Daily News for Commercial Real Estate & Business – February 16, 2010

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

His and Hers Luxury heads to CityNorth

His and Hers Luxury Experience, a showcase featuring 100,000 square feet of home decor, beauty, fashion and a range of items appealing to men, including golf and automotive gear, is coming to CityNorth this weekend. View article...

Native American Connections plans 350-unit housing project

Construction will begin this spring on an affordable housing community in central Phoenix. Native American Connections, a nonprofit focusing on affordable housing and benefits to Native Americans, plans for the property to be completed in spring 2011 and include more than 350 units. View article...

Phoenix eyes new campus land buy

The same week that Phoenix leaders imposed a 2 percent food tax to prevent layoffs and painful cuts to city services, City Council members agreed to spend $6 million to buy a vacant motel so Arizona State University can expand its downtown campus. The city plans to buy the old Ramada Inn at 401 N. First Street with $5 million left over from a 2006 city bond that was enacted largely to help construct ASU's downtown Phoenix campus, plus roughly $1.3 million from the city-owned Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel's capital improvement fund. View article...

Mesa considers revival of Fiesta District

Mesa, historically derided by critics as the city of wide streets and narrow minds, may be about to reverse that equation. City Council members, who traveled from coast to coast last year learning about city design and other urban issues, are on the verge of narrowing one of Mesa's major arterial streets to help revive the blighted Fiesta District as the destination it once was. View article...

Charter schools in Chandler also facing budget squeeze

Fawzia Tung, principal and co-founder of the Aim High Institute in northwest Chandler, said she trolls garage sales and dollar stores to buy furniture and supplies for her K-8 charter school. The charter school, which opened in August, has attracted mostly international students whose parents are foreign born. Students must take Chinese or Arabic, which is required to pray in Islam. Parents have donated supplies, but Tung worries it's not enough with the constant cuts being made to education funding. View article...

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust awards $1.4M in grants

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust has awarded 20 grants to Maricopa County nonprofits since mid-September, totaling nearly $1.4 million. Southwest Autism Research Resource Center will receive $125,000 over the next two years for a project called CulinaryWorks, aimed at cooking and selling homemade soup. The goal is to create a social venture to provide autistic youth with job training in the culinary business. View article...

Census Bureau hiring for temporary jobs

The U.S. Census Bureau plans to hire 8,000 people in Maricopa County to help ensure a complete and accurate count of county residents. Hiring already has started on the positions, which include crew leaders, census takers, clerical and other jobs. The pay range is $11.25 to $16.50 per hour. The jobs will last through June and possibly into July depending on how long the count takes, said Janey Pearl, co-chair of the Complete Count Committee. View article...

Among Buyers, Who Will Step Up?

No single buyer group is leading the charge for commercial property in 2010, but REITs look the best poised to make a significant impact, according to a new report from New York-based researcher Real Capital Analytics (RCA). The dearth of transaction activity that began in 2008 and carried through much of 2009 finally began to ease in the third quarter and looks to continue into 2010. However, buyers are minus a lead dog to guide the way. The biggest bellwether appears to be the public REITs, which have already committed to acquire as much property so far in 2010 as they did for all of 2009. They've also raised an enormous amount of dry powder for the job, an estimated $30 billion. View article...

TEMPE SPECIFIC NEWS:

PERMITS FINALLED

01/05/10 - ADDITION/ALTERATION at 1430 E. Baseline Rd. for Accel, Inc. Declared Valuation: $480,000 Plan Check No.: PC09-0227

01/19/10 - ADDITION/ALTERATION at 3159 S. McClintock Dr. for Ross @ Bashas' Valley Plaza Declared Valuation: $200,000 Plan Check No.: PC08-0310

01/19/10 - ADDITION/ALTERATION at 3159 S. McClintock Dr. for Ross @ Bashas' Valley Plaza Declared Valuation: $250,000 Plan Check No.: PC08-0796

01/21/10 - TENANT IMPROVEMENT at 1345 W. Elliot Rd. for The Dump Showroom Declared Valuation: $1,500,000 Plan Check No.: PC09-0823

01/26/10 - ADDITION/ALTERATION at 7414 S. Harl Ave. for Coca-Cola Enterprises Declared Valuation: $2,500,000 Plan Check No.: PC08-0652

01/29/10 - NEW 408 UNIT MULTI-FAMILY/RETAIL DEVELOPMENT at 1811 E. Apache Blvd. for Arete - Tempe Transit Declared Valuation: $39,514,000 Plan Check No.: PC08-0222

Shameless plug - My wife, Tiffany, is going through Tempe Leadership as a member of a Class 25. They have identified a project to help the homeless in Tempe. There project is called Shower Power (www.showerpower.org). They have raised over $15,000 and are down to the last few thousand to make the project a success. Please visit the website and if you have a few extra dollars, please help her out! Thank you.

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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