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

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

To view the January digital edition of Real Estate Forum, click here. There is a great article about Net Lease properties.

To view the February issue of Chain Store Age, click here. Here are the highlights of stories: An exclusive Q&A with Jones Apparel Group's CEO of Retail Footwear and Apparel, Jay Friedman; Finance: Lenders' purse strings are loosening; Real Estate: Optimizing existing assets.

Gilbert shop in up-and-down business of yo-yos

A little-known Gilbert machining shop across the street from McQueen Park is churning out one of the lowest-tech toys imaginable - the humble yo-yo. Only these aren't so humble. They start at $30 go on up to 24K gold-plated "Goldeneye" models that might be a bargain at $80. View article...

Pop culture museum to open at Phoenix's CityNorth

A nonprofit museum dedicated to pop culture paraphernalia is finally opening in the Valley after years of preparation. The Arizona Popular Culture Museum is opening in northeast Phoenix. According to founder and director John W. Edwards, the site occupies 4,500 square feet in the CityCenter of CityNorth development. View article...

Phoenix Convention Center struggling

On paper, the Phoenix Convention Center appears to be doing well after hosting a string of high-profile events including the NBA All-Star Game and President Barack Obama. However, the $600 million convention center is struggling to make payments on the bond debt it owes. View article...

Wells Fargo to hire 1,400 brokers

Wells Fargo & Co. plans to hire 1,400 brokers this year, Reuters reports. The bank, which acquired Wachovia Corp. in late 2008, plans to beef up its Wells Fargo Advisors unit by hiring 1,000 brokers and training 400 recruits new to the profession, a Wells Fargo spokeswoman told the news service. View article...

Schneider National to hire 2,500 drivers in 2010

Schneider National Inc. said Monday that it plans to hire 2,500 new drivers for its regional fleet this year to serve a growing freight base. That includes jobs in the Southwest, West, Midwest, Southeast and Northeast. View article...

Hotel occupancy dips

U.S. hotel occupancy dropped 4.4 percent to 50.6 percent in the fourth quarter, according to Smith Travel Research. The decline reflects what's taken place across the Phoenix area, where the recession has cut deeply into the tourism sector. Nationally, the average daily room rate fell 7.6 percent to $95.79, and revenue per available room (RevPAR) decreased 11.7 percent to $48.50. View article...

Mesa Mayor defends Cactus League fee for Cubs site

Mesa Mayor Scott Smith is defending a financing plan for a $84 million Cactus League stadium for the Chicago Cubs against critics, including Arizona Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall and Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf. View article...

An engineering marvel takes shape near Hoover Dam

BOULDER CITY, Nev. - Less than a mile downstream from one of the nation's best-known engineering marvels, the Hoover Dam, a second is taking shape. A soaring 1,900-foot span across the gorge created by the Colorado River on the Arizona-Nevada border should be completed this fall, eliminating much of a sometimes hourlong bottleneck as traffic creeps over the dam on the key route between Phoenix and Las Vegas. View article...

Index of employment trends rises, sparks hope of first-quarter job growth

The Conference Board Employment Trends Index rose in January for the fifth month in a row, prompting hopes of job growth in the first quarter. The nonprofit research group said Monday that the index reached 93.2 last month, up from 92.3 in December, but lower than January 2009's 93.9 reading. View article...

West Valley leaders hear gloomy jobs forecast

Don't expect the job market to improve any time soon in Arizona, or the rest of the country for that matter. That was the gloomy message West Valley municipal, business and community leaders heard recently at Westmarc's Economic Forecast at the Glendale Civic Center. Arizona has lost 305,000 jobs since December 2007. View article...

CoStar's Retail News Roundup: Feb. 7-13, 2010

CoStar's weekly column covering expansions, new concepts, store closings, bankruptcies, cutbacks, acquisition, mergers, sales, loans, shopping center development activity, personnel changes, sustainability and green building news, and more in retail real estate. View article...

Bankruptcies continue to pound Valley

Thousands of Arizonans started off the new year by filing for bankruptcy last month, according to the latest statistics from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Arizona. Some 2,493 bankruptcy cases were filed last month statewide, up more than 45 percent from 1,714 in January 2009. Chapter 7s, which don't require any debt repayment, were up nearly 42 percent, from 1,364 to 1,932. View article...

Builders Start to Look Up

Home builders are looking a lot less bad. And that's good. Fewer write-downs and new-home order cancellations along with improved order rates are some of the most positive signs from home builders since the housing market began to roll over four years ago. View article...

Out of Retreat: Private Equity Investors To Boost Real Estate Allocations in 2010

What did private equity investors, including huge institutional players such as pension funds, learn most from the recent collapse in commercial real estate values? They want more of the asset class. A new study of 90 global private equity real estate investors by London-based researcher Preqin confirms that instead of fleeing to the hills, institutional investors intend to commit more capital to private equity real estate funds in 2010 than they did in 2009. View article...

Building A Case for a Second-Half Recovery in 2010

Several positive developments are emerging in the real estate capital markets, providing a glimpse of optimism as investor sentiment appears to rebound. As of December 2009, the average commercial mortgage rate fluctuated between 7% and 7.2%. Spreads over the 10-year Treasury ranged from 360 to 420 basis points, down from a range of 430 to 500 basis points in the third quarter of 2009. 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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