In the News—Week of December 25, 2023

 In The Title Trove

Deal of the Week

A top-10 national homebuilder acquired 57 finished lots in the Rancho El Dorado master-planned community in Pinal County, Arizona. The lots were sold by a private homebuilder, which has over a dozen active communities in Arizona. The $6.2 million transaction was closed by Sheila Hunter, Vice President and Senior Commercial Escrow Officer in our Scottsdale office.


Dallas tops all cities for hotel expansion with 189 projects in the pipeline

Everything is bigger is Texas, including the current hotel building boom. Figures from Lodging Econometrics show that Dallas is the top metro area for hotel expansion with a record 189 projects/21,840 rooms in the construction pipeline at the end of the third quarter. Atlanta was second with 140 projects/17,775 rooms followed by Nashville (122 projects/16,046 rooms), Phoenix (119 projects/16,455 rooms), Inland Empire of Southern California (117 projects/11,784 rooms).


Burlington among retailers moving into space Bed Bath & Beyond vacated

Bed Bath & Beyond’s bankruptcy left hundreds of stores vacant. But as happened with other large retailers such as Sears that left stores, retailers have jumped to fill Bed Bath & Beyond’s now vacant space, CBS News Boston reports. “Some of our best stores were created from carved-up Kmart or Sears locations,” Burlington Stores CEO Michael O’Sullivan says. Burlington has taken over 44 former Bed Bath & Beyond stores. Michaels, Barnes & Noble, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, Macy’s, HomeGoods are among the chains filling those spaces. “There is little to no concern that any of the spaces will go vacant for long,” says Brandon Isner, CBRE’s head of retail research for the Americas.


Office vacancy rate in San Francisco reaches 35% for first time on record

San Francisco’s downtown office vacancy rate is more than 35%, the highest ever, Colin Yasukochi of CBRE, tells ABC7 in San Francisco. Before the pandemic it was 3% to 4%. And the vacancy rate is likely to climb more, says Yasukochi, who is executive director of the tech insights center at CBRE. “We think that the vacancy rate will probably creep up some more in 2024, probably at least through the first half of the year. I would say because there still are firms who are consolidating and reducing the amount of office space they have,” he says. But there is hope for downtown San Francisco, says Jeff Bellisario of the Bay Area Council. “It’s not a doom loop, right? The numbers don’t necessarily suggest that. A doom loop would have high unemployment, it would have businesses running to other cities. That’s not where we are, but we’re not in a spot where we are thriving and succeeding, we’re kind of surviving,” Bellisario says.


62-story tower in downtown LA sells for more than $120M less than in 2014

Aon Center, the third tallest building in Los Angeles, was sold recently for $147.8 million, Commercial Observer reports. The sale was the largest post-pandemic office transaction in downtown Los Angeles, but the 62-story, 1.1 million-square-foot office tower sold for $120.7 million less than it did in 2014. Beverly Hills-based Carolwood, and investors Daniel Abrams and Adam Tischer, acquired the building from Shorenstein. “The ownership group’s acquisition of the iconic Aon Center exemplifies the flow of private capital into Los Angeles, seizing the opportunity created by market dislocation,” says Colliers’ Sean Fulp, who helped facilitate the deal. “With a new low basis and a well-capitalized owner, Aon Center will be competitively positioned to attract and retain tenants who desire a well-amenitized skyline tower in the heart of downtown Los Angeles.”


Amkor Technology plans to build $2 billion chip facility in Peoria

Tempe-based Amkor Technology says it will build the largest chip packaging plant in the U.S. in Peoria, AZ Big Media reports. Amkor says the facility will cost $2 billion, span more than 500,000 square feet, and create about 2,000 jobs. “Expansion of a U.S. semiconductor supply chain is underway, and as the largest U.S.-headquartered advanced packaging company, we are excited to lead the charge in bolstering America’s advanced packaging capabilities,” President and CEO Giel Rutten says. The facility is expected to be operational in two to three years.


Mesa seeks signature stores, hires a national retail recruitment firm

Mesa is a city with a low profile and a high population. Home to 516,000 residents, the 36th largest city in the United States wants to raise its profile and attract signature stores, The East Valley Tribune reports. The city has hired The Retail Coach, a Mississippi-based firm, to help recruit high-quality retail. Councilman Scott Somers pushed for the move. “As the largest city in the East Valley, Mesa historically did not need to ‘chase retail,’ as the city was the hub for shopping,” Somers says. But with some of its regional malls gone, the city is losing out on potential revenue from sales tax. “Mesa now faces fierce competition for retail from surrounding communities. There are new and vibrant shopping centers now in Tempe, Chandler and Gilbert. Even Queen Creek has built up their retail portfolio,” Somers says.

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