In the News—Week of May 6, 2024

 In The Title Trove

Deal of the Week

Amerco Real Estate, the Real Estate Division of Uhaul, recently acquired a newly constructed self-storage facility on just over 2 acres with 686 units and 72,975 Net Rentable Square Feet in Orlando, Florida. The sales price was $12,750,000. The transaction was closed by Joel Montemayor, Assistant Vice President and Commercial Escrow Officer, in our Scottsdale, AZ office.


Seattle is at the forefront of updating zoning laws to allow mix of businesses

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell is pushing forward a downtown activation plan that aims to revitalize the city’s downtown area by allowing businesses previously prohibited under zoning laws, reports. The plan involves transitioning from the traditional “Euclidean zoning” to “form-based codes,” focusing more on design compatibility and aesthetic appeal rather than specific business uses. Under the old rules you might not have been able to have a printing shop next to a nail salon. Seattle’s codes are not unique, and cities across the country are starting to see how this can stagnate their central business districts.


Choice office space in Manhattan in high demand, becoming scarce

Demand for premium office space in New York City has rebounded as tenants rush to secure space in high-end buildings, the New York Post reports. As a result, there are few options left for large tenants in prime areas of Midtown. The availability rate for top-class buildings in Midtown is currently at 8.5%, compared to 15% four years ago. This surge is affecting yet-to-be constructed buildings, which are luring potential tenants despite high rents.


Lazy Dog, Postino Wine Café, Gen Korean BBQ replace old standbys

The times and the tastes are changing, CNN reports. U.S. malls are shifting their focus from traditional food chains like Ruby Tuesday, Applebee’s and Chili’s to regional and often smaller restaurant offerings. Chains such as Lazy Dog, Gen Korean BBQ and Postino Wine Café are taking center stage, as they cater to evolving consumer tastes and offer a wider variety of global cuisines. “There’s definitely a newer layer of concepts. There’s a new guard in malls,” says Chris Simms, the CEO and founder of Lazy Dog, which has around 50 ski lodge-themed restaurants around the country. Simms says he was drawn to open Lazy Dog restaurants in malls to pick up customers who may be stopping nearby to see a movie or run errands. “There’s something to having that synergy around you. I’m looking for traffic-drivers,” he said. “Malls create a great opportunity for that.”


KKR pays Blackstone $1.64 B for student housing portfolio

KKR has acquired the student housing portfolio of Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust for $1.64 billion, Business Wire reports. The portfolio contains 19 properties in 10 states connected to 14 public universities, with more than 10,000 beds. “Student housing is a sector that we have long-term conviction in. We are pleased to be working with Blackstone to complete this transaction, which will add a diverse mix of high-quality properties to our portfolio,” says Justin Pattner, a partner at KKR. “The operating capabilities we have built with University Partners over the past decade and our ability to transact at scale, position us to create value for our investors and to continue investing in great living experiences across these communities. We are deploying into what we view as a compelling market environment to purchase quality real estate.”


Go Daddy founder Parsons buys Westgate Center for $133 million

Bob Parsons, the founder of Go Daddy, has acquired the Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale, Reuters reports. Parsons’ real estate arm, YAM Properties LLC, paid $133 million for the 76-acre site next to the arena that served as a home to the NHL Coyotes from 2003 until 2022. Westgate includes 533,000 square feet of retail, office and residential space. After acquiring the property in foreclosure in 2011, iStar Inc spent a considerable amount of money to overhaul the property. “If you go back to the depths of the recession in Phoenix, Westgate was one of the poster children for big failed white elephant real estate developments,” David Sotolov, an executive at iStar, tells Reuters.


Valley of the Sun tops U.S. for completed built-to-rent residences

The Phoenix area tops the country in terms of completed build-to-rent units, AZ Big Media reports. Figures from RentCafe’s annual report show the market saw 4,030 rental homes finished in 2023, a 10-year high and a 164% increase from 2022. The Valley has the most recent build-to-rent inventory and the largest stock in the U.S. Since 2018, there have been 9,345 build-to-rent units in the Valley. Nearly 7,240 build-to-rent homes are set to be completed in the Valley by the end of 2026. Nationally 27,400 units were added last year.

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