Daily News – October 8, 2009

Here are the news stories you might find interesting today:

To view this week Costar “The Watch List,” click here. There is an article discussing the PPIP program and the current level of commitment by investors.

If you would like a copy of the 3rd Quarter 2009 CBRE Market Reports for Phoenix, send me an email. No big surprises given the current economic climate.

SeaWorld, Busch Gardens sold to equity firm

Anheuser-Busch InBev is selling its theme parks, including SeaWorld and Busch Gardens, to private equity firm Blackstone Group for at least $2.3 billion.

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Chick-fil-A campers waiting for free food

An encampment of more than 100 people – undeterred by potential 64-degree weather and a 20 percent chance of rain – was outside a Chick-fil-A before the sun came up Wednesday, waiting for the chain’s first Queen Creek restaurant to open about 24 hours later.

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Office vacancies tie 17-year high

The office vacancy rate has increased for the ninth consecutive quarter in Phoenix to 24.2 percent.

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Swedish clothing retailer H&M making AZ debut

Arizona’s first H&M will open on Nov. 5 at Scottsdale Quarter.

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Collier Center gets LEED certification

The Collier Center is the first privately owned, multi-tenant structure in Arizona to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s certification for operation and maintenance of existing buildings.

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A Ray of Sunshine?
The capital markets are on hold right now. The news is all about the lack of debt capital to refinance maturing loans and, on the flip side, the growing pool of equity capital waiting to invest in distressed assets, primarily debt. At some point assets will begin to change hands, but whether that process resembles a dam breaking or a steady flow is uncertain.For a ray of sunshine, we must look to the leasing market.

Boutique opens second northeast Phoenix location

A popular boutique with a growing Valley presence opened its second northeast Phoenix location. Stash, a co-ed boutique focusing on trendy attire, recently opened in Kierland Commons after experiencing success at CityNorth. The store also has locations in Scottsdale, Mesa and Chandler. Management said Kierland Commons is the Valley’s top shopping destination, so serving the shopping center’s clientele has been a goal.

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Fresh & Easy to open more Valley stores

British retailer Tesco PLC continues to move forward with development of its Fresh & Easy stores in Phoenix and two other locations in the United States, despite heavy losses.

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Meritage buys 1,300 lots in Maricopa community

Scottsdale -based Meritage Homes Corp. has purchased the undeveloped portion of a large, age-restricted community in the city of Maricopa, about 40 miles south of Phoenix. Meritage said Monday that it had purchased about 1,300 vacant lots inside Province, a master-planned “active-adult community” originally developed by Engle Homes and Phoenix-based Sunbelt Holdings.

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Federal Reserve bracing for serious commercial property problems
A Federal Reserve presentation seen by The Wall Street Journal suggests the central bank anticipates a severe downturn in the commercial real estate market, comparable to the residential mortgage meltdown, and many of the nation’s banks aren’t prepared to cope with the new crisis. The Fed confirmed the authenticity of the document. “Banks will be slow to recognize the severity of the loss — just as they were in residential,” according to the text of the presentation by an expert who works in the Federal Reserve’s “rapid response” unit. The Wall Street Journal

10 retailers well-positioned for the economic recovery
Some retailers are getting stronger amid the recession or are well-positioned to improve during a recovery. Amazon, Aaron’s, GameStop, Aeropostale, Buckle, Dollar Tree, O’Reilly Automotive, Priceline, Staples and Ulta Salon all make the list. U.S. News & World Report/FlowChart blog

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