Commercial Real Estate & Business News – April 15, 2014

Consumers Feeling Better About Current Conditions, Outlook; PPI Rises in March

The preliminary Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for April came in at 82.6 on Friday, according to the university, an increase from 80.0 at the end of March, and 79.9 in mid-March. The latest reading is the highest since last summer. Both components were up. Consumer expectations came in at 73.3, compared with a final March reading of 70.0. Current conditions rose to 97.1, compared with the final March reading of 95.7. Expectations probably gained because of higher confidence in the employment market, which seems to have made strides since a case of the winter blahs, as well as optimism about rising income… Read more »

NRF: Retail Sales Climb in March

Spurred by warmer spring weather, U.S. retail sales, which exclude automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, increased 0.8% adjusted month-to-month in March and 1.6% unadjusted year-over-year, according to estimates from the National Retail Federation (NRF)… Read more »

Real-Estate Crowdfunding Finds Its Footing

Before last year, Ed Medley had never invested in commercial real estate. Now, he’s a part-owner of shopping malls, mobile-home parks and apartment buildings from Los Angeles to Tennessee… Read more »

Market Trend: Phoenix Office Vacancy Down to 17.8%

The vacancy rate was down over the previous quarter, with net absorption totaling positive 750,157 square feet in the first quarter. That compares to positive 701,474 square feet in the fourth quarter 2013. Vacant sublease space increased in the quarter, ending the quarter at 790,491 square feet… Read more »

DriveTime Chairman Acquires Vacant F-1 Race Factory Building

Benderson Development, a vertically integrated developer of commercial properties, has completed the sale of the former F-1 Race Factory building—now known as Tech 143—for $9.4m or $82.58 per square foot. The acquiring entity, Verde Investments, Inc. is a real estate investment vehicle used by DriveTime chairman, Earnest Garcia. Garcia paid $3.4m in cash and secured an additional $6m in financing with MidFirst Bank… Read more »

Commercial Real Estate & Business News – April 14, 2014

New Industrial Park in Gilbert

The project known as Park Lucero is located on 48.1 acres at the northwest corner of Mustang Drive and Germann Road near the Chandler/Gilbert border. The site has frontage along the Loop 202 freeway and Germann Road and is directly adjacent to more than one million square feet of retail amenities. Construction will begin summer 2014… Read more »

Phoenix Developer on Mission to Save Historic Buildings

For more than 20 years, he has returned numerous warehouses to commerce, including those that now house the Bentley Gallery at Bentley Projects and the Duce restaurant, bar and clothing store. In a city where demolishing deteriorating structures has been the norm, Levine became one of the first to start buying old buildings for the sole purpose of preserving and transforming them… Read more »

Cities Where Real Estate Investors are Finding Deals

Investors are draining out of formerly foreclosure-torn cities like Phoenix and Las Vegas, but that doesn’t mean they’re abandoning real estate altogether. Instead they’re relocating to cheaper, less competitive locales, a trend that’s expected to continue… Read more »

ULI Special Report: Smart Moves for Smart Capital

While institutional capital isn’t necessarily known for its flexibility and innovation, an environment of accelerating change in business conditions has some companies adjusting their strategies for securing high yields while minimizing risk. A panel of industry innovators met this Thursday at ULI’s Spring Meeting in Vancouver to discuss their approach for making winning bets in today’s market… Read more »

Economy Watch: Initial Unemployment Claims Lowest in 7 Years; Import Prices Rise, Led by Energy

For the week ending April 5, initial unemployment claims came in at 300,000, a sharp decrease of 32,000 from the previous week’s revised level, according to the U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday. The last time initial claims were this low was well before the recession — May 12, 2007 — when they stood at 297,000. The four-week moving average, which tends to be less jumpy, was in fact a little jumpy last week, decreasing 4,750 from the previous week’s revised average… Read more »

Commercial Real Estate & Business News – April 11, 2014

Hines Planning $150 Million Mixed-Use Project Near Chandler Fashion Center

Hines Interests Limited Partnership in Houston, Tex. (Gerald Hines, principal) is planning to develop a $150 million residential, office, retail and hotel complex next to the Chandler Fashion Center regional mall. Hines has filed a zoning application in Chandler for the upscale mixed-use project. If approved, Chandler Viridian will be developed on a 25.6-acre site being assembled along the west side of the 101 Loop (Price Road Freeway) and just north of the 202 Loop (San Tan Freeway)… Read more »

De Rito Land Development Planning 600,000 Sq. Ft. Of Retail Space In Four Centers

Very few retail buildings have been built in the Phoenix area over the past few years, but that trend may be changing as 600,000 sq. ft. of space is planned in four shopping centers in the Southeast Valley alone. De Rito Land Development LLC in Phoenix (Jerry Friedman, Doug Himmelberger, Marty De Rito, principals) is under contract to acquire properties in Chandler, Gilbert, Queen Creek and Pinal County to develop the centers. De Rito Land Development is buying 82 acres of retail sites in four deals totaling around $21.5 million. The parcels range in size from 15 to 27 acres. All of the projects have 2015 targeted construction starts… Read more »

