In the News—Week of November 6, 2023

 In The Title Trove

Deal of the Week

After acquiring the property in May 2022 from the State of Arizona and completing the land development, a joint venture conveyed 48 finished lots to its two national homebuilder members, marking the first tranche of delivered lots for a new master-planned community in Peoria, Arizona. Sheila Hunter, Vice President and Senior Commercial Escrow Officer, has led the Thomas Title Builder & Developer Services team, which has handled the $49.5 million patent transaction, the land trust, the land banking, and now, the lot takedowns.


Cedar Fair, Six Flags Entertainment to merge, challenge Walt Disney Co.

Cedar Fair Entertainment and Six Flags Entertainment plan to merge in a deal that is expected to close early in 2024, CoStar News reports. The combined company will have 42 parks and nine hotels and resorts in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The value of the company will be around $8 billion, making it a possible challenger to Walt Disney Co. and Universal Destinations and Experiences in the amusement park industry.


Vornado Realty Trust seems out of race to build a casino in New York City

The field is large in the race to acquire one of the three casino licenses in the New York metro area. And one company has seemingly bowed out, The Real Deal reports. Steven Roth’s Vornado Realty Trust had been interested in winning one of those licenses, with the former Hotel Pennsylvania site across from Madison Square Garden housing a casino. On an earnings call, Roth said it “is highly likely that we will not pursue a casino license.”


Longtime president of Manhattan’s largest landlord to leave position

In a surprising move, Andrew Mathias, SL Green Realty’s longtime president, announced he is leaving his position after 16 years, CoStar news reports. Mathias will remain on the board of Manhattan’s largest landlord and serve as an adviser to Chairman and Chief Executive Marc Holliday. One analyst says the change is indicative of the challenges facing the office market. The “announcement that (SL Green) stalwart, President Andrew Mathias, who has worked with CEO Marc Holliday for decades, is leaving shows the depth of this office upheaval,” Piper Sandler analyst Alexander Goldfarb wrote to clients. “. . . we interpret this news to reflect a desire by the company to cut costs aggressively and note that several from the C-suite have departed in recent years as (SL Green) has skinnied down.”


Panelist: Downtown San Francisco faces future of fewer offices, more fun

Downtown San Francisco may be wobbling a bit, but it is not going down for the count. That was the takeaway from the University of California Berkeley event “From Doom to Boom in San Francisco,” The San Francisco Standard reports. Panelists said the future of city’s central business district will likely see fewer offices and more leisure-time activity. “There’s been a swiveling of time use,” says Nicholas Bloom, a Stanford University economist. “The key to me is cities rotating more towards consumption activities and leisure and a bit away from offices.”


Renters find Chandler, Peoria attractive spots to live, survey shows

The Phoenix suburbs of Chandler and Peoria are among the top destinations for renters, AZ Big Media reports. A survey of the 150 largest cities in the United States by ranks Chandler as the 13th most in-demand city and Peoria as the 23rd. Chandler has seen significant interest from apartment residents seeking to leave Los Angeles. The top spot in the country for renters is the borough of Queens in New York City.


Former Italian restaurant will be site for apartments, houses

The site of an Italian restaurant that has been closed for 21 years will be home to a mixed-use project that includes 628 apartment units, The East Valley Tribune reports. The Gilbert Town Council unanimously approved a rezone and annexation of 74.45 acres for the development at the northwest corner of Power and Williams Field roads. The former Cosmo’s restaurant is near Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and had previously been in a county island. The project, called Bella Storia, will include 238 single-family homes and commercial development.

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