Southwestern Sells Building to Georgia Distributor

Crown Logistics LLC, an affiliate of Georgia Crown Distributing Co., has paid $5.2 million for the Southwestern Distributing facility at 7625 Appling Center Drive near Bartlett.

The McDonough, Ga.-based wholesale liquor, wine and beer distributor bought the 218,836-square-foot warehouse in an Oct. 21 special warranty deed from J & G Partners, the second-generation family ownership of Southwestern Distributors.

The sale was part of Georgia Crown Distributors’ recent purchase of Southwestern, founded in 1939 by Alex Barzizza, who later handed the business over to his sons, John and Gene.

Georgia Crown, whose hometown is near Atlanta, bought its first Memphis distributor, United Liquors, in 2008.

Built in 1995, the Class B warehouse that Crown bought sits on 12.66 acres on the south side of Appling Center Drive, east of its intersection with Appling Road. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2012 appraisal is $5.6 million.

The buyer financed the purchase with part of a series of loans totaling $152.7 million through Wells Fargo Bank NA that also covered acquisitions in Chattanooga and outside Tennessee.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Exchange Club Family Center Receives $25,000 Grant

The Exchange Club Family Center has been named the recipient of the United Way G. Bradley Wanzer Jr. Award For Excellence. The award includes a $25,000 grant, which the Center will use to support its services and programs that assist those impacted by family violence and abuse.

The award honors G. Bradley Wanzer’s 31-year career and legacy by recognizing United Way agencies in the Mid-South community that demonstrate high standards of service. It focuses on a nonprofit’s work in accountability, collaborations with other nonprofit organizations in the Mid-South, outcome measurements and its partnership with the United Way of the Mid-South.

Barbara King, executive director of the Exchange Club Family Center, accepted the award from Wanzer’s wife, Sally, and son, Bradley, during a recent ceremony held as part of the United Way’s Day of Caring kickoff rally. The event honored the work of hundreds of nonprofit volunteers from across the Mid-South.

– Sarah Baker

EdR Completes Purchase of Community in Michigan

EdR, a Memphis-based developer, owner and manager of collegiate housing, has purchased Campus Village – a collegiate housing community serving Michigan State University in East Lansing – for $20.9 million.

Campus Village is a 355-bed, 106-unit community adjacent to the university.

Developed in two phases in 2002 and 2004, the community is 97.7 percent leased for the 2012-2013 academic year with an average monthly lease rate of $639 per bed. The purchase price represents an approximate 6.7 percent economic cap rate on expected next 12 months’ net operating income.

The fully-furnished community features one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments with a private bathroom for each bedroom. Amenities include a clubhouse with fitness center, tanning bed, computer lab/business center, game room, volleyball court and grill/picnic area.

The Michigan State campus has a full-time enrollment of more than 41,500 undergraduate and graduate students. Current on-campus housing consists of approximately 15,000 beds.

With this purchase, EdR owns or manages 65 communities in 24 states with more than 36,600 beds within more than 12,000 units.

– Sarah Baker

Baker Donelson Awards Diversity Scholarships

The law firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC has announced the 2012 recipients of the firm’s diversity scholarship.

They are Stephanie deJesus, Willie Santana and LaToyia Slay.

A graduate of Vanderbilt University, deJesus is in her second year at the South Texas College of Law and will clerk in Baker Donelson’s Houston office next summer. Santana is in his second year at the University of Tennessee College of Law and will be a summer associate in the firm’s Knoxville office. And Slay, who graduated magna cum laude from The University of the South, is in her second year at Mississippi College School of Law and will be a summer associate in Baker Donelson’s Jackson, Miss., office.

The three recipients were selected from 185 applicants attending 87 law schools across the country. Established in 2008, the Baker Donelson Diversity Scholarship Program awards scholarships annually to diverse law school students who have completed their first year of law school.

Each recipient gets a salaried second-year summer associate position in one of the firm’s offices. After finishing the summer associate position, the firm also awards each recipient a $10,000 scholarship during the student’s third year of law school.

– Andy Meek

India Fest Slated for Nov. 3 at Agricenter

The 10th annual India Fest, a showcase of the rich and diverse Indian culture in Memphis, is set for Nov. 3 at Agricenter International from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Hosted by the India Association of Memphis, this year’s India Fest theme is “Past, Present and Future,” and is open to the public.

Some 7,500 attended India Fest last year, and 8,000 are projected this year. More than 50 food and marketplace vendors will be present.

Festival highlights include: booths selling traditional Indian cuisine prepared by local residents and restaurants; musical performances from Tennessee and Mississippi area artists; a shopping bazaar; cooking demonstrations; regional cultural displays; Indian arts and crafts; a kid’s corner with games, Henna, costume parade, yoga, storytelling, Hindi calligraphy and face painting; and a medical junction with health screens.

The cost for adults is $3 and for children is $1. Kids can also bring in two or more cans of food for the Mid-South Food Bank for free entry.

Tickets are available at the door. Parking is free.

– Sarah Baker

Food Banks See Shortage as Stimulus Drops Off

Food banks are hurting as a federal economic stimulus program that helped provide surplus food is coming to an end.

The Tennessean reports food banks rely on surplus from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Emergency Food Assistance program to supplement donations from the public. In 2009 and 2010, funding for that program doubled in Tennessee as part of President Obama’s economic stimulus package.

The amount of surplus food dropped 25 percent last year and another 50 percent in the first quarter of this fiscal year. But demand for food assistance is still high.

“There’s less food for more people” said Tasha Kennard, spokeswoman for the Second Harvest Food Bank in Nashville. “That’s the pinch we are all in right now.”

In 2008, Tennessee received $6.15 million worth of surplus food. That number jumped to more than $13 million in 2009 and 2010, before dropping back to $6.6 million last year.

Terry Minton is the commodity administrator for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. She said the amount of surplus food available tends to ebb and flow.

“We have had quite a lull in our food deliveries, but we seem to be picking up,” she said.

– The Associated Press

Gas Gets Cheaper, But Still Isn’t Cheap

Gasoline across the U.S. is cheaper after a week of rapid price declines. But it still isn’t cheap.

The national average for a gallon of gas has dropped 13 cents in the past week to $3.625. That’s the biggest weekly decline since the seven-day period ended Nov. 28, 2008, according to Oil Price Information Services analyst Fred Rozell.

Falling oil prices, rising supplies of gasoline and a switch by refiners to cheaper winter blends of gas have contributed to lower pump prices.

But gasoline is still more expensive than it’s ever been for this time of year. The previous record for Oct. 23 was last year’s $3.46 per gallon.

Rozell says gasoline has averaged $3.65 so far this year, 10 cents above the record set in 2011.

– The Associated Press