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VOL. 132 | NO. 61 | Monday, March 27, 2017

Daily Digest

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Most-Expensive Home Sale of 2017 Recorded

A 4,624-square-foot residence in Downtown Memphis has sold for $1.7 million – the highest-selling home in the greater Memphis area in 2017, and the fifth-most expensive home to close in the Mid-South over the past year.

Joshua Spotts, the top-producing individual real estate agent for Crye-Leike Realtors’ regional headquarters, brokered the deal.

“This house is truly a work of art and, frankly, a structural engineering masterpiece,” said Spotts. “It was an honor to represent both the buyer and seller on this property, and it’s exciting to see so much real estate movement in Memphis right now.”

Crye-Leike cited the development of the Tennessee Brewery and ongoing improvements around the South Main area as reasons the market in that area is thriving.

Spotts currently represents several homes of similar caliber, including a 4,940-square-foot house down the street at 477 Tennessee St., which is listed at just under $1.9 million.

Sales like this, coupled with the warm weather and tight inventory has helped Spotts’ office report its best February closings in 10 years.

According to a recent report by the Memphis Area Association of Realtors, there are currently almost 1,000 fewer homes on the market than there were in February 2016, which is driving home sale prices upward.

– Patrick Lantrip

California-Based Company Buys Land Near Airport

A vacated parcel near the Memphis International Airport that most recently was a parking lot has sold for $2 million, according to a warranty deed filed with the Shelby County Register of Deeds on March 20.

California-based Myrmidon Corp. purchased the land at 2303 Democrat Road from LAZ 2303 Democrat Memphis LLC, according to the documents.

Larry J. Stubbs signed the deed as manager of LAZ Parking Realty Investors LLC.

The 5,884-square-foot structure that currently sits on the 8.3-acre parcel was built in 1995 as an automobile dealership, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property.

It was last appraised for $1.6 million in 2016.

– Patrick Lantrip

Madison Avenue Park Sets Opening Date

A Downtown pocket park across the street from the Brass Door dubbed the Madison Avenue Park announced plans to officially open the public April 21 during an all-day event.

The park, which is located on the site of an abandoned Burger King, is a localized example of a nationwide movement to rediscover and activate previously dormant spaces and places.

“I’ve worked in Downtown Memphis for 20 years,” said Scott Crosby, a partner at the law firm of Burch, Porter & Johnson and part owner of the Brass Door. “I’ve always been fascinated with ‘third places’ – where do people live when they’re not at work and they’re not at home. To some degree that was what creating the Brass Door was about, and it worked. When the Burger King became available, we knew we could do something great with it too.”

Similar efforts can be found in other core areas such as the South Main corridor, Mississippi Riverfront, the Pinch District, and the Edge and Crosstown neighborhoods.

Efforts to restore the once-blighted property began in 2013 when Crosby and his partners purchased it after an engineering study found the building, which had been empty since the late 1990s, was beyond repair, and the owners were facing possible legal action from the city of Memphis.

Crosby said various scenarios were debated, including a second pub or a surface parking lot, before deciding on making it into a park.

They then partnered with the PARC Foundation, a nonprofit founded by artist David Deutsch dedicated to “strengthening communities,” to design and fund the construction of the park.

The multileveled space includes ample green space as well as a small performance stage at the peak of its top level and a vitrine gallery space underneath. It was co-designed by Davies Toews Architecture and built by general contractor Montgomery Martin.

No tax dollars or other public incentives were used in any phase of the project.

Visit facebook.com/madisonavenuepark for a list of the opening day events.

– Patrick Lantrip

MLGW Moving Office Off Summer

Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division is moving from its North Community Office, 2424 Summer Ave., though the utility says it will no longer pursue a site on East Parkway across from Overton Park as a possible location.

“We want our customers to be able to transact business with MLGW in an environment that is safe, convenient and that they can be proud of. The relocation of the North (Summer) Community Office needs to be a win-win for all of our customers,” said Jerry R. Collins Jr., president and chief executive officer of MLGW. “The East Parkway site meets the first three of these criteria, but it is clearly not a win-win for all of our customers. Therefore, MLGW will continue its search for a community office location that meets all four criteria.”

The utility was criticized for the East Parkway site selection. But other citizens who live in the area have been critical for years of the current location next to the Paris Adult Theatre.

– Bill Dries

Tennessee Unemployment Dips in February

Tennessee’s preliminary unemployment rate was 5.3 percent in February, down slightly from the revised January rate of 5.4 percent, according to the state Department of Labor & Workforce Development.

By comparison, the U.S. preliminary unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in February, also down a tenth of a percentage point from the previous month.

Total nonfarm employment increased with 8,300 additional jobs from January to February. Education/health services, mining/logging/construction and manufacturing experienced the largest employment increases.

Over the past year, Tennessee’s rate has increased by six-tenths of a percentage point while the national rate has declined by two-tenths. The state’s nonfarm employment has added 66,100 jobs during the year, with the largest increases being in leisure/hospitality, trade/transportation/utilities, and professional/business services.

– Daily News staff

PROPERTY SALES 63 441 6,018
MORTGAGES 72 450 6,721
BANKRUPTCIES 0 1,045 4,093