Daily News – November 2, 2009

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

Tempe – The University of Phoenix plans to employ 500 workers that will be housed in a back office project in Tempe. The new operation is needed to accommodate continued growth for University of Phoenix, the nation’s largest private university. The school has signed a five-year lease to occupy a 111,349-square-foot building located at 1717 W. 16th Street. The property is owned by Greenstreet Real Estate Partners in New York City (Steven Green, CEO).
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Scottsdale – A company formed by West Living in Carlsbad, Calif. (John Rimbach, pres.) paid $24 million ($121,827 per unit) to acquire the 197-unit McDowell Village senior housing community located at 8300 E. McDowell Road in Scottsdale. The seller was a venture formed by Opus West Corp. in Phoenix and RED Group LLC in Scottsdale (Greg Hogan, Scott Laten, principals).

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LDS church could play role in W. Valley development

As Luke Air Force Base fights to be named a training hub for the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, an unlikely player could have a significant impact on the long-term viability of the base and the Loop 303 corridor west of Phoenix.

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Boxer Julio Cesar Chavez opening Mesa restaurant Nov. 10

Six-time world boxing champion and Mexican icon, Julio Cesar Chavez, is opening his own restaurant in Mesa. Called Julio Csar Chvez Campeones, the 30,000-square-foot boxing-themed restaurant and entertainment venue is slated to open Nov. 10. It will feature authentic Mexican food, a full sports bar, arcade games and a World Boxing Council Legends of Boxing Museum.

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Valley’s Bank USA among nine banks closed by regulators Oct. 30

State and federal bank regulators late Friday closed Bank USA NA of Phoenix and appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. as receiver.

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Ahwatukee apartments sold to investor for $98K per unit

The largest apartment investment transaction in recent Phoenix-area history closed Friday with a Michigan-based private equity paying $47.8 million for the San Melia community in Ahwatukee. The $98,000-per-unit price is one of the highest recorded since the recession began in late 2007.

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Real Estate Downturn of the Early ’90s Differs From Today’s Crash In Important Ways

Many market observers have pointed out similarities between the current downturn in commercial real estate and the downturn in the early 1990s. Both were preceded by an extended period of relaxed underwriting standards, excess capital chasing returns, significant cap rate compression, and steep increases in asset values. It is useful to compare and contrast key elements of the two periods in order to establish a reference point for today’s investment strategies.

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U.S. Office Market Forecast to Bottom in 2010

The U.S. office market vacancy rate is expected to hit 18.6% in 2010. That would be close to, but would not surpass the historic high of 19.3% set in 1990, according to analysis from CBRE Econometric Advisors. Vacancy is expected to moderate as demand increases in 2011.

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Betting On Troubled Assets

Today’s $108 billion of distressed commercial real estate reported by Real Capital Analytics has created an opening for risk-takers of all sizes. Weak properties are prime targets for small to midsize investor-owners who have enough cash and market savvy to know when to roll the dice. Meanwhile, larger vulture capital funds circle the action, waiting patiently to pick up troubled assets at deep discounts. For these and other players, the jackpot is growing: Commercial loan delinquencies reached 4.5 percent and construction loans topped out at 17.1 percent in 2Q09, according to Foresight Analytics, an Oakland, Calif.-based commercial real estate research group.

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Geithner: Economy rebounding, but job growth lags

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner acknowledges the federal budget deficit is too high, but that the priorities now are economic growth and job creation.

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As SE Valley grows, hospitals emerge

On Monday, Mesa will become home to the newest hospital in the Valley, the first children’s hospital in Arizona designed and built from the ground up exclusively for kids. Cardon Children’s Medical, a $356 million hospital will open after two years of construction.

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Talking Stick destined to be Valley’s largest casino hotel

The Valley’s largest casino hotel is scheduled to open by early April, said Ramon Martinez, Talking Stick Resort public relations director. The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community is building a $400 million hotel and casino northeast of Loop 101 and Indian Bend Road. It will include 497 rooms, a spa, 50,000 square feet of conference space, restaurants, lounges and a 750-seat entertainment showroom.

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Sales activity at Elevation Chandler put on hold

Motorists traveling through the intersection of Loops 101 and 202 will be looking at the abandoned shell of Elevation Chandler for a while.

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REGISTER ASAP! THERE IS A LIMITED NUMBER OF TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR THIS EVENT! Just a reminder: I am a panelist for the CCIM/IREM Economic Forecast on January 12, 2010. It is at the Phoenix Country Club and starts at 8AM. I will be on the Retail Panel with Daniel Pollack and Kevin Schuck. Our moderator is David Malin from Vestar. If you are in town, please come support me at the event. The website to register is

Feel free to contact me regarding any of these stories, the current market, distressed commercial real estate opportunities or your property.