In the News—Week of September 5, 2023
Deal of the Week
Thomas Title & Escrow partnered with Chisholm Law + Title in Miami, Florida, to close a $15MM, 5 property collateral loan transaction. The properties were in Florida, Georgia, and Texas. This transaction was closed by Eric Stewart, Director of National Title Services, out of the Scottsdale, Arizona office.
Empty commercial buildings can be used for agriculture
Here’s an idea to fill some vacant space in office buildings — plants. No, not the ones for your desk. Plants such as carrots and peas. Vertical farms in office buildings are springing up across the country, reports Scripps News. “Office buildings are becoming emptier and therefore it makes sense to do some conversion to make it more useful,” says Lawrence Yun with the National Association of Realtors. Many cities are pushing to turn empty offices into residences, but often vertical farms require fewer changes to the building.
Baltimore Council considers turning 99-year-old office tower into residences
Baltimore City Council has given preliminary approval to sell a 20-story office tower and turn it into residential spaces, according to The Baltimore Banner. The tower was built in 1924 and is occupied by the city law department and health department. Officials have sought to draw more residents to the downtown area. The property was appraised in July at $10 million, but it is likely to need $18 million in improvement over the next decade.
Mayfair Hotel in downtown LA to become permanent homeless shelter
The Mayfair Hotel, once a swanky spot in Los Angeles that was home to detective novelist Raymond Chandler, is being sold to the city of Los Angeles for $60 million to be used for a homeless shelter, The Real Deal reports. The hotel opened in 1926 and is believed to be the site of the first Oscars after-party. Alexander Moradi bought the Mayfair and reopened it five years ago, hoping to recapture some of its former glory. “We see this as a luxury type experience,” Moradi told the L.A. Downtown News then, “at a very affordable rate.” During the pandemic, the hotel was used as a temporary shelter and those guests caused an estimated $11.5 million in damages.
Work starts on soccer stadium, entertainment district in Miami
Construction has started on the Inter Miami CF soccer stadium, 58-acre public park, and entertainment district at Miami Freedom Park, NBC6 reports. Inter Miami CF is a Major Soccer League team that signed international superstar Lionel Messi. The official groundbreaking ceremony for the $1 billion project will be held later his year. “This exciting milestone is the latest step forward for this project in 2023, part of curating an environment that will make Miami Freedom Park a year-round destination for all Miamians and visitors to enjoy,” the team said in a social media post.
Twin towers: Luxury apartment complex proposed near ASU campus
Aspirant Development is proposing an apartment complex it calls “the most luxurious in Tempe” near Arizona State University’s main campus, The Arizona Republic reports. Plans call for 539 units with two towers — one 18 stories, the other 15 — near University Drive and Rural Road. The complex would have 7,300 square feet of restaurant and retail space. The project would spell the end of a popular sports bar, Devil’s Advocate.
GM leaving Chandler’s Price Corridor — is that cause for concern?
General Motors is shutting down its Arizona IT Innovation Center in Chandler, which has stirred some discussion over what is next for the Price Road Corridor, The Chandler Arizonan reports. PayPal and Liberty Mutual previously shuttered operations. “I think you’re probably going to be looking at close to a million square feet of space over there that is not occupied,” says Sam Kapur of Arizona Elite Commercial. Micah Miranda, with the city’s economic development office, says the area is still a magnet for companies. “The notoriety of Price Road is still very attractive,” Miranda says. “When we do get inquiries, they want to be on the Price Corridor, it has a cachet. It is a major employment corridor within the Southeast Valley. Companies want to be there.”