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VOL. 128 | NO. 39 | Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Daily Digest

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Warehouse Sells for $7 Million Following Foreclosure

The 474,480-square-foot warehouse at 6125 E. Shelby Drive in Hickory Hill has sold for slightly less than $7 million following a foreclosure.

MLCFC 2007-9 Industrial 6125 LLC – a single-purpose entity affiliated with Miami Beach, Fla.-based special servicer LNR Partners LLC – bought the property in a Jan. 31 substitute trustee’s deed from Harris P. Quinn of Prochaska Thompson Quinn & Ferraro, PC.

A first-run foreclosure notice was filed in January against the previous owner, NatTennessee GP, which had defaulted on a $10.4 million deed of trust, assignment of leases and rents, security agreement and fixture filing through Countrywide Commercial Real Estate Finance dated July 20, 2007.

The company bought the Class B warehouse in 2007 for $13.5 million from Hickory Hill 100 Investment Venture at the same time it filed the loan that went into default.

Built in 1980, the building sits on 21.51 acres along the south side of East Shelby Drive east of its intersection with Hickory Hill Road. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2012 appraisal was $8.9 million.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Settlement Nets Tennesseans More Than $161 Million

Tennessee homeowners have collected more than $161 million in mortgage-related relief as part of a national mortgage settlement.

That’s according to a progress report by the settlement monitor for the $25 billion settlement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers that was announced one year ago this month. The settlement arose from an investigation into mortgage servicing and foreclosure practices.

The new report shows that Tennessee homeowners have now received nearly twice as much relief as they had just three months earlier. Eligible Tennessee homeowners have reportedly received more than $161 million in relief from March 1, 2012, through Dec. 31, 2012.

That relief includes loan modifications, refinances, short sales and deficiency waivers.

– Andy Meek

State Systems Installs Green Ballast Lighting

State Systems Inc., a privately-owned total protection company based in Memphis, has installed Green Ballast Inc.’s light ballasts in its corporate headquarters and warehouse facility at 3755 Cherry Road.

Green Ballast, led by CEO J. Adams of CB Richard Ellis Memphis, is a developer and marketer of energy efficient electronic ballasts for fluorescent fixtures in the commercial lighting industry. Green Ballast’s ballasts measure and harvest available daylight to calculate and provide only the amount of needed electricity for proper lighting.

Bob McBride, president of State Systems, said in a release that using Green Ballast saves his firm 62 percent a year in lighting energy costs.

Publically traded since April, Green Ballast has added several clients to its portfolio in recent months, including Tommy Bronson Sporting Goods, Belz Enterprises and Healthcare Trust of America Inc.

– Sarah Baker

Army Corps Reports on 2011 Mississippi River Flood

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the near-historic Mississippi River flood of 2011 caused $2.8 billion in damage and tested the system of levees, reservoirs and floodways like no other flood before it.

A report released Monday by the Army Corps said the Mississippi River and Tributaries system was operated as it was designed to work and was mostly successful in fighting the flood along most of the nation’s most important inland waterway.

However, the report said the spring 2011 flood exposed vulnerabilities in many system components and the plans used to operate them. The report said there is room for improvement in nearly all areas of the system.

The report said the flood affected the lower Mississippi River states of Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.

– The Associated Press

Quiz Measures Knowledge of Tennessee Sunshine Law

Can a government office refuse to turn over public documents? When can elected officials hold meetings that are closed to the public?

The Tennessee Sunshine Quiz is letting Tennesseans test their knowledge of open government issues with an online survey. The quiz measures knowledge of the state’s Public Records Act and Public Meetings Act.

This quiz is sponsored by the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government through the support of the Tennessee Press Association, Tennessee Association of Broadcasters and The Associated Press.

The quiz is being conducted in advance of Sunshine Week, March 10-16. Sunshine Week is an annual initiative begun in 2005 by the American Society of Newspaper Editors to promote greater transparency in government.

– The Associated Press

Education Department Announces $15 Million for AmeriCorps

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Monday, Feb. 25, announced a $15 million AmeriCorps program to help some of the nation’s worst performing schools increase their graduation rates.

Duncan said the three-year program, called the School Turnaround AmeriCorps, would send 650 members into about 60 schools that are not graduating enough of their students. Schools will compete for the grants, which are funded through the Education Department and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

“Turning around our nation’s lowest-performing schools is challenging work that requires everyone to play a part – from teachers, administrators and counselors to business leaders, the philanthropic sector and community members,” Duncan said in a statement.

Duncan’s announcement comes as lawmakers and the administration are looking for a way to dodge some $85 billion in automatic spending cuts set to take hold at the end of the week. The new AmeriCorps program is a pittance by comparison to that, or the $4.5 billion the Education Department has sent to 1,300 of the nation’s lowest performing schools in search of a turnabout.

Duncan said the new program’s goal will be to improve school safety, attendance and discipline in districts where large percentages of students don’t complete their education. The AmeriCorps members also will work to help students’ reading and mathematics skills and increase college enrollment rates by helping them and their parents apply for financial aid.

– The Associated Press

Pump Prices Level Off After Big Surge; Oil Rises

Pump prices leveled off over the weekend, breaking a monthlong string of daily increases that boosted the cost of driving.

On Monday, Feb. 25, the national average for gas stood at $3.777 a gallon, down a fractional from $3.781 on Friday, Feb. 22, according to AAA, the Oil Price Information Service, and Wright Express. The price is still up about 44 cents from a month ago.

Last week’s 3 percent drop in oil prices helped slow the rise in gas prices, but the relief may be short-lived.

On Thursday, when the average for gas was $3.78, Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at OPIS, said prices “will still be higher on St. Patrick’s Day than they are now.”

Gas prices usually rise in late winter and early spring as refiners close for maintenance and switch to more expensive summer blends. The price of gas peaked last year at $3.94 a gallon on April 5.

Meanwhile oil posted a slight gain in afternoon trading in New York, after being more than $1 higher earlier. Benchmark crude gained 15 cents to $93.28 a barrel.

Traders are keeping an eye on a new round of talks beginning Tuesday in Kazakhstan between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

Iran, nominally one of the world’s top oil producers, has had to make substantial output cuts because U.S.-led sanctions are greatly limiting its crude exports.

In London, Brent crude was up 63 cents to $114.73 on the ICE futures exchange in London.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 64 151 1,493
MORTGAGES 45 105 1,152
BUILDING PERMITS 201 410 3,466