Daily News for Commercial Real Estate & Business – March 9, 2011

Arizona Center in downtown Phoenix sells for $136.5 million The Arizona Center in downtown Phoenix was sold for $136.5 million to Commonwealth REIT (NYSE:CWH) in Newton, Mass. The deal closed March 4. The sale likely is the largest real estate transaction in the state since the start of the Great Recession in 2008. View article...

HOT IN THE DESERT: MACERICH ACQUIRES REMAINING 50 PERCENT OWNERSHIP STAKE IN DESERT SKY MALL FROM JCP REALTY Macerich has purchased the remaining 50 percent ownership stake in the 900,000-square-foot Desert Sky Mall from J.C. Penney Co.'s JCP Realty for $27.6 million. The total purchase price included the assumption of a pro-rata share of the property debt. Concurrent with the acquisition of the partnership interest, the $51.5 million loan on the property was paid off. "With our just-announced increased stake in Kierland Commons and this transaction, we are adding to our dominant position in Arizona, where we see long-term opportunity," said Ed Coppola, Macerich's president. View article...

City preserve panel ponders how to buy 12,600 acres Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve Commission is considering a range of options for raising additional revenue to buy about 12,600 acres for the city's preserve. That could include private fundraising, a sales-tax increase, real-estate transfer fee, additional bed taxes, dedicated property tax or fees for hikers, mountain bikers and horse riders. The tax hikes would be subject to voter approval. View article...

Ramada reopens in downtown as renovated Travelodge A 92-room hotel that shut down last year has reopened and is undergoing a $1.5 million makeover along Fifth Avenue in downtown Scottsdale. The hotel, 6935 E. Fifth Ave., is owned by Triyar Hospitality, which also owns the W Scottsdale Hotel & Residences on Camelback Road. The former Ramada Limited has reopened as a Travelodge. View article...

Blue Sky developer seeks continuance from Scottsdale council Gray Development Group plans to ask the Scottsdale City Council today for two more weeks before the Council considers the developer's scaled-down proposal for its Blue Sky apartment complex east of Scottsdale Fashion Square. View article...

Supermarkets gain rivals as drugstores, general merchandisers stock groceries Where do you buy your groceries? (This article shows the number of each grocer in the Valley) Chances are you're picking up the bananas and milk in a few different places. Consumers' continued quest for convenience and the recession-driven trend toward smaller orders are bringing fundamental changes to the food business. View article...

Gilbert owner of classic-car auction company files for bankruptcy A Gilbert businessman's classic-car auction company has filed for bankruptcy as the number of victims claiming he owes them money continues to mount. Stanley D. Torgerson filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Feb. 14 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. A police investigation of the victims' claims also is continuing. View article...

Mesa council OKs tougher massage regulations Mesa has approved tougher rules for massage establishments, trying to crack down on businesses that are fronts for prostitution. The regulations were adopted by the City Council on Monday, a year after the city approved another set of rules that failed to give police enough enforcement tools. View article...

Subway passes McDonald's Move over Ronald McDonald and Mayor McCheese, Jared Fogle and $5 foot-longs are now the sheriffs of the fast food world. Subway has passed McDonald's when it comes to having the most restaurants worldwide, according AFP and other reports. View article...

Will Electronic Commerce Kill Brick-and-Mortar Retail? With a larger share of retail sales migrating to online channels, what fate awaits traditional physical retail centers? Supply and vacancy patterns for retail properties across the nation hint at a rocky future for retail landlords. View article...

Standard & Poor's Offers CMBS Research and Analysis via Trepp Platform Standard & Poor's, a provider of independent credit ratings, indices, risk evaluation, investment research, and data, announced yesterday that Trepp clients now have access to S&P's CMBS research headlines via the Trepp platform. Trepp is a provider of CMBS and commercial mortgage information, analytics, and technology. View article...

Commercial Mortgages Outperform Other Loan Types in 2010 A new report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) shows that commercial mortgages have performed better than other types of loans over the course of 2010 for banks and thrifts. MBA estimates that commercial mortgages, which make up $1.1 trillion or 15 percent of banks' overall loan holdings, finished the year with lower delinquency rates than other types of loans. View article...

With Negative Equity Still Rising, Dodd-Frank Could Make Things Worse Fourth quarter data from CoreLogic reveals negative and near-negative (mortgages with less than 5 percent equity) equity mortgages account for 27.9 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage nationwide, and the company says recent legislation could make a gloomy situation even darker for the hardest-hit states. View article...

1 Credit Union Closed March 7 Regulators closed one credit union on Monday, March 7, raising the year's total to 28 failed institutions so far in 2011. The latest failure: Land of Enchantment Federal Credit Union of Santa Fe, N.M. 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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