Blog Archives

Bank of America moves to foreclose on Viad Tower in midtown Phoenix

[Source: Ken Alltucker, Arizona Republic] — A lender is seeking to foreclose on the Viad Corporate Center, a high-rise office tower on Central Avenue in Phoenix, the latest example of the region’s commercial real-estate woes.  Bank of America has asked a Maricopa County Superior Court judge to appoint a receiver for the signature tower at 1850 N. Central Ave.  The lender said the building’s owner has not kept current since December on a $65 million loan.   A spokesman for Costa Mesa-based real-estate investment firm McCarthy Cook & Co., the building’s owner, declined to comment on the lender’s action.

The ownership group, MCC/I&G Viad Office Tower Owner LLC, acquired the 478,000-square-foot tower near the height of the Valley’s real-estate boom in 2006 for about $105 million.  At the time, the office tower was nearly full.  Yet occupancy has dipped to less than 80 percent with significant leases expiring next year.

BofA said in court documents that, since December, the building’s owner has not paid interest, tax and insurance escrows, late charges and other fees.   Viad’s owners owed more than $3.9 million in back payments and fees as of January.   With BofA seeking an accelerated repayment per the loan’s terms, the debt has escalated to over $81.2 million in principal, fees and other costs, the lender said in court documents.  BofA wants the court to appoint San Diego-based Trigild Inc. as the building’s receiver.  Trigild specializes in distressed-property management, receivership and loan recovery.   [Note: Read the full article at Bank of America moves to foreclose on Viad Tower in midtown Phoenix.]

Baseline Haiku: South Mountain Flower Garden

One of the last flower growers of Japanese descent on Baseline Road, where in the old days of Phoenix you could know it was spring by driving Baseline and seeing row upon row of flowers.  Development encroaches in the film; in reality it closed several years ago and soon will be housed over.

“Malls R Us” documentary to be aired, downtown Phoenix, June 30

Downtown Voices Coalition, Modified Arts, and No Festival Required present “Malls R Us,” a documentary film by Helene Klodawsky:

  • Date: Tuesday, June 30, 2009
  • Time: 8 p.m. (doors at 7:45 p.m.)
  • Place: Modified Arts, 407 E. Roosevelt, Phoenix
  • Admission: $6 ($1 off with student ID)

Combining nostalgia, dazzling architecture, pop culture, economics, and politics, “Malls R Us” examines North America’s most popular and profitable suburban destination — the enclosed shopping center — and how for consumers they function as a communal, even ceremonial experience and, for retailers, sites where their idealism, passion, and greed merge.

ULI to teach developers how to deal with neighborhoods and politicians

The Urban Land Institute, which bills itself as a non-profit education and research institute that focuses on the use of land in order to enhance the total environment, will hold a December 16 webinar for developers who have to, HORRORS!, deal with neighbors.

The ULI PR flacks lament that “Great plans and projects often collapse in the face of NIMBY opposition and the reluctance of public officials to make controversial or unpopular decisions.”  (Hmmm, maybe if they were indeed “great plans and projects” that respected “the total environment,” community and political support wouldn’t be so hard to gain.)

At the seminar you’ll get “practical how-to knowledge” to put together your own outreach and lobbying plans.  You’ll learn how to assess politicians’ decision-making styles and communications biases; avoid or manage hostile audiences; minimize community resistance; and turn pro-project attitudes into pro-project action. 

For your registration fee of $100 to $165, you’ll learn:

  • The three steps to avoid and manage hostile audiences.
  • The four steps to mobilize overt expressions of public support for your project.
  • How to minimize and manage the four causes of community resistance to land use proporsals (sic).
  • How to develop and implement customized lobbying plans to get the “yes” vote from public officials.

What ULI and developers apparently haven’t learned themselves is “people support what they help to create.”  It didn’t take $100 to $165 for that bit of advice.