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VOL. 129 | NO. 69 | Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Daily Digest

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Dallas Company Buys Macon Road Center

An affiliate of Dallas-based The PNL Cos. has paid $1.2 million for the 30,000-square-foot shopping center at 6100 Macon Road in Northeast Memphis.

PNL Cumberland LLC bought the Shelby Crossing phase II in a March 26 special warranty deed from Flagstar Bank FSB. The bank had acquired the property at a 2012 foreclosure sale for $2 million after the previous owner, Sun Shelby LLC, defaulted on a 2007 loan through the bank.

Built in 1988, the retail center sits on 3.2 acres on the east side of Sycamore View Road between Interstate 40 and Macon Road near Bass Pro Shops. Tenants include Yarbrough’s Music and Draper’s Catering.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal was $1.6 million.

Prior to the 2012 foreclosure, Sun Shelby – an entity affiliated with Tempe, Ariz.-based SUN 1031 LLC – bought the Class C center in November 2007 for $3.7 million, financing it with a $2.4 million loan through Flagstar.

The latest transaction included PNL financing the purchase with an $862,500 loan through Pinnacle Bank, also of Texas. PNL’s head of acquisitions, Daniel Levitan, signed the trust deed as manager of the borrower.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Evolve Bank & Trust Taps New CFO

Memphis-based Evolve Bank & Trust has added John Copeland as its new chief financial officer.

Copeland has 39 years of banking experience in a range of management positions that includes experience in audit, treasury management, controllership, financial management and mergers and acquisitions.

For the last decade, he’s worked as the CFO at M&F Bank.

– Andy Meek

Commission to Discuss Budget, Schools Funding

Shelby County Commissioners offer their first public comments Wednesday, April 9, on the budget proposal by Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and a request by Shelby County Schools leaders for $52.6 million in capital funding.

The discussion on both items comes during Wednesday committee sessions.

Luttrell is proposing a $1.1 billion consolidated county budget with a county property tax rate of $4.37, a cent lower than the current rate. His budget also includes a 2.5 percent pay raise for all county employees, with elected officials outside the county administration paying for the same percentage raise for their employees out of their respective budgets.

Luttrell is also proposing to do away with the extra 4 cents on the property tax rate outside the city of Memphis that is retiring rural school bonds used to build Arlington High School.

The Shelby County Schools capital spending list is expected to get a lot of discussion as some commissioners seek to amend it to add capital projects at schools that are to be part of the six forming suburban school districts that begin operation in August.

– Bill Dries

Haslam Free Tuition Plan Goes to Key Panel

Gov. Bill Haslam's signature proposal to create a program that would cover a full ride at two-year colleges for any high school graduate was scheduled to be heard by a key legislative committee on Tuesday.

Called "Tennessee Promise," the plan is on the calendar of the Senate Finance Committee.

It's a cornerstone of Haslam's "Drive to 55" campaign to improve the state's graduation rates from the current 32 percent to 55 percent by 2025 to help improve overall job qualifications and attract employers to the state.

Haslam wants to pay for the program by using $300 million in excess lottery reserve funds and join it with a $47 million endowment.

However, one of the main concerns of higher education officials and lawmakers is making sure the plan is adequately funded.

– The Associated Press

Employers Post More Job Openings in February

U.S. employers posted more job openings in February, a sign that hiring will likely improve in the months ahead.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that employers advertised 4.2 million job openings, up 7.7 percent from January. That's the highest number of postings since January 2008, when the Great Recession was just beginning and the economy had yet to suffer the full shock of the downturn.

There are roughly 2.5 unemployed Americans for each open job, the report shows. That average has slowly been approaching the 2 to 1 ratio is typical of healthier economies, after peaking at 6.7 unemployed people for each available job in July 2009, just after the recession ended.

Hiring has accelerated over the past two months after a winter slowdown. After factoring in job losses, employers added 192,000 jobs in March and 197,000 in February, the government said last Friday.

That was significantly higher than in December and January, when snowstorms reduced job growth. The unemployment rate has stayed at 6.7 percent for the past two months.

Tuesday's government report, known as the Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey, offers a more complete picture of the job market. It includes additional data on hiring and the number of people quitting or being laid off.

Total hiring rose 1.5 percent to 4.6 million in February. That's still less than a healthy job market, where around 5 million people are hired each month.

The number of people who quit their jobs rose slightly last month, the report said, while layoffs declined.

The additional data in the JOLTs report illustrates how much turnover is happening in the job market. Stronger job markets usually include a greater amount of churn, with more people quitting and greater overall hiring.

– The Associated Press

Summer Gas Price to Dip 1 Cent

Drivers will get the slightest of breaks on gasoline prices this summer, according to the Energy Department.

The national average price is forecast to fall – by just one cent – to $3.57 per gallon between April and September, the months when Americans do most of their driving.

Still, that would be the lowest average since 2010. For the year, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration expects gasoline to average $3.45 per gallon, down from $3.51 last year and also the lowest since 2010.

World demand for oil is growing, but supplies are growing faster than demand, thanks to higher production in the U.S., Canada and elsewhere. That will keep a lid on the price of crude and gasoline.

The price of Brent crude, a benchmark used to price oil used by many U.S. refineries and the most important factor in gasoline prices, is forecast to fall 4 percent this year.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 101 603 9,602
MORTGAGES 92 538 10,616
BUILDING PERMITS 215 1,282 20,958
BANKRUPTCIES 51 408 6,108