Daily News for Commercial Real Estate & Business – December 30, 2009

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

To view this weeks “The Watchlist” by Costar, click here. The first article, “Fear and Hoping in Commercial Real Estate,” is a good short read. One other interesting fact was the article that mentioned almost 1,500 auto dealerships has closed this year.

Polsinelli Shughart PC signed a 10-year lease deal for 45,000 square feet at the CityScape building in Phoenix. The law firm is taking occupancy of the 17th and 18th floors in June of 2010. It is the fifth law firm to sign on with CityScape. The 27-story office tower building at 1 E. Washington St. is in the heart of downtown Phoenix, across from the Phelps Dodge Corp. building. Currently under construction, the building is due to deliver in March 2010.

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Dunkin’ Donuts store opens in Queen Creek

East Valley residents can expect to see more Dunkin’ Donuts in 2010. The Massachusetts-based company, one of the nation’s top franchising companies, is ringing in the new year with more stores in the Southeast Valley.

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City studying traffic cutting through NE Phoenix neighborhood

Plenty of vehicles cut through a Phoenix Mountain Preserve neighborhood in northeast Phoenix, but officials are awaiting data about where they are coming from and why they are cutting through.

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Scottsdale-based Scottsdale Jean Co. closing Peoria store

Scottsdale-based retailer Scottsdale Jean Co. will not renew its one-year lease with Park West Mall in Peoria, the company announced Tuesday.

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Vue on Apache dispute heats up

A legal dispute between contractors and developers of the Vue on Apache, a private student housing project in Tempe, is heating up with both sides trading barbs about whether a settlement reached prior to Christmas is being followed.

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Phoenix home prices gain 1.3% from Sept. to Oct.

Home prices in the Phoenix market moved up 1.3 percent in October from September, the largest gain on the 20-city Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index. That follows an 0.8 percent gain from August to September. But prices are down 18.1 percent from last October, the second largest drop, behind only Las Vegas at 26.6 percent.

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Census Bureau: Government revenue down 7.4% in AZ

Third-quarter tax revenue for state and local governments across the U.S. was down 6.7 percent through Sept. 30, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of decline. Arizona saw a 7.4 percent decline to $2.85 billion.

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CareerBuilder: Western states to see hiring activity

A report by CareerBuilder says some 20 percent of employers surveyed plan to hire new people next year for full-time, permanent jobs, up from 14 percent in 2009. And much of that activity is expected to focus on Western states. (GCI) (MNI)

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Top Tempe online stories of 2009

With Tempe home to one of the largest universities in the nation, it’s not much of a surprise that spring break-related news was the most-viewed story on the site.

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November Investment Sales Drop; Better Days Ahead

The final sales numbers for commercial properties are now in for November, and they are down by 27% from a year ago. But volume for December and heading into 2010 looks more robust.

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Moody’s CRE Price Index Continues to Decline

The Moody’s/REAL Commercial Property Price Index measured a 1.5 percent decline in prices in October. The National All Property Type Aggregate Index now stands 36.4 percent below the level seen one year ago. The peak in prices was reached two years ago, in October 2007, and prices have since fallen 43.7 percent.

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Retail Real Estate’s 2009 in Review

The most difficult year in retail real estate’s history is at an end. The worst case scenarios played out in terms of a hostile leasing environment, a dormant investment sales market, challenging lending conditions and troubled retailers.

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Retail sales climb 2.3 percent

Retailers got some good news at the end of the holiday shopping season with sales up 2.3 percent from last year, according to figures released Tuesday from the International Council of Shopping Centers.

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Consumer confidence extends rise in December

NEW YORK – A more upbeat outlook on jobs pushed Americans’ confidence in the economy higher in December for the second month in a row, a survey released Tuesday said.

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Understanding the bad bank

“Bad banks” are back. The concept is simple. The bank divides its assets into two categories. Into the bad pile go the illiquid and risky securities that are the bane of the banking system, along with other troubled assets such as nonperforming loans.

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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.

Happy New Year!