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VOL. 128 | NO. 92 | Friday, May 10, 2013

Daily Digest

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Oakhaven Warehouse Sells After Foreclosure

The 224,749-square-foot warehouse at 4120 Air Trans Road in Oakhaven has sold for $2.5 million following a foreclosure.

Spencer Property Inc. of Saltillo, Miss., near Tupelo, bought the Class B facility May 7 from substitute trustee Patricia E. Adrian of the law firm Farris Bobango PLC.

The property went into foreclosure earlier this year when its previous owner, 4120 Air Trans Road LLC, defaulted on a $3.4 million loan through Prudential Mortgage Capital Corp. dated Jan. 27, 2006.

That debt was later transferred to U.S. Bank NA.

4120 Air Trans Road is an affiliate of the Roseville, Calif.-based real estate development company Coastal Partners LLC.

Built in 1979, the warehouse sits on 16.4 acres on the east side of Air Trans Road at its intersection with Pidgeon Roost Road near East Raines Road and Lamar Avenue.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal of the property is $3.9 million.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Jobless Aid Applications Fall to Five-Year Low

The number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits fell by 4,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 323,000, a five-year low.

Layoffs have returned to pre-recession levels, a trend that could lead to more hiring.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the less volatile four-week average dropped 6,250 to 336,750.

That’s the fewest since November 2007, one month before the Great Recession began.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs. Weekly applications have fallen about 9 percent since November and are now at a level consistent with what’s considered to be a healthy economy.

The last time weekly applications were lower was in January 2008, when they were 321,000.

Economists were largely encouraged by the decline.

“This is a very positive trend and we should embrace it,” Jennifer Lee, an economist at BMO Capital Markets, said in an email to clients.

The job market has also improved over the past six months.

Net job gains have averaged 208,000 a month from November through April. That’s up from only 138,000 a month in the previous six months.

Much of the job growth has come from fewer layoffs – not increased hiring.

Layoffs fell in January this year to the lowest level on records dating back 12 years, though they have risen moderately since then.

Overall hiring remains far below pre-recession levels and unemployment remains high at 7.5 percent.

– The Associated Press

Sculpture Reinstallation Begins at Civil Rights Museum

Five months after it was moved out of the National Civil Rights Museum, the 7,000-pound bronze sculpture that was once in the museum’s lobby is back in the museum as it is undergoing a major renovation.

The reinstallation of “Movement to Overcome” began Thursday, May 9, with sculptor Michael Pavlovsky along to watch the process of moving the work he created in 1991.

The entrance is among the areas of the museum that will change in the first major renovation of the facility since its opening in 1991.

The $27 million renovation will update technology in the museum and incorporate long-time exhibits with new areas that will add to the story of the civil rights movement.

The sculpture was moved to an undisclosed location in the city in December as the renovation work began.

The museum has remained open with visitors limited to the museum annex across Mulberry Street and some exhibits from the main museum building incorporated. Visitors have also had access to the balcony where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot during the renovation.

The museum was built on the site of the old Lorraine Motel where King was staying when he was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

– Bill Dries

Pair of Health Groups Team Up for Happy Hour

Healthy Habits is partnering with Get Fresh Memphis to host a “healthy happy hour” at 732 E. Brookhaven Circle later this month.

The event, which will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. May 22, is called Fit and Fresh and will invite current Healthy Habits and Get Fresh Memphis clients, media and other health-conscious Memphians to enjoy samples of popular Get Fresh Memphis menu items, sip on complimentary wine and tour the Healthy Habits personal training studio.

Attendees will be eligible for special offers from both companies the night of the event.

Healthy Habits provides customized fitness and weight-loss programs in a private environment with certified personal trainers. Get Fresh Memphis offers nutritious vegetarian and vegan meals for people on the go.

– Andy Meek

US Home Repossessions Fall in April, RealtyTrac Says

Fewer U.S. homes entered the foreclosure process or were repossessed by lenders last month, the latest indication that the nation’s foreclosure woes could be waning.

Nationally, home repossessions fell 20 percent in April from the previous month and were down 32 percent from a year earlier, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

Foreclosure starts, the initial step in the process that can eventually lead to a home being foreclosed upon, dipped 4 percent last month from March and tumble 28 percent from April last year, the firm said.

Even so, homes scheduled for auction in states where the courts play a role in the foreclosure process hit the highest level in more than two years.

Most homes lined up for public auction end up going back to lenders, which opens the door for the properties to be placed on the market as sharply discounted foreclosed homes.

Still, the prospect that a flurry of those homes set for auction last month will end up on the market is good news for the housing market, said Daren Blomquist, a vice president at RealtyTrac.

That’s because the rebound in housing over the past year has been fueled in part by rising home values amid a lagging supply of available properties for sale.

All told, 70,133 homes started on the foreclosure path last month.

Homes scheduled for auction rose 6 percent in April from the previous month, but declined 20 percent versus April last year, RealtyTrac said.

On the tail end of the foreclosure process, lenders repossessed 34,997 U.S. homes last month, the lowest level since July 2007.

At the current monthly pace, completed foreclosures will hit over a half million this year, Blomquist estimated.

That would be down from 671,000 last year.

– The Associated Press

Retailers Report Modest Gains for April

Americans spent briskly during the early spring months in the latest sign that they’re encouraged by the economic recovery.

Falling gas prices, a rallying stock market and gains in the job market all fueled Americans’ shopping habits even as cold weather tempered their desire to buy spring fashions.

Revenue at stores open at least a year – an industry measure of a store’s health because it excludes results from stores recently opened and closed – rose 4.7 percent in April compared with the same month a year ago, according to a preliminary tally of 12 retailers by the International Council of Shopping Centers trade group.

That continues a trend that Americans started in early spring. In March, revenue rose 2.2 percent. And for the combined months of March and April, the figure rose 3.5 percent.

While big chains such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp and Macy’s Inc. don’t report monthly revenue, the stores that do offer economists a snapshot of consumer spending habits. In total, the retailers that report monthly data represent about 6 percent of the $2.4 trillion in U.S. retail industry sales.

Among the big winners for April were Ross Stores Inc. and TJX Cos., which operates TJ Maxx and Marshalls stores. Both companies benefited from Americans’ desire to buy brand-name fashions at discounted prices.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 51 328 20,960
MORTGAGES 58 387 24,132
BUILDING PERMITS 170 842 43,435
BANKRUPTCIES 50 288 13,468