Commercial Real Estate & Business News – September 20, 2017

While market prices suggest less certainty, 76 percent of respondents to the CNBC Fed Survey believe the central bank will hike interest rates in December. Various market-based gauges put the probability at 43 to 55 percent. On average, respondents to the survey see two to three hikes next year, and the Fed is forecast to finish its rate hike cycle in the second quarter of 2019 at a 2.9 percent rate...»
Amazon expanded its partnership with Kohl's on Tuesday with the launch of a new service that lets customers return their purchases through select Kohl's stores in the U.S. The partnership is the latest in Amazon's retail expansion efforts. The e-commerce company has been aggressively growing its physical presence in recent years, which now spans hundreds of Whole Foods stores...»
Toys R Us plans to use its bankruptcy filing as a way to reemerge on the cutting edge of the retail world, closing underperforming stores and transforming others into "interactive spaces" to thrill both adult and pint-sized customers. The big-box retailer did not specify how many of its 1,600 stores it plans to shutter but acknowledged in a court filing Tuesday that "leases are a substantial burden"...»
Drive Shack has unveiled plans to open a new golf-based entertainment venue in the Phoenix market - the company's fourth location. The leisure business specialist received approval recently for a 60K SF complex at Bethany Home Road and 99th Avenue, just off Loop 101 and directly across from the University of Phoenix Stadium. The property will be a year-round sports entertainment facility...»
An idea that came to him as an Arizona State junior turned Tom Hatten into a successful entrepreneur. His company, Mountainside Fitness, is celebrating its 25th anniversary and opened a 14th location this summer at the Marina Heights development on Tempe Town Lake. "It's taken decades (to build the brand)...»

Commercial Real Estate & Business News – September 19, 2017

Economic growth is set to reduce the commercial real estate vacancy rate to 11.9% over the coming year, the National Association of Realtors forecasts. The 1.1% overall decline is matched by the industrial sector, taking its vacancy rate to 7.8%; while retail will decline 0.4% to 11.4%. Vacancies will also tighten in the multifamily sector, from 6.6% to 6.1% over the year...»

Gateway cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Miami are becoming overheated, and investors have begun to look at other markets, like Denver, Phoenix and Nashville, as more viable options due to their healthy economies and the strength of the energy and manufacturing sectors, Business Insider reports. In addition to this, the cost of doing business is significantly cheaper in some of these markets...»

Employment seems to have stabilized, at least in most parts of the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment rates were higher in August in only eight states, lower in one state, and stable in 41 states and the District of Columbia, compared with July...»

Early signs from retailers indicate a hot job market for workers this holiday season. Despite store closures and consolidation within the industry, retailers are signaling that there might be high demand for seasonal jobs, according to a forecast from global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas...»

Arizona State University has been named the most innovative school among national universities for the third year in a row by U.S. News & World Report. The university got the most votes among college presidents, provosts and admission deans, who were asked to nominate up to 10 cutting-edge colleges for the ranking, now in its third year...»

Commercial Real Estate & Business News – September 18, 2017

A committee came up with the top 10 intersections. The group wouldn't reveal criteria, only saying it was objective and subjective. Half were in Phoenix, including Central Avenue and Camelback Road. That's where Craig DeMarco and his partners have opened five restaurants...»

Epicenter will encompass 55,000 square feet of retail space and 287 residential units (300,000 square feet) in 4, four-story buildings. The residential units range from 500-square-foot studios to 2,000-square-foot, three-bedroom apartments and also +/- 1700 square-foot, two-bedroom penthouse apartments. Construction is breaking ground this fall with completion expected in 2019...»

Meanwhile in Tempe, the site of the former Lake Country Village is seeing exactly that - rebirth as an urban-style, mixed-use center where people can literally walk out their doors to work, shop or dine...»

Multifamily housing ain't what it used to be. The Valley of the Sun - the city of Scottsdale in particular - has become a hotbed for luxury multifamily housing construction with hundreds of new units expected to come to market over the next 12 to 24 months...»

Arizona's unemployment rate dropped to 5 percent in August from 5.1 percent in July as the state's economy added 41,900 jobs. The state Office of Economic Opportunity says the jobs increase is smaller than the post-recession average gain of 50,400 jobs...»

Commercial Real Estate & Business News – September 15, 2017

Park Central Mall was the first shopping mall to open in Phoenix back in the 1950s. Now as other malls - and retailers - wrestle with the world of (Nasdaq: AMZN) and e-commerce, Park Central is looking at a reincarnation as a technology and knowledge worker focused development. Sharon Harper is leading that effort. And she thinks she has the blueprints for success...»
"Retail is evolving, not declining, to meet the demands of today's consumers," says Mattis. "As a result, some stores will close when they are no longer relevant but others will come in to take their place. It's a healthy part of our industry, even if it is sometimes painful along the way, and keeps the retail horizon exciting in the future." Joseph Williams, SVP of the Woodmont Co...»
Not only has the predicted slowdown in CMBS issuance this year failed to occur, but the CMBS market has seen a renewed flurry of activity. A total of $9.9 billion in CMBS loans priced during August, bringing the year-to-date CMBS total to $52 billion, a 41% increase year-over-year, according to Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA). The combined CMBS pricing volume for July and August ($17.6 billion)...»
The average U.S. monthly rent rose by $1, to $1,352, in August, remaining essentially flat as apartment completions begin to slow across many of the 121 markets in Yardi Matrix's Matrix Monthly survey. Meanwhile, the national rent-growth rate fell to 2.4%, down 20 basis points (bps) from July. (Despite these slowdowns, rents have increased every month this year.)...»
The Phoenix metro area led the U.S. in wage growth this past year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Phoenix ranked 23rd, however, when it comes to overall wages and what workers are paid. Wages jumped 7.6 percent in the Phoenix between July 2016 and July 2017. The average hourly wage was $26.75 per hour in Phoenix up from $24.87 a year ago, according to BLS...»

Commercial Real Estate & Business News – September 14, 2017

Even after a flood of new construction, it is still possible to get a construction loan to build new apartment projects. "Everything is financeable at some level and cost," says Mark Fisher, senior vice president for CBRE Capital Markets. Developers will open more new rental apartments in 2017 than during any year since 2007...»

Arizona State University Michael Crow may be paramount to the region's bid for a second headquarters for Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN). Amazon is looking a second $5 billion, 50,000-employee headquarters to go along with its Seattle birthplace. Scores of regions - including Boston, Austin, Washington, Chicago, Denver and Toronto - are looking to land Amazon's new headquarters....»

Arizona State University has reached a new milestone this fall, enrolling more than 100,000 students. Preliminary enrollment figures show ASU has 103,410 students, a 5-percent increase over last year and 40 percent more than five years ago. But consider this before panic sets in about how many more cars are competing for parking spots: About 30,000 of those students are enrolled in online-only...»

Commercial real estate price growth in large markets is expected to flatten over the next year, but strong leasing demand and investor appetite in smaller markets should keep the sector on solid ground, according to the latest National Association of Realtors quarterly commercial real estate forecast. ...»

The Phoenix apartment market has notched a strong two years, as occupancy has remained essentially full and rent growth levels have trended well above national norms. A key factor shaping this performance is that deliveries to date in this cycle haven't been over the top. But this is a spot where the building pace can escalate rapidly, and there has been a run-up of activity lately....»

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