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Daily News for Commercial Real Estate & Business – January 25, 2010

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

Partners default on $86 million development loan

Prominent Phoenix businessman and philanthropist Ron Barness and his business partner, Alex Papakyriakou, have defaulted on an $86 million loan they secured for development and acquisition of neighbhorhood shopping centers throughout the Valley.

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90,000-SF Office Asset is Fund’s First

PHOENIX-Real Estate Value Advisors LLC’s $30 million REVA Catalyst Fund LLC has closed on its first acquisition, buying the 90,000-square-foot Phoenix Peak office building. The Virginia-based fund paid B units to the previous TIC owners in a transaction valued at just shy of $10 million.

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Bashas Supermarkets Files Bankruptcy Reorganization Plan

Arizona-based bankrupt grocery chain, Bashas, filed a preliminary reorganization plan that would have it paying off nearly all of its $300 million in debt. Additionally, Bashas would continue to own and operate its remaining 120 Bashas and AJ’s stores. Today, its stores are confined to Arizona.

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Melting Pot enters Glendale location

The Valley’s third Melting Pot is coming to the West Valley’s Citadelle Plaza. The restaurant specializes in fondue appetizers, meals and desserts. The plaza is located at 19420 N. 59th Ave. in Glendale.

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ASU SkySong leases 10,000sf to Florida company

A Florida-based online marketing company has leased 10,000 square feet and will bring 25 workers to Arizona State University’s SkySong in south Scottsdale.

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Gilbert medical offices filling up

A new medical office building under construction adjacent to Mercy Gilbert Medical Center will bring four practices to Gilbert that specialize in surgical, oncology and radiation services.

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Havana Caf closes Ahwatukee restaurant

B.J. Hernandez tried for five years to get her Havana Cafe in Ahwatukee off the ground. But the concept never caught fire at 40th Street and Chandler Boulevard.

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SES, Tessera debut new solar plant in Peoria

Stirling Energy Systems and Tessera Solar formally flipped the switch on their solar test power plant in the Valley on Friday, taking the next step toward installing thousands of power-generating dishes across the Southwest.

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Status of downtown Gilbert development debated

Twenty years into a redevelopment project, downtown Gilbert has improved dramatically but is still searching for a clear identity, one Redevelopment Commission member told the Town Council Thursday.

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Job losses push back housing recovery

Metropolitan Phoenix’s housing market is not expected to recover until 2014, two years later than experts had previously predicted. The biggest obstacle to a real-estate rebound in the Valley is a lack of jobs, according to analysts and economists speaking at Urban Land Institute Arizona’s annual forecast conference on Thursday.

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Key to economic recovery: Curbing rate of foreclosures

Before renewing efforts to build a new economic model, Arizona needs to first fix the battered foundation of its devastated growth-reliant housing economy.

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Light rail’s first-year ridership far exceeds projections

The final numbers are in: During its first year of service, the Metro light rail system carried 11.3 million people. Metro officials say first-year ridership exceeded projections by 34 percent on weekdays, 33 percent on Saturdays, and 61 percent on Sundays and holidays.

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O’odham Nation rebukes Gov. Brewer’s request to drop casino plan

Officials with the Tohono O’odham Nation told Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer in a letter Friday that the tribe is shunning her advice to drop plans for a new $500 million casino in the western Phoenix suburbs.

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Five Banks Closed on Jan. 22

Five banks were closed by state and federal regulators on Friday, Jan. 22. The largest of the failed institutions was Charter Bank, a $1.2 billion bank based in Santa Fe, NM.

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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.