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VOL. 129 | NO. 10 | Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Daily Digest

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Kroger-Anchored Centers Sell for Combined $41M

Two Class A retail centers anchored by Kroger stores at 1605 N. Germantown Parkway and 540 S. Mendenhall Road have traded hands in an internal transfer for a combined $41.2 million.

An entity called WNI/Tennessee LP bought the properties in two special warranty deeds from a related party, WRI HR Venture Properties I LLC, which is joint venture between Weingarten Realty Investors and Hines Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), both of Houston.

The seller had acquired the Commons at Dexter Lake in Cordova and Mendenhall Commons in East Memphis in 2008 for $41.6 million.

The 229,971-square-foot Commons at Dexter Lake sits on 23.5 acres at the southwest corner of Dexter Road and North Germantown Parkway in Cordova. Tenants include Kroger, Stein Mart, Home Goods and Marshall’s. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 combined appraisal of its three parcels was $19.5 million.

The 80,000-square-foot Mendenhall Commons sits on 5.73 acres at the southeast corner of Sanderlin Avenue and South Mendenhall Road in East Memphis. Tenants include Kroger, Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe and Lucchesi’s Ravioli & Pasta Co. The Assessor’s 2013 appraisal was $9.9 million.

No financing was associated with the transaction.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Lawmakers Reconvene For 108th General Assembly

State lawmakers on Tuesday reconvened the 108th Tennessee General Assembly in a legislative session that is expected to feature debates over creating a school voucher program and whether to allow supermarkets to sell wine.

House and Senate speakers gaveled in around noon for a session they are hoping to wrap up as quickly as possible so lawmakers can focus on their re-election bids. All 99 House seats are up for re-election this year, along with 17 of 33 seats in the Senate.

But lawmakers will first have to approve the state’s $33 billion annual spending plan amid flagging state revenues. Through the first five months of the current budget year, general fund revenues were running $175 million below expectations.

The state constitution requires lawmakers to pass a balanced budget.

As for vouchers — or opportunity scholarships — Gov. Bill Haslam proposed a measure last year that sought to limit them. He ended up withdrawing the measure after special interest groups spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on ads promoting an expanded proposal.

The Republican governor has not said whether he will pursue a voucher bill this year. But Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, who carried the governor’s proposal, said he expects Haslam to propose similar legislation, even though he didn’t say exactly how it will look.

Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell believes this is the year she can bring wine to Tennessee grocery stores, an issue she has campaigned on for several cycles. The measure was advancing steadily last year, before surprisingly failing in a House committee.

The latest version of the bill would call for cities or counties to hold a referendum on whether they want to allow wine to be sold in supermarkets and convenience stores.

Also Tuesday, members of the House of Representatives paid tribute to Rep. Lois DeBerry who died in July, at the age of 68, after a nearly five-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

The Memphis Democrat was the longest-serving member of the state House of Representatives. She also was the second African-American woman to serve in the General Assembly and the first female speaker pro tempore in the House.

– The Associated Press

Commission Sets Pay of Four County Offices

Shelby County Commissioners gave final approval Monday, Jan. 13, to the ordinance that keeps the same salaries for the Shelby County property assessor, register, trustee and Shelby County clerk for the four-year term of office that begins Sept. 1.

The annual pay of the assessor will remain at $108,615 and the annual pay of the other three offices will remain at $107,975. The commission also added that any annual pay raise for county employees in those four years does not automatically go to the holders of those four offices, which are on the 2014 ballot.

The commission also approved the appointment of Kevin Kane, president of the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, to the board of the New Arena Public Building Authority. The commission rejected the appointment by Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell last month citing term limits on members of such public boards.

Commissioner Terry Roland made the motion to rescind that action.

The public building authority meets once a year to review financial statements on FedExForum.

In other action, the commission approved a title loan business at Riverdale Road north of East Holmes Road. The plan amendment was approved even though Commissioner Henri Brooks complained that it amounted to “bringing a gambling joint to a blighted area.”

The commission also approved an eating disorder residential treatment facility on Houston Levee Road south of Woodland Hills Drive.

And the commission gave final approval Monday to an ordinance that sets standards for animal care and fines for neglect for not abiding by those standards.

– Bill Dries

UTHSC to Conduct Search for Surgery Department Chair

Timothy C. Fabian, professor and chair of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center Department of Surgery, will step down from his position as chair once his successor has been named.

Fabian has been chair of Surgery at UTHSC for more than 14 years. After he steps down as chair, he will continue to serve as a professor in the department.

The search committee is being co-chaired by Lee S. Schwartzberg, division chief of Hematology at UTHSC and medical director of the West Cancer Center; and Sandeep Samant, professor and vice chair in the UTHSC Department of Otolaryngology and division chief for Head and Neck Surgery. An external search firm that specializes in health care leadership will assist the committee.

From the outset of his career at UTHSC in 1980, Fabian’s focus has been academic medicine and trauma care. He helped organize and develop one of the highest-volume trauma centers in the United States – The Elvis Presley Memorial Trauma Center in the Regional Medical Center at Memphis. His academic interests have been in both clinical and laboratory research dealing with shock and organ injury management.

– Don Wade

Cardinals Caravan Stops at AutoZone Park Jan. 19

The annual St. Louis Cardinals Caravan rolls into Memphis on Sunday, Jan. 19, for a visit to AutoZone Park.

Gates open at 5:30 p.m. with the event scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. in the Champions Club on the club level of the ballpark.

Among this year’s attendees: Cardinals relief pitcher and former Memphis Redbird Seth Maness, who led all National League relievers with 16 double plays induced. Pitcher Keith Butler, who went from Double-A Springfield to Memphis to St. Louis, will also be at the caravan and so will outfielder Randal Grichuk, who was part of the trade that brought Anaheim Angels outfielder Peter Bourjos to St. Louis this off-season.

Former Redbirds and Cardinals outfielder Kerry Robinson and former NL All-Star pitcher Andy Benes will be part of the group coming to AutoZone Park, as will broadcasters and former Cardinals pitchers Al “The Mad Hungarian” Hrabosky and Rick Horton.

The first 400 children (15 and under) through the door will receive a free autograph ticket good for one autograph from each of the current and former players.

Admission is free and will feature complimentary food and soft drinks.

– Don Wade

NCAA Gives Hayes Another Year of Eligibility

The NCAA has granted University of Memphis running back Brandon Hayes an additional year of eligibility. Hayes led the Tigers with 860 rushing yards in 2013 and caught 20 passes for 119 yards. At the end of the season he was named the DeAngelo Williams Most Valuable Player.

In other Tigers football news, spring practice will open March 2 and will be capped by the Annual Blue-Gray Spring Game on April 11 at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.

– Don Wade

PROPERTY SALES 83 405 4,276
MORTGAGES 104 424 4,814
BUILDING PERMITS 148 883 10,151
BANKRUPTCIES 53 264 3,149