Commercial Real Estate & Business News – October 18, 2017

There was a little less vacant office space in the U.S. at the end of the third quarter. The national vacancy rate, according to the company, dropped 10 basis points (bps) quarter-over-quarter, down to 12.9 percent. Continuing a recent pattern, suburban office markets continued to set the pace for the decline. The vacancy rate in suburban markets decreased 20 bps for the quarter, down to 14.1 percent, while downtown vacancy dropped to 10 bps to 10.6 percent...»

Greater Phoenix posted a very strong third quarter in the retail real estate sector, with highest net absorption in several years and vacancy dropping to its lowest level in nearly a decade. Net absorption during third quarter 2017 totaled more than 680,000 square feet, marking the strongest quarter in four years. This brings the year-to-date net absorption figure to more than 1.6 million square feet...»

A former Sam's Club big box store in Phoenix is becoming an 850-worker call center for Consumer Cellular. Consumer Cellular is an Oregon-based no contract telecommunications company. Sam's Club is a membership arm of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT). It competes with Costco (Nasdaq: COST). Consumer Cellular is leasing the 164,000-square-foot former big box located off the Interstate 17 near Bell Road...»

Small businesses have a great chance to succeed in Phoenix, according to a new ranking from Yelp. The San Francisco-based business-review service released this week its inaugural Local Economic Outlook, which uses Yelp data to rank the 50 metro areas where small businesses have the most economic opportunity and chance to succeed. Phoenix came in at No. 15 on the 50-city index...»

Fannie Mae kept its full-year economic growth forecast unchanged at 2.2%. "While we expect full-year economic growth for 2017 to come in at the same rate projected in our prior forecast, we now believe that total home sales will be essentially flat this year compared with the moderate rise predicted in the prior forecast," Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan said. "Despite muted underlying inflation, we continue to expect the Fed to raise rates for the third time this year in December." This outlook for a third rate hike this year is shared by most experts, including Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen herself...»

Commercial Real Estate & Business News – October 17, 2017

Overall, September was a good month for retail sales with a substantial rise in spending supported by both higher gas prices and an increase in the number of people buying vehicles. Outside of these two segments, especially in pure retail and foodservice, spending also ticked up albeit to a more moderate degree...»

Although rent growth has slowed in Phoenix in the first half of the year, it continues to outpace the national average. The apartment market's affordability and a high job availability continue to play a decisive role in population growth, which, in turn, has kept developers busy balancing out the rising demand with the new supply...»

Housing Trust Group is putting the finishing touches on a $63 million apartment in Mesa that will have one of the largest pools in the state. HTG is building the Aviva - Mesa development at Baseline Road and the Loop 202. It is opening in January. HTG has picked Mark-Taylor Residential to handle the property management for the multifamily project...»

A ceremony to announce the groundbreaking of Chandler Corporate Center, a 114,000-square-foot office development by VanTrust Real Estate (VanTrust), was held. The Class A office project, located at 350 N. McClintock Dr., is being constructed by Layton Construction Company and was designed by Butler Design Group...»

Amazon's very public search for a second headquarters has set off a scramble among civic, business and political leaders around the country as they attempt to lure one of the biggest-ever corporate expansions. The highly publicized contest, which closes Thursday, has stoked urban pride as well as urban insecurities, as municipalities evaluate their strengths and weaknesses in hopes of landing up to 50,000 high-paying jobs and an incalculable boost in prestige...»

Commercial Real Estate & Business News – October 16, 2017

The U.S. economy has enjoyed stable, long-term growth in recent years, yet remains vulnerable to federal government dysfunction or aggressive Federal Reserve moves. August marked 83 consecutive months of U.S. job growth-the longest run on record-though it was finally broken with a small loss in September (provided that figure isn't revised upward to be positive)...»

Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. (NASDAQ: SFM) has had serious competition since Whole Foods Market was acquired by (NASDAQ: AMZN), and the e-commerce giant slashed Whole Foods' prices near the end of August. Despite that increased competition, Sprouts is still pushing for growth. The Phoenix-based grocer announced to open 30 new stores in 2018, including nine during the first quarter...»

