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VOL. 128 | NO. 41 | Thursday, February 28, 2013

Daily Digest

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Land Sale Paves Way for Honda Dealership

American Way Motors Inc. has paid $2.8 million for 28.8 acres of land on Hacks Cross Road near its Tenn. 385 interchange.

The company bought the vacant parcel from The Gurley Cos. LP in a Feb. 21 special warranty deed.

American Way Motors is affiliated with AutoNation and will build a Dobbs Honda dealership on the site.

The dealership will move from the location it has had at 2785 Mendenhall Road for 20 years.

The new dealership is a $10.5 million project that is expected to produce 30 jobs once completed.

Shelby County Commissioners approved the plan in October.

Cheryl Followell signed the warranty deed as chief manager of The Gurley Cos, which had acquired the property in a 2005 quitclaim deed from Followell, serving as trustee of a trust for Betty J. Gurley.

The land sits along the west side of Hacks Cross Road between Nonconnah Creek and Tenn. 385. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2012 appraisal was $22,200.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

First Tennessee Honored for Treasury Management

First Tennessee Bank’s treasury management services have won the bank plaudits in the 2013 Phoenix-Hecht Treasury Management Quality Index in the middle market banking segment.

The top grades were awarded by senior financial executives responsible for managing their companies’ bank relationships for treasury management services in categories including customer service, product features and overall relationship manager effectiveness.

It’s not the first time this year First Tennessee’s treasury management services have been recognized.

Earlier this year, First Tennessee won top customer satisfaction honors from Greenwich Associates in both the national and regional categories for treasury management in the 2012 Greenwich Excellence Awards for U.S. middle market and small business banking.

– Andy Meek

Wonder Bread Sale Nears Completion

Wonder bread could start appearing in school lunchboxes again soon.

A person familiar with the situation says a bid by Flowers Foods to buy Wonder and several other bread brands from bankrupt Hostess was met with no competing offers. The individual requested anonymity because the auction process is private.

Hostess hasn’t been making any of its cakes and breads since late November, when the company announced it was going out of business and shuttered its plants after years of financial struggles.

One of those plants that was closed in November was the Downtown Memphis Wonder Bread plant.

More than 250 workers reportedly were affected locally.

The $360 million bid by Flowers also includes Nature’s Pride, Butternut, Home Pride and Merita breads.

An auction will still be held Thursday for a separate $30 million bid by Flowers for Beefsteak. The source said a competing offer for that brand was submitted by Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo, which makes Thomas’ English muffins and Entenmann’s cakes.

Any sales would be subject to approval by a bankruptcy court on March 19.

Hostess has also picked opening bidders, known as a “stalking horse,” for its snack cakes.

A joint offer from two investment firms – Metropoulos & Co. and Apollo Global Management LLC – was picked as the lead bid for Twinkies and other snack cakes. Hostess CEO Greg Rayburn has said he expects that auction to be “wild and wooly.”

McKee Foods, which makes Little Debbie snack cakes, was picked as the lead bidder for Drake’s cakes, which include Devil Dogs, Funny Bones and Yodels. The deadline to submit competing offers for the snack cakes isn’t until mid-March.

Flowers Foods, based in Thomasville, Ga., makes Tastykakes and breads including Nature’s Own.

Representatives for Flowers Food and Grupo Bimbo did not immediately return calls for comment.

Taken together, Hostess has said its six bread brands generated just under $1 billion in sales last year, with Wonder bread accounting for about half of that.

Flowers Foods, which generates about $3 billion in annual sales, said it expects the deals to add to its earning this year. The company plans to finance the deal through a mix of cash and debt.

– The Associated Press

EdR Purchases Interest in Elauwit Networks

EdR – a Memphis-based owner, developer and manager of collegiate housing – has purchased a 10 percent interest in Elauwit Networks, a Charleston, S.C.-based provider of Internet access, high-definition video and telephone service.

While the initial investment for this minority interest was nominal for EdR, it provides a variety of potential benefits including reduced network operating costs and ancillary income.

Elauwit Networks has been in the broadband and network service business since 1989 but has shifted its primary focus to the student housing industry for the last three years. The company currently serves communities owned by American Campus Communities, Landmark Properties, Campus Crest Communities and Preiss Properties, and has forecasted student housing customer growth of 90 properties by the end of 2014.

Scott P. Casey, EdR’s chief technology officer, will work with Elauwit Networks CEO Barry Rubens as a board member and as co-chairman of a newly created committee to support the partnership.

EdR is a Real Estate Investment Trust that owns or manages 67 communities in 24 states with more than 37,000 beds within more than 12,500 units.

– Sarah Baker

‘Elvis: Live From Vegas’ to Open at Graceland

A new exhibit called “Elvis: Live from Vegas,” is opening Tuesday, March 5, at Graceland and will allow audiences to experience Las Vegas through the eyes of Elvis Presley.

The exhibit will feature part of the 30-foot marquee Col. Parker had made to stand outside the New Frontier Hotel in 1956 and the first jumpsuit worn on-stage by Elvis in 1970.

Other suits in the exhibit include Elvis’ Leather and Chains suit, worn in August of 1970 during his Las Vegas engagement and prominently featured in his first concert documentary “Elvis: That’s The Way It Is;” Elvis’ three-piece Spanish Flower suit worn in 1972 that was an alternative to one of the jumpsuits he wore in Las Vegas; Elvis’ “I Got Lucky” jumpsuit that was worn in 1970 in various cities including Las Vegas, Oakland, Tampa and Los Angeles and can be seen on the cover of the 1971 “I Got Lucky” album.

Guests will also be able to view rare artifacts including hotel receipts and show memorabilia.

– Sarah Baker

AIA Memphis Director Given Honorary Membership

Heather Baugus Koury was recently named Honorary AIA for The American Institute of Architects, the highest honor bestowed on a person outside the architecture profession.

Membership is granted only if the accomplishments of the nominee are truly outstanding and of national significance. During her 10-year tenure as executive director of AIA Memphis, Koury has enhanced the chapter’s programming and its involvement in community outreach programs, including the Distinguished Architects of the World speakers series, the Discovering Architecture summer day camp for high school students, and the Junior Girl Scout Architecture Badge Camp.

Also under her leadership, education grants to the chapter have increased by 500 percent.

Building on the AIA150 national initiative to encourage communities to focus on legacy projects, Koury shepherded a number of projects: the Memphis Regional Design Center, the Paul R. Williams Project and ArchiTree, an interactive genealogy of the Memphis architectural community. She is currently working to establish a Memphis-based design alliance, complete a retrospective on the architectural history of Memphis, and create a bike tour of the city’s significant architecture and historic neighborhoods.

Koury was also the 2012 recipient of the AIA Component Executive Leadership Award.

– Sarah Baker

PROPERTY SALES 157 157 10,093
MORTGAGES 161 161 11,107
BUILDING PERMITS 229 229 22,402
BANKRUPTCIES 54 54 6,365