In the News—Week of December 4, 2023

 In The Title Trove

Deal of the Week

A Texas based Investment company closed on a Construction Loan to develop a new 397 unit multifamily complex in Mesa, AZ. The file was closed by Bryan Selna, Vice President & Senior Escrow Officer, in the Scottsdale office.

National

States weigh easing rules to change commercial zoning to residential

Five states have passed legislation in the past year reforming rezoning laws to make it easier to convert commercial properties to residential, Cato Institute reports. Montana, Rhode Island, Oregon, Florida and Wisconsin join many cities who are making it easier to change empty office buildings into homes. Four other states are considering such legislation. Los Angeles led the way in the early 2000s after the dot.com bubble burst and demand for cool office space in the city’s downtown dropped off. The change allowed the city to add about 12,000 units over 20 years.

National

Iconic Portland mall’s future includes possible baseball stadium, housing

Lloyd Center in Portland, Oregon, opened in the early 1960s and was touted as the largest shopping center in the world. With its signature outdoor skating rink, where Olympian Tonya Harding trained, it was a fixture in the city of Roses. It fell into bankruptcy after the pandemic. Co-owners KKR Real Estate Finance Trust and Seattle-based developer Urban Renaissance Group plan to demolish the 29.3-acre property piece by piece over the coming decades and re-develop parcels, Axios reports. For now, the mall is about 90% leased and no solid plans have been announced. Among the possibilities is to tear down the multitiered structure and reconnect the center to the city grid and create a promenade with retail and apartments. Portland is believed to be in the running for a baseball team the next time MLB expands. Lloyd Center might be a possible site for a ballpark.

National

Full-service resort coming to City of Gulf Shores in Alabama

Three firms are developing a full-service resort with 257 suites in the City of Gulf Shores, Alabama, Hotel Business reports. DD Partners LLC of Birmingham and Marietta, Georgia, Peachtree Group of Atlanta, and Woodbine Development Corporation of Dallas are working on the Embassy Suites Gulf Shores, which is expected to open in the summer of 2025. The eight-story hotel will offer a lobby bar and restaurant, a rooftop terrace, a ballroom, and retail space that will include a Starbucks. “Having a high-end, full-service hotel with significant conference space in the heart of our beach district will boost our shoulder seasons, support local businesses year-round and be a catalyst for higher quality redevelopment in this area,” Mayor Robert Craft says.

National

NYC commercial real estate sector finds hands tied in immigrant crisis

The commercial real estate sector in New York City has been waiting for direction from public officials in the wake of an influx of immigrants, Commercial Observer reports. More than 142,000 migrants have arrived in the city in the past 18 months. Commercial real estate leaders say they want to help and need government to streamline the process for immigrants to acquire housing vouchers.

Arizona

Major development with auto mall proposed for Laveen area of Phoenix

The Lines family is proposing a 300-acre development near Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway that would include a resort, an auto mall, a hospital and apartments, The Arizona Republic reports via newsbreak.com. Gila Foothills is proposed for a large site in the Laveen area of Phoenix. The city must approve the project before it can go forward, and there is community opposition. Nearby residents say it will change the character of the area. “My approach has always been, we know we are bringing change, so let’s work closely with the ones who are most affected by it,” Reid Butler, a homebuilder who represents the Lines, says. “Our goal is, as more intensive development comes, to ask what can we do to objectively address problems for adjacent neighbors?”

Arizona

Phoenix area adds 12M square feet of industrial space in third quarter

The industrial market of Phoenix remains the strongest sector in the city’s commercial real estate market. Long delays in construction resulted in a wave of completions during the third quarter, bringing 12.04 million new square feet on line. The market saw net absorption to 4.02 million square feet in the quarter. With the additional inventory, the vacancy rate rose from 3.04% to 5.6%. The average asked-for rent increased 17.7% from the year before, the first time in four quarters that the growth in price was below 20%.

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