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VOL. 128 | NO. 240 | Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Daily Digest

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Whitehaven Warehouse Sells for $2 Million

The 150,000-square-foot warehouse at 2982 Datsun Drive in Whitehaven has been sold to an out-of-town investor for $2 million.

H2O Investments LLC bought the Class B industrial property in a Nov. 25 special warranty deed from Belz Investco GP, an affiliate of Memphis-based Belz Enterprises.

The buyer is affiliated with Oregon-based LinenTablecloth.com, which last year leased space in the building for its new distribution center.

Built in 1975, the property sits on the east side of Datsun Drive, north of the intersection of East Brooks and Lakeview roads in the Interstate Industrial Park. The Shelby County Assessor of Property, which lists the address as 2900 Datuson, shows a 2013 appraisal of $1.9 million.

Morris I. Thomas of Belz’s brokerage services signed the warranty deed as vice president of Urco Inc., managing partner of Belz Investco.

In conjunction with the purchase, H2O Investments filed a $1.2 million deed of trust through Wells Fargo Bank NA. Ronald Norton Berrett and Wenxin Yuan signed the trust deed as managing members of the borrower.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports
– Daily News staff

Specialty Olive Oil Store to Open in Overton Square

Overton Square will soon be home to a specialty olive oil store.

Memphian Kenny Ford has signed a 1,038-square-foot lease at 2094 Trimble Place for the store, which he is calling The Square Olive.

The Square Olive will offer all things olive oil – from bulk and bottled specialty oils to olive oil-based soaps, hand lotions and pet shampoos.

The Square Olive’s tagline will be “a unique olive oil experience,” and Ford said shopping there will be an interactive opportunity to sample a variety of olive oils with freshly baked bread.

The Square Olive will initially offer 24 flavors of oils from Argentina, adding a new oil every month or two. In addition to olive oils and olive oil products, a selection of balsamic vinegars will be available.

The Square Olive lease is the first long-term lease in the bays facing Loeb’s brand new Tower Courtyard. Indie Style Market and Sache are both operating temporary holiday pop-up shops in the two bays immediately adjacent to The Square Olive’s future home.

– Amos Maki

Paragon Notches Record Third-Quarter Results

For Paragon National Bank, the third quarter was the most profitable in the bank’s nearly eight-year history.

Paragon announced the results in recent days, adding that the period marked the bank’s 11th straight quarter of profitability and attributing the results to improved asset quality, balance sheet growth, expense reduction and better net interest margin.

Highlights for the quarter included profit of $381,000, which was 40 percent higher than in the second quarter and 8 percent higher than in the third quarter of 2012.

Loans grew to $192.3 million, with Paragon attributing that growth to new business efforts as well as a reduction in loan payoffs.

– Andy Meek

Black Caucus of State Legislators to Meet in Memphis

More than 600 state legislators from across the country gather in Memphis starting Wednesday, Dec. 11, for the four-day annual meeting of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators.

The national group is led by Tennessee State Rep. Joe Armstrong of Knoxville. State Rep. Larry Miller of Memphis is president of the Tennessee caucus to the group.

The conference, being held at The Peabody, is to set legislative priorities for the caucuses in the coming year.

U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez is among the speakers.

Meanwhile, the political action committee Ready For Hillary 2016, which is seeking to draft former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to run for president, is planning its own event for Wednesday. The Black Americans Strategy Session is slated to be held at the Doubletree Hotel, across Third Street from The Peabody, and will feature some of the legislators in town for The Peabody gathering.

– Bill Dries

Clark Tower Lit for the Holidays

Clark Tower, owned and managed by In-Rel Properties, is decorating for the holidays in a major way: by being illuminated in green through the end on the first week in January 2014.

All four sides of the landmark East Memphis office tower will be lit from dusk until dawn, using 1,000-watt metal halide bulbs.

“Our colleagues in the Memphis office thought this would be a fun way to take advantage of the size and breadth of Clark Tower and to light up the city during this holiday season,” said Mukang Cho, principal and CEO of In-Rel Properties.

– Amos Maki

Survey: Fed Economic Stimulus to End in 2014

The vast majority of business economists believe the Federal Reserve will begin to pull back on its massive economic stimulus program in the first three months of 2014, according to a November survey done by the National Association of Business Economists.

The survey also showed a majority of economists believe the United States' economic recovery will accelerate next year.

NABE surveyed 51 economists between Nov. 8 and Nov. 19 and found that 62 percent of respondents believe the Fed will pull back on its bond-buying program in the first quarter of 2014. Another 30 percent believe the Fed will begin to reduce its bond buying in the second quarter of 2014.

Combined, nine out of 10 economists believe the Fed's stimulus program will wind down next year, after being place in its current form since December 2012.

The Federal Reserve has been buying $85 billion in bonds each month in an effort to keep interest rates low and stimulate the economy. The central bank was widely expected to taper its bond purchases in September, but decided to wait and see more evidence whether the nation's economic recovery is sustainable.

In its survey, NABE said its forecasters expect the U.S. economy will grow faster next year than in 2013. The organization forecasts that the country's economy will grow at a 2.8 percent annual rate in 2014 versus the 2.1 percent annual rate it is expected to grow this year.

Of the forecasters polled by NABE, 73 percent said that the October shutdown likely reduced U.S. economic growth in the fourth quarter by 0.5 percent or less. Fewer than 25 percent of economists believed the shutdown had no impact on the U.S. economy or even helped the U.S. economy.

– The Associated Press

Sysco to Buy US Foods for About $3.5 Billion

One of the largest food supply companies is buying one of its key rivals, creating an even larger, global distribution company.

Sysco is buying privately held US Foods for about $3.5 billion in cash and stock. When the deal closes, Sysco expects the addition of US Foods to boost its annual sales by about 46 percent to around $65 billion.

Houston's Sysco will pay $3 billion in common stock and $500 million in cash. It will also assume or refinance about $4.7 billion in debt. That puts the total value of the deal at about $8.2 billion.

For the fiscal year that ended in June, Sysco's sales totaled $44.41 billion. It trucks food and cooking supplies to about 425,000 customers through 193 locations in the U.S., Bahamas, Canada, Ireland and Northern Ireland.

US Foods' customers include independent and chain restaurants, health care and hospitality companies, and government and educational institutions. Major stakeholders in the company, based just outside of Chicago, in Rosemont, Ill., include Clayton, Dubilier & Rice LLC and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. LP.

The buyout has been approved by the boards of both companies. Sysco said it expects the deal, which is set to close in the third calendar quarter of 2014, to immediately boost its profit after adjusting for acquisition-related costs and expenses. It's also expected to create annual cost savings of at least $600 million after three or four years.

– The Associated Press

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