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VOL. 129 | NO. 65 | Thursday, April 3, 2014

Daily Digest

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Oak Court Mall Transferred To Simon Property Spinoff

Simon Property Group has transferred ownership of the Oak Court Mall to Washington Prime Group Inc. as part of a planned spinoff of some of its shopping centers and smaller malls.

The deal included a March 18 quitclaim deed in which the local affiliate of Indianapolis-based Simon, Shopping Center Associates, transferred four parcels to the Washington Prime affiliate Oak Court Mall LLC.

The Memphis transaction is part of a larger move that Simon announced in February.

According to a release, Washington Prime Group “will be an independent, publicly traded REIT, comprised initially of SPG’s strip center business and its smaller enclosed malls. … Washington Prime Group is expected to initially own or have an interest in 98 diversified retail real estate assets.”

The quitclaim included four parcels, whose addresses are 4465 Poplar Ave., 530 Oak Court, 4445 Poplar Ave. and 0 Southern Ave.

The largest of these is the main Oak Court Mall building, 4465 Poplar Ave., which excludes the Dillard’s department store on the west side of the mall.

Built in 1988, the Class B, 651,506-square-foot retail structure sits on 12 acres on the south side of Poplar southeast of its intersection with Oak Court Drive.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal of the property was $32.2 million.

The adjacent 138,242-square-foot office building at 530 Oak Court Drive was built in 1988 and sits on 4.3 acres. Its 2013 appraisal was $6.9 million.

The 4445 Poplar Ave. property is a half-acre outparcel with a Magna Bank branch on it and a 2013 appraised value of $949,100. Last is a 3-acre vacant parcel west of the mall.

The Washington Prime affiliate Oak Court Mall filed a $40 million loan through the Royal Bank of Scotland PLC in conjunction with the quitclaim.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Hooks Institute Honors Civil Rights Legacy

In an effort to bring the American civil rights movement to life for Memphians, the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change, located at the University of Memphis, will host the “Join Hands for Change Gala: The Civil Rights Movement’s Influence on Music, Fashion and Culture” April 26 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at The Hotel Memphis, 2625 Thousand Oaks Blvd.

Part entertainment and part education, the gala will include music, dancing and dining, as well as multimedia presentations that will walk guests through the 1960s.

Program participants include Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell.

The Hooks Institute’s honoree for the evening will be Beverly Robertson, who is ending her tenure as president of the National Civil Rights Museum.

Visit memphis.edu/benhooks for more information.

– Don Wade

Tenn. Brewery Announces New Partners, Beer Sales

The Tennessee Brewery Untapped project’s organizers have been granted a license to sell beer during the event by the Memphis Alcohol Commission.

In keeping with the local nature of the event, locally made craft beer will be available during Untapped from participants including High Cotton Brewing Co., Ghost River Brewing, Wiseacre Brewing and Memphis Made Brewing.

New partners and contributors also have come on board. Montgomery Martin is donating construction supplies and labor. Cash Saver Cost Plus Food Outlet is donating beverage supplies and equipment. Memphis Botanic Garden is donating plants, flowers and landscaping equipment. Old City Millwork and Jason Jones will be donating furniture design and materials. And Sache will be donating its mobile screen printing truck for custom Untapped apparel and merchandise sales.

Untapped kicks off April 24 and runs through June 1.

– Andy Meek

Memphis Football On National TV

The American Athletic Conference has announced that the University of Memphis’ Nov. 7 football game at Temple will be broadcast by ESPNU. Memphis will now play consecutive games on Friday nights. The Tigers’ home game against Tulsa Oct. 31 will also be broadcast on ESPN or ESPNU.

Memphis’ 2014 football schedule begins with a home game against Austin Peay on Aug. 30. The Tigers will play six games in Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, concluding the regular season with two straight American Athletic Conference home games in late November.

The Tigers are currently in the midst of spring practice. Memphis closes out the spring with the annual Blue-Gray Game on April 11 at 7 p.m.

– Don Wade

City, Schools Agree To Mediation on Funding

The city of Memphis and Shelby County Schools have agreed to an “official mediation process with a third party mediator” to resolve the $57 million claim and judgment the school system has against the city and the $89 million counterclaim the city is pursuing against the school system for capital funding.

Memphis City Council chairman Jim Strickland disclosed the agreement Tuesday as the council debated a resolution by council member Lee Harris to build over several fiscal years a city fund to pay the judgment.

Harris’ plan to establish a “schools litigation fund,” which would have incrementally set aside money the city owes Shelby County Schools for $57 million in cuts the council made in 2008, was rewritten with a different outcome.

The council instead approved a substitute resolution that affirms the council is pursuing a legal counterclaim against the school system for capital funding of $89 million it claims the city is owed.

Council member Wanda Halbert proposed the alternate resolution after council attorney Allan Wade said Harris’ plan would undermine the city’s legal strategy.

– Bill Dries

Southbrook Mall Funding Sent Back to Committee

A bid to bring back to life $1.5 million in city funding for a renovation of the Southbrook Mall in Whitehaven was delayed Tuesday, April 1, by the Memphis City Council and sent back to committee for more discussion.

Owners of the property told council members they want city funding to repair the roof, heating and air conditioning at the mall. Wharton proposed an overhaul of the mall earlier this year as a “town center” in which city government would relocate some offices. But mall owners, who have formed a nonprofit group, told council members they don’t want that kind of renovation.

The $1.5 million in city funding approved by the council last year was with conditions – mainly a legal opinion on whether the funding would constitute an illegal use of public funding for a private use. City attorneys as well as bond counsel told the council in writing in October that the mall renovations are a private use for which the federal funding could not be used without endangering the larger amount of federal funding for streetscape improvements along Elvis Presley Boulevard.

– Bill Dries

Moore Added Back To May Primary Ballot

Shelby County Commission candidate Edith Ann Moore is back on the ballot for the District 6 Democratic primary in May, following a temporary injunction from Chancellor Arnold Goldin.

Moore appealed the Shelby County Election Commission’s March decision to decertify her as a candidate because they concluded she did not live on Gladstone Street in Raleigh, which is in District 6.

The commission based that on complaints from other homeowners on the street as well as an investigation by the district attorney general’s office that concluded her primary residence was not on Gladstone.

Moore appealed to Chancery Court, and Goldin ruled that the Shelby County charter only requires that Moore be registered to vote in the district when she filed her qualifying petition for the election.

All sides in the case have until the end of April to notify Goldin of any further hearings they might request on the matter. If not, the next step would be to make the injunction permanent.

– Bill Dries

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