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VOL. 129 | NO. 83 | Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Daily Digest

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Lenox Park Professional Buildings Sell for $6.1 Million

The Lenox Park Professional Buildings A and B at 3175 Lenox Park Drive and 6625 Lenox Park Drive have sold for a combined $6.1 million following a foreclosure.

The buyer was 6625 Lenox Park Boulevard Holdings LLC, an affiliate of Bethesda, Md.-based special servicer CWCapital Asset Management LLC, which acquired the properties in an April 24 deed from substitute trustee R. Spencer Clift III, shareholder with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC.

Each Class A building – 3175 Lenox Park Drive and 6625 Lenox Park Drive – is four stories with more than 100,000 square feet.

Built in 1996, 3175 Lenox Park sits on 7.8 acres on the northeast corner of Lenox Park Drive and Kirby Road; the Shelby County Assessor’s 2013 appraisal was $7.1 million. And 6625 Lenox Park, built a year later, sits on 6.7 acres east of Kirby between Lenox Park Drive to the north and Knight Arnold Road Extended to the south. Its 2013 appraisal was $7.3 million.

The buildings’ owners entered foreclosure after defaulting on a 2007 loan for $17.3 million.

Seven LLCs – NNN Lenox Park, NNN Lenox Park 1, NNN Lenox Park 2, NNN Lenox Park 3, NNN Lenox Park 4, NNN Lenox Park 5 and NNN Lenox Park 6 – obtained the $17.3 million loan through LaSalle Bank in January 2007. A portion of the loan was later assumed by 23 tenants-in-common borrowers.

Lenox Park, which includes seven buildings and vacant land, was bought by a subsidiary of California-based NNN Realty Advisors Inc. for $90.5 million in January 2007.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Sullivan Adds Employees in Multiple Departments

Sullivan Branding has added employees to its public relations, operations, creative and digital departments.

James Dowd has joined Sullivan as a senior public relations account executive. He’ll focus on creating communications strategies, identifying media opportunities and obtaining media coverage for the agency’s public relations clients.

Nikki Walker has been named human resources manager for the firm. Cara McLane also has joined the agency’s digital department as digital project manager. And William Malone is now a graphic designer with Sullivan.

Sullivan is a full-service brand development, advertising, marketing and public relations agency that has more than 70 professionals in Memphis and Nashville.

– Andy Meek

County’s Early Voting Nearing 6,000 Mark

The first two days of early voting at 20 satellite sites across Shelby County last week showed a spike in voter turnout for the May 6 Shelby County primary elections.

The early vote turnout numbers from the Shelby County Election Commission, which include absentee voting, shows 5,891 ballots cast in advance of the May 6 election day.

The first day of early voting at all 21 early voting locations across the county, including the Downtown location, was the highest turnout day so far in the early voting period with 2,600 early voters, or almost half of the total for the whole period so far.

So far, 70.7 percent of the early voters have been voting in the Democratic primary elections, with the rest voting in the Republican primaries. There are no general election races on the May ballot.

The last day of the early voting period is Thursday, May 1.

– Bill Dries

Tennessee Lawyers Providing More Free Services

The Tennessee Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission says the number of hours Tennessee attorneys are devoting to free and reduced-rate legal services for the poor has increased dramatically.

According to the commission, 42 percent of the state’s 21,645 attorneys reported participating in pro bono activity in 2013. In 2010, only 18 percent of attorneys reported pro bono work. Reporting of pro bono services is not required, but it is encouraged.

The attorneys in 2013 reported an average of 73 hours of pro bono work each, well over the 50-hour aspirational goal set by the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Getting more attorneys to do pro bono work has been one of the goals of the Access to Justice Commission, which tries to address the unmet legal needs of the state’s poor.

– The Associated Press

Contracts to Buy Homes Up, First Time Since June

More Americans signed contracts to buy homes in March, the first increase since June and a sign that the housing market might pick up after a sluggish start to the year.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 3.4 percent to 97.4 last month. Still, the index remains 7.9 percent below its level a year ago.

Pending sales are a barometer of future purchases: A one- to two-month lag usually exists between a signed contract and a completed sale.

The gain partly reflects a recovery from the harsh winter. Snowstorms and freezing temperatures kept many potential buyers away from open houses in January and February.

A limited supply of available homes has pushed up prices in the past year even as sales have slowed. That’s likely discouraged many buyers and caused sales of existing homes to steadily decline since last summer.

Still, the rise in pending sales means that home sales could rebound during the spring buying season. It comes after two dismal sales reports last week suggested that sales and construction would increase only modestly this year.

Sales of existing homes fell in March to their lowest level since July 2012, the Realtors said last week. It was the seventh drop in eight months. The drop, though, was small, and many economists said it showed that existing-home sales had likely bottomed out.

At the same time, fewer Americans are applying for mortgages, a sign of weaker demand. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s mortgage applications index fell 3 percent last week from the previous week.

And sales of new homes plunged 14.5 percent in March to the slowest pace in eight months, according to a government report last week. A jump in prices contributed to the decline.

Higher mortgage rates have also weighed on sales. Rates are about a percentage point higher than they were a year ago.

– The Associated Press

State on Pace to Meet 90 Percent Graduation Rate

A new report shows Tennessee is on pace to meet a goal of a 90 percent high school graduation rate by the Class of 2020.

The report released Monday by the education advocacy group America’s Promise Alliance shows the state increased its graduation rate 17 percentage points from 2003 to 2010, and has continued to make progress with a graduation rate of 87 percent in 2012.

American’s Promise set the 90 percent goal for the nation in 2010.

The report also highlights Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s free tuition plan at two-year colleges, saying other states should note Tennessee’s efforts to increase access to college- and career programs and consider similar legislation.

Under Haslam’s plan that passed during the recent legislative session, any high school graduate will be able to attend a two-year college free of tuition.

– The Associated Press

9 Apply to Fill Upcoming Criminal Appeals Vacancy

Nine candidates have applied to fill an upcoming vacancy on the Court of Criminal Appeals caused by the Judge Jerry Smith’s decision to leave the bench in August.

The applicants include two public defenders, two judges, two attorneys in private practice, a prosecutor, a claims commissioner and an attorney for the state Legislature.

The Governor’s Commission for Judicial Appointments is scheduled to interview the applicants that the Legislative Plaza in Nashville on May 13. The panel will then select three finalists for Republican Gov. Bill Haslam to choose from.

The commission is also accepting applications to fill a vacancy on the Court of Appeals created by Haslam’s appointment of Judge Holly Kirby to the state Supreme Court. The deadline to apply is Wednesday.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 41 308 2,265
MORTGAGES 47 379 2,607
BUILDING PERMITS 128 1,018 6,068
BANKRUPTCIES 53 255 1,787