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ASU Breaks Ground for $129M Law School Building

17 Nov 2014, 10:44 pm

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

Groundbreaking Ceremony ASU

Arizona State University recently broke ground for a $129 million addition to its law school. The project encompasses 280,000 square feet of space, 18 classrooms, a large lecture hall for undergraduate education and two levels of underground parking. In addition, the building will feature first-floor retail, additional space for the ASU Alumni Law Group, two think tanks and various cross-disciplinary centers.

Dubbed the Arizona Center for Law and Society, the project is located on a site bordered by Taylor Street on the North, 1st Street on the West, Polk Street on the South and 2nd Street on the East. The groundbreaking ceremony included dignitaries such as retired United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, ASU President Michael Crow and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.

“What you’re seeing here today is the launching of America’s great model for a new law school of the future,” said Crow in a statement. “The older models of university engagement have run their course. This is the new way and we’re forging the new way. We’ve planted our flag here and we’re only going to advance.”

“Leaders will be coming out of this building, including some of the top lawyers, future Supreme and State Court justices,” Stanton added.

Funding for the project has been obtained from the City of Phoenix, which provided the land and $12 million, construction bonds through ASU, and private and public donations such as $10 million from Leo and Annette Beus. The Arizona Center for Law and Society has raised more than $30 million toward its $50 million target.

Whitestone Buys 2 Fulton Ranch Retail Centers in $48M Deal

8 Nov 2014, 5:48 am

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

The Promenade at Fulton Ranch

Houston-based Whitestone REIT has expanded its footprint in Phoenix through the $47.9 million acquisition of Fulton Ranch Towne Center and The Promenade at Fulton Ranch. The assets are part of the Fulton Ranch, a 520-acre, master-planned community in Chandler.

The average household income in the Fulton Ranch community is $106,079, significantly higher than in metropolitan Phoenix metropolitan area, which averages $71,229,  the company said in a statement.

Located at the southeast corner of South Arizona Avenue and West Ocotillo Road, Fulton Ranch Towne Center was acquired for $29.3 million and offers 113,381 square feet of space. The acquisition also included two pad sites that accommodate an additional 18,000 square feet of retail space, and the option to purchase a 30,187-square-foot building that is expected to be vacant soon.

The Promenade at Fulton Ranch is located at the intersection of South Alma Road and West Chandler Heights Road. The 98,792-square-foot center traded for $18.6 million was 76 percent occupied at closing.

“Both Fulton Ranch Towne Center and The Promenade at Fulton Ranch were ‘off market’ acquisitions located in the technology hub corridor within the Chandler, Gilbert and Mesa, Arizona area. Both properties enhance our presence in the growing southeast valley of the Phoenix MSA, and expand our opportunities for economies of scale and leasing synergies with Whitestone’s existing infrastructure. The properties feature balanced and complementary tenant businesses which meet the needs of the residents from the surrounding communities,” said James C. Mastandrea, Whitestone’s Chairman and CEO.

Whitestone acquired the assets with financing from a 2.66 percent corporate credit facility. Annual net operating income for the two retail centers was estimated at $3.6 million, or 7.5 percent of the purchase price. Considering that both properties have value-add capabilities and are incremental to funds from operations per share, they are expected to contribute $0.02 per share in 2014 and $0.10 per share in 2015. according to the company.


Meritex, Metro Get Green Light for Chandler Industrial Complex

1 Nov 2014, 7:24 pm

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

Rendering of the Chandler Airport Center

The Chandler City Council has greenlit plans for Chandler Airport Center, a three-building industrial park north of  Chandler Municipal Airport. Minneapolis-based Meritex Enterprises Inc. and Metro Commercial Properties of Tempe will develop the project.

Expected to break ground during the first quarter of 2015, the facility will be developed in two phases on a 20-acre site, and will have direct access off the Loop 202 from Cooper Road exit.

The first phase comprises two rear-load general industrial buildings that will measure 122,323 square feet and 89,832 square feet. They will feature bay sizes divisible to about 7,500 square feet, 124-foot truck courts, heavy power and clear heights ranging from 24 feet to 30 feet. The second phase will consist of a build-to-suit office or flex building between 26,000 and 48,400 square feet.

