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VOL. 129 | NO. 92 | Monday, May 12, 2014

Daily Digest

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Germantown Plaza Sells Following Foreclosure

The 14,400-square-foot Germantown Plaza strip retail center at 3695 Riverdale Road in Hickory Hill has sold for $1.1 million following a foreclosure.

The buyer was 3695-3723 Riverdale Road Holdings LLC, an affiliate of Bethesda, Md.-based special servicer CWCapital Asset Management LLC, which acquired the property in a March 24 deed from successor trustee Joseph R. Prochaska, shareholder with the Nashville law firm Prochaska Quinn & Ferraro PC.

Though the sale closed in March, the Shelby County Register of Deeds didn’t record the sale until last week.

The center’s Florida-based owner, Germantown Plaza LLC, entered into foreclosure after defaulting on $1.4 million loan through Column Financial Inc. dated June 13, 2003. The owner had assumed the loan from the property’s previous owner, Germantown Plaza GP, during a 2008 sale.

Built in 1984, the Class C retail center sits on 1.6 acres on the west side of Riverdale Road just south of its intersection with Winchester Road. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal was $726,500.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Food Truck Garden Parties Start May 13

The Memphis Botanic Garden is kicking off its 2014 Food Truck Garden Party season Tuesday, May 13, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

This month’s featured trucks will be Square Meal on Wheels, Fuel, Rock ‘n’ Dough, Stick’em and Gourmet Grillers. The Henny Penny Mobile Boutique also will be on site.

Music will be provided by The Roman/Green Duo.

The cost to garden members is $5, and for non-members, it’s $10.

Members of The Roots, a membership level designed for young professionals, get in free.

Tickets include admission, live music and one drink ticket. A cash bar also is available.

– Andy Meek

Commission to Vote On Austin Peay Project

Shelby County Commissioners vote Monday, May 12, on the return of a planned development at the northwest corner of Austin Peay Highway and Millington-Arlington Road by First Citizens National Bank.

The bank had proposed in June 2013 a rezoning of the open land for several uses, which drew concern from the Rosemark Civic Association. First Citizens later withdrew the application.

The new application remains for a commercial center that would have offices, retail sales and restaurants – fewer of the possibilities than the earlier application.

Also on the commission’s agenda is a vote on a $1.7 million contract with B Four Plied Inc. to put a new roof on the county government building at 1075 Mullins Station Road. The commission has delayed that vote twice.

– Bill Dries

Memphis Nonprofits Compete for $5,000

Digital lifestyle publication StyleBlueprint Memphis is giving $5,000 to a Memphis charity and is calling on Memphians to vote online at styleblueprint.com/memphis to help them decide which agency receives the funds.

StyleBlueprint Memphis is in its third week of a four-week online voting competition. The final six contenders are The Arc Mid-South, Birthright of Memphis, Cancer Card Xchange, Forrest Spence Fund, Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County, and the Memphis Library Foundation.

The winner will be announced May 19. In addition to the $5,000 prize, a leader from the not-for-profits will be featured in StyleBlueprint’s FACES of Memphis.

– Don Wade

Tuition Increases Mulled in Tennessee

Tuition increases could be in store for many college students in Tennessee.

The Tennessean reports that some public universities could see increases of between 4 and 8 percent to offset reduced state funding. Community college students could see an increase of between 2.6 and 10.6 percent.

Officials at a Tennessee Board of Regents Finance Committee meeting on Thursday reviewed estimated increases at each school.

The University of Memphis submitted a plan to avoid an increase. Projected increases at other schools varied.

Officials say the numbers are preliminary. Formal tuition proposals will be ready on May 27.

Tuition recommendations for the University of Tennessee system will be ready on June 19, but UT officials have discussed an increase of 4 to 6 percent.

Although the Tennessee Higher Education Commission recommended an increase of $29.6 million for higher education, the state budget eliminated any new funding. Universities had projected a smaller tuition increase even if the state funding had been approved.

“You just do the math, and instead of 2 to 4 percent, you end up being at 4 to 8 percent,” TBR Chancellor John Morgan said. “That’s fairly consistent with what you’re seeing – at least at this stage of the conversation with the institutions.”

– The Associated Press

Wholesale Stockpiles Rise 1.1 Percent in March

U.S. wholesale businesses increased their stockpiles in March by the largest amount in five months while sales increased at the fastest clip in 10 months.

Wholesale stockpiles rose 1.1 percent in March after a 0.7 percent gain in February, the Commerce Department reported Friday. It was the ninth consecutive monthly gain and the largest increase since a 1.2 percent rise in October.

The sizable gain in sales should encourage businesses to keep restocking their shelves to meet rising demand. That will mean increased orders to factories and rising production, which would boost economic growth.

In the January-March quarter, the economy slowed to a barely discernible growth rate of 0.1 percent after growth of 2.6 percent in the October-December quarter. A slowdown in inventory building subtracted 0.6 percentage point from first quarter growth.

But economists expect the drag from a slowdown in inventory building will ease in the second quarter. The big rise in March inventories supports that view, indicating that there was growing momentum headed into the second quarter.

Many analysts are looking for growth to easily top 3 percent in the second quarter with the most optimistic saying the economy may surge to growth above 4 percent, reflecting pent-up demand from consumer spending that was delayed during the harsh winter.

Analysts think that growth will hold above 3 percent in the second half of this year. If that forecast proves accurate, it would mean the country will enjoy the strongest year for the economy since 2005, two years before the Great Recession hit.

– The Associated Press

US Job Openings Slip in March

U.S. employers advertised slightly fewer jobs and slowed hiring a bit in March, though the declines came after healthy gains the previous month. The figures suggest the job market is improving in fits and starts.

The Labor Department said Friday that employers posted 4 million jobs in March, down 2.7 percent from February. But February’s total nearly matched November’s for the highest level of openings since January 2008, when the Great Recession was just beginning.

The report also showed that February’s data for hiring and quits was revised much higher, indicating that the job market was in better shape that month than initially estimated. It’s a good sign when more people quit their jobs, because most people do so to take a new position, frequently at higher pay.

Quitting also opens up a position that someone out of work can take.

The number of people quitting their jobs in both February and March reached the highest level since July 2008, Friday’s report said.

Total hiring, meanwhile, dipped 1.6 percent to 4.63 million in March. That’s below the 5 million monthly hires that are typical for a healthy job market. But it’s 7.5 percent higher than 12 months earlier.

And nearly 4.7 million people were hired in February, almost matching September’s total, which was the most since June 2008.

“Overall, despite the decline in vacancies, the fundamentals of the labor market continue to improve, supporting steady recovery,” said Jeremy Schwartz, an analyst at Credit Suisse.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 81 277 20,909
MORTGAGES 85 329 24,074
BUILDING PERMITS 219 672 43,265
BANKRUPTCIES 64 238 13,418