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VOL. 128 | NO. 110 | Thursday, June 6, 2013

Daily Digest

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Owner Files Loan on Humphrey Hampton Inn

The owner of the 121-room Hampton Inn at 33 Humphrey Center Drive in East Memphis has filed a $5.4 million loan on the property.

W2005 New Century Hotel Portfolio LP filed the deed of trust, assignment of leases, rents and hotel revenue, security agreement and fixture filing May 24 through German American Capital Corp. and Citigroup Global Markets Realty Corp.

The transaction also included a separate assignment of leases, rents and hotel revenue from the borrower to the lenders.

Built in 1992, the 52,604-square-foot hotel sits on two acres along the west side of Humphrey Center Drive, which is at the southwest corner of Walnut Grove Road and Humphreys Boulevard next to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal is $4.1 million.

W2005 New Century Hotel Portfolio LP bought the property in February 2007 for $8.9 million. The company is an affiliate of Irving, Texas-based Archon Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Archon Group chief financial officer Greg Fay signed the trust deed as manager of the borrowing entity.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Council Discusses Exempting City Autos From Inspections

The Memphis City Council approved on the first of three readings Tuesday, June 4, an ordinance proposed by council member Lee Harris that would exempt Memphis vehicle owners from auto inspections when city funding for the emissions testing runs out at the start of the new fiscal year.

And the council approved on third and final reading another ordinance by Harris that updates a set of 20 regulations affecting bicyclists and pedestrians. It raises the fine for parking or driving a car on a sidewalk to $50.

A day after the Shelby County Commission transferred 9.5 acres of land in Cordova for Penny’s Fastbreak Courts, a children’s basketball complex bearing the name of former NBA and University of Memphis basketball star Penny Hardaway, the council transferred and appropriated $150,000 for architect engineering of the complex that had already been budgeted by the city. The $14 million complex is halfway to its goal of raising private funds that are the rest of the funding.

The council also delayed for a month action on a set of three ordinances sponsored by council member Kemp Conrad that bans pension double dipping and make other civil service reforms. Conrad is awaiting legal opinions from City Council attorney Allan Wade before he moves the items to third and final reading.

And the council approved its $3 million share of the $9 million replacement of the Raleigh-Millington Road Bridge over the Loosahatchie River. Another $5 million comes from state funding.

– Bill Dries

SunTrust Contributes $1 Million to Operation HOPE

SunTrust Banks Inc. is adding Operation HOPE financial counselors to select branches in Atlanta and Memphis as part of its ongoing efforts to promote financial well-being.

The company also will make a $1 million cash and in-kind contribution to fund the HOPE Inside program, beginning this fall with a pilot branch in each city.

Since its inception in 1992, Operation HOPE, a global nonprofit focused on financial dignity, has empowered more than 2 million individuals and directed more than $1.5 billion in private capital to low-wealth communities in the U.S.

– Andy Meek

227 Take BancorpSouth’s Early Retirement Offer

Of 418 employees who were eligible to participate in BancorpSouth Inc.’s voluntary early retirement program, which was offered to some employees as a part of the bank’s efforts to improve efficiency and operating performance, 227 have accepted the offer.

The bank announced the results Tuesday, June 4.

Once it’s fully phased in, the early retirement program will result in pre-tax savings of about $9 million for the bank.

– Andy Meek

Urban Land Institute to Host ‘Shifting Suburbs’

The Urban Land Institute will host a “Shifting Suburbs” program in Memphis.

The program, which is one of two national ULI events held in Memphis, will explore suburban infrastructure opportunities and challenges.

The June 13 event begins at 8:30 a.m. at Ducks Unlimited National Headquarters.

The event will spotlight how public and private sector stakeholders are working together to build and retrofit suburban place, and how infrastructure can be transformed and leveraged to support compact development. It will also tackle how local governments and regional coalitions can position themselves for compact growth. In addition, speakers and attendees will discuss what funding, financing and regulatory sources and tools are being used or are needed.

– Amos Maki

Report: US Hasn’t Seen Expected ‘Great Recovery’

An economic forecast says the country’s expected “Great Recovery” hasn’t materialized and the economy’s fallen short of even normal growth.

The Los Angeles Times reports the gloomy picture appears in the quarterly UCLA Anderson Forecast released Wednesday.

It says that real gross domestic product growth – the inflation-adjusted value of goods and services produced – is well below the 3 percent growth trend of past recoveries. The forecast says the country isn’t creating enough good jobs.

However, the forecast also says a housing market recovery should boost the GDP over the next two years and bring down unemployment, falling to 6.9 percent next year.

– The Associated Press

US Productivity Grew at Modest Annual Rate

U.S. worker productivity grew a modest amount from January through March after having declined in the previous quarter. Weak productivity growth could boost hiring if consumers and businesses spend more.

Productivity rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 0.5 percent in the first quarter, following a 1.7 percent decline in the October to December period, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

The first quarter performance was revised down slightly from an initial estimate of a 0.7 percent first quarter increase. The revision reflected the fact that the government lowered its estimate of overall economic output in the first quarter from a rate of 2.5 percent down to 2.4 percent. Productivity is the amount of output per hour of work.

Labor costs actually fell in the January to March quarter, dropping at an annual rate of 4.3 percent after having surged at an 11.8 percent rate in the fourth quarter.

The trend in productivity has been fairly weak in recent years. For all of 2012, productivity rose just 0.7 percent, after an even smaller 0.6 percent rise in 2011.

Those gains were less than half the average growth in 2009 and 2010, shortly after many companies laid off workers to cut costs during the Great Recession. And it’s below the long-run trend of 2.2 percent annual growth in productivity dating back to 1947.

– The Associated Press

Survey: US Service Firms Grow at Faster Pace

U.S. service firms grew at a faster pace in May, driven by a jump in new orders. But a measure of hiring showed companies added fewer jobs.

The Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday that its index of service-sector growth rose to 53.7 from 53.1 in April. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion. Last month’s figure is below the 12-month average of 54.4.

A measure of employment fell to 50.1 from 52, the lowest since last July. Service firms have been the main source of job gains in the past several months. Manufacturers have cut back sharply on hiring this year.

The new orders index rose last month, and a gauge of sales also increased.

Pierre Ellis, an economist at Decision Economics, said the slowdown in hiring could mean that “managers are not too confident that the business improvement will last.” Still, hiring may rebound if sales and orders remain healthy, Ellis added.

The survey measures growth at businesses that employ about 90 percent of the U.S. workforce, ranging from construction companies and health care firms to retail businesses and restaurants.

– The Associated Press

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