Commercial Real Estate & Business News – May 26, 2016

Mixed reviews for a “no respect” recovery but no recession in sight, says the former Fed leader.. The economy was on the mind of thousands of real estate professionals at RECon this week, and a former Federal Reserve chairman took the occasion to downplay worries about an imminent downturn. “I don’t see any reason why the odds of a recession are any bigger than usual”... Read more »
Towards the end of last year, murmurs were hitting the industry – would 2016 be just as good as 2015? Yardi Matrix’s U.S. Multifamily Outlook suggests it may not be quite as good, but it will definitely be close. The multifamily software company forecasts rental growth of about 5% for 2016, just under the 6.3% rate experienced in 2015. Yardi finds jobs and population growth will keep demand high, raising rents at above-historic norms...Read more »
More consumers are choosing to live in urban centers, creating opportunities for retail property developers and retailers who don’t mind being creative and thinking outside the box, execuitves said at a RECon panel discussion. “Retailers have to adjust their mindsets when doing urban retail,” said Jason Richter, principal at Capricorn Asset Management in New York... Read more »
Arizona’s 9.7 percent growth in jobs since 2009 tops the national rate of 9.3 percent. But new job growth is only one metric by which Arizona topped the U.S. economy over the past seven years, according to State Economic Snapshots assembled by the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress... Read more »
A Canadian company that operates more than 2,700 restaurants and fast-food outlets has agreed to acquire Kahala Brands, the Scottsdale-based parent of Cold Stone Creamery and other businesses... Read more »

Commercial Real Estate & Business News – May 20, 2016

The commercial real estate industry has known for some time that asset prices may have reached a ceiling for this cycle, but now data from multiple research firms confirms this. Moody’s and Real Capital Analytics report that their joint Commercial Property Price Index (CPPI) increased by 0.2 percent in March, after a 0.2 percent decline in February. According to the firms’ researchers, “The national all-property index is roughly at the same level it achieved in December 2015... Read more »
Phoenix crept closer to hitting the top five in U.S. city population in 2015, with less than 4,500 people from passing Philadelphia, which is also a city-county. That’s one tidbit in the hundreds of pages of data of city, county, and unincorporated area populations released by the U.S. Census from 2015 estimates... Read more »
New restaurants are landing in Evergreen Development’s redevelopment, a former semiconductor plant site on Bell Road in north Phoenix.Evergreen is building the 31-acre Trellis on Bell mixed-use project at 12th Street and Bell Road. It was previously a semiconductor plant for STMicroelectronics and then Western Digital Corp. The shutdown computer chip factor has been torn down for Evergreen’s mix of apartments, retail and single-family housing... Read more »
Once again, retail real estate professionals are gearing up for the largest show in their business, and as host, the ICSC’s cup is running over. The Leasing Mall for the annual RECon show in Las Vegas sold out completely months ago with more than 1,100 registered companies, and the Marketplace will be similarly packed with vendors and product service providers... Read more »
Arizona added nearly 81,000 jobs year over year in April, increasing the state's workforce from last year by 3.7 percent, more than double the population growth rate, according to the newest numbers from the Arizona Department of Administration. The monthly unemployment rate ticked up to 5.5 percent from 5.4 percent in March... Read more »

Commercial Real Estate & Business News – May 19, 2016

Multifamily developers continue to churn out record levels of new supply ahead of what is expected to be a 'peak year' for apartment construction in 2016. The number of new apartments under construction is at its highest level since the 1980s, and double the annual historical average seen over the last 34 years. Almost 205,000 units delivered over the four quarters ending March 31, 2016, a 2% annual increase, including 46,000 units added during the seasonally slow first quarter... Read more »
A proposal to construct a four-story apartment complex adjacent to the historic San Marcos golf course in downtown Chandler is drawing opposition from some nearby residents and small-business owners, who say the project will block views of the 103-year-old course and compromise the character of the area. The objections have come as many more in the area support the plan. What is the plan?... Read more »
Higher caps for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will deliver some welcome liquidity to a still booming multifamily investment market. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced on May 4th that it has increased the 2016 multifamily lending caps for Fannie and Freddie from $31 billion to $35 billion each, effective immediately. That is a substantive move higher from caps that were set at $30 billion and $25.9 billion for both 2014 and 2013...Read more »
China Vanke Co.'s reported investment in a proposed 43-story apartment tower just a few blocks from Amazon's global Seattle headquarters underscores both the growing appetite and widening market search for U.S. assets by Chinese development companies. At a reported $200 million, the China Vanke joint venture with Walnut Creek, CA-based Laconia Development would exceed the aggregate $194 million in Chinese capital invested into the...Read more »
South Scottsdale continues to be a popular spot for development in 2016, with two residential towers slated to replace vacant storefronts and a partially abandoned auto dealership along Scottsdale Road, according to plans filed with the city. L'Esperance, a five-story complex proposed for the northwestern corner of Scottsdale Road and Earll Drive, could bring 77 apartments and ground-floor retail space to a prominent corner at the southern gateway into Old Town Scottsdale... Read more »

