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Las Vegas

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Local housing statistics released today by the Greater Las VegasAssociation of Realtors show fewer home sales but higher prices inAugust compared to the previous month and year. GLVAR presidentRick Shelton, a longtime local Realtor, said the association’sstatistics continue to indicate that the local housing market is“bouncing along the bottom.” He said the expiration of the federaltax credit for homebuyers was a major contributor to the 12.7%decline in single-family home sales in Southern Nevada betweenAugust 2009 and August 2010. The tax credit sparked home sales lastsummer and until it expired April 30, but he said it also led toslower sales since then. “This decrease in sales from 2009 to 2010is relative to the spike in sales we saw during this same time ofyear between 2008 and 2009, when the tax credit was available,” hesays. Meanwhile, the median single-family home price in SouthernNevada during August rebounded to $140,000, up 3.7% from July, up3.3% from August 2009 and matching the price from June 2010. Themedian price of local condominiums and townhomes sold in August was$67,000, down 1.5% from $68,000 in July, but up 1.1% from one yearago. Like last month, GLVAR reported a slight decrease in shortsales and an increase in sales involving foreclosed homes. InFebruary, 22% of all existing homes sold in Southern Nevada wereshort sales. That rose to 25% in March to 27% in April to 29% inMay to a high of 34% in June to 31% in July to 30 % in August.Bank-owned homes accounted 53% of all local home sales in February,falling to 50% in March to 43% in April to 40% in May to 38% inJune before inching back up to 42% in July and 43% in August.Shelton says that buyers are also benefiting from increases in thetotal number of homes listed for sale and the number of homeslisted without any sort of pending offer. August marked the fourthstraight month that both inventory categories showed an increasednumber of homes listed for sale.

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Vancouver, WA

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Vancouver’s Evergreen neighborhood will soon get another locallandmark: a 95,000-square-foot outpatient medical center.Construction of the three-story first phase of the new EvergreenHealth Center is scheduled to begin during the first quarter ofnext year, with completion slated for Q1 2012. A future secondphase would roughly double the size of the facility, which will beaffiliated with Southwest Washington Medical Center in Vancouver.San Diego-based Pacific Medical Buildings will develop, own, leaseand manage the new building. SWMC will retain ownership of theunderlying land and will lease part of the facility. The rest ofthe space will be leased by multiple physician practice groups.Situated on a 12-acre site about 5-1/2 miles from SWMC’s 360-bedflagship hospital campus, Evergreen Health Center is part of themedical center’s “hub and spoke” strategy for making ambulatorycare more convenient and accessible throughout the Vancouver area,according to SWMC. Phase one plans for Evergreen Health Center callfor one-third of the facility to be used for a comprehensive 18-bayEmergency Department including two trauma rooms, plus imaging,physical therapy and a drive-through pharmacy. The freestanding EDwill help to lighten the load at the main SWMC hospital campus,which operates one of the busiest EDs on the West Coast, handlingmore than 100,000 annual visits. Another third of the new EvergreenHealth Center will house Southwest Medical Group, anSWMC-affiliated multi-specialty physician group, with the finalthird available for lease to complementary third-party medicalpractices. PMB emerged as SWMC’s choice to develop the satellitefacility as part of a competitive request for proposals (RFP)process that included 20 respondents. “Although we have owned andmanaged seven medical office buildings for SWMC since 2007, it wasstill a competitive selection process,” notes PMB President MarkToothacre. “So it is especially gratifying that SWMC has once againplaced its trust in PMB—relying on us to help make qualityhealthcare more available and convenient for Evergreen residents.”The architect for Evergreen Health Center is Seattle-based NBBJ andthe general contractor is Andersen Construction Co. Inc. ofPortland. Nationwide Health Properties Inc. of Newport Beach, CA,will provide or guarantee the construction loan and providepermanent financing, if needed.

