Daily News – October 27, 2009

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

Newest hot spot for a $78 steak: A shopping mall

Modern Steak opens today at Scottsdale Fashion Square with the opulence of a high-end steakhouse.

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Arizona unemployment hits 26-year high

The number of unemployed people in Arizona has grown by 159,100 since the start of the recession in late 2007.

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Two ASU projects gets federal funding totaling $10.3M

Two Arizona State University projects received a combined $10.3 million in funding from a program recently launched by the U.S. Department of Energy to explore new energy projects.

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AT&T boosts coverage with new cell sites in Scottsdale, Tempe

AT&T rolled out five new cell sites in Scottsdale and one in Tempe to accommodate increased use of its 3G network.

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Moyes agrees to sell Coyotes to NHL

Phoenix Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes has agreed to sell the financially strapped hockey team to the National Hockey League.

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Opus Parent Company Closing
After 56 years, Opus Corp. will shut its doors and Chairman/CEO Mark Rauenhorst will move into a new position. The Minnetonka, MN-based development company is restructuring after three of its five subsidiaries, Opus West, Opus South and Opus East, went bankrupt. Rauenhorst will become a consultant with Rauenhorst Trusts, which owns the surviving Opus companies, Opus North and Opus Northwest. In this capacity, Rauenhorst will lend his more than 27 years of experience at Opus to advise on restructuring and investment strategies.

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Capmark Financial Group Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

One of the nation’s largest lenders, Horsham, Pa.-based Capmark Financial Group, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, saying it intends to restructure to reduce its corporate debt. In July, Capmark ranked sixth on National Real Estate Investor’s list of the country’s top 25 direct lenders with $7.8 billion directly financed in 2008, and another $2.5 billion in arranged financing.

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Developer proposing controversial project seeks text amendment

Scottsdale Dynamite Properties has scrapped plans to request a major amendment to the city’s general plan that would have made way for a commercial development on the northwestern corner of Pima and Dynamite roads.

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Valley hotels struggle as travel slump continues

Hotels and resorts in Greater Phoenix suffered through another month of double-digit declines in every major indicator in September as the travel slump continued.

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Dave’s Electric Brewpub opening in Tempe

In a town already home to one of the Valley’s most popular breweries, a new beer maker is opening up shop, looking to electrify customers.

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Spirit Halloween scares up some business in Phoenix

The economy has affected many industries, but the Halloween industry isn’t one of them, say officials at Spirit Halloween, one of the country’s leading retailers of Halloween merchandise.

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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.