Commercial Real Estate & Business News – March 27, 2015

Americans in their 20s and early 30s are getting a nudge toward homeownership a decade after sales peaked during the housing bubble. It’s not their nagging parents. It’s rents. They’ve risen so much that buying is making more sense... Read more »
Inflation is about as dangerous as an after-dinner mint these days, which casts some doubt on commercial real estate’s traditional role as a hedge against inflation. The most recent numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics are the latest in a long line of flaccid readings. According to the BLS, its Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers increased 0.2 percent in February, and not only because of gasoline’s dead-cat bounce in prices. The small increase was actually broad-based, with increases in shelter, energy and food all contributing. However, the all items index was unchanged over the past 12 months, after showing a 0.1 percent decline for the 12 months ending January. The annual readings generally involved the large drop in the price of gas balancing the small increases in the prices of most everything else... Read more »
New-home sales rose to the highest level in seven years in February, a sign of strong demand that could help boost the broader U.S. housing market. Sales of newly built single-family homes increased 7.8% from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 539,000, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That is the highest level since February 2008... Read more »
Maricopa County had the second-largest population increase in the nation last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The 74,000 new residents in the county was topped only by 89,000 in Harris County (Houston), Texas. The 1.8 percent population gain, however, was less than half pre-recession levels for the county. Maricopa County is closing in on 4.1 million people... Read more »
Arizona’s unemployment rate dropped a tenth of a percent to 6.5 percent adding 29,600 new jobs during the month of February. The increase – a gain of 2.1 percent over last year and 1.1 percent from January – was led by increased governmental hiring... Read more »

Commercial Real Estate & Business News – March 26, 2015

Research Suggests Apartments Contribute $1.3 Trillion to U.S. Economy

The NMHC published a report this year indicating that the apartment industry contributes $1.3 trillion in economic activity to the U.S. economy every year, which translates into 12 million jobs. That total includes $100 billion in construction spending, $190 billion in operating apartment communities and $1 trillion in resident spending... Read more »

Is Your Retail Business Ready for the Switching Economy?

Technological change is affecting the retail industry dramatically — and one area it’s transforming is customer expectations. Today, consumers are 29 percent more likely to switch companies than they were five years ago, reports Accenture’s latest Global Consumer Pulse Research. It seems that the ability to buy from anywhere, anytime, on any device has caused customer expectations to rise — so much so, that most businesses can’t keep up... Read more »

$38M Cocktail-Themed Apartments Open in Scottsdale, Class A Complex in Ahwatukee

Apartment developers and landlords are looking for every competitive and marketing edge they can get with the waves of new and refurbished units hitting the Phoenix marketplace... Read more »

Levine Adds To Infill Assets...Pays $15 Million For Plaza By Scottsdale Fashion Square

In keeping with a strategy to buy well-located infill properties that can be upgraded and leased to quality commercial tenants, Levine Investments Limited Partnership paid $15 million ($500 per foot) to acquire a mixed-use property located across the street from Scottsdale Fashion Square. The 30,000-square-foot project, comprised of retail, commercial and showroom space, sits on a 3.26-acre parcel at the northeast corner of Scottsdale Road and Highland Avenue... Read more »

Getting Hot in Phoenix

PHOENIX—Things are heating up in the Phoenix metro area. There are clear patterns that seem to be emerging around the country as cities revitalize around a new tenant base, such as technology or medical office, which are supplanting more traditional occupants, at least for now. The core Phoenix market is certainly holding its own, reports Andy Weflen. For the eye-popping transactions, however, you’ve got to look to the outer regions of the metro – to Tempe, Scottsdale and Chandler, AZ... Read more »

Commercial Real Estate & Business News – March 25, 2015

$200M Infill Developments Coming to Old Town Scottsdale, Central Avenue

Scottsdale-based Deco Communities has $200 million worth of new infill condominium developments underway or in the works in Old Town and central Phoenix. That includes a new Phoenix project on Central Avenue near Thomas Road... Read more »

