Commercial Real Estate & Business News – February 24, 2015

Phoenix-area apartments and rental homes remain affordable compared to those in other big U.S. cities, but rate increases here are starting to rise faster than the national average. Median rents in the Phoenix metro area climbed 5.6 percent over the 12 months through January, according to the Zillow Rent Index. That was higher than the 3.3-percent average hike in the 35 larger cities studied… Read more »
Bankrupt electronics retailer RadioShack Corp received court approval Friday to sell the leases to more than 1,100 stores that it will close by the end of this month. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Brendan Shannon approved the bidding and auction process for the leases, which has been underway since the Fort Worth, Texas-based chain sought bankruptcy protection earlier this month. It plans to close nearly half of its 4,000 locations, including more than a dozen in Arizona… Read more »
IRIS USA, Inc., a subsidiary of IRIS Ohyama, Inc. headquartered in Sendai, Japan, will build its new Western United States Regional Headquarters in Surprise. The new facility represents a $33-$40 million investment, 100 new jobs, and $800,000 of new city revenues in the first year of operations. IRIS USA’s new 280,000-square-foot building… Read more »
The economic news, for the most part, continues to be good. Yet, new construction remains weak for this point in the cycle. This is true nationally and in Arizona. As we have said before, the economy is as good as it is going to get in the non-construction sectors. That’s why this has been the “non-feel good” recovery… Read more »
Healthcare real estate in Phoenix also has potential. Average vacancy rate at 21.6 percent. At the same time, Phoenix ranked ninth on Colliers’ list of U.S. cities with the largest forecasted increase in population 65 years of age and older between now and 2019. Average quoted rents in the city in 2014 were decent, at $22.62 per sq. ft. Meanwhile, investors were paying average cap rates of 7.7 percent and average prices of $122 per sq. ft. for Phoenix assets, compared to the average… Read more »