Daily News for Commercial Real Estate & Business – January 27, 2010

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

Freeport buys Twin Buttes Mine near Sahuarita

TUCSON - Mining giant Freeport-McMoRan has bought the long-closed Twin Buttes Mine site near Sahuarita for $200 million and may mine it once again, company officials said. Phoenix-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. bought 8,900 acres of the open-pit mine site, which closed in 1994 after being mined since the 1960s, Freeport spokesman Richard Peterson said in a written statement. Smaller-scale mining operations in that area date to the 19th century.

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Suntech to announce factory site Wednesday

Suntech Power Holdings will announce the location of its new manufacturing plant at the Arizona Solar Manufacturing Symposium in Phoenix Wednesday.

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Chicago Cubs announcement expected Wednesday

A news conference has been scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the state Capitol to announce the Chicago Cubs' decision with regard to keeping their spring training operations in Mesa.

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CityNorth agreement stands for now, but court clarifies position on future cases

A deal that could give nearly $100 million in tax incentives to the Phoenix retail-and-housing development CityNorth can proceed, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Monday - even though the deal "quite likely" violated the state Constitution.

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Scottsdale hotel occupancy up, but rates continue decline

Smith Travel Research reports continued decreases in average daily room rate and revenue per available room in Scottsdale. For November, the most recent data available, the average daily room rate was $133.11, a decrease of nearly 18 percent from the same month in 2008.

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Mormon Church will lower height of Phoenix temple

The height of the proposed Mormon temple in Phoenix will not exceed residential zoning heights, church officials said Tuesday.

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Fulton faces tough exit from bankruptcy

One year after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Tempe-based Fulton Homes is facing stiff opposition to its reorganization plan from banks that are owed 98 percent of the builder's outstanding debt.

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Pending home sales, prices on the rise

January's rise in pending home sales is a critical recovery indicator for Arizona's real estate market, says Mesa analyst Michael Orr.

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Phoenix home values up 1.1% October to November

The latest numbers from the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index show home values rose in the Phoenix area in November of last year while they fell around the country. The average value of a Phoenix-area home in November was just under $112,000. That was 1.1 percent higher than October, but still down 14.2 percent from November 2008.

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House panel delays bill to extend payday loans

PHOENIX - A legislative hearing on a bill that would allow payday lenders to continue offering high-interest short-term loans in Arizona has been delayed. The bill's sponsor says it didn't have enough support to advance.

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House committee approves bill to cut taxes

A bill that would cut tax rates and expand incentives to attract jobs to Arizona cleared its first hurdle Monday amid a debate over how the tax cuts would affect Arizona's massive budget deficits.

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Real-Estate Cap Rates Rise

Capitalization rates, a calculation real-estate investors use to measure the annual return of income-producing properties, continue to rise. The average cap rate for office properties in central business districts jumped to 8.8% in December from 8.56% in November. The December number was the highest rate for that category since May 2003.

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Retail Distress Highest Among Unanchored Strips, Bubble Markets

Distress is rampant in the retail sector, which leads all property sectors with $32 billion in distressed assets, according to New York-based Real Capital Analytics. But not all retail is created equal. A look inside the numbers reveals that unanchored strip centers, retail in regions plagued by high unemployment and deep housing busts, as well as loans originated in 2006 and 2007, are disproportionately more susceptible to distress.

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Record CRE Loan Defaults Contribute to Rising 2010 Bank Failures

With 140 bank failures, there's no question 2009 was a wild ride for the nation's bankers. Instead of easing up this year, however, lenders can expect the terrain to get even rockier as the volume of nonperforming commercial, construction and land loans jumps to $165 billion in 2010, up from $135.7 billion in 2009, according to new projections from Foresight Analytics.

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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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