“The site has fantastic visibility on Germann Road with over 2,000 feet of frontage along with direct access from our public streets,” Meritex’s Chief Investment Officer, Dan Williams, said in a statement. “The project will provide excellent opportunities for general industrial users to gain prominent visibility for their wholesale & service facilities and locate closer to their customer base in the Southeast Valley.”

“The product is designed to serve both small and large tenants alike. Though we will deliver two large contiguous blocks of warehouse space to the Southeast Valley that are currently in short supply, we have designed the buildings to functionally subdivide” to spaces as small as 7,500 square feet, added Janet Herlyck, Vice President of Metro Commercial Properties. Each bay will be equipped with both a truck-well and a grade-level door, she noted.

Metro will provide management services for the facilities. Leasing will be handled by Lee & Associates principals Chris McClurg and Ken McQueen.

BKM Capital Acquires Black Canyon Business Park, Plans $5M Upgrade

24 Oct 2014, 9:48 pm

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

Black Canyon Business Park

BKM Capital Partners plans a major upgrade for Black Canyon Business Park in Phoenix after buying it as part of a three-property, $42.8 million deal. The Irvine, Calif.-based firm acquired the asset for $13.1 million or $59.71 per square foot.

Also included in the portfolio was Hayden Island Business Park in Portland, Ore., and Patrick Commerce Center in Las Vegas.

Shortly before the acquisition, the 219,410-square-foot Black Canyon property lost its main tenants, which cut occupancy from 95 percent to 34 percent. BKM is planning to invest over $5 million in the asset, with an eye toward repositioning Black Canyon as a traditional multi-tenant industrial park.

The acquisition was the first for BKM Industrial Value Fund I L.P., a $300 million commingled fund scheduled to close next March, according to Brian Malliet, the firm’s CEO.

“We are active on both the acquisition and capital raising fronts as we near the close of a productive 2014,” Malliet said in a statement. “I believe we are the only fund manager in market specifically targeting value-add multi-tenant industrial properties in this geography. As such, we are excited at the opportunity to assemble within the fund an optimal portfolio of assets precisely fitting our investment criteria, starting with these three.”

“Undermarket opportunities still exist in the multi-tenant industrial niche. We have been successful in finding and acquiring properties at approximately 40 percent off replacement cost and 50 percent off peak market value on a per square foot basis,” Malliet added. ‘Buying right’, as we say, and then fixing what is broken in each acquisition, are the fundamentals of our strategy.”

Image Courtesy of BKM Capital Partners via Official Website  

Hines Plans Early 2015 Construction Start For Chandler Mixed-Use Project

18 Oct 2014, 9:49 pm

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

Rendering of the Chandler Viridian

Paving the way for development of a mixed-use project near Chandler Fashion Center, Hines has closed on the acquisition of a 25.5-acre site at the northwest corner of the Loop 101 and Loop 202 Interchange, the company announced Oct. 15.

Dubbed Chandler Viridian, the project will include luxury apartments, a six-story hotel, a central plaza with 250,000 square feet of Class A office and a pedestrian promenade with retail space.

Hines’ plans have been delayed by “significant legal complications related to the unfinished Elevation Chandler project,” the firm explained in a statement. That partially built hotel  has occupied the site since it was abandoned by its developer in 2006. Hines plans to demolish the structure in December.

“Chandler Viridian will expand the area’s economic engine by creating a true live, work and play environment. The visibility and walkability of Chandler Viridian exceeds many other mixed-use projects in the area,” said Chris Anderson, Hines’ managing director and local city leader, in a statement. “Hines is excited to develop the last available site adjacent to the Chandler Fashion Center and complete the master plan envisioned by the Chandler City leadership and citizens over 15 years ago.”

Phoenix-based Alliance Residential will start construction in the first quarter of 2015 on Chandler Viridian’s residential component, a high-end apartment complex. Construction of the vertical infrastructure for the hotel, retail and office components is scheduled to begin during the second quarter.

“This is a high-profile site in the midst of the Price Corridor, and the entire community will benefit from having a new project there,” said James Smith, the city’s acting economic development director. “This is the moment our residents have been waiting for – to see that failed structure come down, and new development take its place.”

Rendering Courtesy of Hines via Official Website 

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