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VOL. 128 | NO. 225 | Monday, November 18, 2013

Daily Digest

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Wenco Files $4.2 Million Loan to Build Cordova Volvo

Wenco Properties LLC has filed a $4.2 million construction loan through Wells Fargo Bank for the Volvo of Memphis dealership it is building at 7910 Trinity Road in Cordova.

The Nov. 7 deed of trust, assignment of rents and leases, security agreement and fixture filing comes a few months after Wenco filed a $3.5 million building permit application with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for the project.

Ernest Norcross, who owns Volvo of Memphis, signed the trust deed as manager of Wenco Properties.

The dealership is going on 5.7 acres on the north side of Trinity Road just west of its intersection with North Germantown Parkway. It is being built under Volvo Cars North America’s new design standard, called Volvo Next Face.

Volvo of Memphis will vacate its current location on Covington Pike and move into the new facility next summer.

Grinder, Taber & Grinder is the general contractor for the project, and Fleming Associates Architects PC is the architect of record.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Cardinals Have Tentative Deal to Buy Redbirds

The St. Louis Cardinals baseball organization has a tentative deal with the Memphis Redbirds Baseball Foundation and the city of Memphis in which the Major League Baseball organization would buy the Memphis Redbirds team and city would buy AutoZone Park.

The Cardinals front office announced the two-part transaction in a press release Friday, Nov. 15, mentioning that the sale of the ballpark to the city hinges on the Memphis City Council’s approval.

“On Dec. 3, I will encourage City Council to approve this agreement, which I believe will bring renewed excitement and energy to Memphis and our beloved Redbirds,” Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. is quoted as saying in the release.

The agreement calls on all sides to close the transaction by the end of December, according to the Cardinals organization, which also said Fundamental Advisors LP, the sole bondholder of the Memphis Redbirds Baseball Foundation, will retire the original bonds issued in the late 1990s by the Memphis Center City Revenue Finance Corp.

“Fundamental has agreed to take a significant discount on the original principal amount of the bonds as part of this transaction,” reads the Cardinals’ statement.

The Cardinals would sign a “long term lease agreement” with the city to use AutoZone Park, and according to the Cardinals press release, there would be a “significant capital investment in AutoZone Park to add features that will significantly improve the overall fan experience.” The release does not say who would pay for those features.

That is certain to be among the questions council members ask when they get a presentation on Dec. 3. The council questions could come up Tuesday, Nov. 19, during council committee sessions before any formal presentation. That is the same day the Redbirds and Cardinals organizations are scheduled to present the deal at AutoZone Park in an invitation-only event.

Council procedures call for items to be presented in committee and then voted on by the full council at its next meeting two or three weeks later. That would put a vote on the deal on the agenda for the Dec. 17 council session, its last meeting of 2013..

– Bill Dries

Panel to Aid Veterans Seeking Higher Education

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam wants to help veterans seeking a higher education.

He has formed a task force to evaluate how to best serve those seeking a certificate or degree beyond high school.

The task force is part of the governor’s initiative to raise the number of Tennesseans with a certificate or degree beyond high school from where it stands today at 32 percent to 55 percent by the year 2025.

Members of the panel will speak to higher education leaders, veterans, advocacy groups and others and present recommendations to the governor in June.

– The Associated Press

Dixon Hughes Hires Eight in Memphis

The Memphis office of Dixon Hughes Goodman has made eight hires.

Dixon Hughes, the largest certified public accounting firm based in the South, has hired Jessie Austin, Lee Harris and Jack Kaler as associates in the firm’s dealer services group, which focuses on the specialty accounting needs of automotive and heavy truck dealerships. Mack Widder, Lauren Leone and Kimberly Kirkland have been hired as associates in the firm’s tax department, and Domina Cox and Lawson Kilpatrick are associates in the audit department.

Dixon Hughes focuses on eight major industries and serves clients in all 50 states.

– Andy Meek

Factory Production Rises 0.3 Percent in October

U.S. factories increased production for a third straight month in October, as stronger output of primary metals and furniture offset declines in auto production.

Manufacturing output rose 0.3 percent last month, up from 0.1 percent in September, the Federal Reserve reported Friday. Factory output is the biggest component of industrial production, which also includes mining and utilities.

Overall industrial production fell 0.1 percent after a 0.7 percent September gain. The mining sector, which includes oil and gas drilling, declined 1.6 percent after six months of gains. Utility output fell 1.1 percent.

Manufacturing has been gaining strength in recent months. Output has risen in five of the past six months. And factories have stepped up hiring over the past three months, according to the government’s October employment report released last week.

Factories are busier in part because overseas growth has picked up and the housing recovery has driven more demand for furniture and other wood products. Automakers are also having their best year for sales since the recession, although production of motor vehicles and parts fell 1.3 percent in October after two months of gains.

Output of primary metals such as steel rose 1.1 percent and furniture production was up 1.5 percent.

Economists were encouraged by the gains in manufacturing after a period of weakness in the spring and early summer. They predicted those increases would continue, helped by strengthening overseas demand and less impact from federal government spending cuts and tax increases.

“As long as the overseas recovery continues and the domestic fiscal drag fades, output should continue to grow at reasonable rates,” said Paul Dales senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics.

The government report was the latest sign of strength for manufacturing. A private sector report from the Institute for Supply Management showed factory activity climbed to a 2.5-year high in October. The group’s manufacturing index has risen for five straight months.

The October gain was especially encouraging because it showed the federal government’s 16-day partial shutdown had little effect on manufacturers.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 92 242 2,507
MORTGAGES 108 336 2,943
BUILDING PERMITS 202 643 6,711
BANKRUPTCIES 43 176 1,963