October 25, 2016

Liberty Property Trust today announced that it has executed two new leases, filling its nearly complete 135,663 square foot speculative office building at 1930 West Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe. DriveTime Automotive Group, an existing tenant in 1720 West Rio Salado Parkway at Liberty Center at Rio Salado, will expand into 65,889 square feet of […]

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McCarthy Building Cos. has begun building a $120 million research building on the Arizona State University Biodesign Institute complex in Tempe. Called Biodesign C, this is the third building in the complex. The 188,000-square-foot structure will include five stories plus a basement, and will include flexible lab space for ASU researchers.

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While global volatility will have both positive and negative effects on the U.S. economy, the country’s commercial real estate market stands to gain from upheaval abroad in the short to medium term. The U.S. economy still has a relatively stable outlook due to strong underlying market fundamentals, and global volatility will result in an influx of capital in U.S. real estate as foreign investors seek relatively stable, safe assets.

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October 24, 2016

In September, existing-home sales rose 3.2 percentage points to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 5.47 million — up from a downwardly revised 5.30 million in August. After a slight gain last month, September sales are at their highest pace since June and are 0.6 percentage points higher than a year ago.

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Unemployment rates were significantly lower in September in seven states, higher in only one state, and stable in 42 states and the District of Columbia, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday. Compared with last year, the pattern was similar: Six states had jobless rate decreases from a year ago, four states suffered increases and the vast majority—40 states and D.C.—saw no significant change.

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A restaurant and retail concept is taking over two closed restaurants in the Mesa Riverview outdoor shopping mall. The Union Market Mesa will transform the old Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill and Cactus Moon Sports Grill into a 62,000-square-foot concept.

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The new campus is expected to be open for the 2017-18 school year, serving 1,600 K-12 students at full capacity. It will include upgraded classrooms, science labs, student libraries, art studios, music and drama rooms and a full-size gymnasium.

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After taking a 15-year time out from investing in multi-family projects in the Valley, Sares Regis Group in Irvine, California has acquired its second apartment project in Phoenix in less than a month. In a transaction recorded October 20, Sares Regis Group entity paid $57.325 million ($159,236 per unit) to buy the 360-unit Alanza Place apartments located at 1121 N. 44th Street in Phoenix.

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October 23, 2016

Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University have launched the Alliance for Health Care, a comprehensive new model for health care education and research that will start with the construction of a 150,000-square-foot Health Solutions Innovation Center that is expected to cost upwards of $200 million to develop.

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That’s the story from Recode.com, which cited an anonymous former employee that Lucid Motors — formerly known as Atieva — has picked a site 50 miles south of Phoenix for its manufacturing facility, shunning a strong pitch from Sacramento (and what was to be former Greater Phoenix Economic Council President and CEO Barry Broome’s first big deal since taking the reins at the Sacramento Area Economic Council).

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Last month, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) painted an increasingly dismal picture about the housing market that included tightening inventory, skyrocketing existing-home sales and a prediction that first-time buyers would continue to be blocked from homeownership due to the aforementioned issues.

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Though the multifamily sector still has a lot of momentum in some of the hotter markets (Seattle, Denver or Nashville, for instance), nationwide the property type, so hot for so long, is at least taking a pause. According to NMHC’s October 2016 quarterly survey, apartment markets softened during the third quarter.

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The economy has been in the doldrums since late last year, but a report this week should show growth accelerated in the third quarter, setting up a better outlook for the second half of 2016.

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October 20, 2016

The basic economic rule of supply and demand is in full effect as experts agree the Phoenix metropolitan housing market continues its steady pace of home valuation increases, new home builds and rising rents. As the Phoenix area continues to join the ranks of American municipalities seeing a significant influx of multifamily housing — from top-tier development to run-of-the-mill housing stock — Realtors, agents and evaluators agree: no new housing bubble is forming.

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A fast-casual teriyaki restaurant chain has inked a new franchise deal to expand in the Phoenix market. Denver-based Teriyaki Madness has plans to add 20 restaurants in the Valley as part of its largest-ever franchise agreement.

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A once-shuttered hotel near Roosevelt Row will reopen next week with arts-focused accommodations that developers say will transform the downtown Phoenix corner where the building has sat since the 1970s.

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On Thursday, Walls said the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for September was 5.5 percent, back to where it was in April before the rate spiked. Overall, private sector employment last month increased by just 3,800 workers. But the jobless rate declined at least in part because of 28,900 new government workers, mainly employees of state and local colleges and schools returning after the summer recess.

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Housing remains a bright spot for the economy in October. It’s not a statement you expect to hear as we look at the rising home prices and dwindling inventory, but it’s exactly what Freddie Mac stated today in its monthly Outlook for October. Consumer spending will boost a better half in 2016 for gross domestic product leading to an annual growth of 1.6%, according to the report. Growth in 2017 will be slightly better at 1.9%.

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October 19, 2016

A prominent corner in the Roosevelt Row arts district could be transformed into a multistory office, retail and restaurant complex that would incorporate the area’s signature bungalows and a longtime commercial building. Desert Viking Development on Wednesday announced plans for the Blocks of Roosevelt Row on Roosevelt Street between Fifth and Sixth streets. The downtown Phoenix site includes three bungalows from the early 1900s as well the building that houses Flowers Craft Beer and Wine.

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On the outside, projects such as Westgate, SkySong and Cityscape look like a developer’s dream playground; having everything from eateries to hotels to office space and a lot of acreage to work with. Often, however, getting to the end result of a mega development can be a complicated and tangled web woven between the developer, the banks and the future tenants.

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Total U.S. housing starts for the 12 months ending in August fell from the levels of one month earlier and were flat compared to one year earlier, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And, while multifamily starts increased from a year ago, the number of multifamily permits issued decreased, perhaps signaling a slowdown from the peak levels of apartment construction seen over the past two years.

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Pension funds have been following a clear path of increasing allocations to real estate over the past several years. Despite signs of a maturing market cycle, it appears that most institutions are likely to maintain that same course in 2017.

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Consumer spending in the U.S. has been growing by about 3 percent year-over-year, which is weak by historical standards when the country is not in a recession. However, the risks going forward are weighted to the upside, says Moody’s Senior Director Scott Hoyt.

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October 18, 2016

Overall, the most important issue for respondents was improving Arizona’s economy with an average respondent score of 9. That was followed closely by improving the state’s education system, protecting the U.S. from terrorism, reducing the national debt and providing more funding for wounded veterans.

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Another one of the Valley’s most successful homegrown software companies is relocating its headquarters from Scottsdale to Downtown Phoenix. Integrate, a leading developer of marketing software has leased the entire 19th floor Penthouse Level of 111 West Monroe, advancing a trend of both established technology companies and entrepreneurial start-ups leasing space in the building.

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