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VOL. 8 | NO. 24 | Saturday, June 6, 2015

Daily Digest

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The Solana Germantown Bought For $65.5 Million

An affiliate of a Fortune 500 real estate investment trust has bought a senior living facility in Germantown for nearly $65.5 million.

HCP Germantown LLC, an affiliate of health care-focused, publicly traded real estate investment trust HCP, bought The Solana Germantown facility at 8199 Poplar Ave. in Germantown from FSP-Germantown, an affiliate of Brookdale Senior Living, according to a May 27 warranty deed.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property said the 210,900-square-foot facility on the north side of Poplar just east of Kimbrough Road was built in 2012. The Assessor’s 2014 appraisal is nearly $19.8 million.

– Amos Maki

Memphis Unemployment Drops Below 6 Percent

The unemployment rate for the metropolitan Memphis area dipped below 6 percent in April.

The April rate for the metro Memphis area was 5.9 percent, down from 6.5 percent in March and just below the state’s April rate of 6 percent, according to preliminary figures from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Among Tennessee counties included in the metro Memphis area, Shelby County’s April unemployment rate was 6.2 percent, down from 6.7 percent in March.

– Amos Maki

Meetings Set to Explore Local Bike Sharing

Fewer people driving cars, more people riding bikes. That’s the sentiment behind bike share programs in more than 300 cities worldwide.

Doug Carpenter of Doug Carpenter & Associates LLC is spearheading the effort to start a bike share program in Memphis.

A series of community input sessions started Thursday, June 4. Eight other meetings, running through July 2, also have been scheduled. Go to www.ExploreBikeShare.com for the full schedule.

Here’s how a typical bike share works: on-demand bicycles are available for rental from a network of stations. Users can pay per ride or may hold “all-you-can-ride” memberships of varying lengths.

– Don Wade

Senses Nightclub To Reopen in Former Poplar Location

The East Memphis nightspot Senses is seeking to reopen the doors of the club with very few if any changes two years after it closed.

C and R Events Enterprise LLC, the new owner of the property at 2866 Poplar Avenue, has filed with city planning and zoning officials for a special use permit.

“The new owners plan to reopen the nightclub under the same name,” reads the letter of intent filed with the Office of Planning and Development late last month by McCaskill and Associates Inc., the representative of the owners. “There are no planned changes to the site except to restripe the parking lot.”

C and R bought the circa-1962 warehouse in May for $1.2 million from Mascom Properties LLC of Las Vegas. C and R lists a Memphis address; the special use permit application includes the name Francisco Dasilva along with C and R as the property owner of record.

– Bill Dries

State Systems Acquires Technology Firm ESI Cos.

Memphis-based total protection company State Systems Inc. has acquired local technology firm ESI Cos. Inc., a major provider of nurse call systems for Mid-South hospitals and health care facilities.

State Systems’ staff will increase by nine to 127 employees, with George Price, a 34-year veteran of ESI’s health care division, leading the effort.

The news marks State Systems’ second acquisition in the past 30 days and its sixth in the past decade. SEACAP Financial served as the company’s adviser in the ESI deal as well as the May 1 acquisition of of Corinth, Miss.-based Ver-Max Inc.

State Systems provides a wide range of products and services, including fire protection equipment, prevention training, cleaning services, and technology such as closed-circuit TV, access control and network services.

– Daily News staff

Library Foundation Crowdfunds for Cloud901

This week, the Memphis Library Foundation launched its first crowdfunding campaign to raise $10,000 for needed equipment in its new teen learning lab Cloud901, opening this fall.

Thanks to donors Jack and Sandra Jones, that $10,000 will be doubled, with their commitment to match up to $10,000.

Crowdfunding is an attempt to fund a project from a large group of people, with the idea of building momentum from those most likely to donate first, before promoting to the masses. The MLF kicked off the campaign Monday, June 1, through the crowdfunding platform RocketHub, reaching 34 percent of their $10,000 goal in less than 24 hours, by just 18 funders.

– Don Wade

YMCA of Memphis Buys Downtown YMCA for $2.9M

The YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South has purchased the Fogelman Downtown YMCA for $2.9 million, according to public records.

YMCA acquired the building at 245 Madison Ave. from Forum 245 Madison LLC, according to a May 27 warranty deed. In conjunction with the purchase, the organization filed a $2.1 million loan with Regions Bank, according to a May 26 deed of trust. Keith Johnson, president and chief executive of the YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South, signed the deed of trust.

The building totals 106,814 square feet. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2015 appraisal is nearly $2.7 million.

Launched in 1907, the seven-story building was completed in time for its dedication on Oct. 27, 1909, by former U.S. president William Howard Taft, who was accompanied by governors from 27 states.

