Daily News for Commercial Real Estate & Business – April 14, 2010

Here are the news stories you might find interesting today regarding commercial real estate and business:

Fourth Majerle's to open in Old Town Scottsdale Former Phoenix Suns star Dan Majerle is opening a fourth restaurant in Old Town Scottsdale under the Marjerle's Sports Grill moniker. A.J. Sulka, president of Majerle's, said the goal is to open the new location by the end of this year. "After being downtown for 18 years, being in Chandler for two and a half and opening a location in Goodyear about eight months ago, we had always thought about a Scottsdale location," Sulka said. View article...

Good news, bad news for Phoenix office market (To view the snapshot of all product types, click here) There is a little good news in the Phoenix office market to offset the trend of rising vacancy rates. The first quarter follows fourth-quarter 2009 with positive absorption of office space, according to CB Richard Ellis' new MarketView report for the Phoenix area. Net absorption totaled 456,246 square feet in 1Q, up from 230,587 in 4Q, turning the tide on a run of negative absorption where more space was vacated than occupied. View article...

Pulte buys 88 Gilbert lots for $5.7M PulteGroup Inc. announced Monday that it purchased 88 finished lots in Gilbert at the Lyon's Gate master-planned community located near Higley and Ray roads. Pulte spokesperson Jacque Petroulakis said PulteGroup purchased the land from an undisclosed group of investors who had bought the land from Orleans Homes in December 2007. Pulte also did not want to disclose the price, but Phoenix Business Journal records show that Pulte paid almost $5.7 million for the lots. View article...

Radical Bunny ordered to pay $190M in restitution Radical Bunny LLC was ordered Tuesday to pay nearly $190 million in restitution for the alleged fraudulent offering and selling of two unregistered deed of trust investment programs. The penalty was assessed through a consent order, agreed upon by the trustee who is overseeing the Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization of Radical Bunny. The consent order does not imply that Radical Bunny is admitting to wrongdoing. View article...

Health care corridor forms along Higley Road Higley Road is becoming a key address in the medical community. From Baseline Road in Gilbert to Southern Avenue in Mesa, that stretch of pavement along Higley Road is shared by Phoenix Children's Hospital's East Valley Specialty and Urgent Care Center, Banner Gateway Medical Center, Alliance Urgent Care, and, in 2011, the M.D. Anderson Banner Cancer Center, along with numerous doctors, hospital beds and specialty services. View article...

Less-intrusive South Mountain Freeway route urged The state's controversial planned route for the South Mountain Freeway would take out three mountain ridges, 184 houses, a church and several apartment complexes. Now two members of Congress are urging state officials to find a less-disruptive way to build Loop 202, which would connect Chandler to Laveen View article...

Bill advancing in Arizona House could derail Glendale casino The Arizona House has given preliminary approval to legislation that could help Glendale halt construction of a tribal casino by the Tohono O'odham Nation near its sports and entertainment district. The House Committee of the Whole approved the measure, Senate Bill 1109, on a voice vote Monday. The bill would allow Glendale to annex land the tribe owns off 91st and Northern avenues without the tribe's consent. That would thwart the Tohono O'odham Nation's federal application to take the land into the reservation system for a proposed casino. View article...

Bioscience Development Alive and Well One of Downtown's most unheralded successes in recent years is the growth and expansion of the Phoenix Biomedical Campus located northeast of Fifth Street and Van Buren. The campus is currently comprised of the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGEN), Arizona Biomedical Collaborative (ABC), and three restored historic buildings on the north side of Van Buren that make up the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix. View article...

Uptick in home building encourages Chandler officials The pace of Chandler home building is picking up, and that's giving officials hope that the city is on its way out of the recession. City Manager Mark Pentz recently compiled a list of current and past single-family building permit numbers from Chandler and other Valley municipalities at the request of Councilman Jeff Weninger. It shows Chandler's 122 home-building permits so far this year is a big increase over 10 permits for that same period in 2009. View article...

CVS to double in-store clinics CVS Caremark Corp., the largest U.S. provider of prescription drugs, will double the number of in-store medical clinics it operates within five years because of new health-care legislation and the aging population. CVS will increase the number of clinics it operates as baby boomers reach Medicare age and 32 million individuals are added to insurance rolls following passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act last month, CVS Chief Financial Officer Dave Denton said in a phone interview. In addition, there are fewer primary-care physicians, he said. View article...

Hong Kong Economic Commissioner hopes to foster closer ties with AZ The Hong Kong Commissioner for Economic and Trade Affairs visited Arizona for the first time in 10 years Tuesday to make companies aware of the business opportunities in Hong Kong. "We do believe that there is huge potential for Arizona to do business with Hong Kong," Donald Tong said. "We want to make sure the Arizona business community is aware of that potential." View article...

GPEC talking to dozen companies in DC about locating jobs in Arizona Greater Phoenix Economic Council CEO Barry Broome said Tuesday his group is meeting with a dozen companies in the Washington area that are interested in locating operations and jobs in Arizona. Broome said he's confident at least two or three of those companies will end up creating jobs in Arizona. He said most of the meetings are with medical technology companies in the Washington suburbs. View article...

Three Maricopa County buildings will receive solar panels Workers will soon install solar panels on three Maricopa County buildings, and officials said the move will save the county nearly $1 million over the next 20 years under a plan approved Monday by the Board of Supervisors. The board will contract with CarbonFree Technology to install the solar units, buy electricity and then sell the renewable-energy credits to Arizona Public Service Co. over the next two decades. The agreement allows the county to take part in an APS program that offers financial incentives to customers who add renewable-energy systems to homes or businesses. View article...

Multifamily Market's Nascent Recovery Will Drive Up Pricing, Transactions In a surprising show of resiliency for the U.S. apartment sector, the national vacancy rate stayed flat at 8.0% in the first quarter, bucking the seasonal weakness in demand that apartment rentals have typically shown during the colder months of the year. Although a steep ascent in rents over the near term is unlikely, the multifamily market appears to be on the cusp of recovery. View article...

Feel free to contact me regarding any of these stories, the current market, distressed commercial real estate opportunities or your property.

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