Commercial Real Estate & Business News – May 18, 2016

More Millennials and boomerang buyers bouncing back after foreclosure are purchasing metro Phoenix homes than ever. But it’s not just because they want a place of their own. Rents for homes, condominiums and apartments climbed sharply in many Valley neighborhoods during the past few years and are still on the rise...Read more »
In a letter to the editor of Casa Grande Dispatch, AZ Sourcing says two of its Pinal County projects are moving forward. “We are pleased to report that we have the funding necessary to move forward on both the development of PhoenixMart and the redevelopment of the former Tanger Outlet Center, wrote Marshall Stahl, AZ Sourcing chief operating officer... Read more »
Off to a wobbly start in 2016, the lending landscape for commercial real estate is expected to bolster as the year progresses. Yet investors and lenders remain uncertain about the extent of improvement, as the industry faces looming loan maturities and regulatory measures. The CMBS market has been on shaky ground recently, as concerns about the stock market, China and the global economy dampened lender and investor confidence...Read more »
Commercial real estate executives appear relatively optimistic about the general state of
 the market in 2016, with many predicting higher than average deal volumes for their firms. When considering the adoption of new technology, most believe that the influx of CRE tech companies is revolutionizing the industry. These executives recognize that while the U.S. CRE market is recovering, there are still certain segments that are poised for significant decline... Read more »
New investors with little or no experience in operating affordable housing are bidding high for aging rental housing communities built with affordable housing programs. “Affordable housing has become a commodity that is traded through brokers,” says Scott Kline, vice president for the National Housing Trust (NHT). “And there are a lot of bidders.” These deals can make sense for for-profit investors, at least in the short term... Read more »

Commercial Real Estate & Business News – May 17, 2016

Commercial real estate leaders are confident in the strength of the commercial real estate market. But they’re also realistic enough to recognize that all commercial sectors will face their own challenges in the coming months. And they’re especially worried that rising interest rates could put the brakes on what has been such steady commercial real estate activity during the last two-plus years. That’s the result from a May survey from CIT Group, in partnership with Forbes Insight... Read more »
With recovery well underway in the Phoenix metro, commercial real estate activity is matching the level of the rebound. Office, flex and warehouse property types seem particularly in demand for one investment venture. Three business parks totaling 312,193 square feet have been acquired by a venture of San Juan Capistrano, CA-based Birtcher Anderson Realty in conjunction with JCR Capital of Denver. The joint venture acquired the parks from Presson Properties for approximately... Read more »
Grocery store chain Smart & Final Stores Inc. said it has converted all 33 stores it bought from Haggen in December to Smart & Final Extra! stores. The store openings were part of an aggressive growth plan for the Commerce-based retailer, which plans to open 100 new stores over the next four years and hire at least 5,000 employees to staff those stores... Read more »
Vancouver, BC-based Macdonald Development Corporation (MDC) is expanding its Arizona presence with the purchase of 0.403 acres of CC-zoned land, which is located at 6th Street and College Avenue in a premier downtown location. MDC purchased a 50% interest in the land parcel from property owner, Spike Lawrence, co-founder of Tempe-based Lawrence & Geyser Development Corp. Lawrence will maintain 50% ownership in the land, and work with MDC... Read more »
San Francisco-based real estate company Hamilton Zanze (HZ) announced the recent acquisition of Tresa at Arrowhead for $47,000,000 ($130,556/unit). The 360unit Class B+ apartment community is located in Glendale, AZ, approximately 10 miles northwest of Downtown Phoenix. Tresa at Arrowhead was built in 1998 and is 0.5 miles from the Arrowhead Towne Center and 1 mile from the vibrant P83 Entertainment District... Read more »
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