Daily News for Commercial Real Estate & Business – April 7, 2010

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

SkySong adds five new tenants SkySong, the Arizona State University Innovation Center, has announced the addition of five new tenants to its south Scottsdale facility. Companies leasing space are Emerge.MD, a health care software solution and Web application firm; PeopleJar.com, a networking platform; Riinu.com, a social networking site focused on healthy lifestyle choices; SiteVoice, a conversational technology innovator; and South Denmark International, a consulting service that assists Danish companies that want to enter the U.S. market. View article...

Duke Realty unit buys Estrella Park building A subsidiary of real estate conglomerate Duke Realty Corp. in Indianapolis has puchased a distribution building at Estrella Business Park at the northwest corner of 63rd Avenue and Buckeye Road for $8.75 million. Duke Realty LP of Phoenix purchased the 250,200-square-foot building as an investment. It is 100 percent leased to three tenants: General Nutrition Center, Lagasse Sweet and the Arizona Department of Economic Security. View article...

Lawmakers kill payday lending in Arizona Payday lending will be gone in Arizona in less than three months. Industry lobbyist Lee Miller admitted late Tuesday he does not have the votes for a measure to allow continued lending above the 36 percent annual cap on interest that now exists for every other kind of loan. Even a last-minute compromise that would have trimmed the fees fell flat. With lawmakers interested in ending the session this month, he said time had simply run out. View article...

Downtown Tempe's southern end in limbo What was once a hot corner at downtown Tempe's southern end now serves as a reminder of the lagging economy. Just north of University Drive on Mill Avenue, the intersection that was once a destination point is now quiet on most nights, with the exception of pedestrians walking to other destinations. Two restaurants, a fast-food place and two mobile-communication shops greet visitors at University, but vacant storefronts and a vacant dirt lot make the half-block walk north to the next eateries seem longer. View article...

New Estrella Safeway to replace Bashas' as retail anchor Safeway will be Estrella's first grocery store when it opens this fall, Kitchell Development and Newland Communities officials announced late Monday afternoon. Safeway replaces Bashas' as the future anchor of a 22-acre shopping center, the first retail center in the Goodyear master-planned community. View article...

Avondale considers adding shuttles, transit center Facing more transit cuts, Avondale is asking residents to come to a public meeting Wednesday and help it figure out alternatives to lost bus routes. The city will discuss starting community shuttles and creating a transit center. City staff and project team members will give a presentation that will include an overview of the January transit-survey results, potential transit-circulator routes and transit-center designs. View article...

Meritage selling, buying notes Meritage Homes Corp. wants to redeem up to $195 million in senior notes that pay up to 7 percent interest and has launched a $200 million private placement of new senior notes to pay for the purchases. The company also says it is closing in on a return to profitability for the year. Interest rate on the new notes and other terms have yet to be negotiated, according to the Scottsdale company's announcement Tuesday. View article...

Construction jobs continue decline Phoenix was among 230 metro areas with double-digit losses in construction jobs over the past year as annual spending in the industry hit an eight-year low in February. That's according to the Associated General Contractors of America's monthly analysis of industry jobs in February 2010 compared with February 2009. View article...

Apartment vacancies dropping in East Valley The number of vacant apartments is dropping in much of the East Valley as more residents move into the area - or people get tired of staying with the family to save money. Chandler and south Tempe saw the number of vacancies fall about 2 percent compared with a year ago, and rental experts say they've seen an uptick in people looking for apartments. View article...

Apartment Rents Rise as Sector Stabilizes Apartment rents rose during the first quarter, ending five straight quarters of declines and signaling the worst may be over for the hard-hit sector. Nationally, the apartment vacancy rate stayed flat at 8%, the highest level since Reis Inc., a New York research firm, began its tally in 1980. Reis tracks vacancies and rents in the top 79 U.S. markets, and rents rose in 60 of them, led by Miami, Seattle and New York - all cities that have notched big rental declines in the past year. 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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