Daily News for Commercial Real Estate & Business – January 14, 2011

To view this weeks "The Watchlist" by Costar, click here.

HARVARD INVESTMENTS COMPANY PAYS $30+ MILLION FOR 1,278 ACRES IN PINAL COUNTY A company formed by Harvard Investments Inc. in Scottsdale (Paul Hill, Craig Krumwiede, Chris Cacheris, principals) paid just under $30.043 million to buy a tract in Pinal County that has zoning in place for 4,500 residences. The seller in three separate transactions were companies formed by W Holdings in Tempe (Ashton Wolfswinkel, Brandon Wolfswinkel, et al., members). View article...

MERCURY INVESTMENTS STARTS NEW YEAR WITH $23+MILLION DEAL FOR 272 APARTMENTS A company formed by Mercury Investments Co. in Duluth, Mn. (Abbot Apter, principal) paid $23.392 million ($86,000 per unit) to purchase the 272-unit Bayside at the Islands apartments at 1300 W. Warner Road in Gilbert. The seller was a company formed by Equity Residential Trust in Chicago (NYSE:EQR). View article...

Blondies Sports Bar and Grill now open on Mill Avenue Long gone are the scantily clad, schoolgirl-inspired waitresses in short plaid skirts and rows of dusty books of the Library Bar & Grill on Mill Avenue in Tempe. They are replaced by pretty, bubbly waitresses in maroon-and-gold cheerleading outfits, and rows of flat screen televisions at the newly opened Blondies Sports Bar. View article...

Mineral drilling company relocates from Peoria to Glendale Boart Longyear signed a 10-year lease for a 20,000-square-foot office-industrial building to be built at Northern Gateway Commerce Park, near 71st and Northern avenues. Boart Longyear provides mineral exploration drilling services and drilling products globally. The company is relocating to Glendale from a smaller location in Peoria as part of an expansion of its Arizona operations. View article...

Former Mortgages Ltd. sites go on block Two premier land parcels have just hit the Phoenix market that have ties to Mortgages Ltd. and could generate interest from around the world, according to the PBJ's Jan Buchholz. View article...

Hope emerges for Phoenix office market The Phoenix office market remained lackluster in the fourth quarter of 2010 but there are a few glimmers of hope. That's the assessment of the Metro Phoenix Office Market Report published by Lee & Associates in Phoenix. Absorption rates - the amount of new space leased compared with a previous period -- - have improved slightly in some submarkets and may improve modestly this year. View article...

Tribe revises casino plan Opposition mounted throughout 2010 against the Tohono O'odham Nation's plan to build a casino next to Glendale, but the tribe remains intent on construction, announcing Tuesday it has updated its renderings of the proposed West Valley Resort. View article...

Waterfront changes OK'd over neighbors' complaints The Scottsdale Planning Commission, for a second time, gave its unanimous support to modifying development standards for the final phases of the Waterfront, including allowing a 140-foot tower on the eastern side of the property. View article...

21st Century Insurance adding 50 Phoenix jobs After hiring 70 people last fall, 21st Century Insurance and Financial Services plans to add 50 more customer-service positions in its Phoenix office. The expansion is being driven by office consolidations elsewhere around the country and by general growth in the firm's auto-insurance business, said Deborah West, director of Phoenix operations. View article...

If you want a copy of the latest foreclosure spreadsheet, email me and I will send it to 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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