Daily News for Commercial Real Estate & Business – February 5, 2010

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

To view the January/February edition of Affordable Housing Finance magazine, click here. There is a great article about the Tax Credit market.

CHESTNUT PROPERTIES NOTICED FOR TRUSTEE's SALE ON OFFICE/LAB PROJECT IN TEMPE

Tempe - An office/laboratory project in Tempe that serves as headquarters for First Solar Inc. is being targeted in a foreclosure action. The 250,000-square-foot structure, within the Papago Park Center business park, is at 350 W. Washington Street. The six-story project, called Papago Gateway Center, secures a $62.1 million loan that is in default. Full story

CONVERTED OFFICE PROJECT ON CENTRAL AVENUE SOLD BY LENDER FOR $16 MILLION

Phoenix - A venture formed by investors Robert Macdonald of Macdonald Development Corp. in Vancouver, B.C., Canada and Robert Hubbard of Comcore Properties Inc. in Issaquah, Wash. paid $16 million ($115,942 per unit) to acquire 138 units within the Century Plaza condominiums in downtown Phoenix. The seller was M&I Marshall and Ilsley Bank in Milwaukee, Wis. Full story

SO. CALIF.-BASED INVESTOR ENTERS VALLEY MARKET . . . BUYS 257 APARTMENT UNITS

Phoenix - Phoenix 83rd Avenue Apartments LP, a company formed by Watermarke Properties Inc. in Corona, Calif. (Jeff Troesh, CEO), paid $5.6 million ($21,790 per unit) to buy the 257-unit Casa Real apartments located at 3816 N. 83rd Avenue in Phoenix. The seller was First Regional Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. The seller foreclosed on the asset from the previous owner. Full story

Dollar General announces plans to add 600 stores, hire 5,000

Dollar General plans to open 600 stores and hire 5,000 people over the next 12 months as it continues to thrive during a recession that pounded a sense of thriftiness back into American consumers. View article...

Arizona's RV parks report upswing in business

Snowbirds have arrived at Arizona's recreational vehicle parks in greater numbers than last year, according to the Arizona Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds. The industry group is reporting that private parks are reporting increases in occupancy from 10 percent to 30 percent, with many out of town visitors extending their stays into March and April. View article...

McGrath's Fish House files for Ch. 11

McGrath's Fish House Restaurants, owner to the namesake 20-unit casual-dining chain, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and plans to close four restaurants in the next week. McGrath's has eight restaurants in Oregon and 12 units throughout Washington, Idaho, Arizona, Utah and Colorado. View article...

West Valley unites to celebrate Luke accord

In an overwhelming display of unity Thursday, the county, state and West Valley elected officials gathered to celebrate an agreement that ends litigation over residential encroachment on Luke Air Force Base. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors meeting and subsequent accord-signing ceremony included a who's who of dignitaries at the Wigwam Golf Resort and Spa in Litchfield Park. Gov. Jan Brewer, Attorney General Terry Goddard, state Sen. John Nelson and Col. Jeff Weed, the vice wing commander of Luke, joined the Board of Supervisors as it unanimously approved the agreement. View article...

ULI Real Estate Business Barometer Summary as of February 1, 2010

Commercial/Multifamily Investment Property

Office vacancy rates stood at 19.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, up from 19.1 percent in the third quarter and 300 basis points above the same quarter a year ago, according to Property & Portfolio Research (the source of all data presented in this section). Completions in the fourth quarter of 2009 were stable as a percentage of inventory, remaining at 0.3 percent, but below the 0.7 percent historic average. The absorption of -19.8 million square feet was about the same as absorption in the third quarter. Rents fell slightly in the third quarter of 2009 and are off 8.3 percent from the same quarter a year ago.

Retail vacancy rates stood at 19.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, up from 18.6 percent in the third quarter and 460 basis points above the same quarter a year ago. Completions in the fourth quarter of 2009 stood at 0.3 percent of inventory, unchanged from the previous quarter and below the 0.6 percent historic average. Rents fell again in the fourth quarter of 2009 and are off 8.3 percent from the same quarter a year ago.

Warehouse vacancy rates stood at 13.2 percent in fourth quarter 2009, up from 12.8 percent in the third quarter and 270 basis points above the same quarter a year ago. Completions remained unchanged at 0.3 percent of inventory in both the third and fourth quarters. Rents fell again in fourth-quarter 2009 and are off 9.2 percent from the same quarter a year ago.

Apartment vacancy rates stood at 8.6 percent in fourth-quarter 2009, up from 8.3 percent in the third quarter and 140 basis points above the same quarter a year ago. Completions as a percentage of inventory remained the same as third-quarter 2009 at 0.2 percent, below the 0.4 percent historic average. Rents fell slightly in third-quarter 2009 and are off 6.3 percent from the same quarter a year ago.

Hotel occupancy rates (a moving 12-month average) stood at 58.2 percent in fourth-quarter 2009, about the same as the previous quarter but 590 basis points below the same quarter a year ago. Completions were up slightly as a percentage of rooms, from 3.1% percent in fourth-quarter 2008 to 3.3 percent.

Visit ULI for more charts by clicking here.

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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