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VOL. 130 | NO. 153 | Friday, August 7, 2015

Daily Digest

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The Shops of Collierville Sells for $7.4 Million

Mount Pleasant, S.C.-based Ziff Properties Inc. has acquired The Shops of Collierville for $7.4 million, according to a special warranty deed filed Aug. 3.

The 60,000-square-foot retail center consists of three properties located at 849 W. Poplar Ave., 853 W. Poplar Ave. and 875 W. Poplar Ave.

The properties have been held by 875 West Poplar Avenue Holdings LLC since August 2012 when the center foreclosed for $7.9 million. It was one of 11 commercial properties in Memphis and Collierville that were foreclosed when former owner Nightingale Properties LLC of New York defaulted on a $25.6 million loan

Current Shops of Collierville tenants include Starbucks, Medpost Urgent Care, Back Yard Burgers, Pizza Hut, Baskin Robbins and The UPS Store.

“We are excited to expand our ever-growing portfolio into Collierville,” said Christian Chamblee, Ziff’s director of acquisitions and COO, in a statement. “The neighborhoods and commerce of the Collierville market are attractive for investment.”

Founded in 1992, Ziff Properties specializes in the development, acquisition and management of commercial properties across the Southeast. The company’s 35-property portfolio includes shopping centers, office buildings, flex centers, light industrial properties and self-storage facilities.

– Wendy Greenlaw, Chandler Reports

Bates Family Indicted On $18 Million Fraud

After years of controversy and civil litigation, Memphis federal prosecutors announced Wednesday, Aug. 5, that a grand jury has indicted former Tennessee state Rep. Larry Bates and his two sons on multiple counts of mail and wire fraud and fraud conspiracy.

Bates and his sons, Chuck and Robert Bates, all worked for the family business, First American Monetary Consultants Inc. The three are accused of swindling more than 300 people in at least nine states of $18 million over an 11-year period starting in 2002.

FAMC buys, sells and trades in gold and silver coins. Bates and his sons encourage customers to buy gold and silver to protect themselves from an economic calamity.

The indictment alleges that customers were not getting the gold and silver coins they bought. In some cases they would get a partial order, sometimes none at all.

It also alleges that the three defendants’ belief in what the elder Bates termed a “mystery Babylon” – a period of economic and political chaos – was a part of the alleged swindle.

The complaints from customers have resulted in several civil lawsuits in recent years and the company being put into court-ordered receivership in 2013.

“Unfortunately, hundreds of these victims never received the coins they purchased,” said U.S. Attorney Ed Stanton in a written statement. “Instead, their money was used by the defendants to fund lofty salaries and exorbitant lifestyles.”

Larry Bates is a former state representative from Hardeman County in West Tennessee who has also run for Congress over the years. He is CEO of FAMC.

Chuck Bates is executive vice president of FAMC and news director of Information Radio Network Inc.

Robert Bates is an economist with FAMC.

Each faces up to 30 years in prison on the fraud counts and up to 20 years in prison on the conspiracy counts.

– Bill Dries

Fred’s Total Sales Up 11 Percent in July

Sales at Memphis-based Fred’s Inc. were up 11 percent for July, the retailer said Thursday, Aug. 6.

Total sales rose from $148.9 million in July 2014 to $164.7 million last month. Fred’s total sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2015 also were up 11 percent, to $545.2 million from $491.2 million for the same period last year.

In a statement about the results, Fred’s CEO Jerry Shore said the July numbers reflected a “solid contribution” from Fred’s recently expanded specialty pharmacy business, which comprised about 12 percent of total sales for July.

– Andy Meek

It’s Getting Closer: Grizzlies Release Preseason Schedule

The Memphis Grizzlies have announced their 2015 preseason schedule, including exhibition contests against three of the four teams that advanced to last season’s conference finals. The Grizzlies will play seven preseason games.

