Daily News for Commercial Real Estate & Business – February 17, 2010

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

Cucina di Vita celebrates its opening Friday

Mesa city and chamber of commerce officials are scheduled to participate in the official ribbon-cutting ceremony at Cucina di Vita, a new restaurant in downtown Mesa, at 4 p.m. Friday. The ribbon-cutting will be part of a celebration that will include sample menu items, prizes and live music. The public is welcome. Cucina di Vita, 142 W. Main St., is a deli specializing in paninis, pizzas, sandwiches, soups and salads. View article...

Scottsdale hotel rates slip, occupancy rises

Smith Travel Research statistics for Scottsdale show continued decreases in average daily room rates and revenue per available room. But on the bright side, Scottsdale saw an increase in occupancy for December, the most recent data available. Scottsdale's occupancy in December moved up to 49.3 percent, a 12.7 percent increase from a year earlier. View article...

Property-rights bills get OK

As supporters rallied on the lawn, lawmakers on Monday voted to advance measures to increase property rights at the expense of the government's ability to take land. Lawmakers advanced two bills:

• Senate Concurrent Resolution 1046, which would seek to blunt the effect of federal legislation now under consideration. If approved by voters, the measure would try to prevent the federal government from regulating waterways within the state. Those regulations could result in restrictions for adjacent landowners, supporters of the bill said.

• Senate Bill 1366, would expand relocation assistance and requirements for people whose land is taken by eminent domain. "Property rights are a civil right, and they must be guarded and protected continually," said Mark Killian, former speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, who spoke in favor of the bills. View article...

Private sector wages fall 2.5% in Phoenix

Private sector wages dropped 2.5 percent in the Phoenix area last year compared to 2008 - the only decline among the nation's largest 15 metropolitan areas. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also reported Monday that Phoenix saw a 2.4 percent drop in total private sector compensation, which includes cost for employee benefits. View article...

Associated General Contractors sees bright spot with stimulus

Associated General Contractors expressed optimism about the effect of federal stimulus dollars on the construction industry in a conference call Tuesday. "The stimulus is the one of the very few bright spots our industry experienced last year and is one of the few hopes keeping it going in 2010," said Ken Simonson, AGC's chief economist. View article...

Arizona Mills mall owner Simon bids for rival

Simon Property Group, the nation's largest shopping mall owner, made a $10 billion hostile bid Tuesday to acquire ailing rival General Growth Properties. The acquisition would allow General Growth, the No. 2 owner of shopping centers, to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. General Growth filed for bankruptcy last year after buckling under the weight of billions in debt it racked up during a massive expansion effort fueled by cheap credit. View article...

Mesa mayor hopes to avoid lawsuit over Chicago Cubs stadium

Public financing of the proposed $84 million Cactus League ballpark for the Chicago Cubs could face a lawsuit from the Goldwater Institute. Goldwater attorney Clint Bolick said Tuesday the deal between the city of Mesa and the Cubs could violate state prohibitions against government gifts to private entities crossing the Arizona Supreme Court's recent decision on tax incentives given by Phoenix to the CityNorth development. View article...

BOMA Unveils New Office Measurement Standard

The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International has launched a new measurement standard to help property managers more accurately measure office buildings. The new guide, Office Buildings: Standard Methods of Measurement and Calculating Rentable Area (2010), provides improvements and changes to the Standard Method for Measuring Floor Area in Office Buildings, the previous standard from BOMA released in 1996. View article...

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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