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VOL. 126 | NO. 104 | Friday, May 27, 2011

Daily Digest

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East Raines Warehouse Sells for $7.7M in Foreclosure

A 1.1 million-square-foot warehouse at 5000 E. Raines Road has sold at a foreclosure sale for $7.7 million. GECMC 2003-C2 5000 Raines Road LLC bought the property at the May 13 sale.

The sale occurred after 5000 East Raines Partnership defaulted on a $19 million loan taken out in May 2003 through Bank of America.

The warehouse, which was built in 1966, sits on 62.5 acres on the north side of Raines Road with a small amount of frontage on Outland Road to the west.

After 5000 East Raines Partnership took out its $19 million loan through Bank of America in 2003, the loan was transferred several times to other banks, all acting as trustees, with the most recent transfer being to U.S. Bank NA.

U.S. Bank in January named Midland Loan Services Inc. – now Midland Loan Services, a division of PNC Bank NA – attorney-in-fact with the authority to take certain actions, including foreclosure, on behalf of U.S. Bank.

The buyer, GECMC 2003-C2 5000 Raines Road LLC, shares an Overland Park, Kan., address with Midland Loan Services.

A portion of the property is for lease, according to a LoopNet.com listing verified May 16. The listing states 629,507 square feet of the 1.1 million square feet is available at $1.75 per square foot per month. The listing states the entire 629,507 square feet as its maximum contiguous space, or that the site can be subdivided with a minimum subdivision of 45,000 square feet.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Kate Simone

Fred’s Saw 16 Pct. First-Quarter Profit

Memphis-based retailer Fred’s Inc. reported a 16 percent profit Wednesday for the quarter ended April 30.

The rise in net income in Fred’s first quarter period was from $8.2 million in Q1 2010 to $9.5 million this year. Q1 sales also were up 3 percent, from $471.6 million in Q1 2010 to $484.4 million this year.

During the quarter, Fred’s opened one new store and four pharmacy express locations. The retailer closed seven stores and one pharmacy express location. The company also remodeled and refreshed 56 stores.

The company expects total sales in the second quarter of 2011 to increase 2 percent to 4 percent.

– Andy Meek

Center City Commission Considers Name Change

The Center City Commission, a Downtown-focused development agency that includes affiliate boards that govern things like design standards and project financing, is considering a name change.

In an email to stakeholders, the CCC is asking people whether a new name that includes “Downtown Memphis” should be considered.

Names like the Downtown Memphis Alliance, Downtown Memphis Commission, Downtown Memphis Authority, Downtown Memphis Development Agency and Downtown Memphis Resource Center are mentioned as suggestions.

“Results from a citywide survey reveal most people think the Center City Commission is a division of city government that receives city taxes,” the CCC’s email reads. “Only a very small percentage understood that the Center City Commission’s focus was on Downtown Memphis.”

Via its affiliate boards, the CCC leads and coordinates projects Downtown from the design stage through tax incentive financing to development, construction, retail and other loan incentives when necessary. The agency has been around for about three decades.

– Andy Meek

All Tunica Casinos to Be Open for Memorial Day

All nine Tunica County casinos will be open in time for the Memorial Day weekend, the Tunica Convention & Visitors Bureau has reported.

Sam’s Town Tunica and Hollywood Casino Tunica opened Wednesday, May 25. Resorts Casino opened Thursday, May 26, at noon. Bally’s Casino will reopen Friday, May 27, at noon.

Fitz Casino Tunica invites guests Friday, May 27, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. for hot dogs, hamburgers and beer and again on Saturday, May 28, from noon until 5 p.m., for hamburgers, hot dogs and barbecue.

Harrah’s Casino Tunica’s celebration will begin Friday at 2 p.m. atop the levee overlooking the main porte-cochere at the casino. Afterward, the casino will open to the public, and guests will receive gifts. First responders and civil and military service personnel, along with one guest each, may attend a luncheon at the Paula Deen Buffet; the free meal will continue through May 30.

A mandatory closure of all Tunica County casinos was implemented Wednesday, April 27, to allow gaming industry employees and visitors to safely leave the unprotected side of the Mississippi River levee system well in advance of the rising water. Gold Strike reopened on May 18 followed by Roadhouse Tunica on Thursday, May 19 and Horseshoe Tunica on Friday, May 20.

– Sarah Baker

Flood Relief Effort Continues In County

Emergency responders who have moved to the recovery effort from Mississippi River flooding paused Wednesday, May 25, to watch the storm front that blew through Shelby County after devastating the town of Joplin, Mo., earlier.

There was some wind damage in Shelby County, but the flood effort continues to focus on getting those displaced by the flood into some kind of housing as they wait either for new housing or their homes and businesses to be rebuilt.

The addition of a storm is nothing new for the group of about 40 agencies who have been working together daily since April 3 to respond to the string of emergencies.

The emergency effort began after three April storms with wind damage and hard rains preceded the river flooding.

City and county code enforcement officers are still inspecting 2,500 flood-damaged properties and will release their damage estimates when they complete the survey. As they work, the river is approximately eight inches above the 34-foot flood stage at Memphis and should be below flood stage by the time the Memorial Day weekend begins.

As of Wednesday evening, 2,372 Shelby County residents have registered for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The number of people in shelters continued to decrease as the week began, to the point that one of the four shelters open last week has been closed. Hope Presbyterian Church, Cummings Street Baptist Church and Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church remained open.

– Bill Dries

5325 Summer Ave Properties Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

5325 Summer Ave Properties LLC Tuesday filed a petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Tennessee.

Managing member Curtis Wegener is listed as the debtor of the business, whose street address is listed as 6211 Shelby Oaks, suite 103, in Memphis.

Estimated assets are listed as between $1,000,001 and $10 million, and it’s estimated that those funds will be made available for distribution to unsecured creditors that include Barton Commercial Realty; Bridgeforth & Buntin PLLC; Attorney Guthrie Castle; Merchants & Farmers Bank; and Starlanding Landscaping.

The city and the Shelby County trustee are also named as creditors.

In 2009, Wegener signed a construction deed for 310 Beale St., which, along with Hurricane Memphis LLC, defaulted on a 2001 construction loan for $2.6 million. Wegener was listed as manager and a member of 310 Beale Street Properties.

– Aisling Maki

Southern Growth Studio Works With Nicklaus Cos.

Memphis-based growth consultancy Southern Growth Studio has been hired by the Nicklaus Cos. to help the company implement a business strategy around several long-term projects.

The Nicklaus Cos., whose namesake is golf legend Jack Nicklaus, has engaged Southern Growth Studio to help with the brand’s repositioning, product portfolio assessment and new product evaluation.

Southern Growth Studio began working with the Nicklaus Cos. in late 2010, when the consultancy was tapped to help Nicklaus develop a long-term strategy and evaluate growth opportunities.

“The Nicklaus team has been an ideal partner in this growth planning process,” said Michael Graber, managing partner of Southern Growth Studio.

– Andy Meek

PROPERTY SALES 51 180 16,377
MORTGAGES 21 57 10,144
BUILDING PERMITS 103 665 39,209
BANKRUPTCIES 31 107 7,704