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VOL. 128 | NO. 71 | Thursday, April 11, 2013

Daily Digest

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Cordova Ridge Shops Sells for $1.8 Million

An affiliate of Norcross, Ga.-based Safeway Group Inc. has paid $1.8 million for Cordova Ridge Shops, a retail shopping center at 1204 Houston Levee Road in unincorporated Cordova.

The buyer – operating in the transaction as Cordova Ridge Shops LLC – bought the center in an April 8 special warranty deed from 1204 Houston Levee Road Holdings LLC, an affiliate of Dallas-based CWCapital Asset Management LLC

CWCapital Asset Management had acquired the property for $2 million last August in a substitute trustee’s deed with Robert F. Tom of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC selling the property as substitute trustee.

Cordova Ridge Shops, a Class A retail center on North Houston Levee Road, went into foreclosure last year after its Nashville-based owner defaulted on a $3.3 million loan, according to a first-run foreclosure notice in the Aug. 1, 2012, edition of The Daily News.

Market Land Co., working as Cordova Ridge Shops LLC, bought the property in 2002 for $650,000 and financed it through PNC Bank in May 2004. That loan was later assigned to Wells Fargo Bank.

Built in 2002, the 21,832-square-foot, L-shaped strip shopping center sits on 2.1 acres on the east side of Houston Levee south of Macon Road.

The center, whose 2012 appraisal from the Shelby County Assessor of Property was $1.5 million, is attached to a 54,000-square-foot Kroger that was not included in the sale.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

International Paper Takes on Forest Protection

International Paper Co. and a forest conservation group announced a plan Wednesday to protect endangered forests in key paper-producing areas of the South.

The Memphis-based paper company and Dogwood Alliance said they will map areas around International Paper’s southeastern operations to identify endangered forests or places where conservation of natural resources is vital to environmental health.

The agreement between International Paper and Dogwood, a longtime critic of the company, also includes a plan to discourage the conversion of natural hardwood forests to pine plantations.

The first step will be a pilot project to map forests around the company’s mill in Riegelwood, N.C. The partners will then try to apply the mapping practices to other paper-producing areas in the region.

The South is one of the world’s largest paper-producing areas, and International Paper has a large presence there. Some environmental experts point to deforestation as an element of climate change, and conservation groups have pushed paper companies to change the way they harvest wood.

Dogwood has been critical of International Paper in the past, claiming the company has supported and funded destructive forestry practices such as logging endangered forests, draining wetlands and converting natural forests to tree plantations.

Dogwood pressured International Paper by securing deals from the company’s larger customers, such as Staples and Office Depot, to adopt paper procurement policies that would change the company’s practices.

One of Dogwood’s goals is to develop more sources of paper and wood products that are certified to the high standards of the Forest Stewardship Council.

In addition to the partnership announced Wednesday, International Paper also has announced a $7.5 million, five-year project with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to restore and conserve forests in the Coastal Carolinas, Cumberland Plateau, and the piney woods regions of Texas and Arkansas.

International Paper said it’s important to engage critics as part of its process to improve the company.

– The Associated Press

Justice Department Seeks Injunction Against Mo’ Money

The U.S. Justice Department is seeking a permanent injunction in federal court to stop Mo’ Money Taxes from doing business.

The complaint for a permanent injunction against the company under several corporate names it uses as well as the three partners who own the businesses was filed Tuesday, April 9, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. The 53-page civil action prepared by the tax division of the U.S. Justice Department alleges those hired by the Mo’ Money companies to prepare tax returns for others or who have a licensing agreement with one of the companies are not required to have any tax preparation experience or training.

The civil action also questions the preparation the companies give those who become licensees after paying money to use the tax preparation software.

– Bill Dries

Young Professionals Group Hits One-Year Mark

The Germantown Young Professionals group that’s associated with the Germantown Area Chamber of Commerce recently celebrated its one-year anniversary.

The young professionals group was founded on Feb. 8, 2012. It holds monthly mixers and social networking events throughout the year as well as professional development luncheons featuring local business leaders. The group also organized two drives this past year in support of Literacy Mid-South and the Mid-South Food Bank, and group members participated in the Annual Gobble Wobble 5K Race and the Germantown Holiday Parade.

They also assisted with several Germantown chamber events including the Annual Golf Tournament and Taste of the Town fundraiser.

With a current membership above 100, the group is open to members of the Germantown chamber who are between 22 and 40.

– Andy Meek

Raymond James Adds Fellman as Senior Vice President

Ted Fellman has joined Raymond James as a senior vice president in the firm’s public finance group.

Fellman, who is based in Nashville, has had an extensive career in state government, including serving 18 years with the Tennessee Housing Development Agency. His work with that group included stints as executive director and chief financial officer.

Fellman also is a certified public accountant and certified government financial manager.

In other Raymond James news, the company in the first quarter was the leading underwriter of municipal bonds in Tennessee, according to municipal bond information service Thomson Reuters.

In 2012, the firm was the ninth-leading underwriter nationally of municipal bonds, serving as senior manager on 748 issues with a par amount of $12.1 billion. In senior led and co-managed issues in 2012, Raymond James completed 1,250 transactions with a total par amount of $86.9 billion, representing more completed transactions than any other firm in the nation, according to Thomson Reuters.

– Andy Meek

Post Office Retreats on Eliminating Saturday Mail

The U.S. Postal Service backed down from its plan to eliminate Saturday mail delivery because Congress barred it, officials said Wednesday.

But its governing board said it’s not possible for the financially ailing agency to meet cost-cutting goals without altering its delivery schedule. Delaying “responsible changes,” the board said, only makes it more likely that the Postal Service “may become a burden” to taxpayers.

The Postal Service said in February that it planned to switch to five-day-a-week deliveries beginning in August for everything except packages as a way to hold down losses.

But that announcement was a gamble. The agency essentially was asking Congress to drop from spending legislation the longtime ban on five-day-only delivery. Congress did not do that when it passed a spending measure last month.

“By including restrictive language ... Congress has prohibited implementation of a new national delivery schedule for mail and package,” the postal Board of Governors said in a statement Wednesday.

“Although disappointed with this congressional action, the board will follow the law and has directed the Postal Service to delay implementation of its new delivery schedule until legislation is passed that provides the Postal Service with the authority to implement a financially appropriate and responsible delivery schedule,” it said.

The board made the decision in a closed meeting Tuesday.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 27 150 2,415
MORTGAGES 57 228 2,835
BUILDING PERMITS 157 441 6,509
BANKRUPTCIES 61 133 1,920