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VOL. 127 | NO. 59 | Monday, March 26, 2012

Daily Digest

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St. Elisabeth's Prepares to Build New Church

St. Elisabeth’s Episcopal Church has filed a $2 million construction loan through First Alliance Bank for 38 acres at the southeast corner of Old Brownsville and Billy Maher roads east of Austin Peay Highway. The property is adjacent to the St. Columba Episcopal Conference & Retreat Center.

St. Elisabeth’s bought the acreage in 2008 for $600,000. At the time, a 1,700-square-foot vacant house was on the site at 6033 Old Brownsville. A demolition permit was issued in March 2009.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2011 appraisal was $317,500.

The church, formerly on Yale Road, sold that property several years ago and moved to its current site at 2911 Elmore Park Road in Bartlett.

Memphis-based Hord Architects has designed the new building, according to the church’s website.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Haney Signs Realty Publishing Deal

Kendall Haney of Keller Williams Realty | Kendall Haney Group has signed a publishing deal to contribute to the book “The New Rise in Real Estate: The Nation’s Trusted Real Estate Advisors Reveal Their Top Secrets for Buying and Selling Homes in the New Real Estate Economy.”

Haney is among a select group of real estate entrepreneurs nationwide who have joined with real estate coaches Jay Kinder and Michael Reese to co-write the book.

“The New Rise in Real Estate” – scheduled to be released this spring by business publishing company CelebrityPress – features strategies on how to adjust, adapt and succeed in a rapidly changing industry.

Haney, a 25-year real estate veteran, holds the Certified Home Selling Advisor designation, given to less than 0.5 percent of all Realtors.

– Sarah Baker

Commercial Advisors Hires Walton as VP

Patrick Walton has joined Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors Asset Services LLC as vice president and Certified Global Supply Chain Specialist.

Walton previously worked for CB Richard Ellis Memphis, which he joined in May 2006. Most recently, he was an associate for CBRE’s Industrial Asset Services Group, responsible for leasing the Trammell Crow Development and Investment portfolio in the Southwest submarket.

A native of Jackson, Miss., Walton graduated in 2006 from the University of Mississippi, where he studied real estate and finance.

– Sarah Baker

Cohen Writes Gov Admin About 'Check Engine'

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, has sent a letter to a White House rules and regulations official, thanking him for his interest in Memphis’ “check engine” light issue and asking him to review new regulations for the vehicle inspection program.

Cohen’s letter to Cass Sunstein, administrator for the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, is in response to new rules that mean Memphians who take their cars through the annual inspection process when the “check engine” light is illuminated will fail the inspection.

Sunstein testified this month before the House Subcommittee on Courts, Commercial and Administrative Law on regulatory reform. Cohen spoke about the “check engine” light in his opening remarks.

– Andy Meek

US New-Home Sales Fall in February

Sales of U.S. new homes fell in February for the second straight month, a reminder that the depressed housing market remains weak despite some improvement.

The Commerce Department said Friday that new-home sales dropped 1.6 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 313,000 homes. Sales have fallen nearly 7 percent since December.

Sales were mixed across the country. They fell 2.4 percent in the Midwest and 7.2 percent in the South. They rose 8 percent in the West and 14.3 percent in the Northeast.

While a mild winter and three months of strong job growth have lifted re-sales, those conditions haven’t benefited the new-home market. The current pace is less than half the 700,000 that economists consider to be healthy.

There were some positive signs in the report. The government revised December’s sales figures up to show an annual rate of 336,000, the best sales pace in a year.

Though new-home sales represent less than 10 percent of the housing market, they have an outsize impact on the economy. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in tax revenue, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

– The Associated Press

FedEx Grants $50K to Community LIFT

FedEx Corp. has awarded $50,000 in grant funds to support Community LIFT’s efforts to improve Memphis neighborhoods.

Community LIFT (Leveraging Investments for Transformation) is a nonprofit intermediary established in 2010 by the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, The Assisi Foundation of Memphis, Bank of America and the city’s Housing & Community Division to pool resources to be deployed strategically for maximum return on investment and single accountability.

Community LIFT also serves as a conduit to build collaboration among community development corporations, government agencies, foundations, corporations and nonprofit organizations committed to neighborhood redevelopment and revitalization.

– Taylor Shoptaw

St. Jude Doctor Receives Nat'l Oncology Award

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital doctor Ching-Hon Pui, is the recipient of the 2012 Pediatric Oncology Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The honor recognizes Pui’s contributions to better understand the biology and treatment of leukemia, as well as his role in improving leukemia survival rates.

Pui will receive the award in June at the 2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in Chicago, where he’ll also present a talk on the possibility of achieving total cure of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) using personalized therapy.

Pui, who joined St. Jude in 1997, is chair of the department of oncology at St. Jude; co-leader of the hospital’s Hematological Malignancies Program; medical director of the St. Jude International Outreach China Program; and holder of the Fahad Nassar Al-Rashid Chair of Leukemia Research.

Pui is credited for innovations that have driven cure rates for pediatric leukemia to unprecedented heights. By implementing pharmacodynamics and pharmacogenetics to individualize chemotherapy and optimize the use of existing drugs, Pui and his colleagues have achieved cure rates of 90 percent at St. Jude for pediatric ALL, the most common childhood cancer.

– Aisling Maki

High Gas Prices Push Drivers to Pump Less

Americans have pumped less gas every week for the past year.

During those 52 weeks, gasoline consumption dropped by 4.2 billion gallons, or 3 percent, according to MasterCard SpendingPulse. The decline is the longest since a 51-week period during the recession.

The main reason: higher gas prices. The national average for a gallon of gas is $3.88, the highest ever for this time of year, and experts say it could be $4.25 by late April. As a result, Americans are taking fewer trips. When they take a vacation, they’re staying closer to home.

But the decline in gas consumption is also a sign that efforts to push car makers to produce vehicles with better gas mileage are paying off. The average new car now gets nearly 24 miles to the gallon, compared with about 20 mpg just four years ago, according to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

– The Associated Press

European Wax Center Opens in East Memphis

European Wax Center has opened in Erin Way Shopping Center, 4856 Poplar Ave.

Local franchisees Libsey and Scot James are Germantown residents who plan to expand European Wax Center in the Memphis area past the East Memphis location. As regional developers, they own the rights to the entire state of Tennessee.

The Jameses say the company’s proprietary Comfort Wax formula, coupled with its four-step Comfort Wax hair-removal system, is a major driver of its success.

– Sarah Baker

PROPERTY SALES 85 205 21,165
MORTGAGES 76 206 24,338
BANKRUPTCIES 46 90 13,558