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VOL. 129 | NO. 93 | Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Daily Digest

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Homer Skelton Wolfchase Dealership Sells for $8.5 Million

An entity whose manager is president of Acura of Memphis has paid $8.5 million for the Homer Skelton Wolfchase Hyundai auto dealership at 7727 U.S. 64 in Northeast Memphis.

Umansky Properties WH LLC – led by Danny Umansky of Acura of Memphis – bought the 48,085-square-foot property in a May 7 special warranty deed from First Tennessee Bank NA, trustee of the Homer D. Skelton Inter Vivos Trust, u/t/a dated March 28, 2000.

First Tennessee’s trust department in 2011 paid $4 million for the dealership that formerly was known as Cadillac Saab of Memphis. The bank served as the trust for Homer Skelton, which brought its own dealership to the property.

Built in 2002, the auto dealership sits on 6.8 acres along the south side of U.S. 64 (also known as Stage Road) between Appling and Kate Bond roads. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal was $4.1 million.

In conjunction with this most recent sale, Umansky Properties WH filed a $7.2 million trust deed through SunTrust Bank.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Avenue Coffee Opens Near University of Memphis

Avenue Coffee is a new nonprofit coffee shop now open at 786 Echles St., near the University of Memphis.

As part of the business’s desire to give back, it’s teamed up with local micro roaster Reverb Coffee Co. to supply its beans, and Avenue also is in the process of connecting with different charities.

The business plans to encourage the arts by showcasing local musicians, visual artists and filmmakers.

The hours of operation are Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to midnight.

– Andy Meek

Maker’s Market to Launch in June

The Maker's Market at Overton Square is launching in June.

Modern Handmade Memphis is presenting the inaugural season of the market, which will take place monthly and feature the handmade work of local designers and artisans.

The event will happen one Saturday each month from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Father’s Day Market is June 7, the Summer Market is July 19, the Labor Day Weekend Market is Aug. 30 and the Fall Festival Market is Sept. 20.

The event will take place in the Tower Courtyard at Overton Square, north of the parking garage on Trimble Place.

– Andy Meek

CBRE Memphis Joins Energy Star Program

CB Richard Ellis Memphis has joined a national energy-saving program that could help the environment and benefit the company’s bottom line.

CBRE Memphis joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program as an Energy Star partner. Through the voluntary partnership, CBRE Memphis aims to help the environment and boost financial performance by improving the energy efficiency of properties it manages.

CBRE Memphis partnered with the University of Memphis’ Green Internship program, a student-sponsored initiative designed to promote sustainability and relationships with partner organizations, on the energy-saving program.

In partnership with Energy Star, CBRE Memphis will continue to track the energy performance of its office portfolio and will actively work to improve the energy efficiency of its buildings.

According to the EPA, Energy Star, which was introduced in 1992, has helped families and businesses saved nearly $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.7 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

– Amos Maki

EdR Executive Leaving This Summer

A high-ranking executive at Memphis-based EdR is leaving the company this summer.

Randall H. Brown, executive vice president and CFO, has resigned effective June 30 to “pursue other business opportunities,” the company announced.

Brown joined EdR’s predecessor in June 1999 as CFO and treasurer and was later promoted to executive vice president. He will continue to direct EdR’s finance activities as CFO until June 30.

The financial affairs of the student housing development and management firm will be managed by the existing executive management team until Brown’s successor is appointed.

“(Brown) helped marshal the company through its initial public offering and has been a steady hand throughout his tenure with the company,” said EdR President and CEO Randy Churchey in a statement

EdR said it will conduct a “thorough and prudent” search for Brown’s replacement and has engaged Spencer Stuart, an executive search consulting firm, to evaluate internal and external candidates for the CFO position.

– Amos Maki

Josh Pastner Basketball Camps Tip Off in June

Three Josh Pastner Basketball Academy day camps will be offered this June at the Finch Center.

The first of the three sessions is slated for June 2-5. Session two is June 9-12, and the third camp runs June 23-26. The camp is open to boys ages 7 to 18, and cost for one session is $210.

For more information or to register, visit coachpastner.com.

– Don Wade

Haslam to Hold Seven Signings for Tuition Bill

It's not unusual for a governor to hold a ceremonial bill signing on a different day than when he actually puts his signature on a piece of legislation.

But Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is holding seven ceremonies this week for the same bill.

The Republican governor is making a series of stops around the state this week to celebrate the enactment of his Tennessee Promise law, which will cover the full tuition for community college for high school graduates.

Haslam starts the bill-signing spree in Cookeville on Tuesday, followed by encore signings in Jackson and Covington on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Haslam will do the same in Blountville, Knoxville and Chattanooga, and the finale is scheduled for Overton High School in Nashville on Friday.

– The Associated Press

FAA OKs $4.8 Million for Mississippi Airports

The Federal Aviation Administration is giving 14 Mississippi airports a total of more than $4.8 million to improve safety and operations.

Airports at Bay St. Louis, Belzoni, Belmont, Clarksdale, Columbia, Columbus, Corinth, the Golden Triangle, Grenada, Houston, Lexington, Madison, Okolona and Starkville are getting the Airport Improvement Program grants.

The largest is $1 million to Golden Triangle Regional Airport, which serves Columbus, West Point, Starkville and Lowndes County. The money will be used to improve the terminal building and repair the runway and taxiway.

The George M. Bryan Airport in Starkville is getting $540,000 for runway safety area improvements

And Fletcher Field Airport, serving Clarksdale and Coahoma County is getting $531,750 for taxiway construction.

– The Associated Press

Frozen Food Group Goes on Offense

Frozen food makers plan to launch their first national TV ad in defense of their products on Tuesday as the category fights to boost slipping sales.

The ad will include the tag line "Frozen: How Fresh Stays Fresh" and is intended to address negative misconceptions people have about frozen foods.

It's part of a marketing campaign being funded by the American Frozen Food Institute, an industry group that represents companies including Nestle, which makes Hot Pockets and Lean Cuisine, and ConAgra, which makes Healthy Choice and Marie Callender's.

The push comes as frozen food sales have been hurt by a move toward food people feel are fresh or natural. Although frozen vegetables are often touted as being just as wholesome as their fresh counterparts, frozen meals and snacks are widely seen as being full of sodium and preservatives, or lacking in the taste department.

Between 2009 and last year, U.S. sales of frozen meals are down 3 percent at $8.92 billion, according to Euromonitor International. And this year, the market researcher is forecasting a decline of an additional 2 percent.

In a phone interview on Monday, Kraig Naasz, president of the American Frozen Food Institute, disclosed that the group plans to invest as much as $90 million in the campaign over three years.

– The Associated Press

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