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VOL. 9 | NO. 34 | Saturday, August 20, 2016

Daily Digest

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MAA to Pay $4 Billion For REIT Post Properties

Memphis-based MAA will purchase Atlanta-based Post Properties Inc. for $4 billion, creating the largest publicly traded real estate investment trust by number of owned apartments. The combined company will have an expected value of $17 billion with an equity market capitalization of $12 billion.

The merger will create a combined asset base of nearly 105,000 multifamily units across 317 properties. According to a release provided by MAA and Post Properties, the company will focus on large and secondary markets within the Sunbelt region of the U.S. The 10 largest markets, by unit count, will be Atlanta, Ga.; Dallas; Austin, Texas; Charlotte, N.C.; Raleigh, N.C.; Orlando, Fla.; Tampa, Fla.; Fort Worth, Texas; Houston, Texas; and Washington, D.C.

Each share of Post Properties common stock will be converted into 0.7 shares of newly issued MAA common stock. Following the merger, MAA equity holders will hold 67.7 percent of the new company, with former Post equity holders holding 32.3 percent. The merger is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2016.

“The combination of MAA and Post will establish the leading apartment real estate platform focused on the high-growth Sunbelt region of the country with significant competitive advantages to drive superior value for our shareholders, residents and employees,” said Eric Bolton, MAA chairman and CEO, in a statement. “The combined company will capture a broader market and submarket footprint, with improved rental price-point diversification that will support an enhanced level of performance over the full real estate cycle.”

– Madeline Faber

Grizzlies Complete Coaching Staff

The Memphis Grizzlies have hired Bob Bender as an assistant coach and Bob Thate as shooting coach on head coach David Fizdale’s staff.

Bender comes to Memphis after working last season as a scout for the Brooklyn Nets. His professional coaching experience includes two seasons (2002-04) with the Philadelphia 76ers, first as an assistant coach/player development and then as an assistant coach; nine seasons with the Atlanta Hawks (2004-13) as an assistant coach, where he worked alongside Fizdale for the first four seasons; and one season with the Milwaukee Bucks (2013-14) as an assistant coach. Bender began his coaching career as an assistant at Duke University under Mike Krzyzewski (1983-89).

Thate joins the Grizzlies after serving in the same capacity for four years (2012-16) with the Los Angeles Clippers and three years with the New Jersey Nets (now Brooklyn), tutoring players such as Blake Griffin. Griffin shot 52.1 percent from the foul line during the 2011-12 season but saw his free throw percentage rise to 72.8 percent and 72.7 percent, respectively, over the last two seasons under Thate.

Thate has a combined 23 years of coaching at the Division I college and high school levels, including stints at Pepperdine University, Loyola Marymount University, the University of California-Irvine and Long Beach State (now California State University, Long Beach).

– Don Wade

Ikea Begins Recruiting For Memphis Store

Ikea is seeking 200 employees for its future Memphis store, set to open late this fall.

Positions are available in home furnishings sales, interior design/visual merchandising, customer service, safety and security, cashiers, facility management, warehouse receiving, stock replenishment and child play area supervision. In addition, 40 food service jobs are available across Ikea Memphis’ four eateries.

Ikea offers full medical and dental insurance for employees working 20 hours or more per week with eligibility for domestic partners and children as well as vacation, paid maternity/paternity leave and paid time off for child adoption, tuition assistance, a bonus program, 401(k) matching, a pension plan, professional development, training and mentoring programs, free uniforms and a shopping discount at Ikea.

Candidates can apply at ikea-usa.com or at Workforce Investment Network career centers at 480 Beale St., 3040 Walnut Grove Road or 4240 Hickory Hill Road.

– Madeline Faber

Fogelman to Manage 10 Additional Properties

Memphis-based Fogelman Management Group has been awarded management of 10 new properties totaling more than 3,800 units. In Memphis, Fogelman will take over management of the 414-unit Preserve at Forest Creek and the 600-unit Greens of Irene.

The Greens at Irene apartment community sold for $39.1 million last month. The new owners are Continental Realty Services/GAI Manager LLC and Wisconsin Development LLC.

FMG’s other new charges include The Farms at Cool Springs, The Overlook and Cleo Apartments in Nashville; Steel Creek South and Brookson Flats in Charlotte, N.C.; Ansley at Roberts Lake in Asheville, N.C.; Courtney Isles in Jacksonville, Fla.; and the Westlake Apartments in Orlando, Fla.

With the recent additions, FMG now manages more than 23,500 apartment homes valued at more than $2.5 billion across 12 states.

– Madeline Faber

Archer Malmo Expands In Cotton Exchange Building

Archer Malmo is growing again.

The agency has taken on the entire third floor of the historic Cotton Exchange building on Union Avenue and renovated the space to better suit its employees, of which there are 175 in Memphis and 205 firm-wide.

