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VOL. 130 | NO. 37 | Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Daily Digest

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Georgia Investor Buys Southeast Memphis Hotel

A Georgia-based investor has purchased a Southeast Memphis hotel for $1 million.

The Inn at American Way LLC, operating in care of Atlanta-based businessman Amish Patel, bought the Home One hotel at 4300 American Way from Motel 6 Operating LP, according to a Feb. 10 warranty deed.

Located on American Way near Cherry Road, the former Studio 6 hotel was built in 1987 and totals 48,437 square feet. At 121 rooms, the purchase price of the hotel breaks down to roughly $8,264 per unit. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2014 appraisal is nearly $1.3 million.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports
– Amos Maki

Rhodes College Honored by Princeton Review

Rhodes College has made The Princeton Review’s “Colleges That Pay You Back,” a list of a little more than 200 schools recognized for addressing two concerns of college applicants and their parents: paying for college and employment after graduation.

The schools also were ranked in certain individual categories, and Rhodes came in at number seven in the “Top 25 Schools for Internship Opportunities.”

Along those lines, about 60 percent of Rhodes students participate in internships. The college also has partnered with more than 100 local, national and international employers to provide academic internships. There also are opportunities for paid internships and on-campus internships through the Rhodes Students Associate Program.

– Andy Meek

Belly Acres Marching for MIFA’s Meals

Belly Acres owner Ben McLean is getting ready to step it up for MIFA’s March for Meals campaign, a month-long effort to raise funds and awareness for the nonprofit organization’s Meals on Wheels program. During March, McLean is soliciting pledges to MIFA for every step he takes in his FitBen Challenge step-a-thon.

To kick off the challenge, Breakaway Running has given McLean a pair of shoes and a VivoFit pedometer to track his steps. Donations and pledges will be accepted starting March 1 at both Belly Acres and Lettuce Eat, as well as online at mifa.org/fitben.

Walkers, runners, and philanthropists are invited to join McLean in the FitBen Challenge. Participants may record their March steps to raise donations for Memphis area senior hunger. Registration is online at mifa.org/fitben and in person at Breakaway Running on Overton Square. From February 22 to 28, Breakaway Running will offer a 10 percent discount on VivoFits to everyone participating in the FitBen Challenge.

McLean is planning several events during the challenge, including a St. Patrick’s Day walk from Belly Acres in midtown to Lettuce Eat in Germantown. There will also be a wrap-up party at Belly Acres on Tuesday, March 31.

Nearly 3,700 Shelby County seniors are food insecure. With the help of up to 100 volunteers each weekday, MIFA provides over 1,200 hot, nutritious lunches for seniors in their homes and at congregate meal sites. To volunteer to deliver meals, call (901) 529-4513 or sign up online at mifa.org/volunteer.

– Don Wade

City Makes First Schools Case Payment

The city of Memphis has made the first installment of its payment plan with Shelby County Schools to settle the lawsuit over the Memphis City Council’s 2008 decision to cut city funding to what was then Memphis City Schools.

The $8 million check dated Feb. 10 starts a series of payments and credits over 15 years totaling $41.8 million. The cash part of the settlement total $28 million with the remaining $20 million to be paid at $1.3 million a year.

The judgment the school system won in Chancery Court, which was upheld on appeal, was $57 million. But a city counterclaim for capital funding the school system claimed it was owed delayed the payment and set up the negotiations that led to several attempts at a compromise and court-supervised mediation.

– Bill Dries

Southaven Plans to Become Regional Shopping Destination

Local officials are expecting the outlet mall under construction by Tanger and Poag Shopping Centers to make Southaven a regional business destination.

“We are 250 miles from six states and we will probably draw from all of them,” Carmen Kyle, executive director of the Southaven Chamber of Commerce, told The Commercial Appeal. “This isn’t your local mall.”

Tanger and Poag are building a 310,000-square-foot upscale outlet center off Interstate 55 just south of Memphis.

Plans call for 70 designer and name-brand stores employing nearly 1,000 workers.

Tanger, based in Greensboro, North Carolina, will release the names of retailers at a groundbreaking at the construction site on March 13.

In Tanger’s 46 other shopping centers throughout the nation, retailers include Michael Kors, Abercrombie & Fitch, Clarks Bostonian, Nike and Reebok.

It is a racetrack-designed lifestyle center, said Whitney Choat-Cook, Southaven director of planning and development. Stores face inward with walking paths lacing the grounds. Parking goes in a massive lot outside the racetrack. Along the paths in the center, shoppers will find greenery, benches, porches and water features.

The mall will spawn a new artery of retail development for Southaven, said Danny Buring, a partner with the local office of The Shopping Center Group.

For two decades, retail chains shoehorned and shoved their big boxes on side-by-side commercial lots up and down Goodman Road through Horn Lake, Southaven and Olive Branch. Average daily traffic counts rose from 23,000 vehicles in 1996 to full capacity of 40,000 vehicles in 2012, said Choat-Cook.

– Associated Press

Visitors’ Center in Tunica Offers Intro to Blues Heritage

Mississippi has a small new museum dedicated to the state’s blues heritage.

Gateway to the Blues Museum opened this past week inside a visitors’ center on U.S. Highway 61 in Tunica.

It’s in a new building attached to a restored train depot that dates back to 1895.

Webster Franklin, president and CEO of the Tunica Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the museum provides an introduction to the blues for people traveling south from Memphis and into Mississippi.

– Associated Press

Yellen Faces Lawmakers at Pivotal Time

After years of sounding reassuring notes about the need to keep interest rates at record lows, the Federal Reserve is finding the shift to an era of pending rate hikes a tricky and complicated one.

But anyone who expects Fed Chair Janet Yellen to clarify the timetable for a rate hike when she speaks to Congress this week could be disappointed. Yellen seems likely to take a wait-and-see stance that echoes a message the Fed has sent of late: That while employment and other economic gauges have brightened, the Fed remains concerned about excessively low inflation, lingering weaknesses in the job market and troubles overseas.

Yellen’s testimony Tuesday to a Senate committee and Wednesday to a House committee could produce a battle of wills: Lawmakers will likely push for clarity, and Yellen may counter by citing the hazy economic landscape the Fed is navigating.

– Associated Press

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 133 1,342
MORTGAGES 0 131 1,047
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 20 39 190
BUILDING PERMITS 0 305 3,056
BANKRUPTCIES 17 135 753
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 53 329
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0