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VOL. 131 | NO. 95 | Thursday, May 12, 2016


Bill Dries

Last Word: GMF Aftermath, Cop Counts and Budgets and Richardson Towers' Fall

By Bill Dries

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More on the move by Bank of New York to have a receiver appointed for the Warren and Tulane Apartments currently owned by Global Ministries Foundation.

GMF CEO Rev. Richard Hamlet responded Wednesday to the filing in Memphis federal court saying he agrees that a receiver for the property is a good idea. But he doesn’t agree – and in fact, strongly disagrees with the claims and reasoning behind the bank’s call for the receiver.

Hamlet also said via email that the bank has checks from GMF that should refute the claims in the complaint.

There is a lot of paperwork with this complaint. The 25-page complaint has 17 exhibits beyond that including a 95-page indenture document and this is just getting started.

There is also a separate 13-page memorandum of law and facts that offered some more specificity about the claims the bank is making against GMF, specifically the bank's claim that there is “an appearance of fraud.”

Since we posted our first story on this, U.S. District Judge Sheryl H. Lipman has transferred the case to U.S. District Judge Jon P. McCalla. The Feds, in the form of HUD, have filed notice that they have an interest in the proceedings. And McCalla has set a May 19 expedited hearing on the matter.

The Shelby County Schools budget for the coming fiscal year is now coming into view and the amount of red ink is $27 million as the SCS board prepares to vote on this Monday. Here are the preliminaries of how the school system got from an $86 million gap between revenues and expenditures to $27 million. We’ll have more on this in the Friday edition including reaction from school board members.

Meanwhile, budget season at City Hall is going pretty smoothly and on its way to a June 7 wrap up set of votes on the budgets and tax rate. But that doesn’t mean city council members are without questions, especially about the Memphis Police Department, its size and its interim director who will likely be putting himself in the running for the job on a permanent basis.

A major concern for Mayor Jim Strickland is the estimated $15 million hit city revenues will take with a rollback of the state’s Hall tax on dividends and investment income in Tennessee.

Our Nashville correspondent, Sam Stockard, in his View from the Hill column, reviews how this happened toward the end of the legislative session in Nashville last month.

More on history and drama from the actors in the WGN television show “Underground” who were in town this week.

April home sales figures in Shelby County are up 19 percent from April of 2015. Average home prices up too, according to the Chandler Reports data.

The Chandler numbers on mortgages in April show a 31 percent gain from a year ago in the total purchase mortgage volume.

In the Memphis Real Estate Recap: A $15.5 million building permit for a new student apartment tower at Mynders and Brister, near the University of Memphis, details of the $13.7 million permit pulled for the new Lakeland middle schools, Olymbec buys the Tire & Battery Corp. warehouse in Hickory Hill for $4.8 million, Aspire charter schools begins work on a $3.3 million elementary school in Hickory Hill and Hnedak Bobo moves from Front Street to One Commerce Square.

In a related note, Richardson Towers is not long for this world. Fences and blue tarp are up around the U of M building which students moved out of just a few months ago.
Richardson got a bit of a reprieve and yet another group of students who can say they lived there when the new and nearby Centennial Place residence hall ran a bit long in being completed.
Centennial opened in January.

A gathering of nonprofit leaders at Temple Israel this week and several speakers talking about the growing role these organizations play in the development of Memphis.

A bit late on seeing this. It went up on YouTube last month. But it’s never too late to talk up South Memphis and that’s just what Dulaa does in this music video.

PROPERTY SALES 36 154 6,546
MORTGAGES 34 94 4,129
BUILDING PERMITS 201 554 15,915
BANKRUPTCIES 43 126 3,396