Reno Company Buys Office, Files Loan

Reno, Nev.-based EP Minerals LP has filed a $7.1 million loan on its mixed-use office building at 7125 Riverdale Bend Road in Southeast Memphis.

The company had purchased the 9,716-square-foot Class B office March 8 for $500,000 from Moltan Company LP, which had received the property in a quitclaim deed from Gurley Companies LP.

EP Minerals filed the deed of trust, security agreement, assignment of leases and rents and financing statement (fixture filing) March 26 through Bank of Montreal.

Built in 1985, the office building sits on 0.8 acres on the north side of Riverdale Bend Road east of Riverdale Road. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal is $550,900.

Dave Keselica signed the trust deed as CEO of EP Minerals.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

New Germantown Fire House Gets LEED Gold Award

The new Germantown Fire House 4 at 30301 Forest Hill-Irene Road, designed by Renaissance Group architects, has earned the status of being the first LEED Gold building for the city of Germantown and the first LEED Gold municipal facility in West Tennessee.

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

Of the material used in the fire house construction, 45.8 percent was extracted and manufactured within 500 miles of the project site, and 23 percent consisted of recycled material. A highly reflective heat-reducing roof was installed, resulting in a 23.6 percent energy savings, and a 30.9 percent reduction in potable water usage was achieved over a typical baseline building.

The new fire house totals about 14,500 square feet, includes eight individual sleeping rooms with space for two more, a 50-seat training center, kitchen and dining area, exercise area, three-lane drive-thru apparatus bay with a five-vehicle capacity, radiant slab heating system and an automatic release carbon monoxide vehicle exhaust system. The facility also houses an emergency backup generator and Emergency 911 backup dispatch center.

– Andy Meek

Jewelry From Petit Palais Displayed at Dixon

Iconic jewels from the famous French houses of Falize, Boucheron, Lalique and Cartier will be on view at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens through July 31.

The exhibit, “Bijoux parisiens: French Jewelry from the Petit Palais,” tells the story of French jewelry design from the 17th to the 20th centuries and draws from the extensive collection from the Petit Palais in Paris.

Bijoux parisiens illustrates the influences that helped establish the great Parisian maisons that are today household names. The exhibit features nearly 70 works of jewelry and more than 200 design paintings, fashion prints and photographs, tracing shifts in styles from Neoclassicism to the Art Deco period.

– Jennifer Johnson Backer

Haslam to Keynote Lincoln Day Dinner

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam will be the keynote speaker for the Shelby County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day Gala.

The fundraiser will be May 17 at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis at 7 p.m..

The gala, which is in its 38th year, is the party’s largest annual fundraiser with each county party across the state and in other states holding some version of a Lincoln Day event starting in February.

Haslam has attended past Lincoln Day events in Shelby County including the 2010 event that featured him and other contenders in the crowded GOP primary for governor that year.

– Bill Dries

Tennessee GOP: Infighting Typical of Supermajority

Republicans, positioned to make major changes to state law with the governorship and a supermajority in the General Assembly, ended the session with some high-profile measures derailed by infighting.

Leaders say it was to be expected, and they had been warning of it since winning more than two-thirds of the legislative seats in November.

“Does it mean we’ll get everything we want, I don’t necessarily assume that,” Republican Gov. Bill Haslam said at the time.

Proposals that failed this session ranged from Haslam’s initiative to create a school voucher program in Tennessee to Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey’s plan to redraw Tennessee’s judicial districts for the first time since 1984.

The latter probably caused the most tension on the final day of the 108th Tennessee General Assembly last Friday when House members defeated it 66-28.

Most of those opposing the plan – which would have affected 22 counties in eight districts and reduced the number of judicial districts from 31 to 29 – said they felt they were being dictated to by the Senate, particularly Ramsey.

After that bill was defeated, the Senate killed its version of a House bill that sought to change the approval process for charter schools in Tennessee and was strongly supported by House Speaker Beth Harwell. The bill had passed the lower chamber 62-30 after being changed at least three times throughout its legislative process.

For most of the session, however, Republicans seemed to work cohesively. They came together on somewhat contentious proposals that included allowing people with handgun carry permits to store firearms in their vehicles no matter where they are parked, and one that changed the way the state considers injured workers’ claims.

But there were times they just couldn’t seem to find a middle ground, like with Haslam’s voucher plan.

– The Associated Press

Little Rock’s Peabody Hotel to Become Marriott Brand

Officials say the Peabody Hotel in downtown Little Rock will switch over to the Marriott brand this week.

Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Gretchen Hall says the changeover will happen Wednesday. Hall says the Peabody’s signature ducks will take their last march in Little Rock within the next week.

In December, the Advertising and Promotion Commission signed an agreement to lease the Peabody to a Tennessee-based investment company, which settled on the Marriott brand.

Little Rock owns the land and improvements where the hotel is located, so the city had to sign off on the plan.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports ( ) that the lease will last for 40 years with the option to renew for two additional 25-year terms.

– The Associated Press

US Economy Accelerates at 2.5 Percent Rate in First Quarter

U.S. economic growth accelerated to an annual rate of 2.5 percent from January through March, buoyed by the strongest consumer spending in more than two years. Government spending fell, though, and tax increases and federal budget cuts could slow growth later this year.

The Commerce Department said Friday that the economy rebounded from an anemic 0.4 percent annual growth rate in the October-December quarter. Consumer spending surged at an annual rate of 3.2 percent – its biggest jump since the end of 2010.

Growth was also helped by businesses, which responded to the greater demand by rebuilding their stockpiles. And home construction rose further.

Government spending sank at a 4.1 percent annual rate, led by another deep cut in defense spending. The decline kept last quarter’s increase in economic growth below expectations of a 3 percent rate or more.

Many economists say they think growth as measured by the gross domestic product is slowing in the April-June quarter to an annual rate of just 2 percent. Most foresee growth remaining around that subpar level for the rest of the year.

GDP is the broadest gauge of the economy’s health. It measures the total output of goods and services produced in the United States, from haircuts and hamburgers to airplanes and automobiles.

Across-the-board government spending cuts, which began taking effect March 1, have forced federal agencies to furlough workers, reduced spending on public projects and made businesses more nervous about investing and hiring.

– The Associated Press