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VOL. 128 | NO. 51 | Thursday, March 14, 2013

Daily Digest

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In-Rel Files Two Loans on Lynnfield Portfolio

A single-purpose entity related to Lake Worth, Fla.-based In-Rel Properties Inc. has filed a pair of $8 million loans on four Lynnfield Road office buildings in East Memphis.

Lynnfield Office Project LLC filed the deeds of trust, security agreements, financing statements and assignments of rents March 7 through American Equity Investment Life Insurance Co.

One loan was for 1255 Lynnfield Road (Building A) and 1755 Lynnfield Road (Building D), and the other was for 1355 Lynnfield Road (Building B) and 1555 Lynnfield Road (Building C). All four properties, known collectively as Lynnfield Office Park, sit on the west side of Lynnfield between Quince Road and Park Avenue.

Built in 1973, the 85,552-square-foot office building at 1255 Lynnfield sits on 5.2 acres and has an appraised value of $3.1 million, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property.

Built in 1979, the 85,552-square-foot office building at 1755 Lynnfield sits on 5.1 acres and has an appraised value of $2.4 million, according to the assessor.

Built in 1975, the 75,637-square-foot office building at 1355 Lynnfield sits on 5.1 acres and has an appraised value of $2.8 million, according to the assessor.

And built in 1977, the 85,552-square-foot office building at 1555 Lynnfield sits on 5 acres and has an appraised value of $3.6 million, according to the assessor.

In-Rel founding principal Charles Stein signed the trust deeds.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Bass Pro Shops Considering Pyramid Sign Changes

Bass Pro Shops executives are “actively considering” some changes to their proposed signage at The Pyramid, according to the Downtown Memphis Commission.

Commission Development Projects Manager Brett Roler said Wednesday, March 13, that Bass Pro Shops executives haven’t committed to changing the signage but are considering “various options at this point.”

“Bass Pro listened very carefully to the input provided by the DRB and public, and they are actively considering potential modifications to their signage application that would advance their business interests while also being sensitive to the community’s concerns,” Roler said in a written statement.

Because of those considerations, the March 18 special meeting of the Design Review Board has been postponed. The meeting will be rescheduled once Bass Pro decides what it wants to do with its pending application before the board.

– Bill Dries

Charter School Authorizer Bill Advances

A measure that would create a special panel to authorize charter school applications is advancing in the House.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Mark White of Memphis was approved on a voice vote in the House Government Operations Committee on Wednesday. The companion bill was to be heard in the Senate Education Committee later that day.

Currently local school boards decide whether to authorize a charter application. There are 48 charter schools in Tennessee.

Under the new legislation, the governor and speakers of the House and Senate would appoint the nine-member panel. Charter applicants would be able to apply to their local school board first, then to the panel if they’re turned down. The decision of the panel would be final.

– The Associated Press

Artspace Granted 15-Year Tax Break

National nonprofit Artspace Projects Inc. was granted a 15-year tax freeze Tuesday, March 12, for its live/work space for local artists behind The Arcade Restaurant called South Main ArtSpace Lofts.

The Downtown Memphis Commission’s Center City Revenue Finance Corp. approved Minneapolis-based Artspace’s $13.2 million payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) lease in connection with the old United Warehouse building at 138 St. Paul Ave. Currently, the property is vacant, and is in a dilapidated and blighted condition.

Artspace was brought to Memphis thanks to the Hyde Foundation, the city and a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts. The $12.9 million project entails renovating the 65,044-square-foot United Warehouse building and constructing a new 26,549-square-foot building next to it.

A total of 44 units of affordable live/work space will be available for artists and their families as well as seven non-residential working studios. There’s also 15,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor gallery, exhibition and support service space for arts education programs.

South Main Artspace Lofts will offer studios, one-, two-, and three-bedroom units to the artist community earning less than 50 and 60 percent of the area average median income. The primary source of capital for the proposed development will be low-income housing tax credits. Artspace also plans to pursue historic tax credits.

Construction is scheduled to begin in October and be completed, fully leased and occupied by April 2015.

– Sarah Baker

Tennessee to Benefit From Google Settlement

Tennessee will get an estimated $133,528 as part of an agreement reached with Google and 36 other states to revamp the online search giant’s privacy practices.

That’s according to Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper. The agreement stems from privacy complaints regarding Google’s collection of data from unsecured wireless networks nationwide while taking photographs for its Street View service between 2008 and March 2010.

The agreement now bans unauthorized data collection and requires Google train its employees on privacy and launch a nationwide campaign to educate consumers on how to protect their information.

– Andy Meek

Assisi Foundation Provides Grant to Meritan Inc.

The Assisi Foundation has given a $201,000 grant to Meritan Inc. to build the first medical residential home solely owned and operated by Meritan.

Meritan is a nonprofit health and social service agency. The home, to be named the Deborah Cotney Cottage in honor of Meritan’s former executive director, will be designed to house three people with developmental and intellectual disabilities who also require intensive medical assistance. Residents will receive 24-hour skilled nursing support.

The Deborah Cotney Cottage will be built by United Housing Inc. and will be in United Housing’s Wolf River Bluffs development in North Memphis. Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring.

– Andy Meek

US CEOs Optimistic About Economy

Chief executives at the largest U.S. companies are much more optimistic about their sales prospects than they were three months ago, though many remain cautious about hiring.

The Business Roundtable said Wednesday that 72 percent of its members expect sales will increase in the next six months. That’s up from 58 percent at the end of last year. And 38 percent plan to invest more in plant and equipment, up from 30 percent in October-December quarter, when the Roundtable released its last report.

Still, the better outlook hasn’t made the group more optimistic about hiring. Twenty-nine percent of CEOs plan to increase hiring over the next six months, the same percentage as the last two surveys.

The executives are more comfortable with their current staffing levels and are less inclined to lay off workers. The percentage of CEOs planning to cut jobs fell to 25 percent from 29 percent, the second straight drop.

Even so, employers added 236,000 jobs in February, the government said. That capped a four-month hiring spree in which job gains averaged more than 200,000 per month. And it drove down the unemployment rate to a four-year low of 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent in January.

The Roundtable surveys CEOs about sales, capital spending and hiring. The results are combined into an index, which gauges their outlook for the economy. That index jumped to 81 from 65.6 in December, the first increase in a year and higher the index’s long-run average of 79.2.

The Business Roundtable represents CEOs of the 200 largest U.S. corporations. The survey results are based on 144 responses received between Feb. 11 and March 1.

– The Associated Press

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