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Commercial Real Estate & Business News – May 9, 2014

Oh, what a difference a few years make, at least when it comes to big-box retailing. Due to the recession and a dearth of financing for troubled retailers, empty big boxes were a significant problem for landlords five years ago. That’s certainly not the case today. High quality big-box space has been backfilled, either by bringing in new retailers or repurposing the boxes, and demand for big boxes is currently so strong that even vacancies in less desirable centers are filling up… Read more
Schnure noted that the apartment sector witnessed another decline in vacancy rates in the first quarter, reaching a new low for the cycle. The office sector also saw some improvement in vacancy rates, although rates are still several percentage points above what would be considered “normal” in a healthy market, he said… Read more
Many retailers reported better than expected sales in April, helped by warmer weather and a later-than-usual Easter. Gap Inc., L Brands, Costco Wholesale Club, The Buckle, Stein Mart and Zumiez all came in ahead of analysts estimates. At Gap Inc., same-store rose a better-than-expected 9% in April. By banner, sales were up 3% at Gap stores, 7% at Banana Republic and 18% at Old Navy. Analysts had expected Gap’s total same-store sales to inch up 0.1%… Read more
What’s the best way to boost the Arizona economy? Stop getting mentioned on The Daily Show. At least that’s the consensus of three economists from Arizona State University who were looking into their crystal balls Thursdayabout what they see on the horizon – and what could be… Read more
Arizona will need at least another two years to replace its job losses from the Great Recession because of middling job, income and population growth expected in the near term, economists from Arizona State University said Thursday. Four years after beginning its recovery, Arizona has regained little more than half its lost jobs and housing remains mired in historically low demand, the group said during a downbeat look ahead at ASU’s annual midyear forecast… Read more