Village of Sycamore Ridge Owner Files $4.3 Million Loan

The owner of the Village of Sycamore Ridge – a 114-unit apartment community at 1945 Sycamore View Road near Bartlett – has filed a $4.3 million multifamily deed of trust, absolute assignment of leases and rents and security agreement (including fixture filing) on the property.

Village of Sycamore Ridge Apartments LLC, an affiliate of Salt Lake City-based Property Asset Management Inc., filed the loan Nov. 20 through Magna Bank.

Built in 1973, the Class C apartment complex has 148,852 square feet and sits on 15.1 acres on the west side of Sycamore View Road between Summer Avenue and Raleigh LaGrange Road. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2012 appraisal is $1.9 million.

Its visibility on Sycamore View Road and immediate access to Interstate 240 give the complex daily traffic counts of more than 35,000, according to CB Richard Ellis Memphis, which represented the previous owner, Chicago-based TVO Sycamore LLC, in its $3.4 million sale last year to Property Asset Management.

The property’s amenities include three swimming pools, bike/walking trails around a lake, wood-burning fireplaces, private patios, and washer and dryer connections in every unit.

Paul D. Montgomery signed the trust deed as president of Property Asset Management Inc., the managing member of Village of Sycamore Ridge Apartments LLC.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

City Council Drops Resolution Advancing Vance Avenue Plan

The Memphis City Council dropped a resolution Tuesday, Dec. 4, that would have advanced a Vance Avenue renovation plan by the Vance Avenue Collaborative to protect Foote Homes against future demolition.

The rival plan to one being developed by Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s administration that could include the demolition of Foote Homes, the last of the city’s large public housing developments, was to be sent to the Land Use Control Board for consideration under the resolution.

But council attorney Allan Wade advised council members they couldn’t take the action at least until the Memphis Housing Authority acts on an urban renewal plan. The MHA plan will be for the much larger area including Foote Homes that the city wants to redevelop under the 20-year Heritage Trails plan.

The larger plan has drawn questions from other redevelopment agencies within the area, but not because of the controversy over the future of Foote Homes. Agencies like the Downtown Memphis Commission have said they want to know more about Wharton administration plans to make the larger area a tax increment financing zone to capture property tax revenue for the redevelopment costs.

Such revenues are an integral part of tax breaks and incentives including payments-in-lieu-of-taxes that some of the redevelopment agencies use to leverage private investment within their smaller areas or zones.

Meanwhile, the council approved a rezoning on 37.1 acres of land on the northwest corner of New Frayser Boulevard and New Allen Road for the expansion of the Nike Northridge plant in Frayser.

– Bill Dries

Lyons Named Interim CEO of Memphis Symphony Orchestra

Al Lyons has been tapped to serve as the interim CEO of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra.

He’ll serve in the position until a CEO search that’s now in progress is completed.

In addition to formerly working with the Bodine Co. as chief financial officer and president, Lyons has been involved as leader in arts organizations including the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, where he served as interim director from 2007 to 2008 and was president of the board of trustees in 2010 and 2011.

His other community involvements include current board membership for the Levitt Shell, the Riverfront Development Corp., the Collierville Chamber of Commerce and several others.

– Andy Meek

LEO Events Brings on Two to Open Nashville Office

Event management company LEO Events has hired David Kenyon and Kevin Underwood as senior vice president-production and senior vice president, respectively. They will operate out of LEO’s new Nashville office.

Kenyon and Underwood were formerly with the Nashville office of TBA Global LLC, a New York City-based Top 5 agency for corporate and private events, with nine offices globally.

Kenyon spent 13 years at TBA’s Nashville office, overseeing production for hundreds of events annually for the company, including the annual Walmart shareholders’ meeting and distributors’ conferences for Exxon Mobil.

Underwood spent more than 20 years managing TBA’s Nashville office. He has worked with a variety of corporate and nonprofit clients, as well as private artists from Beyoncé to the Rolling Stones.

LEO Events formed in August following the merger of Memphis-based Destination King, founded by Cindy and Kevin Brewer in 2002, and Quiddity Entertainment, started by Kent Underwood in Chattanooga in 2006.

– Sarah Baker

US Productivity Grows at Faster 2.9 Percent Rate

U.S. workers were more productive this summer than initially thought, while costing their companies less.

The Labor Department said Wednesday that productivity grew at an annual rate of 2.9 percent from July through September. That’s the fastest pace in two years and higher than the initial estimate of 1.9 percent. Labor costs dropped at a rate of 1.9 percent, more than the 0.1 percent dip initially estimated.

Productivity was revised higher because economic growth was faster in the third quarter than first estimated, while hours worked were unchanged. Productivity is the amount of output per hour of work.

The report suggests companies are finding ways to squeeze more out of their existing workers. While that’s a good sign for corporate profits, it can be discouraging for people who want a job.

Still, the trend in productivity has been fairly weak. It has grown only 1.7 percent compared with a year ago. That’s half the average growth that companies saw in 2009 and 2010, shortly after many laid off workers to cut costs during the Great Recession. And it’s below the long-run growth of 2.2 percent a year dating back to 1947.

So companies may ultimately need to hire more workers if they see only modest gains in productivity and more demand for their products.

Economists predict worker productivity will slow for the rest of this year and through 2013. Higher productivity is typical during and after a recession, they note. Companies tend to shed workers in the face of falling demand and increase output from a smaller work force. Once the economy starts to grow, demand rises and companies eventually must add workers if they want to keep up.

– The Associated Press

Growth of US Service Firms Accelerated Last Month

U.S. service companies grew at a slightly faster pace in November because sales and new orders rose, a good sign for the economy.

The Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday that its index of non-manufacturing activity rose to 54.7 from 54.2 in October. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion. November’s figure is above the 12-month average of 54.4.

The report measures growth in a broad range of businesses from retail and construction companies to health care and financial services firms. The industries covered employ about 90 percent of the work force.

A measure of employment fell to the lowest level since July but still showed companies added workers last month.

One reason for the decline was that Superstorm Sandy forced many businesses to close in November, economists noted.

And some companies may be postponing hiring because of worries over the “fiscal cliff.” That’s the name for automatic tax increases and spending cuts that are scheduled for early next year, unless the White House and Congress can negotiate a deal that averts them.

“For many businesses, hiring plans are on hold until the New Year, when — we expect — the fiscal cliff will be resolved,” Paul Edelstein, an economist at IHS Global Economics, said in a note to clients.

Other economists said the small increase in the services index points to underlying strength in the economy.

– The Associated Press