Commercial Real Estate & Business News – March 7, 2014

Labor Shortages, Materials Costs Plague Apartment Builders

The uneven economic recovery is having an uneven effect on the price of construction. Overall, the cost of construction for apartment properties continues to rise faster than inflation, at a rate of about 2 percent to 6 percent a year, according to developers. That roughly matches the analysis of the Associated General Contractors… Read more

Transwestern Working On Plans To Develop 290 Apartments At Tempe Town Lake Site

Transwestern of Houston, Tex. (Robert Duncan, chairman) intends to develop 290 apartments in a $60 million project in Tempe that will have live/work units and commercial use. The development is planned on the north side of the Tempe Town Lake. If approved by the City of Tempe, the five-story project will be built on 4.49 acres located south of the 202 Red Mountain Freeway… Read more

Albertsons Parent Cerberus To Buy Safeway

Safeway has agreed to be acquired by an investment group led by Cerberus Capital Management, the owner several supermarket chains. The acquisition is worth about $7.64 billion in cash, and pending other transactions could top more than $9 billion. The deal, announced late Thursday, will bring together Safeway and Albertsons, one of the five chains that Cerberus bought from Supervalu Inc. last year… Read more

ASU Real Estate Report: Phoenix-Area Home Prices May Not Go Up This Year

The “rebound” of home prices in the Phoenix area might be over, according to the monthly real estate report from Arizona State University’s Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice. According to the report, “the market conditions suggest prices will struggle to make any further upward progress in 2014.”… Read more

Staples to Shut 225 Stores to Trim $500 Million in Costs

Staples Inc. (SPLS), the largest U.S. office-supplies chain, will close as many as 12 percent of its North American stores and cut as much as $500 million in costs as online competition continues to hurt sales. The shares fell. The annual pretax savings, which the company expects to achieve by the end of 2015… Read more