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VOL. 127 | NO. 118 | Monday, June 18, 2012

Daily Digest

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City Files $12M Permit App for Overton Square Garage

The city of Memphis has filed a $12 million building permit application with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for the three-story Overton Square parking garage being built in conjunction with Loeb Properties Inc.’s revitalization of the square.

The 435-space garage, which will be at the northeast corner of Monroe Avenue and Florence Street, will contain a water-detention facility underneath to alleviate rain flooding throughout the Lick Creek basin. LRK Inc. is the architect of record for the project. Construction is expected to begin in July and last about a year.

Loeb is developing the square into a “Heart of the Arts” area that builds on the success of current theater tenants while also relocating black repertory theater company Hattiloo Theatre from Marshall Avenue to the south side of the square.

The $35 million project encompasses about 120,000 square feet in redevelopment and new buildings, $19.2 million of which Loeb will provide. The city was asked to contribute $16 million for infrastructure, including the garage, streetscapes, traffic-related expenses and Hattiloo’s new site.

The city council approved the request for funding in December.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

CA Announces Changes in Paper's Leadership

Joe Pepe is leaving as president and publisher of The Commercial Appeal, the newspaper announced Friday, June 15.

Also leaving is Karl Wurzbach, vice president of sales and marketing. The announcement said a new publisher will be named within a few weeks.

– Daily News staff

Goldin Rules in County Commission Redistricting

Two days after the Shelby County Commission delayed a final vote on a redistricing plan, Chancellor Arnold Goldin approved a motion Wednesday, June 13, setting the new redistricting plan and converting the commission to a set of 13 single-member districts.

In his 10-page order granting a motion for summary judgment in the case, Goldin also ruled that a provision in the Shelby County Charter requiring a nine-vote, two-thirds majority vote of the commission to approve the plan violates Tennessee law and the Tennessee Constitution.

The commission is currently a 13-member body with four multi-member districts of three commissioners each and a single member district. The new district boundaries would apply to those running for the county commission in the 2014 county elections.

The plan to go to single member districts garnered seven and even eight votes, but neither it nor any other plan could get the nine votes necessary to pass on third and final reading as an ordinance.

Commissioners Walter Bailey, Mike Ritz and Terry Roland filed the Chancery Court lawsuit at the start of the year, which is when the commission was supposed to have a new redistricting plan in place. Ritz and Roland later withdrew as plaintiffs when it appeared the court ruling might also void part of the county charter.

Redistricting is a once-a-decade redrawing of boundaries for districts on federal, state and local legislative bodies to account for shifts in population reflected in the U.S. Census.

The commission was on its fourth attempt this month to approve a redistricting plan when Goldin ruled.

The plan approved by Goldin is the plan the commission was considering and had passed on two of the required three readings.

The third reading was delayed Monday because two commissioners were absent.

– Bill Dries

Unified Development Code Meeting Slated for June 27

A public meeting to discuss amendments to the Unified Development Code is slated for Wednesday, June 27, at Circuit Playhouse, 51 S. Cooper St., from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.

The forum has been arranged by City Council members Jim Strickland, Shea Flinn, Reid Hedgepeth and Kemp Conrad, along with city/county Office of Planning and Development planning director Josh Whitehead.

The amendments will be up for adoption by City Council for its third reading on Tuesday, July 17.

The proposed amendments can be found at www.shelbycountytn.gov/DocumentView.aspx?DID=4163.

To view the staff report on the amendments, visit www.shelbycountytn.gov/DocumentView.aspx?DID=4145.

And a link to OPD’s blog discussion is available at www.shelbycountytn.gov/Blog.aspx?IID=12.

– Sarah Baker

Hewlett-Packard Exec Joins AutoZone Inc.

AutoZone Inc., the Memphis-based car parts retailer, has added a Hewlett-Packard executive to its leadership ranks.

Ron Griffin has joined the company as senior vice president and chief information officer. At HP, Griffin was a key member of the team that drove HP’s IT transformation. Griffin also spent 12 years at Home Depot, including eight as CIO.

Griffin will report to AutoZone chief financial officer Bill Giles.

– Andy Meek

Real Estate Appraiser Disciplined by State

Real estate appraiser John Pinkston of Cordova has been disciplined by the state of Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance, according to the May 2012 Disciplinary Action Report.

Pinkston was cited with several violations of the reporting standards of Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice in a residential appraisal report. He was disciplined with a 15-hour site value and cost approach course.

Pinkston in January “failed to analyze the prior listing” in an appraisal report and “failed to adequately support the sales comparison approach and site value,” according to that month’s report. Action taken on Pinkston was a 15-hour report writing course.

And under the Private Protective Security Services section of the report, Richard Settles of Memphis was cited with a violation of failure to request a hearing within 30 days of the conviction. Action taken was revocation.

The Department of Commerce and Insurance works to protect consumers while ensuring fair competition for industries and professionals who do business in Tennessee.

– Sarah Baker

FedEx Expected to Post Rise in Quarterly Profit

FedEx Corp., which can take the pulse of the global economy as the world’s second biggest shipping company, is expected to post a slight rise in profit and revenue when it reports its fiscal fourth-quarter results before the market opens Tuesday.

Investors will be looking for comments about U.S. and overseas growth from FedEx, which is based in Memphis. When it reported third-quarter earnings in March, FedEx said the U.S. and global economies weren’t improving as fast as expected. It predicted a mild European recession.

Besides financial results for the fiscal quarter and year ending in May, investors will also keep a close eye on news of a likely restructuring of the company’s U.S. business. FedEx recently said it will take a $134 million charge in the fourth quarter as it accelerates replacements of some older aircraft. The company will retire 24 planes, most of which were not in active service, along with previously scheduled retirements.

Some analysts think that move, as well as shortening the life span of other aircraft, will bring significant cost savings.

– The Associated Press

US Factory Production Declined 0.4 Pct. in May

U.S. factories produced less in May than April, as automakers cut back on output for the first time in six months. The report indicates that manufacturing, a key driver of the economic growth, is slowing.

The Federal Reserve said Friday that factory output declined 0.4 percent last month, after increasing 0.7 percent in April. Auto production fell 1.5 percent, the first drop since November.

Overall industrial production, which includes mines and utilities, dipped 0.1 percent, after a solid 1 percent rise in April. Both mines and utilities increased production. The production of computers, machinery, and aircraft all declined. The output of appliances also fell, while home electronics was unchanged from April.

The report “is another illustration of how rapidly the economy has lost momentum after a very strong start to the year,” said Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics, in a note to clients.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 59 59 4,335
MORTGAGES 48 48 4,862
BUILDING PERMITS 100 100 10,251
BANKRUPTCIES 45 45 3,194