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Property Fundamentals Might Be Stabilizing, But New Projects Face Delays (Wednesday's News & Notes)

This seems to be a bad week to be a developer. At least three major projects around the country might be delayed, for reasons ranging from unfavorable market conditions to disputes over wages for future mall employees.

  • Chicago developer Joseph Freed & Associates is facing a messy court battle with its lender days before the company's Block 37 project is slated to open, according to The Chicago Tribune.
  • And in the Bronx, a wage dispute threatens to derail Related Cos.' redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory into a retail center, reports The New York Times.
  • Meanwhile, an Arizona Republic story notes that mall developer Westcor wants to delay construction of a regional mall in Goodyear, Ariz. by four years because of unfavorable market conditions.
  • Market conditions might be changing for the better, however. Executives with Centro Properties Trust report that the company's U.S. portfolio of shopping centers has been showing signs of stabilization, according to Inside Retailing.
  • Courier Post Online reports that some of Centro's peers might be solving their occupancy problems by signing leases with non-traditional tenants, including dentist offices and spas.
  • Plus, Developers Diversified Realty finally saw the sale of $400 million in TALF-sponsored CMBS bonds that will help it refinance its loans, reports Bloomberg.
  • Another Bloomberg story, however, warned that regional banks might see their credit ratings cut substantially because of the declines in values of commercial real estate loans.
  • Finally, ICSC kicked off its Holiday Watch for 2009.
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