The firm’s PR and digital strategy teams are housed in the new space on the third floor.

The space was designed to encourage interaction and collaboration between team members. Features include offices along the exterior that have glass panels that let in natural light from windows.

There are three breakout meeting areas, including two large meeting tables and a “mini living room,” complete with a sectional and coffee table for informal meetings and co-working. There’s also a hotel-style workspace that functions as an office for non-Memphis employees, such as visiting Archer Malmo team members from Austin, Texas.

The expansion brings the agency’s total footprint in The Cotton Exchange to more than 48,000 square feet. The agency added 4,000 new square feet for a total of 7,000 on the third floor.

– Andy Meek

U of M Receives $242,500 Clean Energy Grant

The University of Memphis has been selected to receive a Clean Tennessee Energy Grant of $242,500 for enhancements at the Ned R. McWherter Library.

The project will consist of replacing a 330-ton, water-cooled chiller with a new variable-speed, high-efficiency chiller and a conversion of the existing cooling tower to variable speed at the library. The current chiller operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week; the new system will provide significant energy and cost savings.

The project enhancements are estimated to reduce energy consumption by 345,215 kilowatt hours annually and reduce maintenance and energy costs by $31,879.

– Don Wade

Boyd Moves to Remove Jail Time for Minor Pot Bust

Memphis City Council member Berlin Boyd is proposing a change in city ordinances that would make possession of less than a half ounce of marijuana in the city an offense that wouldn’t involve jail time.

The decriminalization proposal would mean an offender would pay a $50 fine, and Boyd wants the council to include an option for someone to perform community service work in lieu of the fine.

Council members discuss the proposal Tuesday, Aug. 23, in council committee sessions, with a vote on the first of three readings likely in September.

Boyd’s proposal surfaces the same week that Nashville’s Metro Council approved a similar ordinance on the first of three readings.

The Nashville version has drawn some criticism from police brass there that want the proposal to include more discretion for officers in the matter.

– Bill Dries

Federal Lawsuit Contests Beale Street Cover Charge

A pro se lawsuit filed in Memphis federal court this month seeks to end the Beale Street Entertainment District’s practice of charging a $10 entry fee for the district after 10 p.m. on Saturdays during the street’s summer peak.

The lawsuit filed by Lucille Catron, the widow of Beale Street Development Corp. leader Randle Catron, also claims that the BSDC still holds the master lease with the city for the district.

Catron has disputed the settlement of years of litigation in which the Beale Street Tourism Development Authority was created and became the entity that has the master lease with the city. In the settlement, BSDC was supposed to become an organization focused on the history and culture of Beale Street.

Catron seeks an end to the cover charge for admission to the street as well as $5 million in punitive damages for the practice. It also seeks to uphold terms of the old master lease.

– Bill Dries

South Main Artspace Lofts Sets Groundbreaking

The South Main Artspace Lofts will be moving into South Main this year. The $17 million project, first announced in December 2011, has secured its final round of financing and has set a formal groundbreaking for Sept. 29.

Montgomery Martin Contractors recently filed $10.5 million in building permits for construction

of the affordable, arts-centric apartment building.

The 58-unit complex will be split between the existing United Warehouse at 138 Saint Paul and 30,230 square feet of new construction at 120 Saint Paul Ave.

Architects Looney Ricks Kiss’ design includes 58 live/work residential units. The lower level of the United Warehouse building will be converted into 7,000 square feet of commercial, gallery and community space.

The new four-story building bears an industrial design with metal paneling and steel canopies. The area between the building and St. Paul Avenue would be turned into a plaza with an outdoor arts garden and space for seating and gathering.

Construction will continue for 12 months, said Heidi Zimmer, senior vice president of real estate development with Artspace. In January of next year, Artspace will hold information sessions for interested artists looking to reserve an apartment.

Rents will range from $550 to a studio to $850 for two and three bedroom units. The rent is determined by both income level and unit size, Zimmer said. Those rates will remain capped for a minimum of 15 years.

“One of the benefits of this porject, even in South Main, is quickly reviatlizing a property,” Zimmer said. “I think rents are going up as a whole in that area, and rents at Artspace are locked in on affordability.”

Zimmer said that a commitment from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency pushed Artspace’s fundraising effort to the finish line. The state/federal agency is supplying bond financing, low income housing tax credits and a $500,000 trust fund grant. Hyde Family Foundations, Pyramid Peak Foundation, Autozone and Loeb Properties are among some of the other local groups that contributed to the project.

– Madeline Faber

Lipscomb Pitts Changes Breakfast Club Name

The Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club has rebranded as cityCURRENT.