Johnson said the building would continue to serve as the organization’s “flagship” YMCA and that the group would like to improve around 5,000 square feet of now-vacant space on the third floor of the building.

“We decided we wanted to do some things to it and own the asset again, so it was our decision to buy it back,” said Johnson. “We wanted to do some renovation work and improvements. We’ve got some ideas to enhance the facility, but it didn’t make sense until we owned it.”

– Amos Maki

St. Jude Launches Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is launching a new, national event to coincide with Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September.

The city of Memphis – and the campus of St. Jude – will be the epicenter of the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer on Sept. 26. The event also will take place in 57 other communities nationwide on either Sept. 26 or Sept. 19.

St. Jude officially announced the Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer at a Wednesday, June 3, press conference. The event replaces St. Jude’s “Give Thanks. Walk.” fundraisers hosted in cities across the U.S. since 2008.

First Tennessee is the presenting sponsor of the inaugural Memphis event. Target Corp. and American Airlines are national series sponsors.

Online registration for the walk is open for individuals interested in starting a team, joining an existing team or participating as an individual.

– Daily News staff

Downtown Developer Gene Carlisle Laid to Rest

Downtown developer Gene Carlisle was laid to rest Monday, June 1, following his death late last week. He was 72.

Carlisle was chairman and founder of Carlisle Corp., a multifaceted real estate development firm and restaurant operator, including numerous franchised Wendy’s locations. In 2014, Carlisle Corp. made an equity investment in LYFE Kitchen, which is planning to open two Memphis locations and move its headquarters here.

On the real estate side, Carlisle Corp.’s projects include One Beale and The Chisca on Main.

Carlisle was a pioneer in Downtown’s rebirth with Beale Street Landing of the late 1970s and early 1980s at the southeast corner of Beale Street and Riverside Drive. He also was the original redeveloper of the Beale Street Entertainment District but bowed out to devote his attention to the development closer to the river.

The site of Beale Street Landing became the foundation for Carlisle’s One Beale, a $150 million mixed-use project that would add two new Riverside towers to the Memphis skyline. The project was a victim of the national recession that began in 2008, but Carlisle waited out the downturn and revived the project last year.

In the interim, he and his company became the lead developer of the $30 million Chisca Hotel renovation. The Chisca on Main features 161 apartments, which have begun to be leased, as well as retail space.

Carlisle is survived by his wife, Karen, three children, four grandchildren and a future granddaughter.

– Bill Dries

Design Board OKs Universal Life Redevelopment

Developers of the Universal Life building have cleared a key regulatory hurdle.

The Downtown Memphis Commission’s Design Review Board on Wednesday, June 3, approved architects Jimmie Tucker and Juan Self’s plans to redevelop the historic property at Danny Thomas Boulevard and Linden Avenue.

Self and Tucker, principals of Self-Tucker Architects, intend to develop 25,482 square feet of leasable space, including the two floors and part of the basement, in a $6.2 million project.

The Universal Life Insurance Co. and the building played large roles in the black community for decades.

Built in 1949, the two-story building was the headquarters of Universal Life Insurance Co., which was launched in 1923 and grew into one of the largest black-owned life insurance companies in the U.S. Founded and headed by J.E. Walker, the company also was a pillar of the local African-American community in the era of racial segregation by law.

Self-Tucker is seeking to restore the building to its former glory, including the iconic neon sign at Danny Thomas and Linden.

The Egyptian Revival-style building at 480 and 504 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. has been vacant since 2001. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.

The project, which stalled during the recession, has received a 10-year tax freeze and a $300,000 development loan through other wings of the DMC.

Self-Tucker Architects will lease 20 percent of the space for its new offices, and the remainder will be available for other tenants. The largest tenant in the building will likely be the city’s Renaissance Business Center, which is supposed to serve as a “one-stop-shop” development agency for small and minority-owned businesses, and plans on leasing 13,000 square feet there.

– Amos Maki

Weirich Named Chair of Operation Safe Community

Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich is the new chairwoman of Operation Safe Community, the county’s overall crime-fighting strategy.

Weirich succeeds Tennessee Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons of Memphis in the post he has held for the last six years. Gibbons will continue to serve on the OSC board of directors that chose Weirich as its new chairman.

Operation Safe Community includes a coalition of law enforcement and criminal justice system leaders who use a statistical approach to reduce crime. That approach concentrates police and other law enforcement resources on the crime hot spots as measured by those statistics.

– Bill Dries

Local Investors Purchase Collierville Shopping Center

The Winchester Commercial Center, at 2085 E. Winchester Road in Collierville, sold on May 22 for $1.3 million.

SHO Partnership, a Tennessee general partnership, sold the shopping center to cash buyers Mohamed and Samia Ali of Lakeland in a deed filed with the Shelby County Register’s Office May 27.

