In the News—Week of August 28, 2023

 In The Title Trove

Deal of the Week

An Arizona based investment group refinanced an Embassy Suites hotel for $13.5 MM in Phoenix, Arizona. This transaction was closed by Bryan Selna, Vice President & Senior Escrow Officer, located out of the Scottsdale, Arizona office.


Chicago mayor supports a transfer tax similar to one adopted by Los Angeles

Chicago’s new mayor has decided to support a revision to boost real estate transfer taxes on property sales of $1 million, following a similar move by Los Angeles and other localities, CoStar reports. Mayor Brandon Johnson wants to use the money to fight homelessness and a shortage of affordable housing. Real estate professionals argue that any new taxes are too steep a burden during a historically difficult time to sell buildings or fill them with new tenants. Critics also question whether higher taxes are the best way to encourage more development.


Curb appeal is not just for residential real estate

The landscape for most retail and office in most markets is challenging. But landscaping could be a big boost for landlords of all sizes, the Cleveland Jewish News reports. The visual appeal of both the exterior and interior of a business is important in attracting customers and employees. Building amenities, such as gyms with modern equipment and restaurants, are big draws for potential tenants or owners. Real estate professionals should showcase these amenities to potential tenants or buyers, as well as demonstrate how current occupants are using them.


No talk of doom loop in Nashville; focus is on how the city’s skyline will change

While many cities are worrying about their central business districts being sucked into a doom loop, Nashville’s office and retail markets are strong. So much so that the talk in the Music City is about what the skyline will look like in the near future. WKRN-TV found a graphic designer, Jason Wood, to show what projects are just proposals, the ones where the site is being prepared, and the ones under construction. “There’s certainly some cities out there booming. And Nashville is certainly one of the top cities booming right now and changing,” Wood tells the TV station.


Former auditor at CRE firm pleads guilty to stealing more than $2.7M

An auditor pled guilty to embezzling almost $3 million from a commercial real estate agency in Orange County, California, KTLA TV reports. Authorities say Varun Aggarwal, 41, created false invoices for companies that were run by his friends and family, transferring money to his own bank account. He resigned from his position with KBS Realty Advisors in January 2022 when the company started investigating the invoices. He was charged with one count of wire fraud and faces up to 20 years in prison.


Arizona Grand Resort has plans to develop 65 acres in major renovation

The Arizona Grand Resort has filed plans with the cities of Phoenix and Tempe, seeking approval for a major expansion, The Chandler Arizonan reports. The property, still known to many as South Pointe Resort, is located near Baseline Road and Interstate 10. The property is mostly in Phoenix but part of it is in Tempe. The resort wants to create a “food and beverage district” and add either another hotel or an apartment building. The resort says the addition will blend with the Spanish architecture of the original buildings.


Three Phoenix area cities land in top 30 most sought by renters

Renters have a high degree of interest in finding housing in three Arizona cities, AZ Big Media reports. surveyed renters on what cities they are interested in moving to this August and ranked the top 150 cities. Chandler was ranked 20th, Gilbert 22nd, and Peoria 29th. Phoenix is 39th. Back in April, Gilbert and Peoria were near the bottom.

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