest point since April 2009. It’s been falling for three months, down from 9.8 percent in November, marking the sharpest three-month drop since 1983.

The number of unemployed people dipped to 13.7 million, still nearly double the number before the recession began in December 2007.

– The Associated Press

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PROPERTY SALES 98 238 15,862
MORTGAGES 122 284 18,332
BUILDING PERMITS 137 452 32,966
BANKRUPTCIES 62 178 10,191

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