In the News—Week of November 28, 2022

 In The Title Trove

Deal of the Week

A joint venture of top-5 national homebuilders closed a $42 million construction loan from a Utah-based bank. Vice President and Senior Commercial Escrow Officer, Sheila Hunter, handled the transaction. The closing was part of a series of matters that Thomas Title has handled for this future community in Peoria, Arizona. Our Builder and Developer Services team has also assisted with a state patent transaction, a land trust, and a joint development agreement.


Adobe gets ready to occupy all-electric tower in downtown San Jose

Adobe is expected to move into a new 18-story corporate tower in downtown San Jose early next year, and the company is beaming about the facility’s sustainability, Green Biz reports. The North Tower will be Silicon Valley’s first all-electric building and will be powered completely by renewable energy. The pandemic hit in the midst of the building process, and there were questions about the need for such a headquarters. “We’re always iterating design,” says Eric Kline, Adobe’s director of global workplace experience. “The pandemic served as an acceleration toward the critical aspects of the building — namely, space for collaboration and a laser-focus on sustainability.”

Energy & Efficiency

Funds available to help with utility bills as costs to heat homes go up

The federal government has about $4.5 billion set aside this winter for low-income households that have difficulty paying to heat their residences, CNET reports. Electricity costs are up 15% from last year, and natural gas is up 25%. Potential recipients can apply for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, called LIHEAP, through their state. Each state sets the income level needed to qualify, but it must be no lower than 110% of the federal poverty line and no higher than 160%. Some states offer financial help with weatherization through the program. Utilities offer assistance for some low-income households, as well.


Houston market gets some respect in a survey of property executives

An annual survey of real estate executives and investors ranks Houston as the 15th best real estate market for 2023, the Houston Chronicle reports. That is behind three other Texas metro areas, but it is quite an improvement from two years ago. The survey, conducted by Urban Land Institute and the consulting firm PwC, ranked the Houston market 52nd. The Bayou City climbed to 24 in last year’s survey. “Houston’s biggest competitive advantage has been its affordability and its ability to provide a good standard of living for people that move here,” says Justin Levine, chairman of Urban Land Institute Houston and an executive with real estate firm Levcor. “As long as we continue to provide that, I think the city will still be competitive and continue to attract people and employers.”


Dallas picked as one of top markets for real estate in the upcoming year

It will be between Dallas and Nashville. No, we’re not talking about the Super Bowl or the Stanley Cup. In an annual look-ahead from the Urban Land Institute and PwC, the Dallas-Fort Worth area is second behind Nashville as top markets for real estate, The Dallas Morning News reports. Last year, the survey of property executives tabbed Nashville as No.1 but ranked the North Texas Metroplex as seventh. This year Austin (fourth) also ranks in the top 10.


DMB Associates co-founder Mark Sklar passes away at age 74

Mark Sklar, who co-founded DMB Associates, one of the most important development firms in the Valley of the Sun, passed away, Jewish News Arizona reports. He was 74. Sklar and his wife JoAnn moved from their native Wisconsin to Arizona in 1969, and Mark started a travel agency. He sold the agency after about five years and began to enjoy an early retirement. After a few days, JoAnn told him he needed to get another job — immediately. Mark chose real estate as a second career. In the 1980s, he and two partners founded DMB Associates. DMB developed DC Ranch in Scottsdale, a project that created an urban village that blends with the surroundings, and Verrado, a sort of mini-city in Buckeye.


Mexico properties help drive strong summer results for Palladium Hotels

Palladium Hotel Group says Mexico resorts helped drive a strong summer season, Hospitalitynet reports. The chain, which is based in Spain and owns hotels and resorts in six countries, says it benefitted from 90% occupancy at peak times. It credited pent-up demand and new hotels. The company’s Mexico properties in the Riviera Maya, Costa Mujeres and Riviera Nayarit are above 70% occupancy year round.

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