Office Market Continues to Gain Momentum

First quarter office sector studies show that in most of the nation’s office markets, rather than just in the top cities, landlords are gaining the upper hand. About 70 percent of U.S. office markets reported occupancy gains during the first quarter… Read more »

Just What the Doctor Ordered: New ‘Medtail’ Tenants Filling Vacant Shopping Center Space

Changing Medical Economics Prompting Caregivers to Offer Services Where Patients Shop. With the era of retail medicine fast approaching, health care providers and medical specialists are increasingly opening facilities in shopping centers, which offer an attractive combination of affordable space, good patient access and ample parking… Read more »

Family Dollar to Close 370 Stores

Family Dollar has more than 40 stores in the Phoenix area, but isn’t specifying which stores in Arizona or elsewhere will close… Read more »

Commercial Real Estate & Business News – April 10, 2014

Adjacent Tempe Multifamily Assets Sold for $27.35m

Two Tempe apartment complexes sold yesterday for a combined $27.35m or $62,018 per unit. Steve Wasserman of Gelt, Inc. acquired the properties from Bank of America Community Development with a combination of $6,837,500 in cash and $20,512,500 in new debt with New York Community bank… Read more »

Growing Demand for Apartments Pushes Up Rents

These are good times for U.S. landlords. For many tenants, not so much. With demand for apartments surging, rents are projected to rise for a fifth straight year. Even a rise in apartment construction is unlikely to provide much relief anytime soon… Read more »

Big Box Golf Retailer Plans Third Store

A third PGA Tour Superstore in the Valley is scheduled to open this fall at the Scottsdale 101 shopping center. The Atlanta-based golf retailer announced Tuesday it will open three stores this year, one each in Phoenix, Orlando and Southlake, Texas, a Dallas suburb… Read more »

Sam Fox bringing Culinary Dropout to Another Yard-like Project in Downtown Tempe

Restaurant mogul Sam Fox is laying the groundwork for another Yard-like concept at an old, empty industrial warehouse in downtown Tempe. It is there — specifically, the southeast corner of Farmer Avenue and 1st Street — that Fox plans to open a fourth Culinary Dropout gastropub equipped with a large patio for live music and playing cornhole, horse shoes and karaoke… Read more »

In Competitive Analysis Study, Sunbelt Metros Dominate As Low-Cost Cities to Do Business

Atlanta Most ‘Cost-Friendly’ Business Location Among Large U.S. Cities; Cincinnati, Orlando, Charlotte, San Antonio, Tampa, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Phoenix Also Highly Competitive. Orlando, FL, Charlotte, NC, and San Antonio rounded out the top five large-market metros in the survey. Other top 10 cities included Tampa, FL, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Phoenix… Read more »

Commercial Real Estate & Business News – April 9, 2014

Canadian Investment Funds Continue to Target Southwest U.S. Apts.

Canadian funds and REITs continue to be among the most active buyers of multifamily properties in U.S. Sunbelt states. One the latest deals comes from Starlight U.S. Multi-Family Core Fund, a newly created fund sponsored and managed by Starlight Investments Ltd in Toronto… Read more »

Lenders Follow Investors to Smaller Markets

Debt and equity financing available for deals in tertiary markets is far from free flowing. Yet there is a growing pool of lenders willing to do those deals. “The market is opening up. It is not as open as financing in the core markets, but it is better than it was three years ago,” says Andrew Kirsh of the real estate practice for Sklar Kirsh LLP. “There are a lot of options for a borrower and an operator.” Capital sources pulled back from tertiary markets in the wake of the economic downturn. There was a good deal of concern in the lending community that the economy would not bounce back nearly as quickly in the markets that didn’t have a broad employment base and foreseeable growth… Read more »

Sky-High Prices for Land Force Developers to Get Creative

Developable sites in the strongest apartment markets are now trading for prices that can be twice the price they traded for during the last housing boom. Some buyers may simply be hoping that the strong apartment market becomes even stronger with a fuller economic recovery… Read more »

Bioscience Roadmap Gets an Extension through 2025

The updated Roadmap will continue to focus on developing Arizona’s biomedical research infrastructure but will emphasize turning this research into new therapies, products, diagnostics, jobs, firms, and other benefits to Arizona. Commercialization, entrepreneurship, creating a critical mass of bioscience firms, and the development of talent are prime themes… Read more »

Light Rail Could Be in Chandler’s Future

It won’t happen any time soon, but city leaders want to bring light rail to Chandler. Valley Metro, which operates the light rail system in Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa, already conducted a study at the behest of city officials on the feasibility of the mass transit system in Chandler, and another study is expected to begin next year… Read more »

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