In the News—Week of September 18, 2023
Deal of the Week
An Arizona entity tracing back to GaurdTop sold a property to another Arizona based entity for $4.6 million in a leaseback sale. The transaction was closed by Joel Montemayor Assistant Vice President & Escrow Officer in our Scottsdale Office.
Chatbot startup Andi leaves Miami for San Francisco
Andi, maker of an artificial intelligence chatbot, is leaving Miami for San Francisco, a reversal of what we’ve seen in recent years, The Real Deal reports. Since the pandemic began in 2020, tech firms have been dumping California for Florida. The firm says it wants to be closer to venture capital firms. Founded in 2021, Andi claims its chatbot provides more targeted searches of the web than other search engines and skips ads and clickbait pages.
Developers plan to spend $82 million on Chemical Building in St. Louis
A team of backers wants to turn a 127-year-old former bank building into a modern hotel in downtown St. Louis, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. New Orleans-based Campo Architecture & Interior Design, Beechwood Pinnacle Hotels and InterMountain Management plan to invest $82 million in turning the Chemical Building into a 240-room, Marriott hotel. Built for the Chemical National Bank, the building has architectural features not found in buildings built more recently.
CFO downplays talk of United Airlines moving its headquarters from Chicago
United Airlines has “no imminent plans” to move its headquarters from the Willis Tower in Chicago to Denver, CFO Gerald Laderman tells CFO Dive. Reuters reported that the Chicago-based airline purchased 113 acres of land in Denver for $33 million. The company said the site is for a center to train pilots. “We have a long-term lease at the Willis Tower, our headquarters,” Laderman says. United signed a 14-year lease in 2019.
Wrecking ball coming for Kmart headquarters building in Michigan
Demolition of the former Kmart headquarters in Troy, Michigan, is set to be finished by next summer, CBS Detroit reports. No definite plans for the site have been announced. The property has been empty since 2006. The first Kmart opened in Michigan in 1962. The headquarters in Troy was built in 1969. Kmart purchased Sears for $11 billion in 2004 and formed Sears Holdings and the headquarters was moved to Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
Greater Phoenix retail market vacancy level dips to record low
The retail market in the Greater Phoenix area has hit a new low — in a good way — AZ Big Media reports. Figures from Colliers show the vacancy rate in the second quarter was 4.8%, a historic low. During the second quarter, retail vacancy fell 40 basis points, the 12th consecutive quarter that vacancy has decreased. The West Valley had the lowest vacancy 1.8%; Scottsdale was second with 3.6%. Figures from Affinity Solutions shows the metro area has experienced a 16.5% increase in consumer spending since January 2020.
Residential permits down as apartment rents rocket up
Rents in Greater Phoenix have been going up a lot faster than apartment buildings have been, AZ Big Media reports. Figures from Zillow show that in July the average rent in the Phoenix area was $1,949, up from $1,408 in March 2020. Figures from the University of Arizona show that permits for all types of housing in the area are down nearly 30%. What’s behind it? High interest rates play a big part. They keep many from buying a home. It also drives up the cost of building apartments and has put many projects on hold.