Daily News for Commercial Real Estate & Business – April 9, 2010

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

Tucson Investor Makes $17M Apt. Buy HSL Properties of Tucson has acquired the 323-unit Desert Sands Apartments for $16.8 million from Desert Sands Apartments LLC. Located at 720 W. O'Neil Dr., the class A, garden-style community is the first acquisition the firm has made in Casa Grande, although it has been actively seeking opportunities in Tucson and Phoenix markets, according to Omar Mireles, executive vice president of HSL Properties. View article...

Scottsdale mine for sale for $43 million In the panhandle of Scottsdale's northern frontier, an historic mine awaits a buyer with deep pockets and dreams of striking the mother lode. Realtor Preston Westmoreland is offering the 117-acre Gold Hill property for $43 million. Whether the mine is commercially viable remains to be seen, but its location at the northern edge of Scottsdale is surprising. View article...

Merrill Ranch parcel sold in Pinal County San Diego-based Southwest Value Partners and Golden Tree Insite Partners of New York and Sao Paulo, Brazil, are buying a 4,508-acre parcel at Merrill Ranch in Pinal County. The property had been taken back in 2009 by a group of 62 lenders after the owner, Merrill Ranch Investments LLC of Scottsdale and Atlanta, defaulted on a $100 million loan. The buyers did not disclose the purchase price, but local trade publication, Business Real Estate Weekly, wrote that the purchase price was nearly $27.7 million. View article...

Arizona firm pays $33M for 24 BP stations Florida Oil Holdings LLC, a fuel station/convenience store franchisee in Scottsdale bought 24 BP locations in Lake, Orange and Osceola counties last month for $33.5 million, marking its entry into the Central Florida market. Florida Oil Holdings acquired the stations between March 8-11 in separate transactions under different business entity names, according to county records. The purchase came as part of the firm signing a 20-year franchising agreement with BP Products North America Inc., said Mark Murgash, who manages fuel distribution, real estate and construction for Florida Oil Holdings. View article...

Scottsdale facing $2 million shortfall in bed-tax revenue A potential $2 million shortfall in bed-tax revenue has Scottsdale officials and the tourism industry debating who should fill the gap. The issue comes down to whether the city or the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, which benefits from the tax revenue, should bear the burden for the shortfall. View article...

Smith Travel Releases Improved Hotel Forecast for 2010, 2011 The U.S. hotel industry is expected to end 2010 with stronger performance in all three key measurements than previously predicted, according to Hendersonville, Tenn.-based Smith Travel Research. Smith Travel predicts 2010 occupancy to increase 1.9% to 55.8%, average daily rate (ADR) to decrease 2.3% to $95.45, and revenue per available (RevPAR) room to end the year virtually flat with a 0.5% decrease to $53.22. Supply in 2010 is projected to grow 2.2% and demand is expected to rise 4.1%. View article...

Fiserv: AZ home prices won't return to peak until 2025 Peak prices hit during Arizona's real estate bubble won't be reached again until 2025 or beyond, according to an analysis from Fiserv Inc. That prediction, which also includes California, Florida and Nevada, represents an "unprecedented market cycle that will last a full generation from the top of the market in 2006-07," the Wisconsin-based financial services company said. View article...

ASU: Home sales up, but foreclosure woes linger Housing transactions were up dramatically in March, according to the latest Realty Studies report released by the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Some 6,500 single-family homes were re-sold in the Phoenix market, up from 4,600 in February and 5,900 in March 2009. The median price of single-family resales in March was $142,500, an increase from $140,000 in February. The median price in March 2009 was $127,000. View article...

Surprise Walmart renovation adds jobs Super Walmart in Surprise is undergoing an extensive renovation as part of a new design and customer experience program developed by the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer. Once finished, the store at 13770 W. Bell Road will feature wider aisles, low-profile shelving, bright interior paint as well as improved lighting and signage to help customers find products they need. View article...

Basha: Bankruptcy agreements still in works In a letter to employees, Eddie Basha Jr. said his local grocery chain continues to work on an agreement with lenders to "avoid costly litigation, shorten the (bankruptcy) confirmation process and create a plan that would ensure a successful reorganization." View article...

Retailers report 4th month of gains Warmer weather and an earlier Easter enticed shoppers into stores for spring merchandise in March, helping retailers post strong sales gains for the month. Discounter Target Corp., department store Macy's Inc., clothier Gap Inc. and Victoria's Secret parent Limited Brands Inc. posted double-digit increases that beat Wall Street analysts' expectations. Overall, sales in stores open at least a year rose 9 percent in March, based on an index of 31 retailers compiled by the International Council of Shopping Centers. 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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