In the News—Week of January 17, 2022

 In The Title Trove

Deal of the Week

A Texas based investment group acquired a vacant land parcel in Chandler, Arizona to develop a Multifamily building. The Seller is based in Dallas, Texas. The Transaction was handled by Bryan Selna, Vice President and Senior Escrow Officer, from Thomas Title’s Scottsdale office.

National

While Portland, Oregon struggles, office market across river thrives

Office vacancies are at 11.1% in Portland, Oregon, but across the Columbia River things are brighter, The Columbian newspaper reports. In Vancouver, Washington, the office market has a healthy 5.8% vacancy rate. The reason? Companies want to leave downtown Portland, says Andi Costello, a commercial real estate broker with Knipe Realty. “If you live over here, like I do, you know this side is better anyway,” she says. Portland leasing activity has been slow since 2020 and a record high with 2.36 million square feet available for sublease.

National

A Hail Mary: Chicago comes up with plan to keep NFL Bears playing in city

In an attempt that may be too late, the City of Chicago and Landmark Development have unveiled a plan to keep the NFL Bears in the city, Front Office Sports reports. Landmark Development, which is working with the office of Mayor Lori Lightfoot, has come up with a concept that would put a glass dome over Soldier Field and cost about $2.2 billion. The Bears have already agreed to pay $197.2 million for a former horse racing track in suburban Arlington Heights; a 326-acre property.

National

Developer plans to anchor apartments in south Los Angeles with a Costco

A developer plans to turn the site of a former hospital in south Los Angeles into a mixed-use apartment complex anchored by a Costco on the bottom floor, Urbanize Los Angeles reports. Thrive Living announced it will redevelop a 5-acre property in Baldwin Hills that was formerly home to View Park Community Hospital into an 800-unit apartment complex. “Mayor Bass has declared a housing emergency in Los Angeles, and we’re answering the call,” Thrive Living’s Jordan Brill says. “Our company is focused on addressing the severe housing affordability crisis in Los Angeles, while also attracting retailers willing to make long-term commitments and deliver community-serving products and services that enrich the living experience for our residents and neighbors.”

Arizona

Phoenix metro area industrial market is coming off a record-setting year

The Greater Phoenix area expanded its industrial space by almost 10% in 2022, AZ Big Media reports. Figures from Kidder Mathews show the market grew by a record 26 million square feet last year. Another 45 million square feet are in the planning or building stages. Sales prices averaged $171 per square foot. That is about 50% higher than levels before the pandemic.

Arizona

Chinese solar-cell maker chooses Phoenix for manufacturing facility

The Arizona Commerce Authority announced that a manufacturer of solar cells plans to spend $60 million on a plant in Phoenix, AZ Big Media reports. JA Solar is based in Beijing and has leased more than three-quarters of a million square feet in Phoenix for its first manufacturing facility in the U.S. The plant is expected to employ about 600 and will be the largest photovoltaic factory in the state.

Energy and Efficiency

Company fined $8 million for deaths of at least 150 eagles at its wind farms  

A subsidiary of one of the largest U.S. providers of renewable energy pleaded guilty to criminal charges and was ordered to pay more than $8 million in fines and restitution after at least 150 eagles were killed at its wind farms, NBC reports. NextEra Energy subsidiary ESI Energy was also sentenced to five years’ probation for breaking federal law. Prosecutors said at least 150 bald and golden eagles were killed at wind farms in eight states, including Arizona. The birds flew into the blades of wind turbines, officials said.”

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