Wyndham Garden Hotel Owner Faces Foreclosure

The owner of the Wyndham Garden Hotel at 300 N. Second St. Downtown has defaulted on its loan and faces foreclosure, according to a notice in the Friday, Dec. 7, issue of The Daily News and also at The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com.

Genwood Memphis I LLC defaulted on a $17.7 million leasehold deed of trust, security agreement and fixture filing through General Electric Capital Corp. dated Aug. 17, 2007.

The company took over the lease of the 11-story, 244-room hotel in June 2006 from LB Memphis Brownestone LLC for $12 million.

Built in 1969, the 230,654-square-foot hotel sits on 1.87 acres along the east side of North Second Street near Interstate 40. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2012 appraisal is $6.6 million.

The property is involved in a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreement through the Memphis Center City Revenue Finance Corp. signed in August 1998 and running through 2031.

Per newspaper policy, calls to the parties involved, such as the property owner, deed holder or trustee, are prohibited until the notice is published.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Restore Medical Solutions Raises $2.5 Million

Restore Medical Solutions, a local startup that went through the inaugural season of accelerator program ZeroTo510, has closed on its Series A funding round by raising $2.5 million.

The investors are Innova and MB Ventures, with Innova taking the lead.

Restore, which was launched by Shawn Flynn and Ryan Ramkhelawan, has invented a modular surgical tray and method that increases speed and efficacy in reprocessing sterile surgical instruments.

“Memphis has been very good to us and has a tremendous amount of resources, which everyone throughout the community and the country needs to know about,” said Restore president Flynn in an email to The Daily News. “Memphians should be proud to know that the leaders of this state, both private and public, are taking a proactive stance in job creation and economic development.

“BioWorks, Launch Tennessee and Seed Hatchery are just a few examples of entities that are available for the public to utilize to incubate their ideas, which will directly impact growth and opportunity. We are just one of many success stories that will come as a result of these coordinated efforts.”

– Andy Meek

Two Way Diner Files Permit for Location in Cooper-Young

A new concept called the Two Way Diner is under way for the Cooper-Young district, in the space that was once the Two Way Inn restaurant.

A $150,500 building permit application was recently filed with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for a renovation and addition to the existing building at 752 S. Cooper St., owned by Charlie Ryan of Central Cooper Gateway Inc.

Gilluly and Associates LLC is listed as the contractor.

– Sarah Baker

Sullivan Branding Adds Three Hires

Memphis-based creative agency Sullivan Branding has added three new members to its team. Mary Cashiola has joined the agency as corporate communications manager, Becky Hensley as account director and Fran Moore as production manager.

Cashiola will write internal and employee communications for clients. She joins Sullivan Branding with 12 years of experience in the field, including her time with Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s office as communications manager and with The Memphis Flyer as senior editor.

Hensey will provide oversight to client strategies and internal team management for hospitality, tourism and banking clients. Before joining Sullivan Branding, she managed accounts at GS&F and the Buntin Group in Nashville. Hensley has worked with accounts in the hospitality, financial, restaurant and retail industries for 12 years.

Moore will use her experience with vendor management, quality control and pricing negotiation to guide each step of the production process. She brings 22 years of practice in financial, casino and service industries, with past work at Harland Clarke, Mailnet Services Inc. and Vector Graphics.

– Sarah Baker

Green Ballast Installs Lighting for Tenant in Lenox Park

Healthcare Trust of America Inc., a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Real Estate Investment Trust, has completed a lighting retrofit equipped with Memphis-based Green Ballast Inc.’s patented daylight harvesting fluorescent light ballasts for a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical tenant in Lenox Office Park, a seven-building, 72-acre office park in the 385 office submarket.

Green Ballast’s ballast is a direct replacement for the existing “standard ballast” and adjusts power consumption for each lighting fixture, while measuring and harvesting available daylight to calculate and provide only the amount of needed electricity for proper lighting.

Green Ballast in November announced commercial real estate developer Belz Enterprises is installing vapor tight fluorescent fixtures with Green Ballast’s light ballasts in a Downtown structured parking garage facility.

– Sarah Baker

US Unemployment Aid Applications Drop to 370,000

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment aid fell sharply last week as a temporary spike caused by Superstorm Sandy has faded. Weekly applications have fallen back to a level consistent with modest hiring.

The Labor Department said Thursday that applications dropped 25,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 370,000.

Unemployment aid applications spiked a month ago after Sandy shuttered businesses in the Northeast. Applications jumped to 451,000 in the week ended Nov. 10. People can claim unemployment benefits if their workplaces are forced to close and they aren’t paid.

Some analysts were encouraged by how quickly applications have returned to pre-storm levels. Pierre Ellis, an economist at Decision Economics, said the rapid drop suggests companies are quickly re-hiring workers displaced by the storm. Rebuilding and repair efforts could also be creating jobs, he said.

The report is “a positive development for the labor market, which appears to be recovering from the temporary effects of Sandy more rapidly than originally anticipated,” Joseph LaVorgna, an economist at Deutsche Bank, said in a note to clients.

The early impact of Sandy can still be seen in the four-week average. It rose to 408,000 last week.

Before the storm hit on Oct. 29, applications had fluctuated this year between 360,000 and 390,000. They topped 400,000 for most of last year. That has coincided with only modest declines in the unemployment rate.

The storm is also likely to depress November’s job figures, which the government will report Friday. And fears over looming tax increases and spending cuts, known as the “fiscal cliff,” may have also dragged on job gains last month.

The number of people continuing to receive unemployment aid also fell. Total recipients dropped almost 225,000 to just under 5 million in the week ended Nov. 17, the latest data available.

– The Associated Press

Oil Drops on Outlook for Europe Economy

The price of oil is dropping after the European Central Bank predicted a bleak year ahead for the region’s economy but stopped short of offering new measures to boost growth.

Benchmark oil fell $1.80, or 2 percent, on Thursday to $86.08 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, fell $1.87 to $106.94 per barrel in London.

The ECB left its key interest rate unchanged at a record low, and the bank cut its 2013 economic forecast for the region to negative from positive.

The 17 countries that use the euro currency are in a recession after a massive debt crisis followed by government spending cuts and tax hikes that have hurt growth.

At the pump, the average retail price of gasoline was flat at a national average of $3.38 per gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and the Oil Price Information Service. That’s nearly 11 cents more than a year ago.

– The Associated Press