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VOL. 128 | NO. 99 | Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Daily Digest

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Ford Files Trust Deed for Sycamore View Property

Former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Sr. of Memphis has filed a $900,000 loan on the shopping center at 1670 Sycamore View Road in Northeast Memphis that he recently bought.

Operating in the transaction as Harold Ford Sycamore View LLC, Ford filed the deed of trust May 13 through FMLS Inc. of Chattanooga.

Last month, Harold Ford Sycamore View paid $1.8 million for the 38,487-square-foot retail center April 8 from Belz Investco GP.

Ford, who represented Memphis in Washington for 22 years, has said he intends to open a funeral services business in the shopping center that will include a chapel and the ability to watch funeral services remotely. It will also offer a variety of options for funeral services.

Built in 1987, the Class B center sits on 6.2 acres near the intersection of Sycamore View Road and Summer Avenue. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal is $1.7 million.

Several generations of the Ford family have worked in the funeral industry including Ford who along with his brothers and sisters worked in his father’s business N.J. Ford and Sons Funeral Home in South Memphis.

Ford, who left Congress in 1996 and became a lobbyist, lives in Florida.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Iberiabank Installs New Executive in Memphis

Iberiabank has a new senior vice president and commercial relationship manager in the bank’s Memphis market.

Brandon Cooper will be in the bank’s Memphis-area corporate office at 4984 Poplar Ave. He comes to Iberiabank from Trustmark National Bank, where he was first vice president and commercial relationship manager.

Over his more than 14 years of banking experience, Cooper has worked in commercial real estate, corporate and business banking, private banking and retail banking.

Iberiabank has 181 bank branch offices and two loan production offices in Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, Texas and Florida.

– Andy Meek

UTHSC Professor Receives $2.9 Million Grant

Dr. Kafait Malik, a professor of pharmacology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, has received a $2.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study how the nervous system, hormones and immune system interact to regulate cardiovascular and kidney function and the development of high blood pressure.

The five-year grant from The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, part of NIH, will enable Malik to understand how neuro-hormonal imbalances are tied to hypertension and its associated heart and vascular dysfunction and kidney damage.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the developed world and hypertension is the leading cause of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. In the U.S. about 33.5 percent of all people older than 20 are hypertensive, according to data from the American Heart Association.

– Jennifer Johnson Backer

Club 152 Hearing Delayed to Tuesday

A first hearing on the nuisance court order that closed Club 152 on Beale Street last week was postponed Monday, May 20, to Tuesday before General Sessions Environmental Court Judge Larry Potter.

Both sides agreed to the delay.

The club remains closed under the nuisance injunction at least until Tuesday’s hearing.

The Shelby County District Attorney General’s office moved to close the club after an undercover investigation that began last November. An undercover police officer working for the West Tennessee Drug Task Force allegedly made numerous drug buys in the club, some from club employees. The injunction petition also cited numerous police calls to the nightspot owned by Club 152 Operating LLC, an ownership group that includes Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau President Kevin Kane.

Prosecutors served the injunction and closed the three-level club on the first day of the Memphis in May International Festival’s World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest.

– Bill Dries

Community Stakeholders Work on Uptown Plan

Interested in finding out how the last piece of the Uptown redevelopment plan could look?

Area stakeholders, led by LRK Inc., have been working for months on how to improve the area between the Wolf River Harbor, A.W. Willis Avenue, Second Street and Island Drive.

The goal is to make the area more accessible and increase connectivity to the waterfront. It will likely take decades and million of dollars in public and private support to realize the dream.

– Amos Maki

Economists Predict Increase in Consumer Spending

Consumer spending is likely to pick up this year, while government spending declines at a faster rate, according to a survey of business economists.

The economists predicted that the U.S. economy will grow 2.4 percent this year and 3 percent next year. That’s unchanged from their forecast in February.

But they are more bullish on consumer spending and housing than they were three months ago, in part because of a more positive view about unemployment.

The survey was released Monday by the National Association for Business Economics, which periodically surveys economists for banks, manufacturers and universities.

The 49 economists who were questioned between April 16 and April 30 predicted that consumer spending will rise 2.3 percent this year, up from a forecast of 1.9 percent in February. They were also more upbeat about auto sales, predicting 15.4 million vehicles sales, an increase of 1 million over 2012.

Nayantara Hensel, chair of the NABE survey and a business professor at National Defense University, said consumer spending will get a boost from gains in the stock market, home values and lower unemployment.

“Home prices are going up, and with also the improvement in the unemployment rate, people will be more willing to buy,” Hensel said in an interview.

The economists predicted that home prices will rise 4.4 percent this year and 4 percent next year. Boosted by new construction, they predict a 15 percent jump in residential housing investment this year.

Housing starts hit a 5-year peak in March then fell in April, with most of the decline due to less apartment construction, which can swing wildly from month to month.

Applications for building permits hit a 5-year high in April, suggesting that the housing market will continue to recover from the recession. A recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders found continued optimism among builders.

The NABE economists, who were surveyed before April unemployment was reported at 7.5 percent, predicted that the rate will decline to 7.4 percent in the fourth quarter and 6.8 percent in late 2014.

Corporate profits after taxes are expected to rise 5.3 percent in 2013 and 7.5 percent next year. Both of those are more bullish forecasts than the economists offered in February.

The NABE survey found little alarm about potential inflation. The economists expect the Consumer Price Index to rise 1.9 percent this year and 2.1 percent in 2014.

– The Associated Press

Senators Require Fingerprints at 30 Busiest Airports

Senators working on a bipartisan immigration bill have agreed to require fingerprinting when foreigners leave the country through any of the nation’s 30 busiest airports.

It’s a step toward the more expansive biometric system favored by many senators but deemed too expensive to include in the bill.

Under the amendment by Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the nation’s 10 busiest airports would have to establish a fingerprinting system within two years. Within six years it would have to be in place at the 30 busiest airports.

The amendment passed 13 to 5 Monday as the Senate Judiciary Committee plunged into its third week of deliberations on the immigration legislation.

Lawmakers have cited the absence of a reliable system to track people coming and going as a major security flaw.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 64 151 1,493
MORTGAGES 45 105 1,152
BUILDING PERMITS 201 410 3,466