In the News—Week of February 5, 2024

 In The Title Trove

Deal of the Week

An Arizona entity purchased a retail strip mall building on 13+ acres in Mesa, Arizona for $8 million. The transaction was closed by Assistant Vice President and Escrow Officer, Joel Montemayor, in our Scottsdale, Arizona office.

National

Is this the rebound? NYC office market enjoys a sharp increase in demand

Demand for office space in New York City rose 40% in the final quarter of 2023, the New York Post reports. Figures from real estate technology platform VTS show demand rose almost 20% nationally over the same period. VTS chief strategy officer Ryan Masiello said its data — Office Demand Index — leads the market by six to nine months. “Our prediction is that this year, New York City will break 30 million square feet of total leasing, the highest since before the pandemic,” he said.

National

Are three downtown office buildings in Pittsburgh to become residential?

Three aging office buildings in downtown Pittsburgh are being marketed as possible residential conversions, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. SVN Three Rivers Commercial Advisors is pitching the possibility of turning the mostly empty structures at 901 and 903 Liberty Ave. and 610 Wood St. into 100 units of housing. The three buildings are close to each other. “We feel like by combining them, we can bring buyers to the table,” says Keane George, SVN managing director. The two properties on Liberty Avenue are being packaged as one for $2.17 million. The one on Wood Street is being offered for $3.5 million.

National

San Francisco residential landlord defaults on 459 multifamily units

The Mosser Companies defaulted on a 2018 loan for $88 million for 459 rental units in San Francisco, the Daily Mail reports. Cushman & Wakefield have been hired to sell the multifamily home properties. This is the second major default on multifamily units The City by the Bay has felt. Veritas Investments defaulted on $1 billion of loans. The residential rental segment is struggling. “It’s more about the outmigration of people, increasing operating expenses, all the eviction moratoriums and rent increase moratoriums — it’s just wreaking havoc on certain multifamily projects, especially when people took on short-term or floating-rate debt,” says John Drachman, co-founder of the Waterford Property Company.

National

Two Renaissance Center towers in Detroit sold to suburban firm

Friedman Real Estate, based in the suburb of Farmington Hills, has acquired the smallest two of the seven Renaissance Center towers in Detroit, the Detroit Free Press reports via RE Connect. The two towers are 21-stories each with about 300,000 square feet. The new owners say they intend to keep it office space. The Renaissance Center towers were built in the late 1970s with four 39-story office towers and a 73-story hotel. Those buildings were and still are owned by General Motors, which is headquartered in the complex.

Arizona

Goodyear approves zoning change for mega-sized fuel station Buc-ee’s

The Goodyear City Council has approved a zoning plan that would allow a Buc-ee’s gas station and convenience store, ABC15 reports. The location would have 120 fueling stations and a 74,000-square-foot building at Bullard Avenue and Interstate 10. Half of the property would be available for industrial use. This would be the first location in Arizona for the Texas-based chain. “I’m thrilled that Buc-ee’s is interested in Goodyear as a new location,” Goodyear Mayor Joe Pizzillo says. “It’s more than just a gas station or a convenience store. Buc-ee’s could provide our residents with what they’ve been asking for — which are more options — and that’s what they’ll get as our city continues to grow.”

Arizona

Hedge-fund giant Blackstone plans to build 60 data centers in Arizona

The world’s largest private equity firm is making a big bet on artificial intelligence. Blackstone plans to build 60 data centers — each the size of a football field — in Arizona, Interesting Engineering reports. Blackstone estimates the cost will be around $25 billion, but such capacity will be needed to meet demands of the AI boom. In 2021, Blackstone acquired QTS, one of the leading data center operators. Blackstone and QTS have received pushback over large data center projects in other locations.

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