The 148,000-square-foot Walmart represents the single largest capital investment at Metrocenter Mall in decades. Built new from the ground up, the store is built on the site of the former Broadway building, which had been vacant since 2006...»

Five Star Development has received $282 million in construction financing for the next stage of development of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Residences in Paradise Valley. Owned and developed by Five Star, The Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley is part of a master-planned community spanning 122 acres. The property includes a 200-room Ritz-Carlton hotel that will be surrounded by 80 villas, ranging from 1,700 to 4,500 square feet, as well as 39 single-family homes, ranging from 4,500 to 10,000 square feet. Five Star also plans to build luxury townhomes and a shopping and dining destination known as The Palmeraie...»

The high-rise condominium tower known as Optima Kierland is currently more than 75 percent sold. The community comprises a total of 220 units, with only 55 still available. The company topped out on the upscale condo building in Phoenix earlier this year; the development is a pilot program for the city's International Green Construction Code, promoting safe and sustainable construction...»

Commercial Real Estate & Business News – October 13, 2017

Judi Butterworth, Sanford Burstyn and Ryan Sarbinoff say malls and shopping centers - and the retailers within them - will look very different in as little as three years. It's fallout and realignment of the retail and commercial real estate sectors in the Phoenix area, all courtesy of "We will have more balance and equilibrium between e-commerce and brick-and-mortar...»

As high-net-worth (HNW) investors and family offices look to increase their portfolio allocations in real estate, the multifamily sector continues to offer attractive investment opportunities. HNW investors demanding predictable cash flows from core properties or value-add yields on ground-up and redevelopment projects can meet these objectives in the multifamily sector...»
Homes in Arizona have appreciated faster than homes almost anywhere else. In particular homeowners around the Phoenix metro area - in cities like Chandler, Gilbert and Scottsdale - have seen their home values increase by over 40%. This makes it a great spot to be a homeowner. Combine that with the large number of multi-bedroom homes and you have a great market to find a family home...»
Lost in the coverage of Amazon's very public search for a second, multi-billion dollar national headquarters, was the barely-noticed lease the company signed in New York City last month. Yet that lease could signal billions of dollars in losses coming for retail commercial real estate across the country...»
Raw land situated in the heart of the bolstering 19th Avenue corridor sold for $855,000, or $11.31 per square foot. ORION Investment Real Estate's Zack Mishkin and Dennis Hoth, CCIM were the exclusive brokers in this transaction. Originally listed with R-3 zoning designation, the land site closed escrow with an R-4A zoning designation...»

Commercial Real Estate & Business News – October 12, 2017

The nation's largest grocery operator by revenue is exploring a sale of its convenience store business. The Kroger Co. said Wednesday it had hired Goldman Sachs to identify, review and evaluate options for its 784 C-store properties, which operate under five different banners in 18 states. ...»

Well-rounded activity could help market surpass absorption record set in 2005. The Phoenix industrial market is on pace to hit an all-time high absorption record. The last peak came in 2005, when the market absorbed 7.9 million square feet of industrial space during a single calendar year....»

Walmart's new store in Metrocenter opens today. The 148,000-square-foot Walmart Supercenter is the first step in Carlyle Development Group's plans to bring life back to the mall in west Phoenix, which was once the largest shopping mall in the western U.S. when it first opened in 1973....»

Uptown Phoenix has been a hotbed for development, so much so that the Urban Land Institute of Arizona recently named Camelback Road and Central Avenue the Valley's "hottest intersection." The bulk of that development has been restaurants and retail, with places such as St. Francis, Uptown Plaza and Upward Projects' cluster of restaurants taking the spotlight. ...»

Good news in the nation's battle for housing affordability-a decrease in the percentage of U.S. renters considered rent-burdened, defined as spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing-may in part be shaded by the fact that an increasingly wealthy group of Americans have entered the rental population. ...»

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