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Friday, April 27, 2007

Walgreens to build in Fairlawn ~ via / Akron Beacon Journal

Story from the April 25th edition of "Akron Beacon Journal"

Walgreens to build in Fairlawn

Drugstore chooses corner across from Rite Aid at Market and Miller
By Marilyn Miller
Beacon Journal business writer

FAIRLAWN - In a sure sign of spring, work crews are clearing a site for construction of a new Walgreens drugstore at Miller Road and West Market Street.
The Fairlawn City Council approved the zoning last fall.

Levey and Co. of Akron is the developer.
The company consolidated three lots on the northwest corner into one lot large enough to accommodate the store and parking lot.
The demolition involved three buildings: the Quality Scrub car wash and detail shop as well as the former Honey Baked Ham store, which moved to the Montrose shopping area.
Levey said the company purchased the Honey Baked Ham store, but will lease the land that formerly included the car wash and detail shop.
The estimated price tag is $1.7 million.

``The Walgreens pharmacy had been looking to expand into the Fairlawn area for some time. We are very fortunate to have found a site,'' Levey said. ``It will be a standard Walgreens with 14,700 square feet with a brick finish and an upgrade to the landscaping.''

Fairlawn Mayor William Roth said the drugstore site will have 30 percent green space and two entrances, one on Miller and another on Market Street, 200 feet away from the main street.
``In the past 12 years, three out of four corners at the intersection of Miller and Market have been redeveloped,'' Roth said. ``We have eliminated curb cuts and added deceleration lanes. Another drugstore gives residents an extra choice.''
Rite Aid is located directly across the street on the northeast corner. It opened in 1998.
``Competition is good. There are a lot of medical-associated businesses moving this way,'' Levey said.
``This is the first Walgreens store outside of Akron on the west side.''
The closest Walgreens is on West Market Street near Frank Boulevard, he said.
``We think when the store is finished it will be a big improvement at that site,'' Levey said.
The Summit County Buildings Department said the blueprints have not been submitted yet. Walgreens still must meet building codes and obtain a permit before construction can begin.
Levey said the store is expected to open by early November.

Marilyn Miller can be reached at 330-996-3098 or 800-777-7232 or

Monday, April 02, 2007

And here comes the first big Domino....

Major home lender files for bankruptcy

By GARY GENTILE, AP Business Writer 50 minutes ago

LOS ANGELES - Subprime lender New Century Financial Corp., once the nation's second-largest provider of mortgages to high-risk borrowers, filed Monday for bankruptcy protection and immediately fired 3,200 workers, or 54 percent of its work force.

The company said it intends to sell off its major assets.
"The Chapter 11 process provides the best means for selling our servicing and loan origination operations to financially sound parties," president and chief executive Brad A. Morrice said in a statement.

"It is our hope that potential buyers will be in a stronger position than we are to employ many of our associates on an ongoing basis," he said.
New Century made the move after exploring a variety of possible ways to stay in business, he said.
New Century was the latest subprime lender to fall on hard times amid a spike in mortgage defaults caused by borrowers unable to make payments.
Subprime loans target borrowers with low credit scores. The mortgages carry relatively high interest rates but can also offer low initial payments.
More than two dozen subprime lenders have shut down in recent months and others are scrambling to stay in business.

New Century said it had agreed to sell its loan servicing business to Carrington Capital Management LLC and its affiliate for about $139 million, subject to the approval of the bankruptcy court.
CIT Group and Greenwich Capital Financial Products Inc. have agreed to provide up to $150 million in working capital to facilitate the reorganization process, the company said.
New Century has also agreed to sell certain loans and residual interest in some trusts to Greenwich Capital for $50 million.

New Century, based in Irvine, filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The move had been expected for several weeks.
"This was a very hard step for me personally and clearly not the outcome I would have preferred," Morrice said.
Like other subprime lenders, New Century profited during the real estate boom, when appreciation rates soared and equity protected most homebuyers from defaulting on their loans. Most could simply refinance or sell homes at a big enough profit to pay off mortgages and move on.

Investment banks also jumped in, eager to buy loans from sub-prime lenders then slice them up into bond products to sell on Wall Street.
That helped New Century stock hit its historic high of $65.95 in December 2004. Its loan production for 2005 hit a record $56.1 billion.

On Feb. 7, however, New Century informed the Securities and Exchange Commission that it would have to restate financial results for the first three quarters of 2006. The company said it had failed to accurately tally losses from loan repurchases.
It also faces federal probes by the SEC and the U.S. Justice Department. And shareholders, angry over their losses and alleging mismanagement by the company's directors and officers, have fired off several lawsuits.

Last week, New Century said several of its lenders planned to sell their outstanding mortgage loans and use the proceeds to offset payment obligations by the company, while retaining the right to recover the difference.

The company has signed consent agreements with several states and received cease-and-desist orders from others in recent weeks.

The state agreements are intended to keep New Century from accepting new mortgage applications on grounds that it has violated state laws, including failing to fund mortgage loans after closing.