SHO Partnership purchased the 0.8-acre lot for $262,000 in September 2005 and completed the 6,650-square-foot shopping center in 2006.

The retail center is at the corner of Winchester Road and Houston Levee Road and houses two tenants. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2015 appraisal of the property is $970,100.

– Chandler Reports & The Daily News

Fogelmans, DRA Acquire The Bristol on Union

A joint venture of Memphis-based Fogelman Venture Partners and New-York-based DRA Advisors have acquired the lease for The Bristol on Union, a 220-unit apartment community at Union Avenue and Interstate 240 near the Memphis Medical District.

The joint venture, G&I VIII Bristol LLC, signed an assumption and lease assignment with Sentinel Real Estate Corp. affiliate Bristol Apartments GP, which had owned and operated the property since 2006. The buyers filed an $18 million loan in conjunction with the purchase.

The property is currently 97 percent leased, according to a statement from Rick and Mark Fogelman, the principals of Fogelman Venture Partners.

– Amos Maki

County Commission Refuses Payday Loan Exception

Shelby County Commissioners decided Monday, June 1, to take no vote on an application that would have allowed a payday loan business to remain open in the Cordova shopping center where it has been for a year and a half.

The Financial One storefront at Cordova Ridge Shops, at Houston Levee Road and Macon Road, was issued an occupancy certificate by local code enforcement officials by mistake. It violates local codes because it is too close to a residential area.

A competing payday loan business complained that the storefront violates the Unified Development Code, so Financial One filed for permission to remain open.

The local Office of Planning and Development backed the application but the Land Use Control Board recommended rejection.

When the application came to county commissioners Monday, no one would second the motion and it died for lack of a second, meaning the store is still in violation of local zoning codes. Some commissioners indicated later Monday that they will likely move to reconsider the rejection before the body approves Monday’s minutes at its June 22 session.

– Bill Dries

BCBST Proposes Higher Premium Raise Next Year

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has proposed raising premiums next year by an average of more than 36 percent after losing $141 million during its first year of offering individual health plans through the federal Affordable Care Act.

The state’s biggest health insurer said it initially underestimated the number and cost of the medical claims filed by new enrollees, the Times Free-Press reports.

BlueCross Vice President Roy Vaughn said the insurer’s mission was to serve the entire state as affordably as possible under the Affordable Care Act.

“It was a new market, and as we filed our initial rates for 2014 we had no data on the population that we would cover. We did not foresee the kind of medical costs that we’ve experienced with this group of members,” Vaughn said.

BCBST enrolled nearly two-thirds of the 231,000 Tennesseans who signed up for health insurance exchange plans last year.

– The Associated Press

Lakeland Explores Plan to Build Middle School

The Lakeland School System is considering a plan to build a $20 million middle school on the 94 acres it looked at earlier this year for a $50 million grades 6-12 school.

The new plan was recommended to the Lakeland school board Monday, June 1, by Southern Educational Strategies LLC.

The plan follows an April referendum in which Lakeland voters rejected a $50 million bond issue that would have financed construction of Lakeland Prep, the grades 6-12 school. Lakeland citizens forced the referendum after the city’s board of commissioners endorsed as a preliminary step a 55-cent property tax hike to pay the bond debt.

Lakeland Elementary is currently the only school in the system. An agreement with Bartlett City Schools and Arlington Community Schools allows older students to attend schools in those systems.

– Bill Dries

Evolve Bank & Trust Adds Executive Vice President

Evolve Bank & Trust has added Mark Mosteller as its new executive vice president of accounting and finance.

Mark is a former chief financial officer of Memphis-based GTx Inc. as part of a career that spans more than 25 years in directing and managing finance, accounting, tax, treasury and risk management.

He’s also served as the chief operating officer of Union Planters Mortgage and audit senior manager for Ernst & Young LLP.

– Andy Meek

Wendy’s in Frayser Sells for $1.46 Million

The Wendy’s franchise restaurant at 2221 Frayser Blvd. in Memphis sold May 20 for $1.5 million.

Steve and Dinah Wang purchased the 2,700-square-foot property as trustees of the Wang Family Trust of Arcadia, Calif., according to a deed filed with the Shelby County Register’s Office May 28.

RAM Investments of Tennessee LLC had owned the restaurant since September 2007, when they purchased it for $1.2 million. Built in 1979, the restaurant was appraised by the Shelby County Assessor of Property this year at $306,800.

– Chandler Reports & The Daily News

Williams-Sonoma to Raise $30 Million for St. Jude

The retailer Williams-Sonoma Inc. is in the midst of a pledge to raise $30 million within the next 10 years for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The company raised $3.9 million for St. Jude during the 2014 St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign, with those funds serving as part of Williams-Sonoma’s first year of the new $30 million pledge. The company included more than 500,000 donations from customers at the time of purchase, special St. Jude-designated product sales where a portion of the sale was donated, plus employee and company donations.

