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Daily News for Commercial Real Estate & Business – January 13, 2010

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

Western Maricopa Education Center pays $5.1M for new buildings

Western Maricopa Education Center, known as West-MEC, has purchased two buildings at Glendale Corporate Center located on the northeast corner of 99th Avenue and Camelback Road.

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Oakville Grocery to celebrate grand opening this weekend

In a city known for its selection of fashion and beauty boutiques, Scottsdale has one more specialty store to boast about: Oakville Grocery.

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Chipotle optimistic about new prototype

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. has introduced a new prototype that it said costs less to build and operate and uses less energy to maintain, while also providing the opportunity for increased sales volumes.

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Southwest Valley growth continues, but more slowly

New population figures show the Southwest Valley kept growing in 2009, but much slower than in recent boom years.

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Development loans boost local businesses

A bakery, a Thai restaurant and a wine bar along Main Street were able to launch or expand through a federal neighborhood lending program that could help even more businesses this year.

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Solar-parts plant to open in Arizona

A producer of structural metal components for the automobile industry plans to invest $50 million in a new Arizona plant that will manufacture mirror assemblies for solar-power systems.

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State’s bioscience industry continues to bloom

Despite the declining economy, Arizona’s bioscience sector made major progress in 2009, according to the authors of the state’s plan for growing the industry.

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Survey: Small business owners’ outlook improves; concerns remain

Small business owners are feeling good, better than they’ve felt in more than two years. But that doesn’t mean this group – who own the majority of the nation’s businesses – doesn’t have serious concerns around the margins, think the U.S. economy will return to world dominance or plan to go on hiring binges.

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Small business owners growing confident

Small-business owners are feeling good – better, in fact, than they’ve felt in more than two years. But that doesn’t mean this group doesn’t still have serious economic concerns.

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Direct Alliance hiring again

Direct Alliance plans to hire 250 inside sales and account management personnel in the first quarter of this year.

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Phoenix 13th among home price reductions as trend eases

Phoenix, Mesa and Tucson remain in the top 15 of the nation’s 50 largest metro areas for the percentage of homes on the market seeing at least one price reduction, although the trend is slowing.

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Construction jobs still on the decline, but trend slows

Construction jobs continue to decline in the Phoenix metro area, as the Associated General Contractors of America released figures Tuesday indicating that there were about 98,400 workers employed in November 2009 compared with 102,600 in October.

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SBA loan count jumps 64% in first fiscal quarter

U.S. Small Business Administration backed loans in Arizona jumped 64 percent in volume during the government’s first fiscal quarter and 38 percent in dollar value.

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Commentary: Is the Originate-To-Distribute Lending Model Snake Oil or Scapegoat?

The originate-to-distribute model (OTD) is when a firm originates loans with the intent to sell those loans to another firm. It separates default risk from the entity originating the loan. Many argue the use of the OTD model resulted in lax underwriting and is the primary cause of today’s financial mess in commercial real estate.

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