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VOL. 127 | NO. 217 | Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Daily Digest

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Hilliard Crews Buys Land In Collierville for $4.3 Million

Hilliard Crews Partnership has paid a combined $4.3 million for roughly 67 acres of land in Collierville from Shea Partners.

The buying partnership, composed of Hilliard R. Crews Jr. and Hilliard LLC, bought the vacant parcel in two special warranty deeds Oct. 31 from an entity composed of Boyle Investment Co. and Boyle North Co. LLC.

The land sits on the west side of Shea Road south of Frank Road in Collierville. Original plans were to turn the property into Shepherd’s Creek subdivision.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2012 appraisal of the property is $2 million.

Russell E. “Rusty” Bloodworth Jr., executive vice president with Boyle, signed the warranty deed as managing partner of Shea Partners, which had bought the acreage from the A.D. Cartwright Jr. Revocable Trust in December 2007, also for $4.3 million.

Hilliard Crews Partnership financed part of the purchase with a $2 million trust deed through BancorpSouth Bank. Crews signed the trust deed as general partner of the grantor.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Ritz Requests Data on International Paper Expansion

Shelby County Commission Chairman Mike Ritz wants a comparison of the tax impact of Memphis-based International Paper Co. building a new 250,000-square-foot building in Memphis versus the same size building being located in DeSoto County.

The request by Ritz to the Memphis-Shelby County Economic Development Growth Engine comes as International Paper executives consider an expansion.

The company’s expansion comes as the company incorporates its recent acquisition of Temple-Inland of Austin, Texas.

According to details in Ritz’s request to Economic Development Growth Engine president Reid Dulberger, International Paper executives are seeking a 30-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreement not only on the new building it proposes but the eight existing buildings on its headquarters campus in East Memphis.

International Paper executives have not said what they are seeking in the way of incentives, only that they are weighing a headquarters expansion that includes an “evaluation process.”

Ritz also refers in the letter to an estimate that the new International Paper building would cost $400 per square foot to build or buy.

“There are no office buildings of this 250,000 size in Memphis that cost $400 (a square foot) to build or buy,” Ritz writes.

“And there are certainly no office buildings of this size with a county assessor’s tax appraisal of $400 (a square foot). … I want to see how Shelby County gets a 4 to 1 payback for giving up taxes on 9 buildings for 30 years.”

– Bill Dries

Haslam to Begin Budget Hearings

Gov. Bill Haslam says he doesn’t have any specific reason for beginning state budget hearings on Election Day.

On Tuesday, eight state agencies are scheduled to meet with the Tennessee governor throughout the day and present their proposed budgets for the upcoming year.

The departments include Health and Education.

Haslam recently told reporters that most of the campaigning should be done by the time of the hearings, and said he believes the schedule will work on Tuesday because of the “way it’s spread out through the day.”

Budget hearings are also scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.

– The Associated Press

Dots to Open Third Memphis Store

National retailer Dots will open a new Memphis store Thursday, Nov. 8, in the Market of Wolfcreek Shopping Center, 2759 Wolfcreek Parkway.

The location marks Dots’ third shop in the area in the past six months. The women’s fashion chain now has five locations in Memphis, not including a store in West Memphis and a store in Southaven.

The most recent Dots store is part of an overall 2012 growth plan, which has included more than 50 renovations and will result in more than 35 new locations.

Glenwillow, Ohio-based Dots has more than 400 stores in 28 states.

– Sarah Baker

Memphis Bar Hosts Forum at Central Library

The Memphis Bar Association is inviting members of the public to join a group of lawyers along with Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Gina Higgins in a discussion of the American legal system.

The discussion, on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 6 p.m. in Meeting Room C at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library at 3030 Poplar Ave., will be a part civics lesson and part history lesson.

It will address the structure of the justice system followed by a discussion of the role it plays in everyday lives – and the importance of keeping it fair and impartial.

The event is part of the MBA’s community outreach program “Law Rules: The Importance of the American Legal System.”

– Andy Meek

TVA Names New Chief Executive

The Tennessee Valley Authority’s board has chosen a former energy chief from North Carolina, who was ousted from his previous company earlier this year, to succeed retiring Tom Kilgore as the chief executive of the nation’s largest public utility.

Bill Johnson was CEO of Progress Energy and had been slated to lead Duke Energy when the two companies combined to form the nation’s largest investor-owned utility in July. But within hours of the merger Johnson was out, replaced by Jim Rogers, who had been Duke’s CEO but was slated to become executive chairman.

The surprise ouster has prompted North Carolina’s utility regulator to investigate whether the state and public were misled during the merger approval process.

At a news conference in Knoxville on Monday, TVA Board Chairman Bill Sansom expressed total confidence in the board’s choice of leadership. He said the board was unanimous in its support for Johnson.

“He’s got a lot of industry expertise, a lot of integrity; he’s tough; he expects performance; and he’s a winner,” Sansom said.

Johnson, who will take over the $11 billion federal agency in January, said that he thinks TVA can be a model for the industry. He said he wants to make how the company treats customers and employees a top priority, along with making TVA as effective as possible. He also said operating safely and with integrity and transparency were important.

Johnson’s annual compensation at TVA consists of a $950,000 salary and potential additional compensation of up to $3 million that is tied to performance objectives and retention, according to a news release on Johnson’s selection.

The Tennessee Valley Authority provides electricity for business customers and distribution utilities that serve 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA, which receives no taxpayer money and makes no profits, also provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists utilities and state and local governments with economic development.

– The Associated Press

Oil Price Fluctuates Near $85 Ahead of Election

The price of oil rose slightly Monday as investors remain cautious ahead of the U.S. presidential election. They’re also assessing how much demand for oil has dropped in the storm-stricken Northeast.

Benchmark oil rose 21 cents to $85.07 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, oil slumped $2.23 to close at $84.86 a barrel.

Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, rose 86 cents to $106.54 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

AAA says the national average price for gasoline has dropped 7 cents in the past week to $3.47 per gallon. But gas prices have risen somewhat in New York and New Jersey, where the energy infrastructure was battered by Superstorm Sandy.

In other trading in New York wholesale gasoline rose 2 cents to $2.60 per gallon; heating oil gained 1 cent to $2.96 per gallon; and natural gas rose 1 cent to $3.69 per 1,000 cubic feet.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 85 205 21,165
MORTGAGES 76 206 24,338
BUILDING PERMITS 183 321 43,755
BANKRUPTCIES 48 92 13,560