The past year’s campaign marked the 10th year of Williams-Sonoma’s partnership with St. Jude, during which it’s raised more than $29 million for the hospital.

– Andy Meek

CP Memphis Assumes Lease of Crowne Plaza

CP Memphis LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, signed an assignment and assumption of lease document May 18 taking ownership of the Downtown Crowne Plaza Hotel, at 300 N. Second St.

General Electric Real Estate Equities Inc. had ownership of the property when they purchased the hotel in lieu of foreclosure for $9.4 million on Dec. 28, 2012.

The 11 story, 244-room hotel has been on a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes lease program since Aug. 31, 1998.

A $12.6 million mortgage was filed with Colfin Memphis Monarch Funding LLC at the time of assignment. The loan matures June 1, 2017.

– Chandler Reports & The Daily News

Elvis Joins Hendrix, Cash as ‘Forever’ Stamp Faces

Postal officials say an image of rock ‘n’ roll icon Elvis Presley is being placed on a “forever” stamp as part of the U.S. Postal Service’s music icon series.

Postmaster General Megan Brennan said Wednesday that the stamp will be issued in August. A dedication ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 12 at Graceland.

A statement says the stamp image will be previewed at a later date. Other musicians who have been inducted into the Postal Service’s music icon series include Lydia Mendoza, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.

The Postal Service previously honored Presley on a stamp in 1993.

– The Associated Press

Oros Leaves Memphis CVB for Birmingham

After 22 years at the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau, John Oros is leaving to head the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau in Alabama.

Oros, who is vice president and CEO of the Memphis CVB, takes his new position in Birmingham starting August 1.

Oros replaces Jim Smither who has headed Birmingham’s tourism effort for 21 years.

– Bill Dries

Comprehensive Pharmacy Services Names New CFO

Comprehensive Pharmacy Services, the nation’s largest pharmacy services provider, has appointed Sam Daniel as its new chief financial officer.

Daniel, a certified public accountant, has more than 35 years of finance and accounting experience, most recently as CFO of American Pathology Partners.

Memphis-based CPS says it is positioning itself for accelerated growth as U.S. hospitals seek new ways to address clinical, operations and financial performance challenges.

– Daily News staff

Arlington and Lakeland Ballots Take Shape

With less than two weeks to the June 18 filing deadline for candidates, the Sept. 17 ballots for Arlington and Lakeland elections are taking shape.

Arlington Mayor Mike Wissman is seeking a second, four-year term and as of Thursday, June 4, was unopposed with no potential challenger pulling a qualifying petition.

In the three alderman races, Larry Harmon Jr. has filed for the position 1 seat held by incumbent Glen Bascom, who has not pulled a petition. Brian Groves, who ran for mayor four years ago, has a petition out for Position 1. Incumbent Position 2 alderman Gerald McGee faces a challenge from Donald Lee Mills.

And Position 3 incumbent Jeffrey McKee has a challenger in Harry Spore III.

In Arlington school board races, incumbents Barbara Fletcher and Kay Williams, the chairwoman of the board, are unopposed to date.

In Lakeland, no candidates had filed through Thursday for the two commission seats and two school board seats on the ballot there. But Joshua Roman and Paul Vandiver have pulled petitions. In the school board race, incumbent Teresa Henry has pulled a petition and so has newcomer Geoffrey Hicks.

– Bill Dries

Regions Bank Taps New Area Wealth Executive

Regions Bank has tapped Travis LeMonte to be its new area wealth executive for Regions Private Wealth Management in West Tennessee.

LeMonte most recently worked for First Tennessee Bank in Memphis, where he served for three years as vice president and relationship manager of Private Client Services. Before working for First Tennessee, LeMonte worked with SunTrust Bank in Memphis for seven years.

At Regions Private Wealth Management, LeMonte succeeds Paul Craft, who died in October after battling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

– Andy Meek

Tennessee Recognized with Gold Shovel

Tennessee is ranked highly by a publication focused on site selection, business recruitment and economic development.

Tennessee was awarded a Gold Shovel award from Area Development magazine in recognition of projects undertaken in 2014 that created a significant number of new jobs and investment.

Tennessee last received Gold Shovel awards in 2012 and 2009 and Silver Shovel awards in 2011 and 2010.

– Amos Maki

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 157 157 10,093
MORTGAGES 161 161 11,107
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 1,301
BUILDING PERMITS 229 229 22,402
BANKRUPTCIES 54 54 6,365
BUSINESS LICENSES 18 18 4,099
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 29 29 3,048
MARRIAGE LICENSES 21 21 2,147