Daily News for Commercial Real Estate & Business – May 2, 2011

Here are the news articles you might find interesting today for commercial real estate and business:

Canadian REIT buys former Tempe Mosaic site for $3M Brookfield Properties Corp., a publicly traded real estate investment trust based in Canada, has purchased a prime piece of land in downtown Tempe for $3.2 million. Brookfield officials declined to comment about the deal, which is in escrow and scheduled to close May 6. The seller is ML Manager LLC, the successor to Mortgages Ltd. following a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. View article...

BARON PROPERTIES BUYING 414-UNIT APARTMENT PROJECT ON CENTRAL AVENUE FOR $36.5 MILLION In a deal set to close at press time, a company formed by investors J. Jeffrey Riggs, Scott Fisher and T.J. Tarbell of Baron Properties in Greenwood Village, Colo. was expected to spend $36.5 million ($88,164 per unit) to purchase the 414-unit Empirian on Central apartments at 4140 N. Central Avenue in Phoenix. The sellers are registered holders of GMAC Commercial Mortgage Securities Inc. Mortgage Pass Through Certificates. View article...

VENTURE KEEPS PUSHING . . . PURCHASES LAND FOR ANOTHER 436 LOTS IN VALLEY A joint venture formed by Petrus Partners Ltd. in New York City, N.Y. (Frank Walter, III, pres.) and Voyager Investment Properties LLC in Scottsdale (Mark Voigt, Dave Rogers, principals) paid a combined $7.033 million in cash to buy land in the Valley targeted for 436 home sites. With the acquisitions, the venture now controls property in the Phoenix area that is planned for more than 2,000 residences. In the most recent deal, Crown-Phoenix Palm Valley I LLC paid $3.9 million to acquire a 145-acre parcel in the Palm Valley community in Goodyear. View article...

Tempe's Loft a Go Go furniture caters to small-space living A former real-estate developer's second career has resulted in Mill Avenue's only furniture and home décor store. Loft a Go Go opened March 7, selling chairs, tables, wall art and home accessories that owner Rich Baxter selects from vendors across the country. View article...

New comedy club opens at CityScape The Valley's newest comedy club, Stand Up Live, has opened at CityScape and will debut its first show on Friday. Jo Koy will open up the club, at 50 W. Jefferson St., with a show at 8 p.m. tonight. The club is on CityScape's second floor near the Lucky Strike bowling alley. View article...

My Sister's Closet moves to N. Scottsdale location My Sister's Closet has expanded its North Scottsdale location. The store has moved from one spot at the Desert Village at Pinnacle Peak into a larger 10,000-square-foot location in the same center. The smaller store, at about 3,000 square feet, closed on April 29 and re-opened in its new location today. The center is located at 23269 N Pima Road, at the southeast corner of Pima and Pinnacle Peak Roads, and is anchored by A.J.'s Fine Foods. View article...

Ownership battle for Elevation Chandler returns to court The battle over who owns Elevation Chandler continues May 25 at the Arizona Court of Appeals in Phoenix. Lawyers for the million-dollar bidder, investor Tom Peltier of BT Capital, will present oral arguments. Peltier contends Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Bethany Hicks erred when she dismissed his lawsuit. View article...

Scottsdale planners endorse rezoning downtown property The second proposal filed under Scottsdale's downtown infill incentive district and plan - this one seeking a maximum building height of 90 feet - received unanimous support Wednesday from the city's Planning Commission. However, the owners of a small parcel surrounded by property owned by the applicant are hoping the City Council will reject the proposal. View article...

Shops at Pecos Ranch a bright leasing story Although retail leasing continues to be slow, there's at least one bright spot in Chandler. The Shops at Pecos Ranch at Dobson, on the northeastern corner of Dobson and Germann roads, was the last shopping center to be built when the Great Recession hit. But builders completed it. And within the past few months, the center has lured Rancho de Tia Rosa, a 10,000-square-foot Mexican food restaurant, and other eateries including Oregano's, self-serve yogurt place Yo Love, Uncle Bear's and BLD. Another tenant is the furniture store Crowded House, which moved from Mesa. View article...

Scottsdale-based Realty Executives set to file for Chapter 11 In a reversal from statements a week earlier, Realty Executives Inc. confirmed Friday that it intended to file for bankruptcy protection "within the next 48 hours." Employees and agents for Realty Executives were told Thursday about the plan to file for Chapter 11 reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. View article...

Arizona job growth expected to increase in 2011, economists say A recent flurry of employment fairs and hiring announcements has offered evidence of job growth in Arizona. Now, the economists are giving a thumbs up as well. For the first time in three years, the state is expected to begin gaining jobs in 2011, the Arizona Department of Commerce reported Thursday in its twice-a-year employment forecast. Economists predicted the state will add about 17,300 non-farm jobs this year, a slight but still positive increase of 0.7 percent. View article...

Progress being made on PHX Sky Train station Dozens of workers have erected 10,000 tons of steel and 11,000 yards of concrete over recent months to make the pedestrian walkway that bridges Washington Street and the platform for the 44th Street PHX Sky Train station. View article...

5 Banks, 1 CU Closed on April 29 Federal and state banking regulators closed five banks and one credit union on Friday, April 29. The latest closings raise the total number of failed institutions to 48 so far in 2011. View article...

Distress in Commercial Real Estate Sector Maintains Plateau The research firm Delta Associates says distress in the commercial sector is maintaining its plateau. The company's analysts report that despite a $5 billion increase in the volume of commercial properties in foreclosure and lender REO over the last two months, the level of distress has remained in the $175 billion to $190 billion range since the spring of last year. 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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