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VOL. 130 | NO. 44 | Thursday, March 5, 2015

Daily Digest

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REIT Pays $32.4 Million for East Memphis Hotel

A Dallas-based hotel real estate investment trust has acquired the Marriott Memphis East hotel in East Memphis for $32.4 million.

Ashford Memphis LP, which is affiliated with Dallas-based Ashford Hospitality Trust, bought the 232-room hotel, located at Poplar and I-240, from Noble I Memphis LLC, according to a Feb. 25 warranty deed. The purchase price breaks down to roughly $139,655 per room.

Built in 1986, the hotel includes 133,932 square feet of space, including six meeting rooms with approximately 8,960 square feet of meeting space. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2014 appraisal is $7 million. Ashford Trust’s affiliated property manager, Remington Lodging, will manage the property.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Amos Maki

Council OKs Beale Authority, Votes Down Cemetery

The Memphis City Council approved on third and final reading Tuesday, March 3, an ordinance to create a Beale Street Tourism Development Authority to guide future development in the entertainment district and hire a day-to-day manager of the district between Second and Fourth Streets.

The council amended the proposal to make the nine-member authority board an eleven-member board to include two merchants in the district.

The members of the board are to be appointed by the mayor and the appointments confirmed by the city council.

Meanwhile, the council rejected plans for a cemetery at the site of the old Moose Lodge at 4033 Raleigh Millington Road south of Tessland Avenue after several homeowners showed up to oppose it. The homeowners argued the cemetery would hurt property values.

The Sinai Memorial Gardens Cemetery failed to get a single vote on the council.

“What comes to mind is this movie where people were in this neighborhood and there was this cemetery,” council member Janis Fullilove said. “And then the dead people came to get the people in the house. How far would the cemetery be from the living conditions in the residential area?”

The distance between the nearest plot and nearest back door would have been about 60 feet.

The council delayed for two weeks voting on a special use permit for a used car lot at 1780 Getwell Road. It was the second delay for the car lot.

And the council approved a special use permit for a scrap dealer at 1808 Chelsea Avenue on Kilowatt Lake.

– Bill Dries

UTHSC Researchers Part of Global Brain Study

In the largest collaborative study of the brain to date, researchers from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center are part of a global consortium of 190 institutions working to identify eight common genetic mutations that appear to age the brain an average of three years. The discovery could lead to targeted therapies and interventions for Alzheimer’s disease, autism and other neurological conditions.

An international team of roughly 300 scientists known as the Enhancing Neuro Imaging Genetics through Meta Analysis (ENIGMA) Network pooled brain scans and genetic data worldwide to pinpoint genes that enhance or break down key brain regions in people from 33 countries. This is the first high-profile study since the National Institutes of Health launched its Big Data to Knowledge centers of excellence in 2014.

“This is a great example of how international collaboration can jumpstart high impact science and genetics. We needed a pool of 30,000 willing subjects and their DNA to drill down to these five new genes,” said Dr. Robert W. Williams, a co-investigator of ENIGMA and chair of the UTHSC Department of Genetics, Genomics and Informatics, as well as the UT-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair in Computational Genomics.

The study could help identify people who would most benefit from new drugs designed to save brain cells, but more research is necessary to determine if the genetic mutations are implicated in disease. The UTHSC team is renowned for its work on brain structure in mice. This is their first entry into the world of human genetics.

– Don Wade

American Kidney Fund to Host Action Day

The American Kidney Fund will host its second annual Kidney Action Day at The Salvation Army Kroc Center in Memphis on March 14.

The event, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., is free and open to the public. It will include kidney health screenings (including blood glucose and blood pressure), interactive fitness demonstrations, children’s activities, healthy food samples and local entertainment.

The American Kidney Fund is the nation’s largest nonprofit serving people with and at-risk for kidney disease. In 2014, the American Kidney Fund provided $1.4 million in grant assistance to 500 dialysis patients in the Memphis metropolitan area.

– Andy Meek

Tigers Add Troy Reffett as Cornerbacks Coach

Veteran coach Troy Reffett has been hired as the University of Memphis Tigers’ cornerbacks coach.

Reffett spent the past six seasons as the defensive coordinator at the University of Louisiana-Monroe.

In his final season at ULM, Reffett’s defense ranked among the top-20 nationally in passing yards allowed, third-down conversion defense, sacks and tackles for lost yardage.

“I’ve known Coach Reffett for some time and I’ve coached against him. We played Louisiana-Monroe when I was at TCU,” Tigers coach Justin Fuente said. “ULM had an aggressive, physical, tough, hard-nosed defense.”

Prior to joining the ULM staff, Reffett spent five seasons at New Mexico beginning in 2004 and 14 seasons at UTEP, including 2002 and 2003 as the Miners’ defensive coordinator under head coach Gary Nord.

– Don Wade

Reeves-Sain Foundation Gives $100,000 to UTHSC

The Reeves-Sain Foundation Inc. of Murfreesboro has made a charitable gift commitment of $100,000 to the College of Pharmacy at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

The five-year gift will provide scholarship support and highlight the Reeves-Sain model of pharmacy to future generations of pharmacists. Half of the gift will support the existing Reeves-Sain Endowment, which provides scholarships to current UTHSC College of Pharmacy students. The rest of the funds will support the maintenance of the College of Pharmacy’s state-of-the-art building and establish an educational gallery highlighting the business model developed by Drs. Reeves and Sain, which enhances and improves the role of the community pharmacy in the health care of its customer base.

The Reeves-Sain Foundation is the philanthropic division of the Reeves-Sain Family of Medical Services.

– Andy Meek

University of Memphis Adds ‘Materials Science’ to Physics Name

The University of Memphis Department of Physics is now the Department of Physics and Materials Science.

The name change reflects the department’s status as offering the only materials science program in West Tennessee.

The program deals with the discovery as well as engineering and design of new materials.

The university has had a materials science concentration since 2010.

– Bill Dries

PROPERTY SALES 105 193 8,028
MORTGAGES 120 239 9,024
BUILDING PERMITS 192 445 17,512
BANKRUPTCIES 27 69 5,228