Fresh & Easy to Close 5 Arizona Locations

Five metro Phoenix Fresh & Easy locations are slated to close as part of the El Segundo, California-based grocer's plan to shutter 50 stores and focus on developing a new store model. Closures include stores in California, Nevada and Arizona representing about 30 percent of the company’s 167 stores. KJZZ reported that five stores in Arizona will close... Read more »

Plexus Worldwide Breaks Ground on National HQ

Plexus Worldwide, a leading direct-marketing weight-loss and health-supplement seller that was recently named #8 on the 2014 Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies, announced it will break ground on a 70KSF national headquarters office building at the MainSpring Capital project at Pima Center on March 30 at noon... Read more »

Buildout Underway at Discovery Campus

A five-story, 228-room hotel will be built on nearly six acres of the 136-acre Discovery Business Campus northwest of Loop 101 and Elliot Road, pending approval by Tempe. Word on the street is that the flag will be a Homewood Suites by Hilton... Read more »

Scottsdale Gets Mixed-Use Condo Project

A general contractor has yet to be selected to build the four-level Main Street Place condominium project on the northeast corner of Main and 75th Streets in downtown Scottsdale. Initial plans call for 11 condos, a hospitality suite and a ground-floor restaurant, coffee shop or office space. The project’s estimated square footage is 50K. Main Street Place, located at the eastern “Gateway to the Civic Center Mall,” would overlook the “Windows to the West” sculpture by Louise Nevelson, water feature and Amphitheater Park to the west across 75th Street... Read more »

Commercial Real Estate & Business News – March 20, 2015

Off-Price Retail Sector Growing Fast

Off-price chains that sell high-profile brands and designer goods for 20 to 60 percent below department and specialty store prices, are outperforming much of the retail sector; they are growing faster than competitors and are gaining market share. The sector’s popularity surged during the recession and has stayed popular now that the economy has rebounded. Emboldened by a nimble real estate and merchandising strategy and by growing clout with vendors, these off-price chains are on an expansion binge stateside and in international markets too. By the end of 2013, Burlington, Nordstrom Rack, Ross Stores and TJX were generating about 8 percent, nearly $28 billion, of the clothing and footwear sales in the U.S., according to Scott Tuhy, a vice president and senior credit officer at Moody’s Investors Service... Read more »

Private Buyers Dominate Retail Net Lease Sector

Private buyers have taken over the retail net lease market, representing the majority of deals closed in 2014. Private investors accounted for 60 percent of the net lease market last year, a significant increase over the 42 percent in 2013, according to the most recent net lease report from The Boulder Group, a real estate services firm specializing in single tenant net lease properties... Read more »

Long Overlooked, Suburban Office Attracting Increased Investor Interest

After taking its lumps well into the ongoing office market recovery, suburban office property is finally garnering increased investor interest. As recently as January 2013, after rounds of corporate downsizing during and after the recession sent suburban office vacancy rates as high as 50% in some markets, analysts were writing the latest obituary of suburban office parks, shopping centers and other far-flung properties as places where no one among the coming wave of millennials would want to work, shop or live... Read more »

Rood-Led TIC from Pacific Northwest Pays $50 + Million For Fedex Facility in Chandler

A tenant-in-common investment group from the Pacific Northwest has entered the Valley real estate market with the $50.179 million ($158.78 per foot) purchase of a distribution facility in Chandler that is occupied by Federal Express. The 316,034-square-foot project, which was completed late last year, is located west of the northwest corner of Queen Creek and Gilbert roads. The facility, which FedEx occupies through a long term lease, has an address of 2650 E. Queen Creek Road... Read more »

Phoenix Real Estate: Sales Volume, Foreclosures Down while Prices, Rents Up

Arizona State University housing expert Michael Orr has some springtime optimism about Phoenix’s real estate market despite January declines in sales volumes for new and existing homes. Orr said some January data and forward-looking trends show housing improvements... Read more »

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