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VOL. 128 | NO. 108 | Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Daily Digest

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Lenox Park Courtyard Sells for $4.2 Million

The Lenox Park Courtyard by Marriott at 3076 Kirby Parkway in East Memphis has sold for $4.2 million.

Batra Hospitality Group Inc. of Waucapa, Wis., bought the 93-room hotel in a May 15 special warranty deed from Summit Hotel Properties LLC of Austin, Texas.

In conjunction with the purchase, Batra Hospitality Group filed a $4.2 million through Liberty Bank of Arkansas. Jatin Batra signed the trust deed as president of the buying entity.

Built in 1998, the 51,804-square-foot, three-story hotel sits on 2.6 acres at the southeast corner of Kirby Parkway and Mount Moriah Extended near the Lenox Park office complex. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal is $2.4 million.

Summit Hotel Properties bought the hotel in 2005 for $4.9 million from E. R. Lenox Hotel LLC.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

State Office Space Deadline Extended

Tennessee has pushed back the deadline for submitting proposals for leasing 100,000 square feet of office space to the state to July 2. The original deadline for proposals was May 16, which was then moved to June 3 and finally to July 2.

The state announced the change in dates on the fifth amendment for requests for proposals for the office space. The newest request for proposals says the state would post notice of winning bidders Aug. 19.

The state, following a local consultant’s recommendation, said it would vacate the Hill Building in Civic Center Plaza. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said the roughly 900 workers there would be relocated Downtown.

The state’s search for 100,000 square feet of space is happening just as Pinnacle Airlines is vacating roughly 170,000 square feet at One Commerce Square.

– Amos Maki

Three Memphis Startups Chosen for Conference

Three startups from Memphis will have a presence at Southland, Launch Tennessee’s new conference highlighting Southern culture and technology that will be held in Nashville June 12-13.

The three are Kufikia, Screwpulp and Everly. Screwpulp is a book publishing startup, while Everly makes drink flavor packets and Kufikia is a code school for programmers.

Companies participating in the conference will vie for a $10,000 prize and the opportunity to be recognized as “Southland’s Most Innovative Startup.” Companies attending the event also will get to network with top venture capitalists and angel investors from Silicon Valley, the East Coast and the South.

– Andy Meek

Orion Federal Credit Union Taps General Counsel

Orion Federal Credit Union has named Stuart Harrington as its new general counsel.

Harrington, who was hired in 2010 to manage the credit union’s increased regulatory needs, is responsible for ensuring that Orion’s compliance program adheres to applicable procedures, laws, and regulations.

He is also responsible for researching federal and state lending regulations and assisting outside audits and examinations. In addition to compliance and legal matters, Harrington will oversee the human resources, fraud prevention, vendor management/strategic projects and facilities departments.

– Andy Meek

Tenn. 385/I-269 Corridor Meeting Set for June 13

The final public meeting in an economic development and environmental study of the proposed Tennessee 385/Interstate 269 corridor is scheduled for June 13 at 5:30 p.m. at Baker Community Center, 7942 Church Street, in Millington.

The hearing by the Memphis and Shelby County Office of Sustainability is to identify economic development opportunities and environmental issues specifically along a one-mile offset of the corridor that is in the Millington-North Shelby County area.

At the hearing, there will be a presentation on both the opportunities and the issues.

– Bill Dries

US Construction Spending Up 0.4 Percent in April

Spending on U.S. construction projects rose in April despite weakness in residential projects and government spending.

Construction spending rose 0.4 percent in April, compared with March, when spending fell a revised 0.8 percent, the Commerce Department reported Monday.

Construction activity has been volatile in recent months, falling by a record 4 percent in January, but rising in February only to drop in March.

Construction spending stood at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $860.8 billion in April, 4.3 percent higher than a year ago.

In April, private residential construction edged down a slight 0.1 percent, reflecting a drop in renovation. Spending on both new single-family homes and apartments increased.

Nonresidential projects rose 2.2 percent in April but spending on government projects fell 1.2 percent.

The small dip in private residential activity was likely to be temporary given all the indications of a strong rebound in housing over the past year. The April level of residential activity at annual rate of $301.9 billion represented an 18.8 percent increase from a year ago, the biggest gain of any major category.

The 2.2 percent rise in nonresidential activity reflected strength in construction of hotels and motels and a gain in the category that includes shopping centers.

The 1.2 percent decline in public construction pushed activity down to an annual rate of $258.8 billion, the slowest pace since October 2006. Spending on government building projects has been constrained by the budget problems all levels of government have faced since the deep 2007-2009 recession.

Activity at the state and local level was down 1.3 percent in April while spending on federal building projects dipped a smaller 0.1 percent.

For all of 2012, construction spending increased 9.8 percent. That marked the first annual gain after five straight years of declines. Construction spending is still well below healthy levels although housing is helping to support building activity in the face of the weakness in government projects.

Steady hiring and nearly record-low mortgage rates have encouraged more Americans to buy homes. More people are also moving out on their own after living with friends and relatives in the recession. That’s driving a big gain in apartment construction and also pushing up rents.

New-home sales rose 2.3 percent in April, only slightly below January’s pace which had been the fastest since July 2008.

– The Associated Press

US Manufacturing Gauge Sinks to June 2009 Level

A measure of U.S. manufacturing fell in May to its lowest level since June 2009 as slumping overseas economies and weak business spending reduced new orders and production.

The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its index of manufacturing activity fell to 49 last month from 50.7 in April. That’s the lowest level in nearly four years and the first time the index has dipped below 50 since November. A reading under 50 indicates contraction.

The ISM index had sunk during the recession to a low of 33.1 in December 2008. Since the recession ended in June 2009, it peaked at 59.6 in February 2011.

Monday’s report showed that a gauge of new orders fell to 48.8, the lowest in nearly a year. Production dropped to its lowest point since May 2009, and employment dipped.

Manufacturing has struggled this year as weak economies abroad have slowed U.S. exports. U.S. businesses have also reduced their pace of investment in areas such as equipment and computer software.

At the same time, consumers are holding back on spending more for factory-made goods, possibly a result of higher Social Security taxes, which have reduced most workers’ paychecks this year.

Monday’s weak manufacturing reading suggests that the economy will slow in the April-June quarter from its 2.5 percent annual pace in the first three months of the year. Many analysts expect the economy’s annual growth rate this quarter to be about 2 percent.

The drop below 50 in the ISM’s index does not mean the overall economy is shrinking. Manufacturing represents just a small fraction of U.S. output.

– The Associated Press

MORTGAGES 80 320 1,066
BUILDING PERMITS 120 590 2,248