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San Jose, CA

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Caltrans, Green Earth Engineering Corp. and Earth Electricrevealed a new photovoltaic power system at the Caltransmaintenance facility in Monterey, CA went live yesterday and beganproducing renewable energy. The 9.6 Kilowatt system was installedin early July and completed final inspections last week. “We arethrilled to be a part of the green energy movement,” says CaltransDistrict 5 Director Rich Krumholz, who added that more solar panelson buildings in Santa Cruz, San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, Buelltonand Santa Barbara are forthcoming. “Our small business outreach wasan important aspect of the effort. Supporting the California greeneconomy not only helps our state but the success of this projectencourages further growth.” The system contract was awarded to alocal partnership between Green Earth Engineering Corp. and EarthElectric, both of San Jose, CA, who successfully completed theCaltrans bidding process. “There is a great deal of planning andpreparation with every solar project,” says Angelo Perez, aCalifornia licensed civil engineer and CEO of Green EarthEngineering Corp. “Every bid that is awarded to local business notonly supports the local economy but serves to educate and improvethe process for everyone involved, including engineers, installersand inspectors. This was a well executed project and we areextremely proud of the effort and opportunity to work withCaltrans.” Despite a state law that allows public agencies toforego the bidding process for energy-related contracts, Caltransopted to take the project out to bid. Many consultants and industryexperts agree that the process can be complicated but well worththe effort when dealing with public money. “As a solar instructorand installation vendor, projects like this provide a wealth ofexperience,” says Matthew Welch, president of Earth Electric andsolar instructor at San Jose City College. “My company is stronger,local installers gain experience and my students benefit fromfirst-hand knowledge of the solar bid and installation process. Thepositive effects of local government agencies supporting localgreen businesses are felt long after the project is complete.”

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Sacramento

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California College Career & Technical Education Center hasleased a 164,330-square-foot lease of office and R&D space at890 Embarcadero Dr. in West Sacramento. The non-profit publicbenefit corporation will use the space for a tuition-free charterhigh school. “Throughout the economic downturn, education hasremained among the top thriving industries nationally,” saysSandoval. “I am thrilled to have assisted California CollegeCareer & Technical Education Center in finding the perfectlocation for their school. This will be a significant boost to thelocal economy.” John Fondale of Cornish & Carey Commercialrepresented the landlord, Affymetrix Inc., in thetransaction.

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San Francisco

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LaSalle Hotel Properties acquired the Hotel Monaco San Franciscofor $68.5 million. The company funded the acquisition withborrowings under its senior unsecured credit facility and fromavailable cash, including cash from operations. Hotel Monaco, whichKimpton Hotel & Restaurants will continue to manage, is a AAAFour Diamond urban, upscale full-service hotel. The propertyfeatures 201 guestrooms, including 35 suites. The hotel’srestaurant, Grand Cafe – Brasserie and Bar, seats 190 and featuresFrench inspired and California influenced cuisine. Hotel Monaco’s9,000 square feet of flexible meeting and function space featureseight meeting rooms including the 2,300 square foot Paris Ballroom.Hotel Monaco sits within two blocks of Union Square and is welllocated relative to the Financial District and Moscone ConventionCenter. The hotel, surrounded by numerous dining establishments andnightclubs, is also adjacent to San Francisco’s Theater District.“We are excited to make our first investment in this top-tier, highbarrier-to-entry market,” says Michael Barnello, president and CEOof LaSalle Hotel Properties. “San Francisco is one of the strongestUS hotel markets and is known for its robust and diverse economywith demand drivers coming from both the business and leisuresegments.”

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San Diego

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Colliers International has completed the sale of Genesis Plaza,a 57,685-square-foot office building at 4995 Murphy Canyon Rd. inSan Diego, CA, to NetREIT Inc., headquartered in Escondido, CA, andformed in 1999 as a REIT. The sale is valued at $10 million. MarkMcEwen, senior vice president in Colliers’ San Diego office, andFred Cordova, Colliers’ L.A. office with assistance from Tom Wilcoxand Ken Kisbert, also with Colliers represented both the buyer andthe seller, Mullrock Murphy Canyon LLC, a joint venture between SanFrancisco-based Rockwood Capital and Laguna Beach, CA-based theMuller Co. Built in 1988, Genesis Plaza is a four-story suburbanoffice building located in the submarket of Kearny Mesa,approximately 10 miles from Downtown San Diego. Major tenantsinclude California State Department of Consumer Affairs,Panasonic and Wachovia/Wells Fargo. “Situated just off the I-15 inKearney Mesa, Genesis Plaza is an attractive, high-quality assetwith great visibility in one of the stronger submarkets in SanDiego,” adds McEwen.

