In the News—Week of March 6, 2023

 In The Title Trove

Deal of the Week

An Arizona-based multifamily investment group refinanced a 117-unit apartment complex in the Biltmore area of Phoenix. The $19.9 million, federal agency loan was arranged by a national capital markets group. Sheila Hunter, Vice President and Senior Commercial Escrow Officer, in our Scottsdale office, closed the transaction.


Walmart will close its two store in the City of Portland, Oregon

Walmart is closing its last two stores within the city limits of Portland Oregon in late March, KPTV reports via KMOV. The retail giant said the closures are coming because the stores do not meet the company’s standards for profitability. “The decision to close these stores was made after a careful review of their overall performance,” a Walmart spokesperson said. “We consider many factors, including current and projected financial performance, location, population, customer needs, and the proximity of other nearby stores when making these difficult decisions. After we decide to move forward, our focus is on our associates and their transition, which is the case here.” The closings come after Walmart CEO Doug McMillon warned that shoplifting was a serious problem for Walmart and that some stores could close because of it. Some Walmart shoppers told KPTV they thought that might be why these locations were being shut down. More than a dozen Walmart stores remain in the Portland metro area.


Brewers get creative with their real estate as craft beer sales slow

Desperate times call for creative locations. Leinenkugel, a well-known Wisconsin brewer, will open a brewery within the home of the MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers. Asheville, North Carolina-based Bhramari Brewing decided to open its second brewery near Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, home to the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. Three Weavers Brewing plans to open a second brewery near SoFi Stadium, home to the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and Chargers. The boom is over for craft breweries, and to survive and thrive some are setting up shops near entertainment and sports venues, reports. “It’s more important than ever to differentiate yourself,” the Brewers Association’s chief economist, Bart Watson, says. “Five years ago, we had a lot of openings and almost no closings. As we’re getting close to 10,000 breweries, we’re seeing a more mature and competitive market.” He adds: “Not everyone’s going to be able to open in the Milwaukee Brewers’ ballpark, but as things become more competitive, co-locating in entertainment venues is something that more breweries are looking to do.”


Walgreens selling off two thirds of space at Chicago area headquarters

In an era of working from home, some companies realize they don’t need as big a headquarters as they once did. Walgreens Boots Alliance is putting most of its headquarters in Deerfield, Illinois, up for sale to cut costs, The Real Deal reports. The drugstore giant wants to part with two-thirds of its 40-plus acre campus north of Chicago. “We recognize the way we work has changed and with our hybrid model valued by our team members, we have underutilized space on our Deerfield Campus,” a Walgreens spokesman said in a statement. “To reimagine the space to fit our current needs and create efficiencies that allow us to invest in the business, we have made the decision to sell several buildings that are part of our support office.”


Retail vacancies in Phoenix area are at lowest level in 40 years

The Phoenix metropolitan area saw retail vacancies finish 2022 at 5.7%, a 40-year low, AZ Big Media reports. “The Phoenix metro area has not experienced this level of positive retail performance in over a decade,” says Dave Cheatham, President of Velocity Retail Group’s Phoenix office. “The high tide for Phoenix vacancy was in 2010 when the vacancy rate reached 13.3%. The absorption recorded in 2022 has more than doubled that of pre-recession numbers and is nearly a 60% increase over 2021, which drove down the vacancy.’’


Creation buys 18 acres for industrial development at Scottsdale Airpark

Creation, based in Dallas and Phoenix, has acquired 18 prime acres in the Scottsdale Airpark and plans to develop a $60-million industrial center, AZ Big Media reports. Thunderbird Commerce Park will be located east of the southeast corner of Scottsdale and Thunderbird roads and will feature Thunderbird Commerce Park, a 243,360-square-foot, Class-A industrial building. The building is designed with features that will attract a wide array of tenants including companies in the pharmaceutical, aerospace, electric vehicle and semiconductor sectors, plus traditional distribution and showroom users,” Creation’s Mountain West Region principal, Grant Kingdon, says.

Energy and Efficiency

China approves coal plants to produce 106 gigawatts of electricity

Driven by a fear of power shortages, China approved the building of enough coal-fired power plants in 2022 to produce 106 gigawatts, CNBC reports. That is the biggest expansion of coal-powered plans since 2015. “The speed at which projects progressed through permitting to construction in 2022 was extraordinary, with many projects sprouting up, gaining permits, obtaining financing and breaking ground apparently in a matter of months,” Global Energy Monitor analyst Flora Champenois says. Renewable power capacity increases in China are hitting record levels. There were 87 GW of solar installations in 2022.

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