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VOL. 128 | NO. 18 | Monday, January 28, 2013

Daily Digest

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Sales Contract in Place for Nineteenth Century Club

The historic Nineteenth Century Club building at 1433 Union Ave. was auctioned off in a sealed auction by Morris Auction Group Thursday, Jan. 24.

Sam Zalowitz of Zalowitz Commercial Realty LLC represented the buyer, said Jeff Morris, Morris Auction Group president. A sales contract is in place, and the next step is to set up a closing, which can take up to 30 days.

When asked what the highest bid was, the amount of bids offered and what the buyer’s intentions are, Morris declined to comment. Zalowitz was unavailable to be reached by phone after multiple attempts.

Meanwhile, Memphis Heritage’s “Save the 19th Century Club” Facebook page posted Thursday afternoon that “unfortunately the 19 Century Club members took the money over the importance of heritage and history” and the Midtown structure will likely be razed. There were two bids, one for $550,000 and one for $350,000, and the $550,000 bid was accepted, according to the social media posting.

Built in 1890, the 15,813-square-foot house was purchased in 1926 by The Nineteenth Century Club, a philanthropic women’s organization. The three-story wood frame structure is commercially zoned and sits on 1.2 acres at Union between Kimbrough and Cleveland streets. Its 2012 appraisal from the Shelby County Assessor of Property was $664,800.

Crye-Leike Realtors Inc.’s Dick Leike and Robert Gorman previously had the Nineteenth Century Club property listed for $1.5 million. Leike told The Daily News in August that the building was structurally sound.

– Sarah Baker

International Blues Challenge Brings Acts to Memphis

The 29th annual International Blues Challenge, the world’s largest gathering of blues acts, will convene in Downtown Memphis from Tuesday, Jan. 29, through Saturday, Feb. 2.

Blues acts will compete in Beale Street clubs and bars for a chance to perform in the finals on The Orpheum Theatre’s stage Saturday afternoon. The Blues Foundation, based at 421 S. Main St., hosts the yearly competition.

Last year’s International Blues Challenge involved 750 musicians from 14 countries over five days, resulting in 1,100 to 3,600 people on Beale Street each night.

Of those Beale Street patrons, only 11 percent were from Tennessee and Mississippi. For the out-of-towners, 80 percent indicated that the International Blues Challenge is the only reason they come to Memphis, with 74 percent of the study participants indicating they would likely return.

This ultimately resulted in approximately $3.5 million in economic activity and an estimated 45 new jobs. Additionally, the Blues Music Awards drew 1,357 visitors to Memphis; approximately $1.6 million in spending; and an estimated 23 new jobs.

– Sarah Baker

New Executive Director Tapped for Economic Club

The Economic Club of Memphis has a new executive director.

Dr. Christine Jiang succeeds Dr. David Kemme as executive director of the club. She begins her duties immediately.

Jiang has served on the University of Memphis faculty since 2001. She’s currently interim chair and professor in the department of finance, insurance and real estate.

The new Executive Committee of the Economic Club consists of Don Hutson, club president and a professional speaker as well as CEO of U.S. Learning LLC; Michael Drury, vice president and chief economist at McVean Trading and Investments LLC; David Waddell, secretary-treasurer and president and CEO of Waddell & Associates; and Kris Matula, immediate-past president and the retired president of Buckeye Technologies Inc.

– Andy Meek

'The Little Couple' Stars Speak at Breakfast Club Event

The husband and wife duo of businessman Bill Klein and Dr. Jen Arnold, the stars of the TLC reality show “The Little Couple,” which documents their lives together, were in Memphis as this month’s featured speakers for the Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club.

Arnold, a neonatologist, stands 3-2, and her husband, who’s a serial entrepreneur, is 4 feet tall. Their show is now in its fifth season, but in remarks they made Thursday, Jan. 24, at the University of Memphis, they talked about more mundane topics – about everyday living.

“The reality,” Klein said, “is that we’re very much like everyone else in this room.”

He said he and Arnold have the same kinds of aspirations and failures as the people they were talking to.

“Life is pretty good,” Arnold said she remembers thinking at one point. “Of course, I had a few orthopedic surgeries along the way … and I always was very geeky.”

Interjected Arnold, slyly: “Veeeeeery geeky.”

After the laughter, Arnold told a brief story of how far she’s come in her life, and the moral she wanted to impart.

“I wanted to use my brain (in any career),” she said. “I knew I was obviously different. Being a little person was all I ever knew. And I knew my life wasn’t going to be easy, but I wanted to enjoy it. My motto’s always been along the lines of, ‘think big.’”

The bottom line, she said: “Don’t give up. You know better than anyone else what you’re truly capable of.”

– Andy Meek

Quince Fred’s Super Dollar Sells for $2.1 Million

The recently opened fred’s Super Dollar store at 6500 Quince Road in East Memphis has sold for $2.1 million.

Metarie, La.-based Westbrook Memphis LLC bought the 16,000-square-foot store Jan. 18 from developer Memphis-Quince LLC. No financing was associated with the purchase.

Fred’s Super Dollar last fall celebrated 65 years of serving the Memphis area with the grand opening of two new stores, the one on Quince and another at 7965 E. Shelby Drive.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s profile of 6500 Quince doesn’t yet include the new building and only shows a 17.24-acre vacant parcel with a 2012 appraised value of $1.3 million.

Memphis-Quince bought the land for $400,000 in June from Willis & Willis LP.

Memphis-based fred’s last year launched its new 16,000-square-foot store concept, which feature an expanded food selection that doubles traditional fred’s food offerings. Both locations also include pharmacies featuring a drive-thru window providing easy pick-up and drop-off of prescriptions.

Memphis-based fred’s Super Dollar operates more than 700 discount general merchandise stores, including 21 franchised fred’s stores in 15 states.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Proposed Education Law Change Would Give State Final Say

A Memphis state representative is proposing a change in the so-called parent trigger education law that would give the state final approval.

A statute updated in 2011 allows parents to force education reforms at their children’s public schools, but it requires a 60 percent parent approval and local school boards must sign off on the efforts.

Rep. John DeBerry, D-Memphis, told WPLN radio his bill is intended to start a conversation about making it easier for parents to force reform. He is proposing that a simple majority of parents’ signatures on a petition should allow that a school be transformed into a charter or closed altogether.

If DeBerry’s initiative is adopted, parents whose petition has been turned down by a local school board could appeal that decision to state officials.

The bill was filed Wednesday.

The Tennessean reported that, under DeBerry’s plan, a school would have to be in the bottom 20 percent of the schools in the state for parents to enact the trigger provision – a remedy DeBerry also wants available if 51 percent of a school’s teachers petition.

DeBerry’s bill would allow conversion to a charter school or the use of one of four models under the federal “Race to the Top” program. Those include a turnaround model, a restart model, a transformation model, and school closure.

Parent trigger laws have been used only a few times around the country.

The trigger concept is pushed by a group called Student First. The organization donated more than $100,000 to DeBerry’s election campaign. DeBerry said he didn’t solicit the group’s financial support and isn’t beholden to it.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 57 280 1,209
MORTGAGES 55 244 916
BUILDING PERMITS 158 699 2,751