The new name reflects a transition that’s taken place over the last 11 years, as the organization has evolved from a small group of companies hosting a handful of networking events and a namesake Signature Breakfast series into a philanthropic partnership focused on being a force for good. With more than 75 corporate partners, the organization now hosts more than 150 free events each year, along with an array of media to enrich and engage the Mid-South.

The name cityCURRENT was meant to reflect the organization’s portfolio of media products in broadcast, print and social media, like The SPARK and SPARK Awards, which invite people to be the electrical current that powers good things in the city.

The LPBC was originally established in 2005 as a simple networking organization hosting 12-15 events a year, including the cornerstone Signature Breakfast series. Today, the effort hosts more than 150 free events each year, including workshops and seminars, a variety of lunch programs, receptions, a golf scramble, tennis and social mixers, and more, along with its Signature Breakfast series featuring prominent national guest speakers.

– Andy Meek

Tigers Tight End Montiel On Campbell Award List

Senior University of Memphis tight end Daniel Montiel has been named to the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Watch List. The award is given annually to the top offensive player in Division I football who exhibits the characteristics that define Earl Campbell: integrity, performance, teamwork, sportsmanship, drive and tenacity to persist in the pursuit of reaching goals.

In addition to the above characteristics, the nominees must meet one or more of the following criteria: be born in Texas and/or graduated from a Texas high school and/or play at a Texas-based junior college or four-year college. Montiel, who was born in San Antonio, graduated from Arlington High School in Texas before joining the Memphis roster in 2012 and redshirting his first year.

The watch list will be narrowed to 16 semifinalists in November and then five finalists in December.

Montiel is a member of the CoSIDA Academic All-District team last year as a redshirt junior, Montiel is a nine-time Tiger 3.0 Club honoree and has been named to the 2013, 2014 and 2015 American Athletic Conference All-Academic Football teams. He has twice been recognized as a Tiger Academic 30 honoree for having one of the 30 highest GPAs in the athletic department and has most recently volunteered with Youth Villages and the Hope to Dream program with Ashley Homestores.

– Don Wade

Burgess New Chairman Of County Commission

Melvin Burgess is the new chairman of the Shelby County Commission.

The second-term Democratic commissioner ran unopposed for the leadership post and was elected by the body at its Monday, Aug. 15, session.

Burgess takes over as chairman on Sept. 1, succeeding Republican commissioner Terry Roland.

Heidi Shafer was elected chairman pro tempore for a one-year term as well. She also was unopposed for the post.

In other action, the commission delayed a vote on a special use permit for a gravel mining operation by Standard Construction Co. Inc. in the Barret’s Chapel area.

Standard has been mining gravel in the area for more than 20 years and other companies have been doing the same for more than 40 years. The permit request drew opposition. But Nathan Bicks, the attorney for Standard, said the application also had support from area residents.

The commission also voted to appoint another full-time judicial commissioner and a part-time commissioner at its Sept. 12 meeting and to interview applicants for the positions during Sept. 7 committee sessions.

The body appointed attorney Shayla Purifoy as a new judicial commissioner on Aug. 1.

A referendum ordinance that would give the county commission final say if the mayor fires the county attorney was approved Monday on the second of three readings.

The commission approved $100,000 in funding for a job classification pay study for county government and approved an interlocal agreement with the city of Bartlett for Shelby County General Sessions Environmental Court to hear cases involving alleged environmental violations in Bartlett.

– Bill Dries

BancorpSouth Puts Two Planned Mergers on Hold

A downgrade of BancorpSouth’s Community Reinvestment Act rating means two mergers have been tabled for the time being. BancorpSouth announced in January 2014 its intent to acquire Ouachita Bancshares Corp. of West Monroe, Louisiana, and Central Community Corp. of Temple, Texas. The merger agreements were valued at a combined $325 million in stock and cash at the time.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. notified BancorpSouth Thursday that it was lowering its CRA rating from “satisfactory” to “needs to improve.”

The bank says it’s unlikely to have the mergers approved until its CRA rating returns to “satisfactory.”

The Community Reinvestment Act is intended to encourage financial institutions to help meet the credit needs of the communities in which they operate, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.

– The Associated Press

Char Plans to Open In October on Highland Row

Steak restaurant Char planned for Highland Row has pushed its opening date. Originally slated for a July opening, Char has announced that it will open in October for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.

The restaurant at 431 S. Highland St. will be a 220-seat venue with two private dining rooms and a lounge. The menu will be Southern-inspired. Hiring for the 75-person restaurant team will begin in September.

– Madeline Faber

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 331 19,904
MORTGAGES 0 391 23,305
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 83 8,387
BUILDING PERMITS 0 338 40,366
BANKRUPTCIES 1 232 13,336
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 76 6,213
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 125 13,120
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 94 4,936

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