Daily News for Commercial Real Estate & Business – March 23, 2011

54,800-SF Lease Signed in Phoenix Mega Furniture & Accessories LLC has signed a five-year deal for 54,800 square feet at 515 N. 51st Ave. in Phoenix. The 845,993-square-foot distribution facility is now fully leased. Mega Furniture will join the Arizona Department of Economic Security, Goodwill of Central Arizona, and Royal Paper Converting. The property was built in 1967 on 93 acres in the SW N of Buckeye Road Industrial submarket of Maricopa County. View article...

Chandler Office Sells for $3.1M Cambridge Financial Services has purchased 2450 S. Gilbert Rd. for $3.13 million, or about $93 per square foot. The seller was the FDIC, acting as receiver for Union Bank NA. The property is known as the Watermark at Chandler Airpark, and was constructed in 2008. It totals 33,636 square feet on two stories in the Chandler submarket of Maricopa County. View article...

MARCUS & MILLICHAP BROKERS $5.1 MILLION MULTIFAMILY SALE IN ARIZONA Marcus & Millichap has negotiated the $5.1 million sale of the 236-unit Pines of Camelback, an apartment property located directly across from a Metro light-rail train station at 4802 North 19th Ave. in Phoenix. Now being called Camelback @ the Stop, the property built in 1973 was 75 percent occupied at closing View article...

Tiffany & Bosco opens Las Vegas office Tiffany & Bosco PA has opened an office in Las Vegas, bringing the Las Vegas law offices of Wilde & Associates into its fold. Tiffany will have five attorneys in Las Vegas with attorney Gregory Wilde serving as managing partner at the new office. View article...

Gangplank expands its reach beyond Chandler The idea behind the incubator known as Gangplank was that young professionals would gather to share ideas for new products and business models that will launch all kinds of new firms. But perhaps Gangplank's first new concept to go big is Gangplank itself. View article...

Supporters celebrate board's approval of passenger rail A statewide rail plan that would start by linking Tucson and Phoenix is a step toward giving Arizona residents a transportation option that would relieve traffic congestion and improve air quality, an interest group contends. "We've seen that our roads are congested, our air is polluted and people are spending endless amounts of time in traffic," said Serena Unrein, a public interest advocate for the Arizona Public Interest Research Group. View article...

Gateway gets $9.75M grant for terminal expansion Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport has received a $9.75 million federal grant to expand its increasingly crowded passenger terminal. The grant will fund a 30,475-square-foot addition that includes two new gates and restrooms, making for a total of eight gates. The airport plans to break ground in November and open the new gates about one year later. View article...

West-MEC aviation training site in Glendale nearly complete West-MEC, a public school high school district for career and technical education, is preparing to offer aviation technical training to high school students and adults. West-MEC, the Western Maricopa Education Center, was established in 2002. Today, it enrolls more than 25,000 students from 40 high schools. View article...

Hotel numbers jump in Glendale Hospitality numbers for February remained relatively flat across the Phoenix area, although Glendale experienced increases in three key metrics. Smith Travel Research reports occupancy at Glendale properties at 71.3 percent in February, a 17.3 percent increase from the same period last year. View article...

Government Cuts Clip Office Market Smaller government means less demand for office space, and that is acting as a drag on the recovery of the commercial-real-estate market. In Washington and elsewhere, government leasing has helped prop up demand in tough times. But now cash-strapped governments are moving to cut back on office space, even as commercial real estate struggles to recover. View article...

Worries Rise About Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities The market for securities backed by commercial mortgages has begun to recover from the financial crisis, but some market participants are worried about the declining quality of the securities being offered. Investors in these securities, bonds backed by shopping malls and office buildings, are concerned by what they see as a lack of diversity in the bonds as well as the increase in loan-to-value ratios. Those with higher loan-to-value ratios generally are seen as riskier. View article...

Moody's Sees Vast Divergence in Distressed vs. Non-Distressed Prices Performance of commercial real estate in the United States is bifurcated, according to Moody's Investors Service, with larger properties in major markets recovering value while distressed properties remain well off the peak. View article...

Sixteen percent of Arizona homes vacant Sixteen percent of homes in Arizona sit vacant as the down housing market persists in Sun Belt states. CNN Money reports new U.S. Census figures show 16 percent of homes in Arizona are empty. Florida has the worst vacancy rate at 18 percent. Fourteen percent of Nevada homes are empty, according to the report. View article...

Mountain states housing prices dip 1.3% Mountain states, including Arizona, saw housing prices dip 1.3 percent between December and January, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency's monthly House Price Index. 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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