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VOL. 126 | NO. 174 | Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Daily Digest

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Orleans Apt. Community Files $11.9M Construction Loan

Bartlett-based Orleans Apartment Community LLC has filed an $11.9 million construction loan through U.S. Bank N.A. for 18.5 acres on the north side of Walnut Grove Road between Rocky Point Road to the west and North Houston Levee Road to the east.

The property is in Woodland Hills II Planned Development, amended, and the Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2011 appraisal is $1.4 million.

The loan documents were filed by the members of Orleans Apartment Community LLC: Charles Misenhelter, individually; and Russell J. Hensley, trustee of the Misenhelter Investment Services Trust.

Orleans Apartment Community LLC on Dec. 10 filed articles of organization as a limited liability company with the state of Tennessee Division of Business Services. The LLC on Dec. 30 bought the vacant land for $1.4 million. The sale deed lists Orleans Apartment Community LLC’s address as an Arlington P.O. box, but loan documents list a Bartlett address as the LLC’s place of business.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Kate Simone

Construction Unemployment at 13.5 Percent in August

Despite a loss of 5,000 jobs in August, the unemployment rate for the nation’s construction industry went down one-tenth of a percent from the previous month to 13.5 percent, according to the Sept. 2 report by the U.S. Labor Department.

Year over year, the industry has added 4,000 jobs.

The nonresidential building sector added 1,000 jobs for the month, with employment standing at 663,300 jobs in August. Nonresidential building employment is up 6,100 jobs, or 0.9 percent from the same time last year.

Heavy and civil engineering construction employment slipped by 1,600 jobs in August, but has added 4,100 jobs, or 0.5 percent, from August 2010.

“Heavy and civil engineering, which had been a source of job growth, is now shedding jobs,” Associated Builders and Contractors chief economist Anirban Basu said in a statement. “Because these workers are often involved during the early stages of a project, job loss among this group signals slowing activity among those who tend to work during ensuing phases, including specialty trade contractors.”

Specialty trade contractor employment decreased by 1,600 jobs for the month, but has increased by 3,000 jobs, or 0.1 percent, year over year.

The residential building construction sector lost another 3,600 jobs in August and has lost 9,600 jobs, or 1.7 percent, over the past 12 months.

National employment was unchanged across all industries, with 17,000 jobs lost in government offset by 17,000 jobs added in the private sector.

Year over year, the nation has added 1,259,000 jobs or 1.0 percent. Still, 14 million people are out of work and the unemployment rate remained 9.1 percent in August.

“This suggests that some semblance of construction momentum remains,” Basu said.

– Sarah Baker

Baptist Medical Group Acquires Lung Physicians

Baptist Memorial Medical Group (BMMG) has announced the formation of Memphis Lung Physicians Foundation, the result of the recent acquisition of Memphis Lung Physicians.

Founded in 1978, Memphis Lung Physicians has locations in Memphis, DeSoto County and Collierville.

Specializing in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine, the group also focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of acute respiratory distress, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, obstructive sleep apnea and other pulmonary diseases and conditions.

Memphis Lung Physicians has a solid history of working with Baptist, which said the practice has played an important role in helping to shape Baptist Memorial’s intensive care and sleep medicine services.

The acquisition is consistent with a national and local trend of health care systems partnering with physicians groups. Since April 2009, BMMG has opened primary care and internal medicine physician practices in Arlington, Lakeland, Collierville, the Forest Hill area and several locations in Mississippi, with ongoing plans to expand to other areas and specialties.

In 2010, BMMG acquired and formed a foundation with NEA Clinic, the largest physician group in Northeast Arkansas, and Stern Cardiovascular Center, one of the largest and most comprehensive cardiology group practices in the region. Most recently, BMMG acquired the Memphis-based Family Cancer Center, a comprehensive oncology practice.

– Aisling Maki

Feds Sue 17 Major U.S. Banks, Including First Tenn. Parent

The federal agency that oversees the government-sponsored mortgage entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has filed lawsuits seeking billions of dollars in compensation from several major U.S. banks, including the parent company of First Tennessee Bank.

As The Daily News first reported on its website Friday, Sept. 2, the list of defendants includes many of the major financial players in the country.

In addition to Memphis-based First Horizon National Corp., complaints were filed against Ally Financial Inc.; Bank of America Corp.; Barclays Bank PLC; Citigroup Inc.; Countrywide Financial Corp.; Credit Suisse Holdings (USA) Inc.; Deutsche Bank AG; General Electric Co.; Goldman Sachs & Co.; HSBC North America Holdings Inc; JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Merrill Lynch & Co./First Franklin Financial Corp.; Morgan Stanley; Nomura Holding America Inc; Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC; and Societe Generale.

A First Horizon spokesman said the company intended to vigorously defend itself.

A release from the Federal Housing Finance Agency noted allegations that some part of the losses Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac absorbed are attributable to misrepresentations by the defendants.

Between Sept. 30, 2005, and April 30, 2007, the agency’s lawsuit against First Horizon says Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bought $883 million in residential mortgage-backed securities issued in connection with five First Horizon-sponsored and First Horizon-underwritten securitizations.

“First Horizon was well-established in the mortgage-backed securitization market,” the federal lawsuit reads. “In an effort to increase revenue and profits in a rapidly expanding market, First Horizon National increased the volume of mortgages it securitized through its subsidiaries First Tennessee and First Horizon Home Loan. In 2005, First Horizon securitized $892.66 million of mortgage loans. In 2006, that figure nearly doubled, to $1.74 billion.”

– Andy Meek

Mueller Industries Reaches Deal With Leucadia

Memphis-based Mueller Industries Inc. reported last week that holding company Leucadia National Corp. agreed to limit its stake in the metal parts maker to 27.5 percent and named two directors to Mueller’s board.

Leucadia Chairman Ian M. Cumming and President Joseph S. Steinberg were added to the Mueller board.

The two-year standstill agreement, a tool usually used to end hostile takeover attempts, also limits sales by Leucadia to investors who hold, or would hold, more than 4.9 percent of Mueller stock, the company said.

Mueller makes parts from copper, brass and other materials that are used in plumbing, refrigeration and other industries.

– The Associated Press

Sickle Cell Foundation Hosts Awareness Event

The Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee will host a 5K Run to increase awareness of sickle cell disease and raise funds to provide educational and social services for individuals affected by the disease.

The event will be Sept. 17 at AutoZone Park. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. The 5K will start at 9 a.m., and a 1-mile fun run will start at 9:10. Food, children’s activities and health screenings will be included in the festivities.

Sickle Cell Disease is an inherited blood disorder that affects red blood cells, which may become sickle, or crescent-shaped and have difficulty passing through small blood vessels.

When sickle-shaped cells block small blood vessels, less blood reaches that part of the body, and tissue that does not receive normal blood flow eventually becomes damaged, leading to multiple health problems.

– Aisling Maki

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 56 437 16,061
MORTGAGES 76 508 18,556
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 8 56 2,461
BUILDING PERMITS 241 876 33,390
BANKRUPTCIES 64 301 10,314
BUSINESS LICENSES 15 125 5,303
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 17 125 6,273
MARRIAGE LICENSES 19 98 3,511