In the News—Week of January 3, 2022

 In The Title Trove

Deal of the Week

A California based development and investment firm sold 4,000 + acres in Pinal County, Arizona to an Arizona based developer and investment firm for $82.5+ million. The transaction was handled by Sheila Hunter, Senior Commercial Escrow Officer, from Thomas Title’s Scottsdale office.

National

Rent growth continues but at a much slower pace

Rents for multifamily and single-family homes are still growing but at a slower rate, CNBC reports. Figures from Rents.com show that in November, rents rose 3.4% over the previous year. That was the 10th straight month of slowing growth and the lowest year-over-year increase in 19 months. In fact, the median asking price in the 50 largest metro areas is $1,712, down $69 from July’s peak. “Many Americans’ budgets are being pulled in multiple directions as the holidays approach, bringing a more typical seasonal cooldown to the rental market that we hadn’t seen in the last few years,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com.

National

Large affordable housing project proposed in Austin, Texas

A Missouri developer is proposing a 53,000-square-foot affordable housing complex in Austin, Texas, the Austin Business Journal reports via The Real Deal. Vecino Group is partnering with the city’s Austin Housing Finance Corporation on the project. The site plan for 900 Gardner Road, called Libertad Austin, did not contain the number of units. The property is in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the Texas capital city. Austin voters approved a $350 million bond for affordable housing in the November election.

National

Albert Reichmann, real estate titan who fled Nazis, passes away at 93

The real estate developer Albert Reichmann, who fled the Nazis in the 1930s, and for a time became the largest private land owner in New York City, died at 93, The New York Times reports. The son of a rabbi, Reichmann left Vienna with his wife and children for Toronto in 1938, after Nazi Germany took over Austria in the lead-up to World War II. Mr. Reichmann and his brothers built a real- estate portfolio that Forbes magazine reported to be worth nearly $10 billion. But the firm, Olympia & York Developments, collapsed in the early 1990s and went into bankruptcy. The Reichmanns came back from financial disaster and rebuilt their portfolio, then sold to Brookfield Properties in 2005.

Arizona

Discount Tire plans to build new HQ near Loop 101 and State Route 51

Discount Tire, which has been based in the Phoenix area since 1970, announced plans for a 300,000-square-foot headquarters near Loop 101 and State Route 51, AZ Big Media reports. The company bought the site for $29.4 million at a recent public auction by the Arizona State Land Department. The money from the land auction goes to funding K-12 education in Arizona. Work on the early phases of the facility is expected to begin this year. Discount Tire is one the largest independent tire dealers in the United States and was ranked No. 77 on the “America’s Largest Private Companies” list in 2022.

Arizona

Scottsdale gives OK for Optima’s $1-billion mixed-use development

After the city of Scottsdale gave its OK, Optima says it is ready to move ahead on its $1-billion sustainable mixed-use community in North Scottsdale, AZ Big Media reports. The developer plans to break ground on the 22-acre Optima McDowell Mountain Village near Scottsdale Road and the Loop 101 freeway this spring or summer. The project will be made up of six concrete-framed, eight-story buildings and will include more than 1,000 residential units as well as 36,000 square feet of commercial and retail space. The residences will be a mix of apartments and condos. Optima McDowell Mountain Village will be one of the largest rainwater harvesting projects in the United States.

Energy and Efficiency

International Energy Agency: World burned record amount of coal in 2022 

The world used more coal than ever before in 2022, The Hill reports. Figures from The International Energy Agency show that global consumption of coal was going to exceed 8 billion tons for the first time. The agency’s report states that other fossil fuel prices, particularly for natural gas, have risen faster prompting a switch to coal, which is cheaper in parts of the world. Use of coal to produce electricity is expected to increase by about 2% in 2023, the agency reports.

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