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

NOTE ON PHOENIX RETAIL PLAZA PURCHASED FOR $8 MILLION . . . PROPERTY FORECLOSED Bethany Core LLC in Paradise Valley (James Shough, principal) paid $8 million to acquire a note secured by a 90,616-square-foot retail plaza at the southwest corner of 16th Street and Bethany Home Road in Phoenix. The seller was City National Bank. After acquiring the note, Bethany Core foreclosed on the previous owner. View article...

MCRAE SPENDS $9.76 MILLION FOR LAND TARGETED FOR 3,623 HOME SITES IN FLORENCE AREA Companies formed by the McRae Group of Cos. in Scottsdale (Ron McRae, principal) paid just over $9.76 million to purchase land in the Florence area of Pinal County that is targeted for 3,623 homes. Mesquite Trails LLC (McRae's company) paid just under $6.406 million to buy 637 acres at the southeast corner of Felix and Heritage roads. View article...

D.R. Horton Picks Deer Valley Office Park for Regional HQ D.R. Horton Inc., the nation's largest homebuilder, will move its regional headquarters to the Deer Valley submarket from its current Scottsdale location. The Fort Worth-based company signed a two-year lease for 24,585 square feet of office space at Deer Valley Office Park, a two-building complex totaling 176,095 square feet. View article...

5 developers float plans for Bell Road, 94th Street property The Bell Road corridor near 94th Street would take on a new look under each of the five development proposals Scottsdale is considering for 80 acres of city-owned land. Three proposals are for apartment complexes, with one of them including nearly 100 single-family homes. View article...

Gilbert Crossings to get new sports rehab A new health club and sports rehabilitation center is coming to Gilbert. Cassidy Turley BRE Commercial, has completed a 25,067-square foot lease at Gilbert Crossing Shopping Center for Burgundy Group, LLC. Gilbert Crossings, 866 W. Gilbert Road, is a neighborhood retail center located one mile south of U.S. 60. View article...

Phoenix-area to lose more than 25 Blockbusters in April Shrinking video giant Blockbuster Inc. will close about half of its remaining metro Phoenix stores April 10 as it struggles to become relevant to consumers who now generally prefer to rent videos online, by mail or at self-serve kiosks. While the company declined to say how many stores it plans to close in the Phoenix area, a telephone survey of its approximately 50 Valley locations found that more than 25 will close next month. View article...

Docufide changing name to Parchment Docufide Inc., which is moving its headquarters from Los Angeles to Scottsdale to provide electronic transcript solutions for schools and universities, is changing its name to Parchment Inc. The name change reflects the company's strategy to transform the way education credentials are exchanged and used by education institutions. View article...

Planners OK commercial site in northeast Phoenix Two city planning committees have approved a plan to extend commercial zoning along Tatum Boulevard north of Greenway Road. The rezoning is the second phase of a development on the northwest corner of the intersection. A Walgreens also is doing business there, but two other buildings in the first phase, including one that was supposed to be a Fresh and Easy Neighborhood Market, have not yet been built. View article...

Towers tip of the iceberg for Tempe development surge? A massive complex of 20-story towers is being proposed along Tempe Town Lake in what is one of the most ambitious new projects contemplated in the East Valley since the recession crippled new development. And a project representative said to expect plans for even more downtown Tempe buildings soon. View article...

Tax credit lets Phoenix pave way to area lending Phoenix will have access to $53 million in tax credits that it will use to bolster businesses and non-profit organizations in low-income areas. The New Markets Tax Credit allocation will go to the Phoenix Community Development and Investment Corp., a non-profit started by the city. It, in turn, will work with local banks to make low-cost loans for the purchase, expansion or renovation of commercial and non-profit buildings. The program is operated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Phoenix previously received two tax-credit grants: $170 million in 2002 and $40 million in 2008. View article...

Gate6 tops Web design list in Phoenix area For the second year in a row, Gate6 finished atop the Web Design Firms list compiled by the Phoenix Business Journal. The list, published in the March 11 print edition, shows Gate6 with 35 local Web designers, five more than Tempe-based Meltmedia at No. 2. View article...

Arizona loses jobs while 42 states gain Forty-two states and the District of Columbia have added jobs during the past 12 months, but Arizona is not included in that group. Arizona lost 6,500 jobs between January of 2010 and January of 2011. That ranks Arizona 48th for job growth among the states and the District of Columbia. View article...

Wal-Mart plans to add hundreds of smaller stores in next three years Wal-Mart Stores, in a presentation at a Bank of America Merrill Lynch conference on Thursday, announced that it would open "hundreds" of smaller-format stores over the next three years. According to Bill Simon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart U.S., the ramped-up development could be augmented by some acquisition activity, although he didn't elaborate on specifics. View article...

Auction.com Sells $113M in Commercial Real Estate Assets and Notes According to Auction.com, a California-based real estate auction site, investors and buyers spent $112.9 million on assets at five of its auction events for primarily non-performing commercial real estate and notes last month. View article...

Shadow Inventory, Negative Equity Impacting Home Price Recovery Home prices in January were down 5.7 percent from a year earlier after factoring the month's REO sales and short sales into the mix, according to new data from the research and analytics firm CoreLogic. January marked the sixth month in a row that the company has recorded a year-over-year decline in U.S. home prices. View article...

2 Banks Closed on March 11 Federal and state regulators closed two banks on Friday, March 11. These latest announcements of failed institutions make the total 30 so far in 2011. 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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