Fieldstone Apartments Files $9 Million Loan

Fieldstone Apartments III LLC – an affiliate of Michael Lightman Realty Co. – has filed a nearly $9 million loan through SunTrust Banks Inc. for land that will become a new apartment phase.

The company will build a 102-unit apartment complex on roughly 17 acres of vacant land on Tournament Drive and Hacks Cross Road, north of Winchester Road, in Southeast Memphis.

It’s the third phase for Fieldstone, which uses the address 3333 Hacks Cross Road. Fieldstone bought the property, which is part of a larger parcel, Aug. 19 in a special warranty deed from William B. Clark Jr., Trustee of the Ben Clark Agricultural Trust No. 1, and William B. Clark. Jr., Trustee of the Nick Clark Business Trust No. 1.

Fieldstone Apartments in June filed a $7.5 million building permit application with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for 7986 Tournament Drive.

The scope of work for the permit includes garden-style apartments, as well as a mail kiosk and two detached garages, according to the application. Memphis-based Patton & Taylor Construction Co. is the general contractor for the project; no architect was listed on the application.

The first two phases of Fieldstone include one-, two- and three-bedroom units in three-story buildings.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Harrah's Office Complex to be Auctioned

The former headquarters of Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. in East Memphis is set to be auctioned in November with a minimum bid of $2 million. Commercial has the 113,556-square-foot office complex at 1023 Cherry Road listed online with property-related questions directed to Johnny Lamberson of CB Richard Ellis Memphis.

The complex consists of two buildings constructed in two phases between 1985 and 1995 – one that’s 59,159 square feet and one that’s 54,397 square feet. The asset also contains a covered parking structure and is situated on a 6.6-acre site.

The buildings were 52.1 percent leased as of May, but are both empty. Harrah’s currently is still under lease for the 59,159-square-foot building until April 2017. The lease is in place and goes with whoever buys it.

The lease for the 54,397-square-foot building expired in April.

Harrah’s departed the Cherry Road buildings and a Ridge Lake Boulevard call center in 2006 when it bought a 285,000-square-foot building in Goodlett Farms. The company in 2008 closed its Memphis corporate office and data center, eliminating 250 jobs and moving 50 employees to its Las Vegas headquarters.

New York-based MLMT 2004-MKB1 1023 Cherry Road LLC bought the embattled office property for $6.4 million during a substitute trustee’s sale in October 2009 at the Shelby County Courthouse.

Its 2012 appraisal from the Shelby County Assessor of Property is $5.6 million.

Bidding starts Nov. 6 and ends Nov. 8.

– Sarah Baker

EdR Increases Leasing, Decreases Occupancy for Current Academic Year

EdR saw net rental rates increase 5.1 percent for its same-community portfolio for the 2012-2013 lease term over 2011-2012.

But the Memphis-based developer, owner and manager of collegiate housing’s same-community opening occupancy was 90.5 percent for the 2012-2013 lease term, compared to 94.7 percent occupancy in the prior year.

Christine Richards, EdR senior vice president and chief operating officer, said in a written statement that five communities were impacted by local factors, including modest declines in university enrollment. Those five communities accounted for 76 percent of EdR’s occupancy decline.

Since 2011, EdR has acquired or developed communities representing more than $360 million of investment. These new communities account for more than one-third of its asset base.

EdR has narrowed its 2012 core funds from operations guidance to $0.46 to $0.48 per share, from $0.46 to $0.51 per share.

The real estate investment trust will release property-specific leasing data in the company’s third-quarter earnings release scheduled for Oct. 25.

EdR owns or manages 63 communities in 24 states with more than 35,400 beds within more than 11,700 units.

– Sarah Baker

Coopwood Leads 2013 March for Babies Fundraising

Dr. Reginald Coopwood, CEO of the Regional Medical Center at Memphis, is the newly announced 2013 chair of March for Babies, the March of Dimes’ largest annual fundraising event.

As the 2013 Memphis March for Babies chairman, Coopwood will help raise awareness and funding to advance the scientific research and educational programs at the core of the March of Dimes’ efforts to prevent preterm birth and birth defects.

His goal is to lead in raising $600,000 for March for Babies in 2013.

– Andy Meek

US Manufacturing Grows for First Time in Four Months

U.S. manufacturing grew for the first time in four months, buoyed by a jump in new orders and more jobs.

The increase is a hopeful sign that the economy may be improving after a weak stretch.

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Monday, Oct. 1, that its index of factory activity rose to 51.5. That’s up from 49.6 in August.

A reading above 50 signals growth and below indicates contraction. The index had been below that threshold from June through August.

Most economists were encouraged by the report after weak consumer spending and fewer exports slowed factory production in the spring.

Still, they cautioned that economic growth is likely to stay modest until hiring accelerates and consumers spend more.

Manufacturers also said they are facing rising costs for corn, fuel and several other commodities.

The improvement at U.S. factories comes even as growth is slowing overseas.

Europe’s financial crisis has pushed many countries in the region into recession. Growth in emerging nations such as China and India has slowed.

China’s manufacturing sector shrank in September, according to a survey by a Chinese trade group. But its measure of factory activity rose for the first time in four months, to 49.8, from 49.2.

– The Associated Press

Bernanke Makes Defense of Fed Rate Policies

Chairman Ben Bernanke offered a sharp defense Monday, Oct. 1, of the Federal Reserve’s bold policies to stimulate the weak economy, while cautioning Congress to respect its private discussions.

The Fed needs to drive down borrowing rates because the economy isn’t growing fast enough to reduce high unemployment, Bernanke said in a speech to the Economic Club of Indiana. The unemployment rate is 8.1 percent.

Low rates could also help lower the federal budget deficit by reducing the government’s borrowing costs and generating more tax revenue through stronger growth, Bernanke said.

Bernanke cautioned Congress against changing the law so it could review the Fed’s interest-rate policy discussions. Such a step would improperly inject political pressure into those talks and make Fed policymakers less likely to act, Bernanke warns.

The speech comes just weeks after the Fed voted at its Sept. 12-13 meeting to purchase mortgage bonds to help boost the housing market. The Fed left the program open ended, saying that it would keep buying the bonds until the job market showed substantial improvement.

The Fed also said at the September meeting it plans to keep its benchmark short-term interest rate near zero through at least mid-2015.

In his speech, Bernanke reassured investors that the timetable for keeping rates low “doesn’t mean we expect the economy to be weak through 2015.” Instead, he said the Fed expects to keep rates low well after the economy strengthens.

Bernanke spoke two days before President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney will hold a debate in which the economy is a central theme.

– The Associated Press