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VOL. 127 | NO. 68 | Friday, April 6, 2012

Daily Digest

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Cordova Presbyterian Files Permit App for Sanctuary

Cordova Presbyterian Church, 8707 Fay Road, is making preparations for its planned 12,000-square-foot sanctuary, according to a $2 million permit application filed with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement.

The building was designed by Hord Architects and the general contractor is Grinder, Taber & Grinder Inc. – both Memphis-based companies.

The church is on the south side of Fay west of Sanga Road. The building will have an entrance on Sanga and will provide expanded worship space, offices and classrooms, as well as additional parking, according to the church’s website.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Fred’s Sales Figure Flat in March

Discount store operator Fred’s Inc. said Thursday, April 5, that March sales at stores open at least a year was flat from the same month a year ago. The results missed Wall Street expectations.

Analysts expected an increase of 0.4 percent, according to a Thomson Reuters poll.

The figure is a key gauge of a retailer’s health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

The Memphis-based company said total sales for the five weeks that ended March 31 rose 2.7 percent to $194 million.

Fred’s runs 701 discount stores, including 21 franchised Fred’s stores, in the southeastern U.S.

Company shares are down 6 percent since hitting a 52-week high of $15.27 in February.

– The Associated Press

Loeb Renews Leases for Two Upscale Restaurants

Two local restaurateurs and tenants of Loeb Properties Inc. have renewed leases.

Bill Latham, owner of Interim Restaurant, has renewed his lease for 4,957 square feet at Sanderlin Place, 5040 Sanderlin Ave. Carey White, Loeb senior vice president of asset management, brokered the deal.

Meanwhile, Felicia Suzanne Willett, owner of Felicia Suzanne’s along Main Street at 80 Monroe Ave. Downtown, has renewed the lease for another five years. The restaurant celebrated on March 27 its 10-year anniversary of being on the ground floor of Brinkley Plaza, the 227,501-square-foot, Class B office building owned by Loeb and managed by CB Richard Ellis Memphis.

– Sarah Baker

Laffer to Address Economic Club of Memphis

Art Laffer, a nationally recognized economist who has advised several presidents and candidates since the 1970s on tax policy, will be in the Bluff City Monday, April 9, to speak to the Economic Club of Memphis.

Laffer, who lives in Nashville, will discuss the tax situation locally and nationally. Locally, Laffer has been an advocate of removing Tennessee’s estate and gift taxes, which Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is now taking steps to do along with the Republican-led state legislature, for which Haslam and the state have received attention on the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal within the last few days.

Nationally, Laffer has endorsed Newt Gingrich as the GOP nominee for president. Laffer also praised former candidate Herman Cain’s economic policy.

– Andy Meek

Mortgage Rate Falls to 3.98 Percent

The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage was mostly unchanged this week, as the cost of home-buying and refinancing stayed near record lows.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday, April 5, the rate on the 30-year loan fell slightly to 3.98 percent from 3.99 percent last week. In February, the rate touched 3.87 percent, the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage also fell, to 3.21 percent from 3.23 percent. That’s above the record low of 3.13 percent hit last month.

The average rates don’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

The average fee for the 30-year fixed loan was 0.7. For the 15-year fixed loan, the average fell to 0.7 from 0.8.

For the five-year adjustable loan, the average rate fell to 2.86 percent from 2.90 percent, and the average fee was unchanged at 0.8.

The average on the one-year adjustable loan was unchanged at 2.78 percent, and the average fee was unchanged at 0.6.

– The Associated Press

ServiceMaster Adds EV to Fleet

Memphis-based The ServiceMaster Co. now has an electric vehicle to get support workers between the various office locations in Memphis for the various ServiceMaster brands.

The Ford Transit Connect is an all-electric vehicle that has an exterior charging station for its lithium ion battery at ServiceMaster’s main corporate campus on Ridge Lake Boulevard in East Memphis.

– Bill Dries

NY Collector Sues Eggleston Over Images

A New York collector claims in a lawsuit that photographer William Eggleston’s decision to sell oversized versions of some of his iconic images has diluted the resale value of the originals.

Jonathan Sobel filed the lawsuit Wednesday, April 4, in Manhattan federal court. He’s seeking unspecified damages and asked the court to bar Eggleston from printing additional varieties of his 1960s images of American suburbia.

Eggleston’s lawyer told the Wall Street Journal the lawsuit has “no merit.” He said the Memphis photographer’s new format falls within his creative rights.

Sobel manages the financial services firm DTF Holdings. He’s collected 192 photographs by Eggleston over the years. He’s estimated their value at up to $5 million.

– The Associated Press

Repairs Set to Start at Farm Road in Shelby Farms

Repair and paving work on Farm Road in Shelby Farms Park, begins Monday, April 9, and is expected to continue through April 25.

The construction work from the north end of the road to the southern entrance to the park area will be limited to non-peak hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The work is still expected to cause traffic delays.

– Bill Dries

Southeast School Groundbreaking Postponed

Memphis City Schools officials will break ground Wednesday, April 11, for the new Southeast school at Ridgeway Road and Belle Forest Drive.

The original date of April 5 was postponed because of inclement weather.

The school will be a kindergarten through 5th grade elementary school.

The school on 12.4 acres of land will open for the 2013-2014 school year, the first year of the consolidated school system and will have a capacity of 1,200 students.

It will relieve overcrowding at Oak Forest, Germanshire, Newberry, Winridge and Hickory Ridge elementary schools.

Construction begins the month after the countywide board voted to close three schools in the southwestern part of the city reflecting a shift in the school age population from the west to the east.

– Bill Dries

Walking Initiative Encourages Health

Starting Saturday, April 14, people from all over Memphis and Shelby County will be walking together at 10 a.m. each Saturday through the fall.

The “Walking in Memphis” kick-off event on April 14 will take place at six community centers: Ed Rice, Charles Powell-Westwood, Douglass, Glenview, Bert Ferguson and Hickory Hill, as well as participating YMCAs.

Those unable to make it to an official site that day are encouraged to start their own meet-up groups in their workplaces, churches and neighborhoods.

The goal is for each group to walk a mile together, showing a community-wide commitment to be more active.

Walking in Memphis emerged from Memphis Business Group on Health’s “Believe in a Healthy Memphis: the 2011 Let’s CHANGE Summit.”

– Aisling Maki

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