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VOL. 127 | NO. 227 | Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Daily Digest

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Southland Development Sells 53 Lots in Wesley Forest

Southland Development Partners of Memphis sold 53 lots in the Wesley Forest Subdivision for $1.1 million to a partnership called Windsor Pointe 2011 LP.

The sale occurred Nov. 15. It included all but 12 lots in the 18.35-acre subdivision that sits along the west side of Neely Road, north of East Raines Road, in Westwood’s 38109 ZIP code.

Most of the lots have an appraised value of $15,000 apiece, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property.

Terry A. Lynch signed the warranty deed as managing partner of Southland Development Partners.

The buyer filed a “wrap around deed of trust” – a type of mortgage issued by the property seller – through Southland Development Partners. Gary R. Gibbs signed the trust deed as chief manager of Windsor Pointe 2011.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

State Task Force Announces Grocer Incentive Program

A special task force is trying to encourage independent grocers to locate in low-income areas in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Grocery Access Task Force is a coalition of more than 50 private and public sector groups. The group scheduled a news conference for Monday morning at the Legislative Plaza in Downtown Nashville to announce efforts to create a financial incentive program encouraging independent grocers to locate in so-called food deserts.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a food desert is a low-income census tract in which a substantial number of residents have low access to a supermarket or large grocery store. That means they may also have little access to healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables.

A recent study by The Food Trust found that nearly 1 million Tennessee residents, including more than 200,000 children, live in food deserts.

– The Associated Press

Southern College of Optometry Receives $250,000 Assisi Grant

Southern College of Optometry has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the Assisi Foundation of Memphis Inc. to support the college’s “Envision Our Progress” campaign and the $9.4 million academic building project that was announced in March.

The grant will be paid in a single lump sum before the end of the year. It comes on the heels of a $300,000 grant from the Plough Foundation in September and will support the college’s academic expansion efforts.

As first reported by The Daily News in December, the expansion plans include a 23,016-square-foot classroom and instructional facility under construction on the school’s former patio space.

The college made plans to expand its campus after outgrowing its current 11-story tower.

The new facility, made possible in part by support from the Assisi Foundation, is expected to open in August and will allow the college to expand its technology and instructional capabilities.

In conjunction with the March announcement of the expansion, the college launched a five-year, $4 million capital campaign to finance the project.

An advance phase has raised more than $2.25 million, and grants from the Plough and Assisi foundations have provided the school with an additional $550,000 in funding. The college’s board of trustees will finance the remainder of the project through investments and cost-savings measures over the five-year period.

– Sarah Baker

University of Memphis Receives $3.7 Million Gift

The University of Memphis has received a $3.7 million gift from the Helen and Jabie Hardin Charitable Trust.

The trust has been a major benefactor of the school for many years. The gift includes $1 million for the Helen Hardin Honors Program, $100,000 to the university’s School of Public Health and $2.6 million to support women’s athletic programs.

Jabie and Helen Hardin were the founders of wholesale food distributor Hardin-Sysco.

In 1995, the University of Memphis bestowed its highest honor, the Distinguished Alumni Award, on the Hardins. In 1997, they also were inducted into the Society of Entrepreneurs.

– Andy Meek

US Homebuilder Confidence Hits Six-Year High

Confidence among U.S. homebuilders rose this month to its highest level in six and a half years, driven by strong demand for newly built homes and growing optimism that the housing recovery will strengthen next year.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Monday increased to 46, up from 41 in October.

That’s the highest reading since May 2006, just before the housing bubble burst.

Readings below 50 suggest negative sentiment about the housing market. The index last reached that level in April 2006. Still, it has been trending higher since October 2011, when it stood at 17.

The survey is based on responses from 417 builders. The index sank to 8, its lowest point dating back to 1985, in January 2008.

Builders’ confidence has improved this year as the housing market has shown signs of a sustained turnaround.

U.S. sales of new homes hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 389,000 in September, an increase of nearly 6 percent from the previous month and the highest level in more than two years.

All told, sales of new homes have increased 27.1 percent over the past year, although sales remain well below healthy levels. Data on new-home sales in October are due out next week.

Meanwhile, builders are starting to put up more homes. Homebuilders started construction on new homes and apartments at the fastest pace in more than four years in September.

They also requested the most building permits in four years, an indication that many are confident that gains in home sales will endure.

– The Associated Press

Beebe Relying on Lawmakers for Exchange Decision

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe says he’s relying on next year’s legislative leaders to tell him whether there’s support in the House and Senate for the state running its own insurance exchange under the federal health care law.

Beebe told reporters Monday, Nov. 19, that he hoped to meet after Thanksgiving with incoming Senate President Michael Lamoureux and House Speaker Davy Carter on the possibility of Arkansas having a state-run exchange. Beebe said last week he was considering a state-run exchange after the federal government extended the deadline to make a decision.

The state had initially been planning for a partnership with the federal government on an exchange.

Beebe said he wants Carter and Lamoureux to measure how much support there is among next year’s legislators for a state-run exchange.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 51 328 20,960
MORTGAGES 58 387 24,132
BUILDING PERMITS 170 842 43,435
BANKRUPTCIES 50 288 13,468