Monday, May 28, 2012

Investors buy $180M 1 day in area commercial real estate

Metro Phoenix's commercial real-estate market had a banner day on May 11. Investors closed on deals worth more than $180 million for warehouses, apartments and vacant land.

The Black Creek Group of Denver bought two warehouses, one leased to, in Phoenix's Riverside Industrial Complex. It paid nearly $132 million for the buildings located on nearly 100 acres, according to the commercial real-estate foreclosure research and data firm Vizzda.

The second-biggest deal on May 11 was the $41 million sale of the Scottsdale Gateway apartments. Also closed that day was the $7.4 million purchase of 2,400 acres of land in the Buckeye development Elianto.

The region is drawing both more residential and commercial development, and prices are rising for all types of real estate. Do the big deals that closed on May 11 signal the commercial market is roaring back? Experts say no, particularly for the office market.

Apartments have been popular among investors since metro Phoenix's rental market rebounded more than a year ago, and vacant residential land is becoming a popular purchase again as homebuilding in the area begins to increase. The industrial buildings purchased were a good buy because of the tenants. Home Depot is leasing the other warehouse purchased.

But still, $180 million invested in metro Phoenix's commercial real-estate market in one day is worth noting.

Mortgage-scam complaint filed

The Arizona attorney general has filed a complaint against a Surprise woman in another scheme to take advantage of struggling homeowners.

The state prosecutor has filed a lawsuit against Rosa Galope alleging she defrauded homeowners looking for help in obtaining mortgage modifications to avoid foreclosure.

"The economic crisis has created a number of vulnerable consumers who are often targeted for predatory schemes," Attorney General Tom Horne aid.

The lawsuit alleges Galope charged thousands of dollars in up-front fees for mortgage-loan modification and foreclosure help, and then later claimed the money was donated to her church, Nation to Nation Ministries. The lawsuit also contends Galope told her clients not to communicate with their lenders and to send her any mortgage payments.

Galope is accused of keeping the funds from her clients and endorsing checks made payable to lenders and cashing them at a local check-cashing store.

by Catherine Reagor - May. 18, 2012 02:51 PM The Arizona Republic |

Investors buy $180M 1 day in area commercial real estate

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