In the News—Week of December 20, 2022
Deal of the Week
An Arizona-based entity recently sold an industrial property to Orlando Autobody for $2.15 million. Bryan Selna, Vice President & Senior Escrow Officer, and his team had the opportunity to close this transaction in the Scottsdale office.
Hotel on San Francisco’s Nob Hill may be turned back into apartments
The Huntington Hotel opened in 1924 as an apartment building and may become one again, The Real Deal reports. The historic hotel on San Francisco’s Nob Hill has been a money-loser for more than 15 years and was closed during the pandemic. Media reports say that two mystery buyers are about to purchase the 135-room hotel for at least $61 million ahead of an auction. There is speculation that the Huntington will be converted back to apartments because current economic factors make it unlikely that the property can return to profitability as a hotel.
Will Houston become the next big metro area for life sciences?
Houston doesn’t rank in the top 10 of cities in the U.S. for life sciences — but that could change, JLL reports. Texas Medical Center in Houston is the largest medical center in the world. The area is home to 1,760 life-sciences companies. “It’s pretty simple,” says JLL Senior Research Director Amber Schiada. “Houston has historically been undersupplied in terms of purpose-built lab space, which is critical for companies to scale operations. Markets without the proper facilities to support growth will be less attractive to companies looking to scale quickly. But what comes first, the chicken or the egg – or in commercial real estate terms, the development or the demand?”
Dividing vacant space to attract smaller retailers may fill holes at mall
Small can be beautiful. That is what some owners of Class C malls are learning, Modern Retail reports. Taking a vacant space that was designed for an anchor store and dividing it into smaller spaces can be the answer Perris Pavilion, a shopping plaza in Southern California, learned. “People don’t need to have big retail space anymore, so we do see a lot of those vacant,” said Richard Tseng, property manager at the Perris Pavilion. “How many businesses can use up 30,000 square feet? But if you cut them up smaller, 1,800 or 1,000 square feet, it’s more manageable.”
Taiwan chip-maker to invest $40B in north Phoenix fabrication plants
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company says it has decided to more than triple its investment in Arizona, AZ Big Media reports. The announcement came at a ceremony, which included a visit from President Joe Biden, to show off the Chinese Taipei company’s $12 billion chip fabrication plant in north Phoenix. TSMC announced it would spend an additional $28 billion on a second plant. “In terms of scale, this is the largest foreign direct investment in Arizona history, and it’s one of the largest in U.S. history,” explains Brian Deese, National Economic Council Director.
ASU takes advantage of 2010 law to develop mixed-use project
A 355-acre development is taking place near the Arizona State University campus and Tempe Town Lake, AZ Big Media reports. Called the Novus Innovation Corridor, the project takes advantage of a 2010 Arizona law that allows the state universities to create athletic facility districts on city land without using taxpayer or student funds. The project will include restaurants, retail stores, hotels, housing, office buildings, athletic facilities. The project is expected to be built out in 25 years. Outgoing Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich claimed the law violated the state constitution, but the state courts sided with the universities. So far, only ASU has taken advantage of the law.
Energy and Efficiency
Breakthrough on nuclear fusion offers possibility of clean energy source
It was short but oh so sweet. After 60 years of attempts, scientists finally managed to create a nuclear fusion reaction that produced more energy than was needed to set off the reaction, National Geographic reports. “Simply put, this is one of the most impressive scientific feats of the 21st century,” U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said. Using 192 lasers, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California managed to trigger a reaction that produced about 50% more energy than it used. It was over in an instant, but its effects will be long term. This paves the way for a clean source of energy. Still, it will be years — maybe decades — before fusion is commercially viable.