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VOL. 130 | NO. 62 | Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Daily Digest

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Finard Properties Sells Germantown Retail Center

A New York investor has purchased the Germantown Plaza Shopping Center for $14.35 million.

An entity operating as FarmEx Rail LLC acquired the 137,554-square-foot shopping center at 1991 Exeter Road, near the southwest corner of Exeter and Farmington Boulevard, from Finard Germantown LLC, according to a March 19 warranty deed. The buyer, FarmEx Rail LLC, filed a $10.7 million loan in association with the purchase with CitiGroup Global Markets Realty Corp, according to a March 21 deed of trust.

Boston-based Finard Properties owns an extensive portfolio of retail centers in the Memphis area, including Poplar Plaza at Poplar Avenue and Highland Street and Whitehaven Plaza.

According to the Shelby County Assessor of Property’s website, the combined value of the addresses listed on the warranty deed is $8.8 million.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Amos Maki

Orpheum Theatre Unveils 2015-16 Broadway Season

The Orpheum Theatre raised the curtain on its upcoming Broadway season with a slew of Tony Award-winning musicals coming to Memphis for the first time.

The theater’s 2015-16 Broadway season will kick off with the 2013 Tony Award-winning lush new production of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s “Cinderella,” followed by the 2013 Tony Award winner for Best Musical Revival “Pippin,” Disney’s “Newsies,” “Matilda The Musical,” the 2014 Tony Award winner for Best Musical “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder,” and “Bullets Over Broadway.”

By popular demand, “The Book of Mormon,” which played a record breaking one-week run in 2014, returns to Memphis for a limited engagement March 15-20, 2016, as an option. Ticket package holders receive priority ticket opportunities to all shows, so adding “The Book of Mormon” to a season package is the best way to guarantee seats.

For the first time, the Orpheum also will offer a “Pick 4” season ticket holder option in addition to its full season ticket package. Season ticket holders may choose four or all six shows to complete a customized package.

In addition to up to 20 percent savings on a full, six-show package compared to individual ticket prices, season ticket packages include many subscriber benefits such as ticket exchange and resale opportunities; a subscriber perks card, which provides patrons with discounts to VIP partner businesses; and optional pre-paid discount parking.

Season ticket packages go on sale to the general public in May, and new season ticket holders will have the opportunity to purchase online, by phone at (901) 525-3000, at the Orpheum box office or at the Orpheum ticket counter at The Booksellers at Laurelwood.

– Don Wade

Lowery, Boyd Urge Wharton to Change Riverside Drive

Memphis City Council chairman Myron Lowery and council member Berlin Boyd are urging Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. to “compromise” on the current layout of Riverside Drive between Beale Street and Georgia Avenue.

Since June, the two lanes on the west side of the drive’s median strip have been closed to auto traffic and set aside for bicycle and pedestrian traffic, except for riverboat passengers loading and unloading at Beale Street Landing.

“We trust you have heard the voice of the majority of the people of this community who favor restoring Riverside Drive to four lanes and that you will move forward with compromise on this issue,” wrote Boyd and Lowery.

Auto traffic north and south bound on Riverside is a single lane in each direction on the east side of the median strip.

“While we both can appreciate the emphasis on creating opportunities in which Memphians can enjoy a healthier lifestyle,” Lowery and Boyd wrote, “the negative impact of adding bike lanes along Riverside Drive cannot be overlooked.”

They also cite traffic counts that show the bike lanes “are not being widely used on Riverside versus impeding and restricting the efficient flow of traffic as a result of the reduced lanes.”

Wharton is expected to announce a decision on the future of Riverside Drive’s current markings to take effect after the end of the Memphis In May International Festival, whose main events are held in Tom Lee Park.

At a public hearing last week, city engineer John Cameron said one option the city is considering is restoring one lane of auto traffic on each side of the median with bike and pedestrian lanes in the curbside lane on each side of the median strip.

– Bill Dries

Wagner and Spears Head Local Political Parties

In weekend conventions, local Democrats and Republican elected new leaders for their parties.

Mary Wagner is the new Shelby County Republican Party chairwoman, chosen by delegates to the local GOP convention held Sunday, March 29, at the Bartlett Station Municipal Center.

Wagner, an associate attorney with Rice, Amundsen, Caperton PLLC, is also an adjunct professor at the Cecil C. Humphreys University of Memphis Law School teaching advanced appellate advocacy. She clerked for Circuit Court Judge Robert Childers and Tennessee Appeals Court Judge Steve Stafford.

She has been leader of the local Young Republicans chapter for two years and also served on the state Republican party executive committee.

Randa Spears is the new Shelby County Democratic Party chairwoman, chosen by the Democratic executive committee after a party convention Saturday at First Baptist Church on Broad.

Spears, a special events coordinator with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, has been active in the local party for more than 30 years. Most recently she managed Deidre Malone’s campaign last year for Shelby County Mayor as the Democratic nominee.

– Bill Dries

Sugarlands Distilling Teams Up With Memphis in May

Sugarlands Distilling Co., a producer of craft moonshine and whiskey, has teamed up with Memphis in May to be the exclusive moonshine for the 2015 International Festival.

Sugarlands will offer signature Sugarlands Shine cocktails for the second year in a row during Memphis in May events.

In the weeks leading up to the festival, Sugarlands will give away ticket packages to the Beale Street Music Festival, the World Championship Barbeque Cooking Contest and the AutoZone Sunset Symphony on their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/SugarlandsDistillingCompany.

– Andy Meek

Indie Memphis Executive Director Jambor Resigns

After seven years of service, Indie Memphis executive director Erik Jambor is stepping down.

Indie Memphis board president Ryan Watt announced Jambor’s resignation in an email to members, saying that the organization thanks Jambor for his service “building an excellent slate of programming and growth. Our organization is fully committed to continuing our first-class festival and year-round events. Erik will always part of the Indie Memphis family.”

Watt went on to say the organization is beginning the search for a new executive director, with the volunteer board running events in the meantime.

“I will be at our upcoming events and I look forward to speaking with each of you,” Watt said. “I can confirm we will be having our festival this year, and some exciting announcements are coming soon.”

– Andy Meek

Sprouts Hiring 125 for New Store in Lakeland

Sprouts Farmers Market is in hiring mode for its new Lakeland store.

The grocery store at 9050 U.S. 64, set to open May 13, is looking to hire 125 people in the bakery, meat, produce, vitamin and cashier departments. Applicants can schedule an interview online through Snagajob by visiting www.snagajob.com/lakelandsprouts.com.

Sprouts is a neighborhood grocery store with the feel of an old-fashioned farmers market.

– Andy Meek

PROPERTY SALES 57 280 1,209
MORTGAGES 55 244 916
BUILDING PERMITS 158 699 2,751