Daily News for Commercial Real Estate & Business – February 19, 2010

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

Phoenix OKs $1B solar landfill deal for Tessera in Buckeye

Tessera Solar received final approval from the Phoenix City Council to build a solar plant estimated at $1 billion on a city landfill in Buckeye. The Houston company will build a 150- to 200-megawatt system at the landfill on the west side of State Route 85. The project will be built on about 1,200 acres, and Phoenix officials said it will generate about 300 construction jobs. View article...

Phoenix Art Deco Redeveloped

Good news for Downtown Phoenix: Pie Zanos is rumored to be opening a location in the Luhrs Tower on Jefferson between Central and 1st Avenue. The redevelopment of that block, a project known as the Luhrs City Center is stunning, both in how it looks and that it is actually being completed. The project respects the historical importance of this site and original structures and mixes the old art deco style with the modern. View article...

SBA loan breaks to go away until Senate acts

The higher government guarantee and reduced fees that revived U.S. Small Business Administration lending are going away again, at least for a while. The economic stimulus bill increased the SBA's guarantee on its flagship 7(a) loans from the usual 75 percent to 90 percent, and reduced or eliminated fees on both 7(a) loans and 504 loans, which are used primarily to finance real estate. View article...

Arizona Diamondbacks open to tax district for Cubs stadium

Arizona Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall says the team is open to the creation of special tax districts to help finance a spring training stadium for the Chicago Cubs and other projects in the Phoenix area. View article...

Tax zone proposed to help Phoenix Coyotes

A special taxing district in Glendale will be proposed in the state Legislature to help the financially struggling Phoenix Coyotes, said state Rep. Jerry Weiers. The plan, still be formulated, could establish a Tax Increment Financing zone encompassing Jobing.com Arena, where the hockey team plays, and Westgate City Center. TIF zones earmark sales or property tax revenue for development, redevelopment and other projects. View article...

Merger would unite Ariz. Mills, Ariz. Center

A proposed merger between the country's two largest mall owners would put Arizona Mills and Arizona Center under the same ownership roof but otherwise have limited impact in metropolitan Phoenix. Simon Property Group this week made a $10 billion offer for General Growth Properties, which has been operating under bankruptcy protection since last year. View article...

Lane lauds city's ability to weather economic storm

In his first State of the City Address, Mayor Jim Lane aimed to assure the community that Scottsdale was in "excellent" shape with an even more promising future ahead. Lane also focused on the importance of striking a balance between optimism and realism as the city moves forward and recovers from the economic recession. View article...

Brewer open to dual-budget plan

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is open to a budget plan that would hinge on whether state voters approve a 1-point increase to the state's 5.6 percent sales tax. "The concept is certainly worthy of discussion, but success of it would largely be dependent on the design of the substitute budget or triggers," said Brewer spokesman Paul Senseman. View article...

Zillow: West's homeowners more pessimistic about value

Western homeowners' confidence that their homes are retaining value went from "highly optimistic" in 2009's third quarter to "pessimistic" in last year's final quarter, according to a Zillow Inc. report. Zillow's western region includes Arizona, Nevada and California, markets hard hit by the real estate crash. View article...

Has market 'correction' run its course?

The stock market, which last week looked like it was on its way to its first 10% drop since the monster rally began in March, is going up again. The rebound has Wall Street asking: Is the "correction" over? On Feb. 8, the Standard & Poor's 500 index closed 8.1% off its Jan. 19 high of 1150. But after a 0.4% gain to 1100 Wednesday, it's 4.4% off its 2010 peak. Is the "here we go again" scare over? View article...

Expect Tight Credit Conditions To Persist As Commercial Mortgage Defaults Rise

With the default rate on commercial mortgages held by U.S. depository institutions projected to reach 5% this year and not peak until 2011, the extremely tight credit conditions imposed by banks on borrowers are not likely to loosen anytime soon. So says Sam Chandan, global chief economist and executive vice president with Real Capital Analytics (RCA). View article...

Falling Retail Cap Rates Indicate Growing Investment Opportunities

The retail sector has endured more distress over the last two years than any other property type, with the possible exception of hotels. As consumers in the U.S. have cut back on discretionary spending, thousands of establishments ranging from retailers like Circuit City and store operators such as Mervyns have closed shop or filed for bankruptcy. View article...

Top 15 CMBS Loans with Greatest Decline in Appraisal Value Since Securitization

Since peaking in early 2007, commercial real estate values have seen a steady decline. On average, the 15 properties listed below are extremely underwater, meaning the appraisal value within the last 6 months is 46% less than the current loan balance. From securitization, the average drop in appraisal value for this same set of loans is 58%. View article...

Receiverships Don't Have to Disrupt Retail Tenants

At the end of December, there were $1.6 billion in bank-owned retail properties, according to New York-based research firm Real Capital Analytics. As more retail properties end up in the hands of court-appointed receivers, tenants are entering uncertain territory when it comes to their rights and responsibilities. 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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