Daily News for Commercial Real Estate & Business – December 1, 2009

Here are the news articles you might find interesting:

Time Lapse Unemployment Visualization

Inquiring minds are watching The Geography Of A Recession, a time lapse unemployment visualization from the start of the recession until now. (This really does tell the story of Unemployment on a National Level. Note that Maricopa County is still under the 10% mark)

New owner to expand Refrigeration School in Phoenix

Tulsa Welding School has acquired The Refrigeration School Inc. of Phoenix with plans to expand the 500-student campus.

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Mesa’s El Charro restaurant for sale

The owner of El Charro in downtown Mesa wants to retire and hopes someone will step forward to buy the popular Mexican food restaurant.

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Westmarc seeks West Valley foreign-trade zone

A foreign trade zone is planned for the West Valley, which could lure businesses with federal and state tax breaks as well as making it easier to import and export goods.

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Commercial Real Estate: Fighting the Last War

Investors waiting for the “blood-in-the-streets” pricing of the Resolution Trust Corp. days of the early 1990s will be disappointed in the current commercial real estate downturn, says veteran investment banker John B. Levy in his latest podcast.

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Housing vacancy hike in Tempe tracks national trend

Tempe has followed the national trend toward an increase in housing vacancy over the past decade, according to the most recent census data.

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Phoenix hotel rates fall 15.7 percent

Phoenix-area hospitality numbers continue to lag as consumers stay close to home in this uncertain economy.

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Mesa’s light-rail extension likely to get U.S. funds

The money’s not in the bank yet, but the check is all but in the mail. That’s what Mesa Mayor Scott Smith and other local officials heard last week in Washington as they met with the people who will decide whether Uncle Sam helps pay for the extension of light rail to Mesa Drive.

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Owners see success with mortgage modifications

It took a while for mortgage-modification programs to gain any lift. For the first several months, they resembled those early flying contraptions that would bounce along the ground before crashing in a tangle of wood, metal and canvas.

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Wealthy Investors Plan to Buy More Real Estate, Barclays Says

Nov. 30 (Bloomberg) — Individuals with more than $800,000 to invest plan to increase their property holdings because they foresee better long-term returns than from stocks and bonds, according to a Barclays Plc global survey.

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Commercial real-estate lending: Finding economic profit in a difficult industry

The contagion that started in homes in 2007 has spread to offices and shops. Commercial real estate (CRE) – one of several asset classes severely affected by the global crisis – has seen property values decline by over 25 percent in many markets, with some experts predicting an eventual drop of more than 50 percent for the worst affected regions.

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Black Friday 2009: Boom or Bust? (This is one person’s opinion. It does show year over year trend).

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Economists: Phoenix job market may take several years to recover

Despite signs the recession may have bottomed out, economists warn it could take several years for the depressed job market in Phoenix to recover.

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REC Solar to put panels on VA hospitals in Arizona

REC Solar will provide the means to renewable energy at Veterans Affairs hospitals in Arizona and two other states.

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Retailers look to stretch out Cyber Monday push

Retailers are thinking beyond Cyber Monday – a holiday marketing promotion many push for the Monday after Thanksgiving – and trying to spin their discounts into into Cyber Weekends or even Cyber Weeks.

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REGISTER ASAP! THERE IS A LIMITED NUMBER OF TICKETS AVAIALBLE 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.