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VOL. 129 | NO. 115 | Friday, June 13, 2014

Daily Digest

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10-Acre Cordova Industrial Site Sells

A 10-acre heavy industrial site at 9373 Macon Road in Cordova has sold for $1.5 million to William A. McMahan of Bartlett.

McMahan bought the property in a June 6 warranty deed from David V. Couch and financed the purchase with a $1.2 million loan through BancorpSouth Bank.

The property – with access to Interstate 40, U.S. 64 and Germantown Parkway – contains 1,191 feet of frontage access on Macon Road plus 63,373 square feet of warehouse space.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal was $682,100.

Prior to the sale, Couch received the property in a quitclaim deed from Macon Road Holdings LLC, which had purchased the property in an absolute auction in August 2008 from Duke Forest Products LP for $650,000.

That transaction included all rents and leases on the land and in the buildings, according to details released by Roebuck Auctions at the time of the sale.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Shelby Farms Conservancy Breaks Ground on Expansion

Shelby Farms Park Conservancy leaders formally break ground Friday, June 13, on the $70 million project that includes an expansion of the park’s Patriot Lake, the addition of 10,000 new trees and other improvements.

Construction of a new buffalo range is already complete, with other work already underway. The process is expected to take two years. The improvements will include a new visitors center, with the existing one closed during the construction period. Other additions include more pavilions around the lakes, a farm-to-table restaurant, a retreat center, a boat-rental kiosk, new trails and a wetland walk.

The bulk of the money for the project, $66 million, was raised from private donors, with another $3 million from Shelby County government.

– Bill Dries

Memphis Botanic Garden Delays Venue Dedication

The rainy weather that has hovered over the area in May and June has thrown a wet blanket on the Memphis Botanic Garden’s plan for a donor appreciation party for supporters of its new performing arts venue.

The botanic garden party scheduled for Saturday, June 14, has been postponed until later in the season.

“The rains finally caught up with us and made our sod installation in the seating sections and plantings in our Living Wall area next to impossible,” said Jim Duncan, executive director of Memphis Botanic Garden, in a statement. “We decided we did not want to present an unfinished venue to the donors who have been so generous in supporting this project, and it would be best to wait until later.”

Duncan said the new concert area, which includes a permanent stage, will be ready when the Live at the Garden summer concert series launches its 14th season June 21 with Little Big Town.

Besides the new stage, the $6.1 million project includes a living wall of plants, food court, box offices and a below-grade area in front of the stage that can hold around 125 people.

– Amos Maki

Conduit Global Opens Call Center

Civic and business leaders celebrated Conduit Global’s new call center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday, June 11.

The $8 million call center and back-office support operation at 7000 Goodlett Farms Parkway will eventually employ 1,000 people, making it one of the largest local job creation projects in recent history.

Bryce Hayes, president of Conduit Global, said Shelby County was chosen over two other cities because of the available labor force, proximity to universities and technical schools, and the cooperation offered by state and local governments.

“Conduit Global’s goal was to find a place where we could tap into a talented workforce, and we found that in Memphis,” Hayes said in a statement. “We could not be more pleased with our new hires and appreciate the support from the local business community and elected officials in connecting us to them.”

Conduit Global, a leading business process outsourcing company with 14 locations in nine countries, will have a wide range of available positions, but most of the jobs will focus on call center operations, providing customer support for inbound and outbound customer calls, customer retention services, technical support and other back-office operations.

The company has already hired 130 people and is in the process of hiring for a number of other open positions, including agents and support staff. People interested in applying should visit conduitglobal.com.

– Amos Maki

Amro Music Adds to Walk of Fame

Dr. Sidney McKay, band director at the University of Memphis from 1975 until his retirement in 2003, has been inducted into Amro Music’s Walk of Fame.

McKay’s inclusion kicks off this summer’s inductees into the Walk of Fame, which is located at the entrance of Amro’s Poplar Avenue location and is intended to pay tribute to Memphis-area music educators.

Nominations are made by the public, and members will be chosen each year by a committee based on the educator’s impact, years of service and other contributions.

Nominations are accepted at Amro’s website, walkoffame.amromusic.com.

– Andy Meek

Applications for US Jobless Aid Rise

More Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, but claims for jobless aid remain near pre-recession levels.

The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications for unemployment benefits rose 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 317,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, increased to 315,250. These figures are near the jobless claims levels before the outbreak of the Great Recession in December 2007.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs, so the claims data show that employers are dismissing fewer workers. When businesses are confident enough to hold onto staff, they may also step up hiring. That is a positive sign for economic growth, as more jobs usually help lift consumer spending.

Last Friday, the Labor Department said employers added 217,000 jobs in May as the unemployment rate held steady at 6.3 percent.

The steady hiring after the economy shrank during the first three months of the year because of the winter weather point to faster growth ahead.

Monthly job gains have averaged 234,000 for the past three months, up sharply from 150,000 in the previous three. The May unemployment rate, which is derived from a separate survey, was the lowest rate in more than five years.

Gross domestic product fell 1 percent in the first three months of 2013. Many economists expect that number could be further revised downward, while growth returns as warmer weather has generated more hiring and consumer spending.

– The Associated Press

Businesses Boost April Stockpiles 0.6 Percent

U.S. businesses increased their stockpiles in April by the largest amount in six months, signaling business optimism that future demand will keep rising.

Business inventories rose 0.6 percent after a 0.4 percent March gain, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. It marked the 11th consecutive increase in stockpiles and was the biggest advance since October. Total business sales were up a solid 0.7 percent in April after a 1.1 percent rise in March, which had been the biggest monthly sales increase in 10 months.

The encouraging sales gains are expected to prompt businesses to keep ordering more goods to restock their shelves. That rising demand should help boost factory production and fuel the overall economy.

For April, inventories at the wholesale level climbed 1.1 percent, while inventories held by retailers rose 0.5 percent. Stockpiles at the manufacturing level were up 0.4 percent.

Economic growth went into reverse in the January-March quarter with the economy contracting at an annual rate of 1 percent. However, much of that weakness reflected an unusually severe winter.

Economists are looking for growth to rebound to an annual rate of around 3 percent or better in the current April-March quarter and remain at a 3 percent level in the second half of this year.

– The Associated Press

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