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VOL. 127 | NO. 219 | Thursday, November 8, 2012

Daily Digest

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Willow Oaks Apartments Sells for Second Time

The 346-unit Willow Oaks apartment complex at 2429 Ketchum Road has sold once again after trading hands in September.

Blue Salt LLC, a Delaware company, paid $1.5 million for the multifamily property in the Defense Depot’s 38114 ZIP code from Bountiful, Utah-based Noall Investment Properties LLC.

Alan G. Noall signed the warranty deed as member of Noall Investment Properties.

The warranty deed’s date was Nov. 2 but effective as of Sept. 25, the same day that Noall Investment Properties paid $1.1 million for property from Willow Oaks Apartments LLC. That entity bought the complex in 2005 for $4 million.

Built in 1966, the 257,838-square-foot, Class D multifamily complex sits on 18.74 acres on the south side of Ketchum Road near its intersection with Airways Boulevard. The south side of the property abuts Interstate 240.

The warranty deed filed through the Shelby County Register of Deeds lists the address as 2459 Ketchum Road, but the Shelby County Assessor of Property, whose 2012 appraisal is $2.5 million, lists the address as 2429 Ketchum Road.

The transaction also included a deed of trust issued by the seller, with Jason W. Coutts signing the deed as manager of Blue Salt.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Center City Revenue Finance Corp. to Consider Brinkley Plaza Tax Break

The Downtown Memphis Commission’s Center City Revenue Finance Corp. (CCRFC) has a full agenda for its Tuesday, Nov. 13, board meeting, with leasing and financing requests for Brinkley Plaza, Toyota Plaza and the Peabody Hotel Tract.

The CCRFC will consider assigning a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) lease agreement dated Dec. 31, 1984, to Olymbec USA LLC for Brinkley Plaza, 80 Monroe Ave. Montreal-based Olymbec bought the 219,557-square-foot, 10-story tower in October for $7.2 million from Sanderlin Place and Brinkley Plaza II Partnership, entities related to CB Richard Ellis Memphis and Loeb Properties Inc.

In addition, the CCRFC will vote on a request for Hertz Memphis Tree LLC to refinance 175 Toyota Plaza, located at 185 Monroe Ave., with Magna Bank. Santa Monica, Calif.-based Hertz Investment Group LLC bought Toyota Center in April as part of a $147.5 million, 15-property portfolio sale from Parkway Properties Inc.

Meanwhile, the CCRFC will also vote on a request for refinancing the Peabody Hotel Tract at Union Avenue and Second Street for Hotel Peabody GP with Wells Fargo Bank NA.

The CCRFC meets Tuesday at 9 a.m. at The Crump Building, 114 N. Main St.

– Sarah Baker

Madison Hotel Lands on Top 40 Hotels List

Downtown Memphis’ Madison Hotel has been ranked No. 24 on Condé Nast Traveler’s 25th annual Readers’ Choice Awards Top 40 Hotels in the South list. The Madison, 79 Madison Ave., is the only hotel in Memphis to receive the honor.

More than 46,000 Condé Nast Traveler readers voted for and elected 1,306 properties and places around the world, with nearly half being in the U.S. Award categories were broken down among cities, islands, hotels, resorts, cruises and airlines.

Each candidate is rated by criteria on a five-point scale ranging from excellent to poor and is averaged to calculate the final score. The Madison Hotel garnered a high score of 88.2 for rooms, service, food, location and design.

Opened in 2002, the Madison Hotel boasts 110 guest rooms and a rooftop lounge. It has also been selected by Condé Nast Traveler readers as one of the top 75 Hotels in the U.S. and by Travel & Leisure readers as one of the Top 500 Hotels of the World. The Madison is an AAA Four Diamond award recipient and an affiliate property in the WORLDHOTELS Deluxe Collection.

– Sarah Baker

City Council Approves Harahan Bridge Funding

Memphis City Council members approved $45,000 in architecture and engineering funding for the Harahan Bridge Boardwalk project Tuesday, Nov. 6, in a session that saw several other major agenda items delayed.

The $45,000 covers some of the cost of planning preparations for the bicycle and pedestrian boardwalk to date. The boardwalk is part of a larger $30 million project that includes renovations of Main Street in Memphis and Broadway Street in West Memphis with the boardwalk being the connection to the two thoroughfares across the Mississippi River. Half of the cost is covered by federal funding with local government and private funding to cover the other half.

The council delayed to Dec. 4 any action on a resolution that would send a Vance Avenue renovation plan to the Land Use Control Board that specifically calls for keeping the Foote Homes public housing development. The resolution would be an endorsement of the plan by the Vance Avenue Collaborative, which differs from the long-term plan the city administration has to demolish the last large public housing project left in Memphis.

The council also delayed to Dec. 4 a vote on the future of the Whitehaven golf course as well as a fee increase for city golf course users who don’t live in Memphis and a golf cart rental fee increase. The council voted in the spring budget season to close the golf course for good in December. The plan now is for the golf course to close for the winter in December pending council action.

– Bill Dries

State Democrats Want to See Pre-Kindergarten Expansion

Tennessee Democratic leaders say they plan to talk with Gov. Bill Haslam about expanding pre-kindergarten classes after the state’s education commissioner said he doesn’t plan to request funding for an expansion.

Commissioner Kevin Huffman spoke earlier this week during the governor’s budget hearings. Haslam has asked state departments to develop plans for a 5 percent cut in spending as a fallback.

The Commercial Appeal reported Huffman said expanding enrollment in schools and inflation will require an additional $2 million in routine cost increases.

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner told The Associated Press on Wednesday that pre-K is needed and that he plans to talk to the governor and consider legislation to expand it.

Tennessee’s voluntary pre-K program has not been expanded since 2008.

– The Associated Press

Busier Airports, Full Planes Seen on Thanksgiving

The recipe for Thanksgiving travel is likely to make travelers a little bitter this year.

Americans can expect airports to be busier and planes to be fuller than ever, according to a forecast by the main trade association for U.S. airlines two weeks ahead of the holiday. And fares are already more expensive.

Airlines for America expects nearly 24 million travelers to fly from Friday, Nov. 16, through Tuesday, Nov. 27. That’s up narrowly from a year earlier. Last year’s tally was flat from 2010. But traffic on the nation’s airlines is still 10 percent below the peak travel years of 2006 and 2007.

For those traveling on the busiest days around Thanksgiving, planes are expected to be close to 90 percent full, the trade group says. That would be a record for the holiday. Sunday, Nov. 25, is projected as the busiest travel day, followed by Wednesday, Nov. 21, and Monday, Nov. 26.

Flights will be packed tighter because there are fewer of them. Airlines have been reducing flights to better match demand, which in turn allows them to raise prices. So far this year domestic ticket prices are up 4 percent from 2011, according to the group.

Cutting flights also allows airlines to save on fuel, often their biggest expense.

Collectively, U.S. airlines’ revenue rose 5.6 percent in the first nine months of this year. But fuel costs rose by 6.2 percent, cutting the amount of money earned per passenger. On average, the ten largest U.S. airlines made just 50 cents for every passenger they flew from January through September, Airlines for America said.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 23 23 1,365
MORTGAGES 21 21 1,068
BUILDING PERMITS 117 117 3,173