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VOL. 128 | NO. 195 | Monday, October 7, 2013

Daily Digest

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Willow Oaks Owner Files $1.9 Million Loan

The owner of the 346-unit Willow Oaks apartment complex at 2429 Ketchum Road has filed a $1.9 million loan on the property.

Cora Properties LLC, which is affiliated with the previous ownership group, filed the deed of trust, assignment of leases and security agreement Oct. 1 through HIF Lenders LLC. Jason W. Coutts signed the trust deed as manager of Blue Salt LLC, the managing entity of the borrower.

Built in 1966, the 257,838-square-foot, Class D multifamily complex sits on 18.7 acres on the south side of Ketchum Road near its intersection with Airways Boulevard. The south side of the property abuts Interstate 240. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal is $1.6 million.

The borrower acquired the property through a Sept. 27 quitclaim deed from Casey J. Coutts. Another quitclaim deed, filed Feb. 15 with the Shelby County Register of Deeds, shows the property being transferred from Blue Salt LLC to Cora Properties.

Blue Salt, a Delaware company, last November paid $1.5 million for the multifamily property in the Defense Depot’s 38114 ZIP code from Bountiful, Utah-based Noall Investment Properties LLC.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Chef Jason Doty Opening Crust & Crumb Nov. 1

Jason Doty, formerly the executive pastry chef and baker for Bluff City Coffee, is opening Crust & Crumb Bakery Nov. 1 at 1620 Madison Ave., inside the Cash Saver grocery that is under renovation now.

As of mid-day Friday, Oct. 4, he had a handshake agreement in place and was anticipating signing a 5-year lease for the space later in the day. Crust & Crumb will be a full-service wholesale and retail bakery with catering and special events available.

Doty told The Daily News he wanted to launch his own operation after wanting to do more while at Bluff City. Crust & Crumb will be open seven days a week, and Doty is, to put it mildly, a big fan of the grocery store into which he’s moving.

“Midtown is a unique creature, and this is definitely Midtown’s grocery store,” he said.

One of the things he fell in love with at the space is the oven. It’s the store’s original large oven, with five racks that rotate and “makes the prettiest bread you’ve ever seen in your life.”

“I put my bread in there for the first time to make a test batch, and I’ve never seen bread look so amazing,” he said. “We’re also going to have a full deli, breads by the loaf or slice, cakes, pies, gourmet sandwiches – we’ll have it all. We’ll be incorporating food that’s popular with the demographic there, so it will have great local products besides just mine.

“Part of this whole thing is to bring good food to our community. I try to use better ingredients that are good for peoples’ bodies. I’m offering, for example, a new line of vegan and gluten-free bread and healthier pastries. I feel like this will have a great concern for what the community’s health needs are.”

– Andy Meek

Crosstown Developers Seek 20-Year PILOT

Developers of the old Sears Crosstown building will seek a 20-year, $41.8 million tax break on the $180 million project from the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. on Thursday, Oct. 10.

The corporation’s board meets at 9 a.m. at the Downtown Memphis Commission offices, 114 N. Main St.

The 20-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes status sought by Crosstown LLC is five years longer than the 15-year-maximum PILOTs allowed under CCRFC’s current policy.

Crosstown LLC’s principals argue in their application that because of the size of the Sears Crosstown building, 495 N. Watkins St., 20 years is necessary to ease concerns from lenders for the construction loan as well as the permanent financing loan. The principals also cite the economic impact on the larger surrounding area from the development, which will include a mix of retail, residential and commercial office space.

The CCRFC is recommending a 15-year PILOT, which would mean a $33.3 million tax break for the developers.

Construction is scheduled to begin in February and take two years.

Crosstown LLC is also seeking $15 million in city funding for infrastructure work, including some internal demolition within the set of buildings. Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s administration has not yet committed to a specific source or sources of funding, which would also need approval from the Memphis City Council. The city funding and PILOT are the last pieces of the financing puzzle for the project.

– Bill Dries

Analysts Give Early Read on Government Shutdown

Brian Sullivan, president and chief investment officer of Regions Investment Management – a division of Regions Wealth Management – is expecting the federal government shutdown to be short-lived.

He released a commentary at week’s end noting the short-lived nature of past shutdowns and how this time, “at some point even Congress will conclude this is not good.”

“The impact the shutdown could have on the data for September may be significant,” he wrote. “I doubt there will be a noticeable change in the overall economy.

“The markets are clearly upset by this event and the pending debt ceiling battle. Prior to the last few weeks, volatility in the equity markets had been low. It has heated up again. (One hundred) point swings on the Dow Jones average are now a daily occurrence. Strangely, yields on government debt have fallen in the midst of this turmoil. I guess Treasury debt represents safety even if the problem is centered there.”

Kevin Reynolds of Memphis-based Wunderlich Securities has a slightly more nuanced take, even if he agrees with those broad ideas. As the third quarter came to an end in September, he wrote in an analyst note also at week’s end, he said it’s hard to escape a feeling of deja vu “as knuckleheads in Washington once again do what they do best: argue loudly while accomplishing nothing.”

“Although we have experienced this before, that doesn’t minimize the uncertainty that businesses and consumers experience as the government displays its dysfunction,” he wrote. “Weighing on sentiment during the third quarter were higher long-term interest rates, the beginning of Obamacare, a potential government shutdown, and a looming debt ceiling debate (won’t that be fun). Given all of these, it would be understandable for economic activity and banking activity to slow from the second quarter’s levels. Thus, we adopt a more cautious short-term view heading into the (third quarter) earnings season.”

– Andy Meek

Early Voting Turnout Low in House District 91 Primary

A total of 671 citizens cast early ballots in the Democratic primary special election for State House District 91.

The early voting period in the South Memphis district ended Thursday, Oct. 3. Election day is Tuesday, Oct. 8, with the winner of the primary advancing to the Nov. 21 general election against independent candidate Jim Tomasik. There are seven contenders in the Democratic primary. No candidates filed for the Republican primary.

All but 200 of the early votes came in the last four days of the early-voting period, when the balloting expanded to three satellite locations.

There are 32,960 voters in the district, according to the Shelby County Election Commission.

– Bill Dries

New Executive Chef Installed at Folk’s Folly

Folk’s Folly has a new executive chef.

Benjamin Turk has 20 years of industry experience, most recently working as the executive chef at the Ridgeway Country Club. He’s a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Arts in Palm Desert, Calif.

He worked for the Ridgeway Country Club for eight years and before that served as executive chef for several casino venues.

– Andy Meek

PROPERTY SALES 73 147 18,012
MORTGAGES 89 184 20,749
BUILDING PERMITS 117 258 37,094
BANKRUPTCIES 55 114 11,540