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VOL. 127 | NO. 243 | Thursday, December 13, 2012

Daily Digest

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Village at Germantown Files $40 Million Loan

The Village at Germantown Inc. has filed a $40 million loan on its retirement community at 7820 Walking Horse Circle in Germantown.

The organization filed the Tennessee deed of trust with security agreement and assignment of rents and leases (and fixture filing) Dec. 1 through Wells Fargo Bank NA.

The loan was filed in conjunction with the Shelby County Health, Educational and Housing Facility Board issuing revenue bonds to the organization the same day.

Built in 2005, the multi-building retirement community contains 440,455 square feeet and sits on 28.23 acres along the east side of South Germantown Road between Brierbrook and Neshoba roads. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2012 appraisal is $29 million.

The property’s manager, Maurice Elliott, signed the trust deed. The Village at Germantown is affiliated with Memphis-based CRSA, a national management company of retirement communities that is owned by Des Moines, Iowa-based LCS.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Alexander Named TruGreen President

David Alexander, the former CEO of Citi Trends, is the new president of TruGreen lawn care company, leaders of The ServiceMaster Co. announced Tuesday, Dec. 11.

ServiceMaster CEO Hank Mullany announced the appointment of Alexander two months after TruGreen president Tom Brackett announced his resignation and one month after ServiceMaster posted a third quarter operating loss of $724 million, much of the loss attributed to TruGreen’s performance.

TruGreen is one of seven businesses and franchises providing home and commercial services as part of ServiceMaster, which is based in Memphis.

Alexander’s resume shows that before he was with Citi Trends, an urban retailer based in Savannah, Ga., he served as president and chief operating officer at Family Dollar Stores.

More recently he was a retail consultant for Apax Partners of London. And for two years, he was chairman, president and CEO of Portrait Corp. of America.

Changes at TruGreen were the first order of business for Mullany when he became ServiceMaster CEO in April 2011. Brackett was an interim choice to be head of TruGreen because of his experience at the Terminix division of ServiceMaster. He became the permanent head of the lawn care business as it changed its sales methods and offering of services.

Mullany has been interim president of TruGreen since Brackett’s departure.

– Bill Dries

Herff Jones Inc. Gets New Chief Operating Officer

Jeff Webb, founder and CEO of Memphis-based Varsity Brands Inc., will be the new president and chief operating officer effective Jan. 1 at Herff Jones Inc., a manufacturer of graduation-related items like yearbooks, rings, caps and gowns.

Herff Jones’ current president and CEO Joe Slaughter is retiring as of June 30, 2014. In addition to his new role, Webb will remain the CEO of Varsity, which employs nearly 850 full-time staff, 250 of whom are based in the Memphis area.

Webb started Varsity out of his apartment in Memphis in 1974. Today, the company produces more than 1 million uniforms annually, and educates more than 320,000 athletes annually at camps nationwide.

– Andy Meek

Eric Trump Donates $20 Million to St. Jude

A year after he donated $1 million to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Eric Trump has donated $20 million to the Memphis medical and research institution.

The son of Donald Trump pledged the $20 million through his Eric Trump Foundation for a new surgical and intensive care center wing to the hospital.

The foundation has as its mission raising money for terminally ill children at St. Jude. It already funds a research lab working on Acute Megakaryocytic Leukemia. It was childhood leukemia that was the initial focus of St. Jude when it opened in 1962.

The Eric Trump Foundation’s chief fundraiser is a September golf tournament and auction at Trump National Golf Club in Westchester, N.Y.

– Bill Dries

Memphis Goodwill Opens Oakland Store

Memphis Goodwill Inc. opened a new Attended Donation Center in Oakland Monday, Dec. 10.

The 1,850-square-foot space was previously a Starbucks Coffee Co. in an outparcel of a Kroger-anchored shopping center at 7275 U.S. 64. It is Goodwill’s first donation center in Fayette County.

Goodwill is also in the process of opening a 7,200-square-foot store in Covington that used to be occupied by a Dollar General. The grand opening and ribbon cutting for the Tipton County location is slated for Dec. 20.

Jess Ossorio of Crump Commercial LLC is the exclusive tenant representative for Memphis Goodwill.

Memphis Goodwill Inc. was founded in 1927 as a territory of the nationwide Goodwill Industries movement. Today, the organization employs more than 600 people in Tennessee and Mississippi who face significant barriers to employment.

– Sarah Baker

Fed: High Unemployment For Next Three Years

The Federal Reserve projects the unemployment rate will stay elevated until late 2015, suggesting it will keep short-term interest rates low for the next three years.

The latest economic forecasts released Wednesday after the Fed’s final meeting of the year were little changed from September. But they coincided with a new communication strategy announced by the Fed that links future interest rate hikes with unemployment below 6.5 percent.

The unemployment rate was 7.7 percent in November.

The central bank said that it expects economic growth to improve next year but that it will be no stronger than 3 percent. Growth could increase to 3.5 percent in 2014 and 3.7 percent in 2015.

Unemployment will fall no lower than 7.4 percent next year and 6.8 percent by the end of 2014, the Fed projects. The earliest the Fed sees unemployment dropping below 6.5 percent is the end of 2015.

The Fed said it plans to keep its key short-term interest rate near zero as long as unemployment remains above 6.5 percent and inflation is expected to stay below 2.5 percent.

The latest forecast projects inflation will stay at or below 2 percent for the next three years. That gives the Fed more leeway to pursue aggressive measures.

In an effort to drive the unemployment rate lower, the Fed said after its meeting that it will spend a total of $85 billion a month to sustain an aggressive drive to keep long-term interest rates low. The goal is to encourage more borrowing and spending, which drives economic growth.

The Fed said it will continue buying bonds until the job market shows substantial improvement.

– The Associated Press

Fewer US CEOs Expect Hiring Dip Next 6 Months

A survey of U.S. chief executives shows the number of large companies that plan to add jobs or hire more workers is essentially unchanged versus three months ago, although fewer expect hiring to decrease.

The Business Roundtable said Wednesday that 29 percent of its member CEOs plan to increase hiring over the next six months, the same as in September when the group released its previous quarterly survey.

But only 29 percent expect hiring to decrease versus 34 percent in the previous report.

CEOs are slightly more pessimistic about their future sales, capital spending and the overall U.S. economy, amid uncertainty over the impact of budget cuts and tax increases that are set to take effect at the start of next year.

CEOs are worried about the pending U.S. budget changes, known as the “fiscal cliff.”

Earlier this month, all the Roundtable members delivered letters to the White House and to congressional leaders urging a compromise that includes more revenue, even if it means raising tax rates, and structural and benefit changes to social programs.

The Roundtable combines CEOs’ survey responses on sales, capital spending and hiring into an index gauging the executives’ overall economic outlook. The latest index was 65.6, a slight dip from 66.0 in the third quarter, but down sharply from 89.1 in the second quarter.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 92 242 2,507
MORTGAGES 108 336 2,943
BUILDING PERMITS 202 643 6,711
BANKRUPTCIES 43 176 1,963