Transactions Reignite Interest in Phoenix Retail and Office Markets

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor Phoenix hasn’t exactly been racing out of the recession, but recent headlines point to signs of an escalating market that’s nearing recovery. This is happening with the help of transactions that should reignite interest in the [...]

Phoenix hasn’t exactly been racing out of the recession, but recent headlines point to signs of an escalating market that’s nearing recovery. This is happening with the help of transactions that should reignite interest in the retail and office markets.

One such deal was made by Whitestone REIT, a Houston-based trust that closed on a transaction worth $3.7 million for the Desert Canyon Shopping Center at East Mcdowell Mountain Ranch Road and 105th Street in Scottsdale. The off-market acquisition for the 62,500 square feet commercial center is the third such deal made by the REIT since September 2010. The center had been repossessed by an unnamed regional bank through foreclosure and was handed over to the trust in an all cash deal.

This week Omni Capital LLC of Vancouver closed a $41.4 million deal for two apartment communities in Phoenix, both owned by Equity Residential, a Chicago-based company. The first complex is Desert Homes, a 412-unit property at 17249 North Seventh Street and the 412-unit Remington Place at 17435 North Seventh St. The transaction was mediated by Hendricks & Partners and it represents the biggest deal Phoenix has seen this past week.

The City of Phoenix has had its share of issues regarding zoning and urban development; for example, recent headlines have focused on billboards prohibited on Arizona 51. The law that forbids the use of billboards along Loop 101, Loop 202, Arizona 51 and Interstate 10 west of the Interstate 17 has come under fire from the advertising industry as it requests to convert normal ads to electric eight-second-changing ads that offer increased profits.

The city’s billboard ordinance dates back to 1986 and the changing lights on the new electric ads qualify as “intermittent light,” a characteristic that is banned by state law. The issue is clearly a major discussion in Phoenix urban development and will go on polarizing the real estate community.

In other real estate news, the City of Phoenix has failed to close a deal with the landmark Circles Discs & Tapes building meaning it will no longer be a contender for future headquarters of the Arizona Opera. The search is still on for the opera’s new home.