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VOL. 129 | NO. 159 | Friday, August 15, 2014

Daily Digest

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Hotel Owner Files $3 Million Loan

The new owner of the Inn at Thousand Oaks hotel at 2700 S. Perkins Road in Parkway Village has filed a $3 million loan on the property.

HC Memphis LLC, an affiliate of Indianapolis-based Hotel Capital LLC, filed the deed of trust and security agreement through Access Point Financial Inc. The borrower had recently purchased the hotel following a first-run foreclosure notice filed earlier this year.

HC Memphis paid $2.2 million for the 130-room hotel at Perkins and Interstate 240 in a June successor trustee’s deed from attorney Douglas M. Alrutz of Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs LLP.

The property entered foreclosure when the previous owner, VMN Memphis LLC, defaulted on a $6 million loan dated August 2006 through Countrywide Commercial Real Estate Finance Inc. A first-run foreclosure notice appeared in The Daily News Feb. 4.

VMN Memphis LLC bought the hotel in 2006, when it was known as the Hampton Inn-Memphis, from Perkins Hotel Partners LP for $7 million, securing the property with the loan that later went into default.

Built in 1994, the 63,778-square-foot, five-story hotel sits on 2.2 acres along the east side of South Perkins Road between I-240 and American Way. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2014 appraisal is $3.8 million.

Hotel Capital is a “private equity real estate investment firm that provides debt and equity capital to the hospitality industry,” according to the company’s website.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Veterans Secretary Visits Memphis

U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald visited the Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center Thursday, Aug. 14, at the end of a two-day visit to the Bluff City that also included a speech to the 70th annual National Convention of American Veterans, known as AMVETS.

He met with Memphis-area veterans at the hospital in sessions that included U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis.

McDonald began the visits of Veterans Affairs hospitals a week ago in Phoenix, which he noted has been described as the “epicenter” of the scandal over wait times and overall treatment of veterans at the federal facilities.

“The problems we discovered in Phoenix were systemic, extending well beyond that one location and that one moment in time,” McDonald told the Memphis convention gathering. McDonald, who was appointed by President Barack Obama in June and confirmed by the U.S. Senate within a month, told the veterans the systemic failures include “performance metrics (that) became an end in themselves – they weren’t measuring outcomes for veterans.”

He also said there were “widespread attempts to game the system … making veterans wait even longer for care.”

McDonald outlined plans he described as “unprecedented and critical cultural change and accountability” for the department. The changes include new funding to hire more doctors and medical staff, suspending performance awards for all senior executives in the department and scrapping the 14-day time period for being seen at the centers.

– Bill Dries

Lipscomb & Pitts Honored Among Top Agencies

Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance has been listed as one of the “Top 100 Privately Held Independent Property & Casualty Agencies” in the country.

That’s according to Insurance Journal, which published the list in its August issue. The Memphis agency came in at number 87 in the ranking.

Chief manager Johnny Pitts said the distinction proves the company delivers on its promise of “first-class service to all of our clients.”

– Andy Meek

Melting Pot Fondue Restaurant Closes

The Melting Pot of Memphis has closed for good.

The fondue restaurant, 2828 Wolfcreek Parkway, closed temporarily on Thursday, July 31, and made the decision to close for business indefinitely beginning Wednesday, Aug. 13, for financial reasons.

The Melting Pot Restaurants Inc. has a “strong interest” in the Memphis market and hopes to either reopen the Memphis location or develop a new restaurant in the area in the future, the company said in a statement. The company said the restaurant’s 28 employees have been notified of the closure.

The Memphis location opened on Sept. 16, 2002. The closest Melting Pot locations are in Nashville and Huntsville, Ala.

– Amos Maki

State Commission Taking Chancery Court Applications

The Governor’s Commission for Judicial Appointments began accepting applications Thursday, Aug. 14, for the vacancy in Shelby County Chancery Court.

Chancellor Kenny Armstrong ran unopposed for re-election on the Aug. 7 ballot. His new term would begin Sept. 1, but that is also when Armstrong’s appointment by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam to the Tennessee Court of Appeals takes effect.

Haslam appointed Armstrong to the state appeals court after the deadline for removing Armstrong’s name from the August ballot.

The deadline for applications to the Administrative Office of the Courts is Aug. 25 at 3 p.m.

– Bill Dries

AutoZone, Gameday Partner for Youth Baseball Tourney

Competitive baseball teams began competing Thursday, Aug. 14, in the AutoZone USSSA National Youth Championships at Gameday Baseball’s complex in Cordova. Several age groups will compete Aug. 14-17 and another set of age groups Aug. 21-24. Twelve teams in each of six age groups (9 and under, 10U, 11U, 12U, 13U and 14U) will make it through qualifying rounds to reach the championships. CBS Sports Network will televise the championship games for 11U thru 14U, and select games from each age group will be streamed on the United States Specialty Sports Association Live website at usssalive.com.

AutoZone, of course, has its name on the Triple-A ballpark Downtown that is home to the Memphis Redbirds.

“Our customers and neighbors will be attending this event – folks who put many miles on their cars traveling to participate in youth sports programs,” said Bill Edwards, AutoZone vice president, Merchandising, Customer Satisfaction.

Gameday Baseball, which has hosted previous national youth baseball championships, has 10 lighted fields, amenities for spectators and a main clubhouse.

– Don Wade

Tennessee Business Taxes Pick Up After Decline

Tennessee’s business taxes are starting to pick up.

WPLN-FM reports economist Bill Fox discussed his findings in a conference call with Secretary of State Tre Hargett this week.

Fox said that the state’s franchise and excise taxes took a hit after health-care services company McKesson left Tennessee for Mississippi. That departure helped contribute to a $222 million deficit in business taxes.

But Hargett said the latest numbers show that Tennessee’s new business filings are growing at a steady pace.

– The Associated Press

30-Year Mortgage Rate Averaging 4.12 Percent

Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates declined this week, approaching their lows for the year.

Mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday the nationwide average for a 30-year loan slipped to 4.12 percent from 4.14 percent last week. The average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, fell to 3.24 percent from 3.27 percent last week.

Mortgage rates are below the levels of a year ago. They have fallen in recent weeks after climbing last summer when the Federal Reserve began talking about reducing the monthly bond purchases it was making to keep long-term borrowing rates low.

Mortgage rates often follow the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. The 10-year note traded at 2.42 percent Wednesday, brushing its low for the year of 2.41 percent and down from 2.47 percent a week earlier. It fell to 2.38 percent in trading Thursday morning.

At 4.12 percent, the rate on a 30-year mortgage is down from 4.53 percent at the start of the year. Rates have fallen even though the Fed has been trimming its monthly bond purchases, which are intended to keep long-term borrowing rates low. The purchases are set to end in October.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 56 437 16,061
MORTGAGES 76 508 18,556
BUILDING PERMITS 241 876 33,390
BANKRUPTCIES 64 301 10,314