Daily News for Commercial Real Estate & Business – April 5, 2011

DIRTT Environmental Picks Phoenix for Regional HQ After a year-long search, DIRTT Environmental Solutions has chosen Arizona for its western regional headquarters. The Canadian company, which manufactures sustainable wall solutions, singed a 10-year lease for 72,000 square feet of flex space just south of downtown Phoenix. It will eventually employ 100 people at its new office and distribution facility located at 836 E. University Dr. View article...

SunWize finishes solar parking covers at Phoenix VA Medical Center SunWize Systems has finished the first phase of installation of one of the largest carport solar systems in the U.S., and announced the system will be bigger than planned. The 4.45-megawatt system at the Carl T. Hayden Veteran's Affairs Medical Center in Phoenix originally was planned to be 3.62 megawatts. The entire system is expected to be finished in early 2012. View article...

Oregano's, Culver's moving into Paradise Valley Mall area Scottsdale-based Oregano's Pizza Bistro and the Wisconsin-based burger chain Culver's are entering the northeast Phoenix market this summer. Both are renovating vacant restaurant buildings outside Paradise Valley Mall, at Tatum Boulevard and Cactus Road. In addition, Culver's is opening another northeast Phoenix location in June and two others in the West Valley between now and the end of the year. When its expansion is complete, Culver's will have 11 restaurants in metro Phoenix. View article...

Historic Rail Depot Re-Opens With New Purpose As reported by AZCentral, The historic Santa Fe Freight Depot has re-opened as the central location for the Maricopa County Assessor's Office. The Depot opened in 1929 and served as a transportation and freight hub for the region. The building, located at Fifth Avenue and Jackson Street has been vacant for more than 40 years and since being purchased by Maricopa County in 1999 has been used for storage of office equipment. View article...

Developer seeks city's OK to build offices near airpark Scottsdale could green light an estimated $100 million project to erect the tallest office buildings in the airpark when the City Council meets April 26. It's a measure the developer says would bait large corporations to relocate and bring much needed high-paying jobs to the area. View article...

Scottsdale's downtown office facing closure Scottsdale's downtown office on Craftsman Court is slated to close this summer, a move some nearby merchants say will hurt the area and make it harder for tourists to receive information. Because of tax-revenue decreases, the city's proposed budget for next fiscal year reduces spending by $16 million from the current year. View article...

Chandler City Hall in running for ULI's top award The Chandler City Hall has been named a finalist for the Urban Land Institute's 2011 Award of Excellence in the Americas. The contemporary civic building, completed last fall, now is in the running for the top award, which will be announced at ULI's spring meeting that will be held in Phoenix in May. View article...

Officials want to extend light rail further east than originally planned Transit planners will look to push light rail further into the East Valley to meet the high ridership levels they've projected once the system gets east of downtown Mesa. A study will begin soon on an extension to Gilbert Road, which planners say would further boost commuter use. View article...

Arizona near top for growth in new population study All 13 sections of the United States gained population between 2000 and 2010, and Arizona is near the top of the standings, according to a new Business Journals breakdown of U.S. Census Bureau figures. Texas -- one of four states large enough to be considered a section by itself -- set the national pace by adding 4.3 million residents in 10 years, a jump of 20.6 percent. View article...

Fluor Corp. to build solar plant for SunPower, SRP Fluor Corp. will build a 20-megawatt solar power station in Pinal County for SunPower Corp., with the electricity being sold to Salt River Project. The Copper Crossing power plant on 144 acres will be built by the Irving, Texas-based Fluor (NYSE: FLR). View article...

Society for Human Resource Management: Confidence in the job market is growing Job market confidence among human resource professionals grew in the second quarter, according to the 2011 Jobs Outlook Survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management. 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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