Daily News for Commercial Real Estate & Business – March 5, 2010

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

Westcor eyes development in north Phoenix

Arizona's dominant mall developer, Westcor, still wants to build a shopping, dining and entertainment center in north Phoenix. Officials with Westcor, a subsidiary of Macerich, said recently they are looking to develop on about 200 acres east of Interstate 17 between Carefree Highway and Dove Valley Road. View article...

Syntellect to move HQ to Corridors business park

Syntellect, a customer management software provider, is moving its corporate headquarters to Corridors-Phoenix, a business park northwest of the Phoenix Deer Valley Municipal Airport. The company will move from 16610 N. Black Canyon Highway to 2095 W. Pinnacle Peak Road in April, according to a statement released by the Alter Group, the business park's developer. Syntellect has contracted for 15,400 square feet. Terms of the lease were not disclosed. View article...

Lunde transforms Saturn of Arrowhead into Volkswagen dealership

For two years, Dennis Lunde followed news of General Motors' woes with a careful eye. With the rest of the country, he watched as the beleaguered Detroit-based automaker ultimately descended into bankruptcy last summer. When rumors abounded that the company would discontinue the Saturn brand, it got personal: Lunde was the owner and CEO of two Saturn dealerships in the Valley, one in Avondale and the other in Arrowhead. View article...

Starbucks tests 31-ounce iced coffee in Valley

For some, 24 ounces of coffee just isn't cutting it. Starbucks Corp. hopes to satisfy their hankering for more with a new 31-ounce drink dubbed the Trenta, Italian for 30. The nearly quart-sized drink is available only for iced coffee and iced teas, none of those fancy lattes or mochas. It's currently being tested out only in Phoenix and Tampa, Fla., chosen because of their warm climates. An iced Trenta coffee costs $3.30, and an iced Trenta tea goes for $2.60. View article...

Big housing project under way in Gilbert

One of the most substantial housing projects in years is under way in Gilbert. Construction has started on roads, pipelines and other needs for Adora Trails, a 587-acre development planned near Val Vista Drive and Riggs Road. "We are under way," said Jason Meyers, land resources director for Scottsdale-based Taylor Morrison Homes. Meyers said the company will start building models as early as July, with production on the first of 1,871 homes in September. The company expects to start closings December 1. View article...

Bank moves to foreclose on Phoenix tower

Bank of America is asking a Maricopa County judge to approve its motion to foreclose on the Viad Corporate Center near Downtown Phoenix. The banking giant wants a receiver appointed to oversee the Central Avenue building. Bank of America claims the building's owner has not kept current on a $65 million loan. The building's owner, Costa Mesa, Calif.-based McCarthy Cook & Co., declined to comment on the lender's action. View article...

Phoenix Shows Glimmers of Hope

When one of Nick Ingle's assistants was in college in 1997, he lived in an apartment on the west side of Phoenix. A decade later, he went back. And guess what? He's paying less for the apartment. "It's extremely telling," says Ingle, director of capital markets for Phoenix-based Hendricks & Partners, a national multifamily research and advisory firm. View article...

Economy showing strength as retail sales climb

The economy is showing renewed strength as retail sales surged last month and factory orders also increased. Such gains could lead to more hiring - if they can be sustained. Retailers said Thursday that store sales rose in February by the largest amount since November 2007. And orders to U.S. factories in January posted their sharpest rise in four months. It was another sign that manufacturing is helping drive the economic recovery. View article...

Bill to let partnerships run state parks is OK'd by Senate

The state Senate approved a bill Wednesday that would allow local governments, private companies and Native American Indian tribes to temporarily take over operations and management of state parks. "In order to remain economically viable, cities need their parks to remain open, and these partnerships will allow that," said Sen. Barbara Leff, R-Paradise Valley, sponsor of Senate Bill 1349. View article...

Phoenix unemployment steady at 8.5%

Unemployment remained steady in Arizona and the Phoenix area in January.

The Arizona Department of Commerce reported Thursday that seasonally adjusted unemployment in the metro area continues at 8.5 percent, however that is a significant jump from the 7.1 percent reported a year ago. Statewide the rate remained at 9.2 percent for the month, compared with 8 percent a year ago. Nationally the rate is 9.7 percent. View article...

Feds report 2.1% county wage gain 2007-08

The average wage in Maricopa County rose 2.1 percent in the second quarter of 2008 compared with the previous year, according to a report issued Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That compares with $748 in Pima County, which posted a 2 percent gain and ranked 105th among the nation's largest 334 counties (those with 75,000 or more jobs). View article...

Economists' Outlook: Economists' Commentaries (this shows each property type and its economic impact)

Economists' Commentaries provide an in-depth look at trends and current news items related to housing and the real estate market, including topics such as recent NAR survey results and political developments affecting REALTORS®. 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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