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VOL. 129 | NO. 85 | Thursday, May 1, 2014

Daily Digest

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Developer Buys Land for Germantown Whole Foods

Cypress Realty Holdings Co. has paid close to $2.3 million for five Germantown residential parcels where it will build the area’s second Whole Foods.

Operating in the transaction as Cypress Realty Holdings Co. WF LLC, the company paid $2.2 million for two parcels fronting Poplar Avenue – 7811 U.S. 72 and 7837 U.S. 72. – from Max Winston LLC and Jack Winston LLC.

It paid $650,000 for two adjacent parcels along Pete Mitchell Road – 2232 Pete Mitchell Road and 2238 Pete Mitchell Road – from Dolly S. Willis.

And it paid $46,890 for part of the 7772 Dogwood Road parcel from Kenneth B. Norwood and Paul A. Norwood, co-trustees of the Norwood 2002 Family Trust.

The 7811 U.S. 72 parcel is 2.2 acres with an appraised value of $308,200, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property. And the 7837 U.S. 72 parcel is 1.5 acres with an appraised value of $268,400.

The 2232 Pete Mitchell Road parcel is 0.7 acres with an appraised value of $231,600, the 2238 Pete Mitchell Road parcel is 0.7 acres with an appraised value of $262,300, and the 7772 Dogwood Road parcel is 8.4 acres with an appraised value of $613,700.

The company also filed a $7 million construction deed of trust through Financial Federal Bank. Cypress Realty principal Price D. Ford Sr. signed the deed as president of the borrowing entity.

The Germantown Board of Mayor and Aldermen in January approved several zoning exemptions for the proposed Whole Foods store, which was announced last year.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

First Horizon Settles Federal Litigation

Memphis-based First Horizon National Corp. has reached a litigation settlement agreement with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, as conservator for the Federal National Mortgage Association, also known as Fannie Mae, and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., also known as Freddie Mac.

As part of the agreement, a lawsuit begun in 2011 will be dropped against all defendants, including First Horizon. The lawsuit concerned the purchase by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac of certain securities backed by mortgage loans originated by First Horizon in 2004, 2005 and 2006, before the company sold its national mortgage businesses in 2008.

First Horizon will pay $110 million to the plaintiffs under the settlement terms and will avoid the costs and risks of ongoing litigation related to the dispute.

– Andy Meek

Mobile Retail Trucks Prepare for Launch

Next week, a small business incubator called MEMMobile that’s focused on developing and launching a fleet of mobile retail trucks in the city will be formally unveiled.

The first set of MEMMobile trucks are the women’s apparel-focused Henny Penny; K’Presha Haul of Fashion, focused on men and women’s apparel; Sache T-Shirt Truck, which will focus on custom-printed T-shirts; Thigh High Jeans, focused on repurposed denim apparel; and The Bikesmith, focused on bike sales and repair.

A public event and press conference will be held May 8 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Memphis City Hall. At that event, members of the public can shop at the five MEMMobile trucks and enjoy lunch from food trucks on site.

MEMMobile business owners will attend and speak, along with representatives from alt.Consulting, the Mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.

– Andy Meek

School Board Approves IT Services Overhaul

Shelby County Schools board members approved Tuesday, April 29, a set of three resolutions totaling $13 million to switch the school system’s Internet service contracts to AT&T effective July 1.

Each contract runs three years, with two one-year renewal options.

Superintendent Dorsey Hopson recommended the change, telling the school board earlier this month that the school system should save an estimated $4 million over the agreement it had with Nashville-based Education Networks of America Inc.

The board also met in private session with its attorney a week ago about the contract switch after Hopson said ENA executives had raised the possibility of a lawsuit if the school system switched providers.

The vote Tuesday to switch the contracts was 5-0 in favor, with board members David Pickler and Billy Orgel absent.

In other action, the board approved Hopson’s goal of having all school children in the district ready for college or career by 2025. The broad goal is to be followed by a specific plan to meet the goal.

– Bill Dries

Fraud Investigator Pens Guidebook

Collierville resident Charles E. Piper, a certified fraud examiner with 30 years in law enforcement, most of it as a federal special agent, has written a guidebook for examiners and investigators.

“Investigator and Fraud Fighter Guidebook: Operation War Stories,” published by John Wiley and Sons Inc., explores conducting investigations while handling other cases. It walks a reader through “red flags” and how to spot the indicators of other problems beyond those being investigated.

Piper is owner of Charles Piper’s Professional Services, which performs fraud investigations, consults on fraud prevention and leads anti-fraud training.

– Bill Dries

Fed Cuts Monthly Bond Purchases for Fourth Time

The Federal Reserve says it will make a fourth $10 billion cut in its monthly bond purchases to $45 billion because it thinks the U.S. job market needs less help from the Fed.

It is also reaffirming its plan to keep short-term interest rates low to support the economy "for a considerable time" after its bond purchases end, likely late this year.

The Fed's guidance, issued in a statement after a two-day meeting, had been expected. It conforms to goals that Chair Janet Yellen noted in a speech this month. She said the Fed's rate policies must be flexible enough to meet unexpected economic challenges.

The Fed sounded a more upbeat note on the economy, saying it had picked up recently after slowing sharply during the winter.

– The Associated Press

Airlines Offering Fewer Flights, Seats

A government watchdog confirms what airline passengers are finding when they try to book a flight: Service to communities of all sizes is declining, but especially to small and medium airports.

The Government Accountability Office told Congress that there are fewer flights and fewer seats available at airports of all sizes than there were seven years ago. Smaller destinations were particularly affected, with flights down as much as 24 percent since 2007. Flights have declined 9 percent and seats 7 percent at large hub airports.

Only government-subsidized air service to rural communities has been increasing, and that's largely a reflection of congressional efforts to prevent some small airports from losing commercial service entirely.

Mergers and high fuel prices are part of the reason.

– The Associated Press

Southwest CEO Vows to Fix On-Time Problem

Southwest Airlines is falling behind other airlines when it comes to arriving on time, and the carrier plans to tinker with its flight schedule to fix that.

CEO Gary Kelly says the airline will add a few minutes between some flights, and it will be more cautious about selling itineraries with tight connections between flights.

Southwest has long prided itself for being on time. It still ranks No. 1 all-time among the six big airlines that have been reporting such records to the government since 1987. But it hasn't topped the charts for a full year since 2001 and hasn't beaten all the other major carriers since 2009.

Last year, Southwest fell to 12th place – and behind all its closest rivals in size: United, Delta, American and US Airways – among 16 airlines that reported figures to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Only 76.7 percent of Southwest flights arrived within 14 minutes of schedule, which is the government's definition of being on time. That was down from 83.1 percent in 2012.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 36 154 6,546
MORTGAGES 34 94 4,129
BUILDING PERMITS 201 554 15,915
BANKRUPTCIES 43 126 3,396