Daily News for Commercial Real Estate & Business – March 29, 2010

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

SO. CALIF.-BASED FIRM ENTERS VALLEY MARKET . . . BUYS HOTEL HIGHLAND Phoenix - A company formed by Stoneridge Capital Partners in Newport Beach, Calif. (Greg Merage, CEO) has acquired the 119-room Hotel Highland located at 2310 E. Highland Avenue in Phoenix. The property was sold at a trustee's sale. Although the trustee's deed upon sale shows a price of just under $14.764 million, sources say the actual sales price was significantly less than that amount. View article...

DOWNTOWN PHOENIX WAREHOUSE DISTRICT PROPERTIES NOTICED FOR TRUSTEE's SALE Phoenix - A mixed-use residential and retail project planned in the Warehouse District of Downtown Phoenix is in jeopardy because of a foreclosure action that has been filed against the owners of the property. The site includes several former warehouse buildings and encompasses two full city blocks. The acreage is bounded on the north by the Union Pacific Rail Road tracks, on the south by Lincoln Street, on the east by Fourth Street and on the west by Third Street. View article...

Specialty grocery coming to Chandler A speciality, full-service market unique to the Valley is coming to Chandler as the anchor tenant of the Promenade at Fulton Ranch, taking over the spot vacated by AJ's Fine Foods. The grocery store, which is still being developed and does not yet have a name, is expected to open in June at the northeast corner of Chandler Heights and Alma School roads, said Jay Thorne, a spokesman for RED Development, the project's developer. View article...

Desert Hills Bank shut down by federal regulators Desert Hills Bank, one of the largest banks headquartered in Arizona, was shut down by banking regulators Friday. New York Community Bank assumed all Desert Hills' deposits, which remain federally insured. Desert Hills' six branches will reopen on Monday as branches of New York Community Bank, which last year took over the Arizona branches of Ohio-based Amtrust Bank when it went under. View article...

A rough road still lies ahead for small banks These aren't the companies that come to mind when you think of banking. They don't have branches at every major intersection or ads splashed across billboards or television. Their top executives typically don't travel by private jet. Most didn't receive any federal bailout money. View article...

Landowner objects to Power Road proposal A proposal to widen and realign part of Power Road near Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport could hurt the area's economic potential and hinder traffic, a Gilbert landowner says. Joanne Muscarello, whose family owns 73 acres on the northwestern corner of Power and Williams Field roads, says she has two comprehensive studies that support her claim. View article...

Commercial real estate market winds up decade of extremes In 1989, Barron's, a national financial magazine, predicted the end of a boom era in Phoenix, with the collapse of both the commercial and residential real estate markets. The article cited office vacancies soaring beyond 20 percent and foreclosures accounting for 42 percent of all residential sales. It noted that the bubble of speculative land brokerage was about to burst, and that financial institutions were in distress. View article...

Broker: Half of Phoenix area's small, midsize retail centers in trouble About half of the small to midsize retail shopping centers in metro Phoenix are in financial trouble, according to Marcus & Millichap's local office. According to David Wetta, director of Marcus & Millichap's national retail group, there are 1,753 retail properties in the Valley between 5,000 and 300,000 square feet. View article...

Real estate boom-bust: Lessons learned As part of coverage related to our 2010 Commercial Real Estate magazine (part of the March 26 print edition) looking at the past decade we asked some key players: View article...

Arizona cities vary on tax rates, utility fees and other services At first glance the Valley's cluster of cities seem to blend into one big metropolis, dotted with the same familiar stores and similar subdivisions, with little to set them apart. But as the fallout from the recession leaves both families and governments struggling to manage over-stretched budgets, there's one significant difference that stands out: how much cities take out of taxpayers' pockets. 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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