Owner of East Memphis Office Building Files Loan

An entity called 1717 West Massey LLC has filed a $3 million loan through Financial Federal Savings Bank on the 18,722-square-foot office building at 1717 W. Massey Road.

The company filed the deed of trust, security agreement and assignment of rents and leases Sept. 25 with Price D. Ford Sr. signing the trust deed as chief manager of 1717 West Massey. Ford also is principal with Ford Jarratt Realty & Development Co.

Built in 1994, the Class A office building sits on 1.91 acres in the Massey-Poplar Office Center Planned Development near the intersection of Poplar Avenue and Massey Road.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2012 appraisal is $1.8 million.

The transaction also included an affidavit of lease expiration for the property. A lease for the property by UBS Painwebber Inc. began April 2, 2002, and expired March 31. The property is managed by Lurie & Associates LLC.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

LRK Designs Honored With Industry Excellence Awards

Two of Memphis-based LRK Inc.’s designs have received national acclaim from the Multi-Housing News Excellence Awards, which honor the multifamily industry’s most noteworthy people, companies and properties.

The architecture firm won a Gold Award for Best New Development in the Student Housing category for The Foundry Lofts & Apartments at Eddy Street Commons in South Bend, Ind. LRK provided a master plan refinement, project visioning, mixed-use architecture, interior design and environmental graphic design for the 42.9-acre, university-anchored mixed-use development includes outdoor cafes and restaurants, upper floor offices, condominiums, city home residences and a hotel.

LRK won a second Gold Award for Best New Development in the Mid-Rise category for its architectural design of Gables West Ave in Houston’s River Oaks neighborhood. The urban community is made up three seven-story mixed-use buildings with 190,000 square feet of retail space on the first two levels and 397 units of luxury for-rent residential on the upper stories.

Award entries were evaluated on financial performance, customer service, resident satisfaction and design excellence. Winners will be featured in the October issue of Multi-Housing News.

– Sarah Baker

Executive Changes Announced at First Horizon National Corp.

First Tennessee Bank’s parent company announced Thursday a bit of shuffling in its executive ranks.

Executive vice president and chief credit officer Greg Jardine and executive vice president of corporate banking Christine Munson are retiring from First Horizon National Corp. at the end of the year. Taking their places will be Susan Springfield, executive vice president of commercial banking, succeeding Jardine as chief credit officer, and Steve Hawkins, executive vice president of asset-backed lending and correspondent banking. He’ll expand his role to include Munson’s corporate and commercial banking teams.

Leadership of the First Tennessee regional banking group at First Horizon will be streamlined to two groups under David Popwell, the bank’s chief operating officer, as president of banking. Dave Miller will continue to lead consumer banking, and Hawkins will lead business banking.

– Andy Meek

Long Road Bridge to Close for Repairs

The Long Road Bridge across Panther Creek, north of Arlington, will close Oct. 8-25 for bridge renovations as a Shelby County government public works project.

Through the construction period, traffic will detour at Osburntown Road to Pleasant Ridge Road and pick up Long Road on the west end of the bridge.

– Bill Dries

Food Commodities to Switch to Mid-South Food Bank

The Mid-South Food Bank will handle the weekly distribution of government food commodities starting later in October.

The food bank and Shelby County government, which currently distributes the food for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, plan to make the shift in a couple of weeks. In the interim, the food bank will update the eligibility lists and set up a group of distribution sites. During the transition, those eligible for the commodities can get food at area food pantries.

The direct connection between a food bank and the federal government program is a trend that has happened in other cities.

– Bill Dries

Vesta to Showcase Geothermal Technology

The 2012 Vesta Home Show will showcase its first-ever home that is heated and cooled with geothermal heat pump technology, produced by Ruch Builders and Engineered Comfort Inc.

The 5,100-square-foot custom home will use geothermal heat pump systems that result in a projected $120 per month average heating and cooling bill, or about $0.02 per square foot.

Geothermal heat pumps cut the utility bill by 30 to 50 percent and provide a 30 percent uncapped federal income tax credit to the purchaser. Financial payback periods vary in the four- to seven-year range.

The Vesta Home Show, Oct. 6, through Oct. 28, is an event hosted by the Memphis Area Home Builders Association to showcase premier builders, products and technologies for the building industry. It will be held at the St. James Place subdivision on Forest Hill Irene Road, south of Poplar Pike and north of Winchester Road.

– Sarah Baker

Higher Gas Costs Push Consumer Spending Up

Americans boosted their spending in August even though their income barely grew. Much of the spending increase went to pay higher gas prices, which may have forced consumers to cut back elsewhere.

The Commerce Department said Friday that consumer spending rose 0.5 percent in August from July. It was the biggest jump since February.

Gas prices rose nearly 50 cents per gallon in July and August, but have since leveled off. Excluding the impact of higher gas prices and other price gains, spending ticked up only 0.1 percent last month.

Income grew only 0.1 percent, too. But after accounting for inflation and deducting taxes, income actually fell 0.3 percent – the poorest performance since November.

The increase in prices and slower growth in pay forced people to save less.

A price gauge tied to consumer spending jumped 0.4 percent, reflecting the rise in energy prices. It was the biggest one-month jump since March 2011. Excluding food and energy, prices barely changed. Over the past year, prices excluding food and energy rose only 1.6 percent, well below the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent inflation target.

The government recently released a mixed report on retail spending that showed that consumers are feeling pinched by higher gas prices.

Consumers spent 0.9 percent more at retail businesses in August from July. But excluding the impact of gas prices and a sizeable increase in auto sales, retail sales rose just 0.1 percent.

– The Associated Press

Bank of America to Pay $2.43 Billion in Settlement

Bank of America says it has agreed to pay $2.43 billion to settle a class-action lawsuit related to its acquisition of Merrill Lynch at the height of the financial crisis.

In the lawsuit, shareholders alleged that Bank of America and some of its officers made false or misleading statements about both companies’ financial health.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of investors who bought or held Bank of America stock when the company announced its plans to buy Merrill Lynch in a $20 billion deal as the banking industry and federal regulators struggled to contain fallout from the crisis in the fall of 2008.

Bank of America’s deal to buy Merrill Lynch was forged on the same September 2008 weekend that Lehman Brothers collapsed. The transaction came into question later after Bank of America disclosed that Merrill would post $27.6 billion in losses that year. That added significantly to Bank of America’s financial woes, and the company subsequently asked for a $20 billion bailout from the government to help offset those losses, on top of the $25 billion it had already received. It has since repaid all $45 billion.

In announcing the settlement proposal, Bank of America denied the shareholders’ allegations and said that it agreed to the settlement to get rid of the uncertainties, burden and costs related to the lawsuit.

– The Associated Press