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VOL. 127 | NO. 74 | Monday, April 16, 2012

Daily Digest

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Sentinel Buys G'town Apts. for $23.1 Million

New York-based Sentinel Real Estate Corp., working under the name VA Germantown LLC, has bought The Colonnade at Germantown apartments for $23.1 million from DMARC 2006-CD2 Wyndhurst Place LLC, an entity affiliated with Miami-based special service lender LNR Partners LLC.

LNR bought the property at a December foreclosure sale for $17.1 million.

The Colonnade is a 252-unit complex built in 1996 on 27.7 acres at the southwest corner of Wolf River Boulevard and Miller Farms Road in Gables of Germantown subdivision. It uses the address 7491 Wyndhurst Place and has one-, two- and three-bedroom units.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2011 appraisal of the property, which it lists at 7455 Wolf River Blvd., is $18 million.

Sentinel is among the largest holders of apartment properties in the U.S., and also manages a large portfolio of commercial real estate assets, according to the company. In addition to holdings in Memphis, Cordova and Germantown, it owns properties in and around Nashville.

LNR Partners is a subsidiary of LNR Property LLC, the world’s largest commercial mortgage special servicer. LNR Partners was involved in a number of high-dollar Memphis real estate transactions – both acquisitions and dispositions – in 2011, all involving properties it acquired through foreclosure sales.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

CBRE Adds 800K Feet of Office to Portfolio

The total square footage of the CB Richard Ellis Memphis property management portfolio increased by more than 800,000 square feet in the first quarter of 2012, due to the addition of management services for Germantown Park, Renaissance Center in East Memphis and The Pinnacle Center in Southaven.

In addition to growth of the company’s property management portfolio, the three new assignments have increased the CBRE Memphis employee base by seven new positions.

The addition of the new business has increased the company’s total office property management portfolio to more than 3.5 million square feet.

– Sarah Baker

Haslam Announces 3-Year Transportation Plan

Gov. Bill Haslam and Transportation Commissioner John Schroer have released a three-year transportation plan for the state.

The $1.5 billion plan includes improvements to the interstate system, such as truck climbing lanes and interchange reconstruction.

It also funds projects along strategic corridors such as U.S. 27 in Roane, Morgan and Scott counties; U.S. 79 in Carroll and Gibson counties; and U.S. 64 in Middle and West Tennessee.

Other priorities include projects aimed at stimulating economic development, such as the reconstruction of the interchange at I-40 and SR 222 to facilitate access to the West Tennessee Megasite in Haywood and Fayette counties.

The plan also provides funding for local transit agencies and planning organizations, shortline railways and bridges, and airport improvements.

– The Associated Press

Law Career Event Planned for U of M

Students from area high schools, colleges and youth organizations will get an opportunity to learn about the legal profession from a diverse group of professionals April 24 at “Legal Careers Forum: The ABCs – Advocates, Barristers and Counselors.”

The event, part of The Memphis Challenge Inc.’s expanding series of annual career exploration events, will be held at 4 p.m. in the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law Wade Auditorium. The event is free, but online registration is required by April 19. For details, visit www.memphischallenge.org.

The event will include a tour of the law school, a moderated discussion and a question-and-answer session. Confirmed panelists and speakers include Charles Blatteis, managing attorney of Blatteis Law Firm; Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Gina Higgins; Tennessee Bureau of Investigation assistant director Richard Moore; and U of M law school dean Kevin Smith, among others.

– Andy Meek

Todd Challenger Drops Out at Withdrawal Deadline

Add Republican state Rep. Curry Todd to the list of state legislators from Shelby County who are unopposed in the August primaries and the November general elections.

At the Thursday, April 12, deadline for candidates to withdraw from the August ballot, Todd’s lone challenger, Bob Nozigla, dropped out of the Republican primary in District 97.

Others in the Shelby County legislative delegation without any opposition within their own party, from the other party or by an independent candidate are Republicans Mark White and Jim Coley and Democrats Karen Camper and Lois DeBerry.

Meanwhile, three of the seven races for countywide school board in August narrowed at the deadline.

Michael Donohoe withdrew from the District 1 contest leaving incumbent Chris Caldwell and challengers Noel Hutchinson and former Memphis City Schools board member Freda Williams.

Gregory Ritter withdrew from the District 3 race among incumbent Raphael McInnis and former Shelby County Schools board member David Reaves.

And Edgar Babian withdrew from the District 5 race making that another one-on-one contest between former SCS board chairman David Pickler and Kim Wirth.

Members of the old SCS and MCS boards serve on the interim 23-member countywide school board leading up to the August 2013 merger of the two public school systems. The board then goes to the seven members elected on Aug. 2, 2012.

The Shelby County Election Commission meets later to certify the ballot.

– Bill Dries

US Inflation Mild as Gas Prices Rise Slowly

Gas prices rose more slowly in March, keeping overall U.S. inflation mild.

The consumer price index rose 0.3 percent in March, the Labor Department said Friday. That’s slower than February’s 0.4 percent rise.

Excluding food and gas, so-called “core” prices increased 0.2 percent in March.

Inflation has eased since last fall and is expected to stay tame. In 12 months that ended in March, prices rose 2.7 percent. That’s below last year’s peak year-over-year rate of 3.9 percent.

Core prices have risen 2.3 percent in the past 12 months, close to the Federal Reserve’s inflation target of 2 percent.

Prices are “benign and likely to stay that way for some time yet,” said Ian Shepherdson, an economist at High Frequency Economics.

Mild price increases leave consumers with more money to spend, which boosts economic growth. Lower inflation also gives the Fed more leeway to keep interest rates low.

Gas prices are high but have started to level off. In March, they gained 1.7 percent, slower than the 6 percent increase in February.

And in the past week, the national average price per gallon fell 4 cents, to $3.90 on Friday.

Despite more hiring, unemployment is still high and few workers are getting pay raises. So many retailers can’t charge more without risking the loss of some business.

Food prices ticked up last month but are moderating after sharp increases last year.

The cost of meat, poultry and some fruits rose. Chicken prices jumped by the most in four years. The price of used cars and trucks also increased and rents rose, driving up core prices. Americans also paid more for medical care, clothing and airline fares.

A small amount of inflation can be good for the economy. It encourages businesses and consumers to spend and invest money sooner rather than later, before inflation erodes its value.

Most economists expect the Fed won’t announce any new policy initiatives at its April 24-25 meeting. Policymakers appear less inclined to take further steps to boost growth. Minutes from their March 13 meeting showed only a couple members expressed support for purchasing more bonds as a way to drive down long-term interest rates and promote more borrowing and spending.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 51 223 1,152
MORTGAGES 55 189 861
BUILDING PERMITS 149 541 2,593