In the News—Week of January 22, 2024

 In The Title Trove

Deal of the Week

Seabass Realty LLC recently acquired approximately 3.9 acres of land with 11,500 sqft of building space in Phoenix, AZ. The land sold for $4,500,000 with $3,600,000 in debt provided by Westside State Bank. The transaction was closed by Joel Montemayor, Assistant Vice President & Escrow Officer, in our Scottsdale, Arizona office.

National

Blackstone offers Manhattan tower for 25% of what fund paid in 2014

Private-equity giant Blackstone will part with a 26-story tower in Manhattan the fund bought 10 years ago if someone will just pay the rest of the mortgage, the Daily Mail reports. Blackstone paid about $600 million for the building at 1740 Broadway. There’s about $150 million left on the mortgage. Occupancy in the 600,000-square-foot tower fell to 7% last fall, and Blackstone stopped paying on the mortgage in 2022, the London-based newspaper reports. The hedge fund says it hopes the lower price will attract a developer, perhaps someone who wants to convert office space to residential. “We wrote this property off two years ago, and in the event a buyer is identified, we will work collaboratively to transfer the ownership,” a Blackstone spokesperson says.

National

Tesla continues to expand in Texas, adds industrial space in Austin suburb

Tesla plans to lease a 35,000-square-foot industrial building in Hutto, the latest sign of the company’s growing presence in central Texas, CoStar News reports. Tesla broke ground on a large factory in Austin in 2020 and then opted to relocate its headquarters there. Hutto is about 30 miles away from the main plant. Tesla has added about 15,000 jobs to the Austin metro economy.

National

Safeway closing store in San Francisco, sells land to commercial developer

Safeway has told employees in at store in San Francisco’s Fillmore District the company is closing the store and selling the land to a developer, The San Francisco Standard reports. Align Real Estate plans a mixed-use project with housing and retail on the 3.68-acre property, now known as Webster Plaza. “This is a real and rare opportunity to add a significant amount of new homes in this part of our city and even a new grocery store,” Mayor London Breed says. “It shows a real interest in investing in housing in San Francisco. This is another big bet on our future.”

National

Church closes year’s biggest deal for industrial space in Miami-Dade County

The Mormon Church completed the largest transaction in Miami-Dade County in 2023, buying six warehouses in Hialeah for $174.3 million, the Miami Herald reports. It is unclear what is officially known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints plans for the property. The church is a large real estate investor nationally and already has vast holdings in Florida, including a Central Florida ranch and timberland in the Panhandle. Chris Spear, a principal at the brokerage firm ComReal, tells the newspaper that the acquisition is likely just an investment.

Arizona

Luhrs Building will be home to Moxy brand hotel in downtown Phoenix

An old building has become a new hotel. Moxy Phoenix Downtown Hotel announced its opening in the historic Luhrs Building, Hospitality Net reports. PEG Companies and Dallas-based A.G. Hill Partners purchased the Luhrs Building at the end of 2019 and have renovated the interior. The Luhrs Building opened in 1924, and the 10-story building at 11 W. Jefferson St. was the tallest building in Phoenix at the time. PEG Hospitality Group will manage the hotel, which has 164 rooms, gym, and open “Plug and Meet” gathering areas for guest and passers-by. Moxy is a Marriott brand.

Arizona

TSMC, construction unions reach understanding to hire U.S. workers

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and the Arizona Building and Construction Trades Council have reached an agreement they say will smooth the way for building the $40 billion semiconductor plant, Manufacturing Dive reports. TSMC has pushed the opening of the plant back to 2025 because of a lack of skilled workers. The unions accused the company of using that as an excuse to hire foreign workers at lower wages. The company has now agreed to hire American workers, when possible, though circumstances may call for hiring some foreign workers. About 10% of construction jobs in the United States are vacant. The agreement calls for the unions to recruit workers for building the chip-making facility. The company and the union will work together on training workers.

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