In the News—Week of May 15, 2023

 In The Title Trove

Deal of the Week

A Phoenix-based real estate investment group purchased a three-property manufactured housing portfolio in Las Vegas, Nevada. The $16 million transaction was closed by Joel Montemayor, Assistant Vice President and Commercial Escrow Officer, in our Scottsdale office.


Exxon executives leaving posh Dallas digs for more humble HQ in Houston

Top executives at Exxon will be ditching their Dallas area office this summer for more modest accommodations in Houston, The Wall Street Journal reports. The move is partly symbolic and partly practical. The move will cut costs and show that executives are serious about running a leaner operation. The offices in Irving were known as the “God Pod,” in part because they were distant from the other employees and in part because they were fancy, with wood paneling from Africa and marble from France. Now the company’s top brass will be near the 10,000 other employees at the Houston campus. And there will be no private chef.


Trying to redevelop, Detroit sues owners of decrepit properties

The city of Detroit has lost patience with commercial property owners who have failed to redevelop for decades, Axios Detroit reports. So the city has filed nearly a dozen lawsuits to fix up the properties or give the city control. And more suits likely are on the way. “You’ve got Perfecting (Church) on 7 Mile and Woodward, you’ve got the Mammoth building on Grand River and Greenfield — for 20 years have stood vacant, for 20 years no progress, for 20 years no activity,” a Detroit redevelopment official, Conrad Mallett, says. “That would not be the case in any other metropolitan city across the United States.” Federal dollars are being used to hire lawyers for the legal battles. One of the challenges is that it is often unclear as to who owns the properties.


New York City considers using iconic buildings to house migrants

New York City officials are trying to find housing for illegal immigrants who are being bussed from border states and considering using the Flatiron Building among other buildings, The New York Sun reports. The city is expecting about 800 arrivals per day, and officials contacted the owner of the Flatiron building among others looking for space. NYC officials are also considering cruise ships and public schools as possible options. “Despite calling on the federal government for a national decompression strategy since last year, and for a decompression strategy across the state, New York City has been left without the necessary support to manage this crisis,” Mayor Eric Adams says.


Largest landowner on Las Vegas Strip is open to purchasing more parcels

New York-based Vici doesn’t operate any casinos. But it owns the land underneath them, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. Launched in 2017 as a spinoff from Caesars, Vici owns properties throughout North America, including 660 acres on Las Vegas Boulevard, better known as The Strip. Vici makes about 45% of its $2.6 billion in revenue from its Las Vegas properties, the Review-Journal reports. CEO Ed Pitoniak tells the newspaper: “If the right properties came available with the right operators, at the right prices, we’d of course be interested. Consumers have increasingly expressed their preference for buying experiences versus buying things. And as an experiential ecosystem. Las Vegas just gets richer, if not every day, every year.”


Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport area becomes a hot spot for development

The area around Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport seems to be taking off, AZ Big Media reports. The airport, formerly the home of Williams Air Force Base, is located in the southeast area of the Valley of the Sun. The airport has limited passenger service but is developing into a cargo hub. Fewer than three months ago, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for Building 109, the first of two industrial buildings of 250,000 square feet. The Elliot Road Technology Corridor and Pecos Advanced Manufacturing Zone are attracting millions of square feet of development. And the airport is home to SkyBridge, a 350-plus acre project that offers users the first inland joint U.S.-Mexico Customs inspections facility.


Developer secures financing to complete project in Paradise Valley

Five-Star Development has secured $585 million in financing to complete The Palmeraie, a retail, dining and residential development in Paradise Valley, AZ Big Media reports. Madison Realty Capital originated the loan for the development, which includes a Ritz-Carlton resort. The 215-room resort hotel will be surrounded by 80 single-level residential villas and 32 single-family “Estate Homes.” The residences will all carry the Ritz-Carlton brand. The project is more than three quarters complete. The retail and dining component, which spills into Scottsdale, will offer more than 160,000 square feet of high-end retail and dining.

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