Memphis will tip-off preseason action at home against the Houston Rockets Tuesday, Oct. 6, at 7 p.m. The Grizzlies will host three additional preseason games against Maccabi Haifa of the Israeli Basketball Super League (Thursday, Oct. 8), the Oklahoma City Thunder (Friday, Oct. 16) and the Minnesota Timberwolves (Sunday, Oct. 18).

The Grizzlies also will travel to point guard Mike Conley’s alma mater in Columbus, Ohio, to play the Cleveland Cavaliers (Monday, Oct. 12) at Value City Arena at The Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University.

They also have road preseason contests against the Atlanta Hawks (Wednesday, Oct. 21) and Orlando Magic (Friday, Oct. 23).

Single game tickets for all Grizzlies preseason and regular season home games will go on sale at a later date to be announced. Tickets will be available by calling 800-4NBA-TIX, at all Ticketmaster locations, Ticketmaster.com, the FedExForum box office or Grizzlies.com.

– Don Wade

Joe Cooper Denied Spot On Memphis Election Ballot

Memphis City Council contender Joe Cooper will not be on the October Memphis election ballot.

Shelby County Chancellor Jim Kyle ruled Thursday, Aug. 6, that Cooper’s request to be allowed on the ballot was not valid because Cooper didn’t gather the required 25 voter signatures by the July 16 deadline.

Cooper also did not have his citizenship rights restored from a 2007 federal money laundering conviction. He claimed election officials told him he couldn’t circulate the petition because his rights had not been restored.

Kyle ruled that Cooper was told that in error. But he said that Cooper waited about a month before seeking to have his citizenship rights restored in Circuit Court.

By the time Cooper had his rights restored, the candidate filing deadline had passed and the election commission had certified the ballot without him in the Super District 9 Position 2 race.

Kyle halted the election commission from doing any further work on the ballot pending Thursday’s hearing. He lifted the stay after denying Cooper’s claim.

Cooper said later that he would drop the larger lawsuit on the issue as well.

“The moral is get 50 signatures any time you run for office,” Cooper said. “It just didn’t fall my way. That’s life.”

– Bill Dries

$9.5 Million Permit Filed For New Downtown Hotel

GCG Hospitality Inc. has pulled a $9.5 million building permit for a one-acre site at 310 Union Ave. it purchased in January.

The company plans to build a four-story, suburban-style LaQuinta Inn & Suites with 104 guest rooms.

The site, situated at Union and Danny Thomas Boulevard, was formerly home to a New York Suit Exchange store. It sits at the entrance to the Downtown core, one block east of AutoZone Park. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2015 tax appraisal value is $856,100.

The owner of the company, Gopal Govan, also owns the Quality Inn Hotel at 42 S. Camilla St. and the vacant Wonder Bread/Hostess retail store at 341 Monroe Ave.

– Wendy Greenlaw, Chandler Reports

Justin Fuente Selects Leadership Council

As the University of Memphis football team opens training camp, head coach Justin Fuente has announced his Leadership Council for the upcoming season.

The 2015 council consists of 23 players including 12 seniors. The balance of the group is made up of seven juniors and four sophomores. Among the players: junior quarterback Paxton Lynch, senior tight end Alan Cross, junior defensive end Latarius Brady, junior kicker Jake Elliott and senior wide receiver Mose Frazier.

Most of the members played a role in last year’s American Athletic Conference championship season and the Tigers’ win over BYU in the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl.

All 23 players are on the depth chart heading into preseason camp, which was to open with practice at the Murphy Athletic Complex Thursday, Aug. 6.

Memphis opens the 2015 season by playing host to Missouri State at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on Sept. 5.

This year’s schedule also includes a Thursday, Sept. 24, game vs. Cincinnati and a Saturday, Oct. 17, home game against Ole Miss.

– Don Wade

PROPERTY SALES 56 94 12,852
MORTGAGES 23 50 8,053
BUILDING PERMITS 285 422 30,356
BANKRUPTCIES 23 67 6,131