In the News—Week of October 03, 2022

 In The Title Trove

Deal of the Week

A Scottsdale-based multifamily developer closed on a construction loan for approximately $51 million from an East Coast-based financial institution. The transaction was closed by Joel Montemayor, Assistant Vice President and Commercial Escrow Officer, in the Scottsdale office.


New laws in California make it easier to covert commercial to multifamily 

California has enacted two laws that pave the way for commercial buildings to be turned into housing, NPR reports.  “This is a moment on a journey to reconcile the original sin of the state of California, and that’s the issue of housing and affordability,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said before signing the bills into law. Local government officials say the laws undermine city planning and, in some cases, come at the cost of revenue. Retail provides sales tax, for instance. “Stores are leaving permanently, the Sears, the Toys R Us, the JC Penneys, the Kmarts — they are closing,” says Democratic Sen. Anna Caballero, author of one of the laws. “There is not a thing that is going to take the place here commercially, and so the ability to actually transform the property and to do it in an expedited way … is invaluable.” 

Energy & Efficiency

As demand for lithium batteries spikes, can suppliers keep up?

As the world races to adopt electric vehicles, a challenge is emerging, New Atlas reports. Can we meet the demand for minerals to make lithium batteries? Benchmark, which publishes EV supply chain market information, reports that at the current levels of switching to EVs, the world will need about 336 more mines by 2035. Researchers are working on alternatives to lithium batteries. But for right now, lithium batteries are the main commercially viable technology.


More than 300 luxury apartments slated for Houston’s Heights area 

Austin-based OHT Partners is planning an upscale apartment complex in The Heights area in Houston, the Houston Chronicle reports. The 359-unit multifamily complex at 333 West 24th St. is the latest multifamily project in the neighborhood. The Heights, a popular district that gentrified in the 1990s, had been made up mostly of single-family homes. OHT Partners says construction will start in December and be finished in 2025. 


Dallas-Fort Worth area leads US in sales of office buildings

When it comes to sales of office buildings, Dallas is No.1 in the nation, The Dallas Morning News reports. Figures from Yardi Systems show that sales of office buildings in the Dallas-Fort Worth area reached almost $3.5 billion from January through August. The Boston area was second with $3.3 billion and Manhattan was third with $3.27 billion. Employment of office workers in North Texas is growing by between 80,000 and 100,000 jobs per year, figures from Transwestern show.


Wood Partners begin building luxury apartments complex in The BLVD 

Atlanta-based Wood Partners has broken ground on a 360-unit luxury apartment complex in Avondale, AZ Big Media reports. Known as Alta Avondale, the complex will offer studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom floor plans and is expected to be finished in 2024. The community is located in The BLVD, an entertainment district where almost 1,500 multifamily units are built, planned or under construction. 


Mexico’s investments in infrastructure at nation’s ports lags growth in trade

The government in Mexico and the private sector have combined to invest $366.8 million in infrastructure for the country’s ports, Mexico Business News reports. But experts contend that investment is way too small — given the large coastlines and the opportunities. While port activity has increased, the improvements in the nation’s 118 ports have not kept pace. 

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