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Daily News for Commercial Real Estate & Business – December 19, 2011

Here are the news articles you might find interesting today for commercial real estate and business:

Amazon.com to open third center in Phoenix Seattle-based Amazon.com will open its third operations center in Greater Phoenix and hire more than 1,200 employees to work in a 1.2 million square foot Phoenix building. The large investment comes on the heels of eBay expanding in the region with a PayPal center in Chandler, Rioglass Solar moving its United States headquarters to Surprise, and other companies such as Suntech, Tower Automotive, and Linamar Solar Systems moving solar operations here. Amazon.com will reduce Greater Phoenix’s real estate inventory by more than 1 million square feet. View article…

Mesa considering proposals to redevelop deserted apartments Under the iron skies of a gathering winter storm this week, the Escobedo Apartments stood as mute witnesses to a community that is no longer there. Nearly five years after Mesa decided it couldn’t afford to keep the apartments open, they represent a taxpayer investment for which the taxpayers are getting no return, and an as-yet unrealized opportunity to re-create a viable inner-city neighborhood. View article…

Hahn, Sherman & Koskovich Negotiate MF Deals Totaling Just Under $7M During the past month, the Colliers International team of Hahn, Sherman & Koskovich has closed five separate transactions locally and in Tucson totaling $6.7 million. According to the team’s Trevor Koskovich and Jeff Sherman, the closing of these and other troubled assets in the area during the past year signals that lenders and special servicers have got their systems in place to sell these assets. View article…

Z’Tejas battling with Zipps over new Phoenix restaurant It wasn’t but a few months ago that the parking lot at the southwest corner of Bethany Home Road and 16th Street in Phoenix was a sea of asphalt baking in the sun. Now it’s a hotbed of controversy. Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill signed a ground lease on an area of the property and plans to build a new restaurant there just to the west of the vacant gas station. But another tenant of the strip mall, Zipps Sports Grill, is fighting against it. View article…

Extra Innings to open Locker Room concept in Surprise Shoppers will find giveaways, including professional hitting evaluations and demonstrations, when Extra Innings Locker Room has its grand opening Saturday. The store, 15341 W. Waddell Road, is a boutique version of the national Extra Innings facilities, which are indoor training centers for youth baseball and softball. Store owner Dean Kinnoin began work as a youth baseball coach after a 15-year amateur career in the sport. View article…

Body Lab opening 2nd location in Scottsdale The Body Lab fitness studio plans to open its second location next month in the Hayden Peak shopping center at Hayden Road and Thompson Peak Parkway. It is a licensed SPX Fitness studio, with a workout regimen developed by Sebastien Lagree that combines pilates, cardio and strength training. View article…

Phoenix pays $1.8 mil to end Papago Golf-Course debt Phoenix will spend $1.8 million to retire the $10 million debt that funded an overhaul of the Papago Golf Course. The Phoenix City Council voted 6-2 earlier this week to spend the funds, giving the city complete control over the course. The investment allows the city to move forward with plans to find a new company to manage the property after Phoenix’s first try at outsourcing operations failed. View article…

Technical-education expansion eyed in West Valley After the usual algebra, history and English lessons, 44 West Valley students spend the last half of their school day smudged with engine grease from working on old airplanes — and getting high school credit to do so. They are the first class at the Aviation Training Center, which opened this year next to Glendale Municipal Airport. View article…

GPEC closes out FY11 with biggest year ever The Greater Phoenix Economic Council set a record in fiscal year 2011 with 31 locates – the most ever in the organization’s 22-year history. GPEC also created more than 7,000 jobs, which marked the second highest amount on record. These momentous achievements come on the heels of landmark legislation, such as the Renewable Energy Tax Incentive Program, which was enacted in January 2010. Indeed, renewable energy companies accounted for 20 percent of FY11’s locates and one-third of the total jobs created. “GPEC’s achievements are largely the result of the leadership provided by our member communities, investors and partner organizations across the region. The new Arizona Commerce Authority has been particularly supportive, and I thank Don Cardon for his leadership,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said. “I have every confidence that with the continued cooperation of these stakeholders, Greater Phoenix will see continued successes in fiscal year 2012 and beyond.” View article…

Troon to lead Lookout Mountain Golf Club Scottsdale-based Troon announced an agreement to manage the Lookout Mountain Golf Club at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix. The 18-hole course near Thunderbird Road and 16th Street borders the Phoenix Mountains Preserve. Lookout Mountain Golf Club has received the Golf Digest four-star award for nine consecutive years. View article…

Arizona’s 10 largest banks by market share The Phoenix Business Journal ranked the top 50 Arizona banks in this week’s print edition, and we have the top 10 featured in a slide show to the right. View article…

Western National identified as troubled by rating agencies before failure At least some bank rating agencies already had identified Western National Bank in Phoenix as troubled before it was closed Friday by regulators. While the rating agencies might make some bankers shudder and confuse consumers, their findings sometimes can show trouble is brewing. Western National Bank received an E-minus ratings from Weiss Ratings earlier this year. It received one star from Bankrate.com and zero stars from Bauer Financial. View article…

Your Vacancy Rate Could Be Worse: It Could Be China (make sure you watch the video!) The role of commercial real estate in the explosive, near double-digit growth of the Chinese economy might be imagined as follows: factories, dozens at a time, rise everywhere in the previously empty landscape, all to to meet the world’s demand for China’s manufactured goods and thereby pull along China’s economy and society into ever-greater prosperity. Only half of that is true. Demand for goods is real, and factories and offices have certainly proliferated – 2011 saw 1 trillion yuan ($157 billion) in commercial real estate investment. But China’s enormous growth is hiding a desperate struggle with the other pieces of the economic puzzle. View article…

Monthly median Scottsdale home prices are ‘encouraging’ Scottsdale’s median home prices in 2011 have ranged from a high of $359,000 in August to a low of $317,000 in September, according to monthly reports from Arizona State University Realty Studies. As the year draws to a close, the median price in November of $345,000 was up 1.5 percent from a year earlier and 1.12 percent higher than it was at the start of 2011. View article…

SAMPLE OPPORTUNITIES:
Bella Vista Retail Center – 10.5% Cap Rate!
Investment, multi-tenant retail center. For a brochure, click here…

5051 & 5057 E Thomas Road Former Dentist Office and Former Real Estate Office For Sale. For a brochure, click here…

Kokopelli Springs in St. David, AZ – Investment, 56 unit mobile home park. For a brochure, click here…

7320 N Dreamy Draw – Freestanding Office Building in Squaw Peak Corridor-great owner/user opportunity. For a brochure, click here…

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