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VOL. 128 | NO. 20 | Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Daily Digest

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Collierville Mill Sells for $1.4 Million

J-Line Pump Co. has paid $1.4 million for the manufacturing/processing mill at 550 South St. in Collierville.

The company bought the 79,350-square-foot facility in a Jan. 25 special warranty deed from RockTenn CP LLC, a Norcross, Ga.-based entity that operates more than 245 facilities in the U.S. – including two in the Memphis area – Canada, Mexico, Chile, Argentina and China, according to the company’s website.

J-Line Pump, a division of American-Marsh Pumps, “focuses on the irrigation, water well and fire protection markets worldwide,” according to its website.

The 12.41-acre property J-Line Pump bought sits on the north side of South Street and includes a mill that was built in 1975, whose Shelby County Assessor of Property 2012 appraised value was $1.8 million. It is adjacent to another J-Line property that faces Progress Road.

No financing was associated with the transaction.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Memphis Raceway Ownership Buys Hot Rod Association

The ownership group of Memphis International Raceway has acquired the International Hot Rod Association from Feld Motor Sports.

The ownership group, under the corporation IHRA Entertainment LLC, takes over management immediately of what will become IHRA Motorsports.

The hot rod association is 43 years old. It sanctions more than 100 drag racing venues in North America with 12,000 racers as members.

The ownership group includes managing partners Michael Dezer of Dezer Properties, Joseph Lubeck of Landmark Apartment Trust of America Inc., Edward Kobel of DeBartolo Development, and Jason Rittenberry, president and CEO of IHRA Entertainment.

The partners bought the Memphis Motorsports Park from Dover Motorsports Inc. in 2011 and added it to a portfolio that included the old Moroso Motorsports Park in Palm Beach, Fla., in 2008.

The group recently invested $30 million in a multi-track venue in Jupiter, Fla.

– Bill Dries

Kroger Poplar Plaza to Open March 20

Kroger’s new store in Poplar Plaza shopping center is scheduled for a March 20 opening.

The 81,500-square-foot building will back up to Prescott Street and face east. It will be Kroger’s biggest store in Memphis.

The new store will include extensive bulk nutrition, Boars Head, organics, locally grown products, as well as fresh seafood and complete deli and bakery.

Kroger kicked off construction on its own building last year, a project that involved the Burlington, Mass.-based owner of Poplar Plaza, Finard Properties LLC, to reconfigure the layout of several tenants within the 360,000-square-foot center in the University of Memphis area. Upon the Kroger completion, the old Kroger will be razed for a parking lot.

– Sarah Baker

Survey Shows Improving Small Business Optimism

The Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index shows that business owners have regained some optimism with the start of the new year.

That’s a reversal from November, when the survey had dropped to its most pessimistic level in two years. The latest Index improved 20 points (to positive 9) in January, up from negative 11 in November.

Key drivers of the improvement in the survey, conducted Jan. 7-11, include increased business owner optimism about revenue, capital spending, jobs over the past 12 months, more optimism about overall financial situations, cash flow, and jobs over the next 12 months. A year ago, in January 2012, the Index was at positive 15.

While optimism improved from the fourth quarter, the survey paints a mixed picture with respect to jobs and hiring. More business owners (71 percent) expect the number of jobs at their companies to stay the same over the next 12 months, and business owners planning to add jobs during the same period remained unchanged at 17 percent.

– Andy Meek

Schools Needs Assessment Committee Disbanded

Shelby County Commissioners voted Monday, Jan. 28, to disband the 10-year old Needs Assessment Committee that reviewed and prioritized school construction projects for both of the county’s public school systems.

The appointed committee, which included architects and construction contractors, has not met in the last year and a half and no new appointments to the city-county body have been made because of the coming consolidation of the two school systems that begins in August.

Also at a 45-minute commission meeting Monday, the body delayed action on a resolution that is the second quarter financial statement from County Trustee David Lenoir. The commission delayed accepting the report as they await further figures from Lenoir.

Commissioners want to know whether the stable property tax rate the commission approved last spring amounted to a tax hike in terms of the revenue it produced for Shelby County government.

The numbers are part of a larger discussion the commission has had as it prepares to recertify the property tax rate following the 2013 property reappraisal.

State law says the recertified rate cannot produce a windfall of more revenue than county government made from the old tax rate. From that point, the commission then votes separately on any tax hike that might be proposed.

– Bill Dries

PROPERTY SALES 56 289 2,908
MORTGAGES 55 226 2,009
BUILDING PERMITS 108 1,002 6,703
BANKRUPTCIES 42 248 1,225