Daily News for Commercial Real Estate & Business – February 25, 2010

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

To view this week's, "The Watch List," by Costar, click here.

Phoenix Bank Bldg. Sells for $2.8M

Windenhill LLC purchased a freestanding bank building in Phoenix for $2.79 million, or $820 per square foot. Located at 678 E. Thunderbird Road, the 3,397-square-foot building completed construction in 2008. The property is 100 percent leased to Wachovia (since taken over by Wells Fargo) on a triple-net basis for 15 years. View article...

Scottsdale Industrial Sells for $1.9M

Roofing Wholesale Co. purchased the industrial facility at 7475 E. Williams Drive in Scottsdale, AZ for $1.92 million, or approximately $95 per square foot. RWC plans to occupy the building. The 20,400-square-foot property consists of two structures on a 4.7-acre lot: a 14,200-square-foot warehouse, and 6,200-square-foot building includes 3,400 square feet of showroom space and 2,800 square feet of office. View article...

Nine-Month Marketing Sign of Times

Pollack Real Estate Investments has ended its 15-year hold on the 82,373-square-foot Village Grove Shopping Center, accepting $5 million for the 1970s retail center. Buyer Hanhil Properties Inc. ended up with the asset following a nine-month marketing period. View article...

Sale of Historic Apartment Building in Tucson

Grubb & Ellis has negotiated the sale of the historic Coronado Hotel Apartments, located at 402 E. Ninth St. in downtown Tucson, for an undisclosed amount. Built in 1928 and included on the National Registry of Historic Places, the property at the time of the sale was offering low-income families rental assistance through the HUD Moderate Rehab program. Coronado Housing Limited Partnership sold the 42-unit apartment building to a private investor. View article...

Ahwatukee may get assisted-living facility for seniors

A 140-unit assisted-living center for senior citizens may be built on vacant land at Knox Road and 44th Street, across from Mountain Pointe High School, Ahwatukee, in the next 18- to 24-months. The area presently is zoned for an apartment complex, but attorney Paul Gilbert told the Ahwatukee Foothills Village Planning Committee Monday that Spectrum Retirement Communities is seeking to have the property rezoned for the senior living center. View article...

Biltmore Fashion Park to raze east-side buildings

Construction crews are headed to 24th Street and Camelback Road to demolish two buildings at Biltmore Fashion Park. Karen Litton, senior property manager for the center, said that its two eastern-most buildings will be torn down this summer. View article...

Bankrupt Bashas' rejects Albertsons' bid

Bankrupt Arizona grocery chain Bashas' Inc. has rejected a buyout offer of at least $260 million from rival Albertsons. Albertsons CEO Ralph Miller sent a letter including the offer to Bashas' chairman Eddie Basha Jr. early this month. It was revealed in a filing in U.S. bankruptcy court by lawyers representing lenders. View article...

Sears, Kmart closings skip Arizona

None of the Sears department stores or Kmart discount stores in Arizona are among the 21 stores that Sears Holding Corp. plans to shutter in the spring. Sears Holding (Nasdaq: SHLD) closed 27 stores during the fourth quarter of 2009 and 62 stores during fiscal year 2009 that ended Jan. 30. About 1,000 jobs will be affected when the 21 stores close in the spring, according to an Associated Press report. Most of those stores are in Eastern states. View article...

Mesa's Cactus League exhibit opens Friday

A 1947 scorecard from an early Cactus League game played by the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs at Tucson's Randolph Park that cost a whole dime. A 1950 program containing the New York Giants itinerary for spring training, featuring a picture of the long demolished Polo Grounds. View article...

ASU-RSI: End of the Slide is in Sight

The latest ASU-Repeat Sales Index suggests that the end of the slide for the beleaguered Phoenix metro real estate market may be in sight, but how close it looks depends on how you parse the numbers. View article...

More than half of AZ mortgages upside down

More than 11.3 million, or 24 percent, of all residential properties with mortgages, were in negative equity at the end of the fourth quarter, up from 10.7 million and 23 percent at the end of the third quarter, according to a new report. View article...

House bill would jeopardize plans for Goodyear solar plant

A legislative proposal that passed a House committee on Tuesday could quash a solar panel manufacturer's plans to open a plant in Goodyear. Officials with Suntech Power Holdings said passage of House Bill 2701 would force the company to reconsider the plant, which is set to open with about 75 employees in September. View article...

Neely accused of taking sides in land dispute

Councilwoman Peggy Neely has been accused of taking sides in a land-use dispute in northeast Phoenix's Desert Ridge area, but two city officials are saying the accusations are untrue. The dispute is at the heart of an extended lawsuit that pits one developer against another over provisions in the plan that governs how Desert Ridge at Loop 101 and Tatum Boulevard will develop. View article...

Quiznos Leads List of Retailers Looking to Expand

RBC Capital Markets, along with Retail Lease Trac, have updated their research on retailer planned store openings and found that the tide may be beginning to turn when it comes to retailer demand. For the first time in more than a year, the number of planned openings in the next 24 months has increased. View article...

Commercial Sales Jump

The number of commercial real-estate sales rose sharply in December, triggering fresh debate about whether the sector has reached bottom. Property sales, a gauge of market health, rose 75% in December from the prior month, according to Real Capital Analytics. The end of the year traditionally sees an increase in volume. But the recent increase is significant even after adjusting for that, says Neal Elkin, president of REAL, a research firm that analyzed the data. View article...

Economist: Washington's Fixes Have Become the Problem

Uncertainties over taxes and access to credit are driving U.S. businesses to hoard cash rather than lead the economy into recovery by spending and hiring, according to a prominent real estate researcher. The private sector has squirreled away trillions of dollars that could revitalize the economy, but businesses are reluctant to part with cash they may need for operating capital in the absence of credit, and to pay higher tax bills at all levels of government, according to Dr. Mark Dotzour, chief economist at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. View article...

Shopping Center REITs Report Signs of Improvement, but Expect More Store Closings

Shopping center REITs turned in a respectable performance for the fourth quarter of 2009, giving credence to the notion that the worst of the downturn may be over. Yet REIT analysts continue to be cautious about the sector's prospects for 2010, as the year may bring more closings among smaller shopping center tenants and make re-leasing vacant space difficult. 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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