Daily News from the desk of Nicholas L Miner, CCIM – July 2, 2009

Here are the news stories you might find interesting today:

Census: Valley cities among fastest growing

Tempe set to buy $1M worth of new cars, trucks

Retail Casualties Predicted to Rise

Don't be surprised on a long drive to find a strip mall or two abandoned along the highway, flamboyant signs askew and the empty parking lot looking eerily reminiscent of the 1980s, when commercial foreclosures and savings and loan failures were rampant. It's not farfetched to anticipate a slew of mall closures, says Victor Calanog, director of research at New York data firm Reis. "I think we're seeing it right now. We're seeing a lot of properties in distress. I think a lot of malls will go dark."

Despite the differences in performance between regional malls and strip centers, both are facing difficulty. In the first quarter, the vacancy rate of regional malls reached a historical high of 7.9%, up from 5.9% a year earlier, says Calanog. The vacancy rate of strip malls also rose by 200 basis points to 9.5%. "It's something we haven't seen since 1994."

Tomorrow?

The end of the commercial real estate slump is more than a day away.

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Valley developer Opus West filing bankruptcy

Phoenix-based Opus West Corp., which owns numerous high-profile office, residential and retail developments in the East Valley, will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in early July, the company said Wednesday.

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ADP: Employment drops 473,000 in June

The U.S. private sector lost 473,000 jobs in June, according to an ADP report.

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HUD sends $32M to jump start AZ affordable housing

Arizona will receive $32.3 million to jump start affordable housing projects that have been in limbo during the recession. The announcement was made Wednesday by U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan.

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Pending home sales inch up in U.S., West

Pending home sales both in the West and across the nation posted a modest increase in May.

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Tempe considers easing sign restrictions

In a nod to businesses trying to be creative during the recession, the Tempe City Council will consider relaxing signage restrictions.

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Westcor lists lineup of new retailers

A number of retailers will open in the coming months at retail properties across the Phoenix area.

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El Chorro Lodge Sells for $7M

El Chorro Lodge in Paradise Valley, AZ, sold for $7 million, or $392 per square foot in a sale between two private parties. The 17,828-square-foot restaurant at 5550 E. Lincoln Drive was built in 1934 in Paradise Valley. Both buyer and seller were...

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Redwood Place Sells for $5.8M

ESI Ventures purchased the Redwood Place in Phoenix for $5.8 million, or about $31,200 per unit. The 186-unit multifamily at 2015 W. Cactus Road was constructed in 1985 and in 2006 received a $4 million renovation. The complex sits on 9.3 acres and...

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Newport Group Purchases Office for $1.4M

Newport Development purchased the office building at 8937 E. Bell Road in Scottsdale, AZ, for $1.46 million, or $172 per square foot. The 8,515-square-foot building was built in 2006 and was 35 percent occupied at the time of sale. Newport will be...

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CBRE Realty Trust Goes Shopping

In the middle of a follow-on public stock offering that has raised more than $79 million this year for CB Richard Ellis Realty Trust, the REIT has started going shopping and recently signed several purchase contracts. It has agreed to acquire to following...

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Crabtree and Evelyn files for Chapter 11

Soap and lotion seller Crabtree & Evelyn Ltd. says it filed for Chapter 11 protection on Wednesday, a victim of the recession and management missteps.

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4 new Chandler hotels nearing completion

Four out of the 10 hotel projects pegged to nearly double Chandler's hotel room count within the next two years are under construction and scheduled to open within the next few months.

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Fiesta MarketPlace on track to open Aug. 1

An indoor swap meet with a more upscale ambience is planned in Mesa's west Southern Avenue corridor.

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