Daily News for Commercial Real Estate & Business – May 6, 2010

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

To view this weeks, "The Watch List," by Costar, click here.

MidFirst Bank celebrating grand openings A grand-prize drawing for an Apple iPad will top off a grand opening at MidFirst Bank on Saturday at 1311 W. Chandler Blvd. The celebration runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., ending with the iPad drawing. View article...

Downtown retailers surviving recession From polishing jewelry and fixing clasps to carving custom molds, Jaime Laza has spent more than 30 years working his way up the jewelry industry - the hard way. Today, "hard" is a word often used by 61-year-old Laza and other jewelers to describe the economic challenges battering the industry, including the high cost of gold and competition from chain stores that often undercut independent jewelers. View article...

Arizona Diamondbacks opener helps set light rail record Bouyed by the Arizona Diamondbacks home opener, the Metro light rail system set a ridership record in April and posted its single busiest day. Metro carried 1.21 million riders in April. That translates to an average weekday ridership of 44,932, average Saturday ridership of 34,533 and average Sunday and holiday ridership of 20,573. Those numbers break previous records set in March of this year. View article...

AZ manufacturers working from strong foundation, but need help Arizona manufacturing has a couple ways to break through with expansion, but it likely will need help, said John Engler, president of the National Association of Manufacturers. View article...

Concern grows over Arizona immigration law Arizona's strict anti-immigration legislation that was signed into law last month has provoked a growing number of boycotts and concerns among hospitality operators in the state. View article...

Legislative Changes To Government Property Lease Excise Tax (GPLET) Require Quick Action on Proposed Development As an economic development tool, cities, towns and other governmental entities can agree to hold title to real property and the improvements located on that property (the "Property") and lease the Property to a private party. This ownership structure enables the private party to develop and use the Property at a preferred property tax rate. View article...

Wells Fargo CEO: No bank is too big to fail Wells Fargo & Co. CEO John Stumpf doesn't believe that financial institutions should be considered too big to fail, according to a new interview with the San Francisco Business Times. "Nobody should be too big to fail. If I don't provide the leadership this company deserves and needs and we run it into the ditch, I should be fired and shareholders should take the first loss without taxpayers having to bail out anyone," he said. View article...

ASU to graduate a record 10,000 students Arizona State University is set to graduate a record class of more than 10,000 students next week. School officials say the number of spring graduates has jumped by 1,000 a year over the past five years, as ASU's enrollment has increased and the demand for an educated workforce persists. View article...

Phoenix No. 2 spot for college grads Phoenix may still be reeling from the housing crash and bum economy, but college graduates seem to think it's the place to be. View article...

Retail Investment Sales Market Continues to Progress Data from New York City-based real estate research firm Real Capital Analytics reveals that the investment sales climate continues to improve for all property types. Overall, the firm says sales volume reached $15.4 billion, representing a 50 percent increase from the first quarter of 2009, which marked the bottom of the downturn in sales. View article...

Lack of Supply Leads to Increased Sales Activity on Prime Retail Assets The investment sales market for retail properties has turned a corner - at least when it comes to prime assets. After more than a year of severely constrained activity, firms including Inland Real Estate Acquisitions Inc., Kimco Realty Corp. and Caruso Affiliated, among others, have been part of a flurry of large-scale acquisitions and joint venture agreements in the past few months. Industry insiders say the dearth of high quality retail assets on offer and a feeling that prices on top centers have bottomed is propelling the wave of activity. View article...

Debt rating agencies see industry improvement With credit conditions in the overall economy improving, ratings agencies and analysts alike are becoming more optimistic that restaurants can pay back debt, improve credit metrics and begin to use capital for growth again. The optimism comes after years of negative outlooks and ratings downgrades for many operators in the restaurant space who were saddled with debt from frenetic growth in the early 2000s, and then struggled to keep cash flow positive as diners cut back on eating out. View article...

Lending Crisis Ebbs The commercial real estate community is breathing a big sigh of relief. It has weathered an economic and financial storm that wiped out some of the most venerable firms on Wall Street, caused the credit markets to seize up for most of 2009, and wreaked havoc on property markets. 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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