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VOL. 128 | NO. 228 | Thursday, November 21, 2013

Daily Digest

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Bartlett Warehouse Sells for $1.2 Million

The 26,568-square-foot warehouse at 3025 Kate Bond Blvd. in Bartlett has sold to a local buyer for $1.2 million.

AZAL LLC of Germantown bought the Class A warehouse in a Nov. 12 warranty deed from Senter C. Crook (a/k/a Senter Crook Taylor, Senter Cawthon Taylor and Senter Cawthon Crook), authorized trustee of The Crook Trusts. Russell E. Bloodworth Jr. also is listed by the Shelby County Assessor of Property as an owner.

Built in 1990, the industrial facility sits on 2.2 acres on the west side of Kate Bond Boulevard (also called Kate Bond Road), north of its intersection with Stage Road. The assessor’s 2013 appraisal is $1.3 million.

In conjunction with the purchase, AZAL filed a $1.1 million commercial dead of trust through SunTrust Bank. Kashif Latif signed the deed as president of AZAL.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports
– Daily News staff

University of Memphis Not Backing Tuition Hike

The University of Memphis is not backing the idea of a tuition increase the Tennessee Board of Regents is considering for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Interim university president Brad Martin took the unusual step of putting out a press release this week saying, “Tuition at the University of Memphis will not increase for the 2014-15 year.”

Martin was reacting to public state budget planning sessions Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has been conducting for the last two weeks in Nashville. During the session on higher education, leaders of the state system said they expect a tuition hike will be necessary.

Since taking the helm of the city’s largest higher education institution, Martin has emphasized building enrollment at the university and keeping tuition level.

Specifically reacting to the budget planning sessions in Nashville, Martin pointed to a 6 percent tuition increase for the current academic year and a 7 percent tuition hike the previous academic year.

“Effective allocation of available resources and improved efficiencies at the university will permit this to occur while we focus on serving more students and improving graduation rates,” Martin said in the written statement.

Any decision on tuition is ultimately up to the state Board of Regents.

– Bill Dries

Chamber Releases ‘10 to Watch’ List

The Greater Memphis Chamber has released its latest annual list of 10 local companies to watch in the coming year. The companies – chosen for making big strides this year and for their potential for even greater things in 2014 – are: BioNanovations, Highwoods Properties Inc., International Paper Co., Kronos Energy Solutions, The Regional Medical Center at Memphis, Memphis College of Art, nexAir, Prodigi Arts, RedRover Sales & Marketing and Victory Packaging.

The next issue of the chamber’s Memphis Crossroads Magazine, which will be distributed at the chamber’s Annual Chairman’s Luncheon Dec. 10, will have more details about each company.

– Andy Meek

First Horizon Hosts Investor Day

First Horizon National Corp., the Memphis-based parent of First Tennessee Bank, is hosting an investor day at FedExForum on Thursday, Nov. 21.

Investor days are opportunities for companies to share their strategies and forecasts with analysts and investors.

Analysts are liable to get “lots of color,” according to Wunderlich Securities bank analyst Kevin Reynolds. “Historically,” he wrote in a note to clients, “(First Horizon) management has been relatively transparent in communicating its strategies with investors and analysts.”

– Andy Meek

Financial Federal Moving to Renaissance Center

Financial Federal is moving into 27,000 square feet on the first and second floors of the Renaissance Center at 1715 Aaron Brenner Drive.

The bank has executed a lease and is moving all of its offices and operations to the new location from its current space on Humphreys Boulevard. It’s the result of a relocation the bank’s leadership has been discussing for some time now, according to Financial Federal President William Tayloe.

Financial Federal was represented by Wyatt Aiken and Jacob Biddle of Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors. Ron Kastner from CB Richard Ellis Memphis represented the Renaissance Center.

The move coincides with a growth period for Financial Federal, which over the past year has been investing in technology to allow the bank to offer new services, including online banking and mobile banking.

The bank also recently introduced checking to its product line for the first time.

– Andy Meek

CVS Raising Money for St. Jude

CVS Caremark has launched its 10th annual holiday season in-store fundraiser to support St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Through Dec. 7, customers can add $1 to $3 to their purchases at the register to help St. Jude. Customers shopping online at www.cvs.com/stjude also have the opportunity to donate $1 at checkout.

CVS is participating in St. Jude’s Thanks and Giving holiday campaign. Since the campaign’s inception, CVS and its customers have raised more than $37 million to support St. Jude, including nearly $6.4 million last year.

Funds raised by CVS customers and colleagues during the Thanks and Giving campaign support the CVS Caremark Rehabilitation Services Center at St. Jude. The facility, which opened in 2009, doubled the space at St. Jude dedicated to providing audiology, occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech-language pathology services to St. Jude patients.

– Amos Maki

Downtown Tree Lighting to be Held Friday

The Downtown Memphis Commission is partnering with the Memphis Redbirds for the annual “Flip-the-Switch” holiday tree-lighting party.

The lights on the 35-foot-tall artificial tree will be turned on Friday, Nov. 22, at 5 p.m. in “Rockeyfeller Center” inside AutoZone Park.

Entertainment will include caroling by Downtown Elementary School students, live music by the Navy Band Mid-South’s Holiday Brass Group, free balloons, face painting and special appearances by Rockey the Redbird, Grizz and McGruff the Crime Dog.

The event is free and open to the public.

– Amos Maki

Bagley Joins Speak Creative

Kiersten Bagley has joined Speak Creative as a digital marketing and PR specialist.

Bagley, who previously was with Howell Marketing, is the 20th team member at Speak in what is a new position created to offer more services from the agency, including strategic content writing, media placement and more.

Jacob Savage, owner and president of the Memphis-based Web design and interactive agency, told The Daily News in September that Speak would be adding to its staff thanks to an influx of requests from businesses looking to take their digital offerings to a new level.

– Andy Meek

Consumer Prices Drop on Cheaper Gas

Cheaper gasoline lowered overall U.S. consumer prices slightly in October. But outside the steep drop at the pump, inflation stayed mild.

The consumer price index fell 0.1 percent last month, down from a 0.2 percent increase in September, the Labor Department said Wednesday. The October decline was due mainly to a 2.9 percent drop in gasoline costs, the largest since April. Over the past 12 months, overall prices have risen 1 percent, well below the Federal Reserve's inflation target of 2 percent.

PNC Bank chief economist Stuart Hoffman said the low inflation reading ensures that the Fed will continue its extraordinary measures to spur growth.

"From the Federal Reserve's perspective, inflation is too low, one reason why the central bank continues to provide massive stimulus to the economy," Hoffman said in a note to clients.

Excluding volatile energy and food costs, so-called core prices rose 0.1 percent in October from September and have risen just 1.7 percent over the past 12 months. The prices for new vehicles, clothing and medical care declined last month. But airfares rose a whopping 3.6 percent.

U.S. gasoline prices began falling in the spring and reached two-year lows earlier this month. The average price of a gallon of gas was $3.21, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

– The Associated Press

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