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A joint venture of Los Angeles-based Kearny Real Estate Co. andTriGate Capital of Dallas has acquired a vacant 74,000-square-footflex/research and development building at 15330 Ave. of Science inthe Rancho Bernardo submarket of San Diego for $6.8 million. The74,000-square-foot building, which had been sold in 2006 for $11million, was acquired by Kearny-TriGate Ave of Sci LLC in a shortsale transaction at 68% of the loan balance. Kearny plans toimmediately invest $1.8 million to renovate and repositionproperty. Plans call to enhance the parking lots, landscaping andexisting facade with reserves for future tenant improvements. Boththe buyer and seller were represented by Mickey Morera and JamesDuncan of Cushman and Wakefield of San Diego. In a separate andunrelated transaction, a partnership of Kearny and Pacific CoastCapital Partners has sold 50 acres of land in Otay Mesa to DartContainer Corporation for $11.3 million. The Kearny led partnershipacquired the property in 2005 and was in the final stages ofcompleting the process of subdividing the property into 18individual parcels when the sale closed. The propertyincluded 40 industrial zoned acres and 10 acres classified asMultiple Habitat Protection Area. Kearny was represented by DarrenMullins and Erik Parker of Cassidy Turley/BRE. Dart Container Corp.was represented by Rob Hixson of CB Richard Ellis.

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Cushman & Wakefield revealed the sale of the nine-story,80,320-square-foot Robert F. Driver Building located at 1620 FifthAve., on the east side of the Central Business District in downtownSan Diego, on behalf of Robert F. Driver Office Building, LTD.Financial terms were not disclosed. According to Jeff Cole,executive director with Cushman & Wakefield, the buyerrecognized the value in purchasing the Driver Building due to itshigh I-5 freeway visibility, over-standard parking, and closeproximity to downtown San Diego’s central business district andrelated amenities. “With its irreplaceable freeway adjacentlocation, the building offers small- to mid-level tenants a premierclass-A location to do business.” The transaction was facilitatedby Jeff Cole, Ed Hernandez, Steve Rowland, Michael Roberts, andMatthew Carlson of Cushman & Wakefield, as well as BradfordPerry of Perry Commercial Real Estate. The buyer is 1620 FifthAvenue LLC. Douglas Wilson Cos. has been engaged to lead thereposition, management, and leasing effort to reintroduce this wellknown downtown office building.

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San Francisco

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Grubb & Ellis Co. hired Richard Bland and Raul Alcaraz inthe investment group as senior vice president and associate,respectively. Bland and Alcaraz join from CB Richard Ellis andwill be part of the company’s private capital marketsgroup. “Rick and Raul’s addition brings tremendous strength toour medical, office and industrial investment capabilities in theEast Bay,” says Ed Del Beccaro, managing director in Walnut Creek,CA. “Rick is highly regarded throughout the market, havingdeveloped a reputation for professionalism and a dedication toclient service over his 28-year career.” Since January 2010, 12professionals, specializing in office, retail and investment, havejoined the company’s Walnut Creek office and 32 have joined Grubb& Ellis overall in the Bay Area.

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Natalie Dolce

Natalie Dolce, editor-in-chief of GlobeSt.com and GlobeSt. Real Estate Forum, is responsible for working with editorial staff, freelancers and senior management to help plan the overarching vision that encompasses GlobeSt.com, including short-term and long-term goals for the website, how content integrates through the company’s other product lines and the overall quality of content. Previously she served as national executive editor and editor of the West Coast region for GlobeSt.com and Real Estate Forum, and was responsible for coverage of news and information pertaining to that vital real estate region. Prior to moving out to the Southern California office, she was Northeast bureau chief, covering New York City for GlobeSt.com. Her background includes a stint at InStyle Magazine, and as managing editor with New York Press, an alternative weekly New York City paper. In her career, she has also covered a variety of beats for M magazine, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, FashionLedge.com, and Co-Ed magazine. Dolce has also freelanced for a number of publications, including MSNBC.com and Museums New York magazine.