Tag Archives: D.P. Electric

Dan Puente, WEB

Executive Q-and-A: Dan Puente

Dan Puente
Owner/President, D.P. Electric, Inc.

Years in CRE: 33
Years at company: 23

What was it about the industry that attracted you?
I was very young when I first started in this industry. I learned quickly that this industry offers opportunity; you get out of it what you put into it. You can rise through the ranks working for someone or you can carve your own path and work for yourself. This industry is also filled with good, hardworking people who are always willing to help others succeed.

How has the industry changed since you started?
There are three things that come to mind: technology, improving efficiencies and contracts. When I started, my method of communication was a pager, a roll of quarters, pay phones and a fax machine with that rolled paper that turned black in sunlight. Today, our field managers use iPads as a common tool in the field. Technology has also helped with improving efficiencies. With everything at your fingertips, it has helped pave the way for lean construction and IPD delivery methods. The only negative in my opinion is the advancement of contractual legalities. When I first started, contracts were a couple of pages long and now they are two inches thick. Contracts today deflect all the responsibilities onto the subcontractors. Fortunately, there are a lot of good people in this industry, and we rarely have to refer to the contracts when issues arise; we just talk them out and the responsible partner steps up.

Of what professional achievement are you most proud?
I would have to say the growth of the people in DPE. I often say that personal and professional growth are interrelated. This is very true for us. With the dynamic people at DPE, the company has grown to be known as one of the premier electrical contractors in the commercial industry. One other thing that comes to mind is how the DP team handled the adversity of the recession. We all made sacrifices, changed and adapted to the new normal and stayed positive doing it. As the owner, I am very fortunate and blessed to be surrounded by so many awesome people. I have no doubt that someday when the DP at DP Electric retires, this company will live way beyond me. I am proud of that accomplishment.

Terrah

Terrah Hancock Joins D.P. Electric

D.P. Electric, Inc., headquartered in Tempe, recently hired Terrah Hancock as the head of its marketing department and to work closely with the business development team.  In announcing the appointment, Dan Puente President of D.P. Electric said: “We are excited to have Terrah join the DP family and look forward to the value she will bring in helping to promote the awareness of our capabilities and accomplishments”

Terrah has experience in web development, public relations, marketing and graphic design with an educational background in English and computer information systems from Arizona State University.

“As a marketing professional I am sagacious in my efforts and all project development.  I’m particularly pleased to be working for Dan Puente,” said Terrah. “His reputation as an excellent leader and honest business man is absolutely accurate.  He is a great mentor and I am looking forward to see the results of our combined efforts.”

hispanic

The 25 Most Influential Hispanic Business Leaders

Benito Almanza
Arizona president
Bank of America
Born into a family of migrant workers, Almanza is now responsible for all lines of business efforts, community and civic activities in the state. The graduate of Stanford University and the University of Santa Clara has been with Bank of America for 30 years, working in California before moving to Arizona in 1992.
His hope for his professional legacy: “Hiring top talent and developing them to replace me someday.”
Surprising fact: “Growing up working with my family in the fields helped me better understand agribusiness banking.”

Marty Alvarez
CEO, principal in charge
Sun Eagle Corporation
Alvarez is founder of family-owned and operated Sun Eagle, one of the top minority-owned general contracting and construction management firms in the country. He has been a chair and officer for the Associated Minority Contractors of America since 1993.
His hope for his professional legacy: “That our well-constructed buildings improved the landscape, and our assistance to individuals and families improved lives.”
Surprising fact: “I have been involved with Shotokan Karate continuously for the past 39 years.”

Victor M. Aranda
Area president, Northern Arizona
Wells Fargo Arizona
Aranda manages six Wells Fargo Community Banking markets; Northeast Arizona, Central Arizona, White Mountains, North Phoenix, North Scottsdale and Scottsdale. He is responsible for 816 team members, 69 banking stores, and $4.1 billion in deposits. A 25-year financial services veteran, Aranda presently serves as a board member for Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Valley Leadership Arizona.
His hope for his professional legacy: “My passion in life is to add value to those I come in contact with.  What I would like to be remembered for is how I spent my life serving, helping and developing the leaders of tomorrow.”
Surprising fact: “I was involved and directed a church Spanish choir and I have also sang in Las Vegas at the Bellagio Hotel.”

Tony Astorga
Retired CFO
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
Astorga recently retired from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona where he served as the Senior Vice President, CFO & CBDO since 1988. He currently serves as chairman of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation and is a member of the board of directors for the Arizona Community Foundation, AZHCC, ASU Foundation, CSA General Insurance Agency, Phoenix Art Museum, and US Bank Arizona.
His hope for his professional legacy: “I would like to be remembered in my profession as a CPA and CFO for being a good mentor and for helping develop my staff in their work ethic and level of growth.”
Surprising fact: “I have a sweet tooth for twinkies or that my favorite movie is ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’, I still laugh when I think about the movie”.

Miguel Bravo
Senior community development consultant
Arizona Public Service Company
Bravo is responsible for directing community development initiatives statewide to help serve diverse markets for APS. He also collaborates with economic development organizations to attract industry to Arizona. Bravo also serves the boards of Friendly House, Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Latino Center at Morrison Institute, Boys Hope Girls Hope and Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates.
His hope for his professional legacy: “For conducting business with integrity, purpose, passion; and for having a conviction for public service.”
Surprising fact: “I became a US Citizen in 2007. Having grown up in Arizona, this was one of my proudest moments.”

José Cárdenas
Senior vice president and general counsel
Arizona State University
Before joining ASU in 2009, Cárdenas was chairman at Lewis & Roca, where he became the first Hispanic to serve as managing partner of a major law firm in Arizona. A Stanford Law School graduate, Cárdenas has served on many boards and commissions and has received various awards.
His hope for his professional legacy: “As a good lawyer who served his clients and community well with the utmost integrity.”
Surprising fact: Cárdenas was involved with death penalty cases for more than 30 years.

America Corrales-Bortin
Co-founder
America’s Taco Shop
Corrales-Bortin grew up Culiacán in Sinaloa, Mexico, watching her mother prepare the dishes that would become the recipes for success at America’s Taco Shop. Founded in 2008, America’s authentic carne asada and al pastor quickly built a following that has led to rapid expansion and a partnership Kahala, a franchise development company. So far in 2013, America’s has already moved into California, Texas and Maryland.
Her hope for her professional legacy: “As someone who has a passion for the food we serve at America’s Taco Shop.”
Surprising fact: “People would be surprised that I am named after a famous soccer team in Mexico.”

Gonzalo de la Melena Jr.
President and CEO
Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
In addition to leading the Hispanic Chamber, de la Melena Jr. operates the Phoenix Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), the state’s leading advocate representing more than 100,000 minority business enterprises. De la Melena is also the Founder of edmVentures, LLC a small business investment company with holdings in Phoenix airport concessions at Sky Harbor International.
His hope for his professional legacy: “Helping small businesses succeed.”
Surprising fact: “I had the opportunity to do business in more than 30 countries before the age of 30.”

Robert Espiritu
Acquisition marketing
American Express
Espiritu’s diversified professional experience includes working for small business enterprises as well as corporate 100 businesses in the areas of sales, marketing and financial management. He has also been actively involved with various nonprofit organizations; most recently as the former chairman of the board for the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
His hope for his professional legacy: “Innovative and focused leader who delivers with energy and is known for building successful relationships and high performing teams.”
Surprising fact: “As a first generation American, I am passionate about helping aspiring and under-privileged youth achieve their dreams and advocating for Hispanic career advancement, education and scholarships.”

Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick
Executive vice chancellor and provost
Maricopa Community Colleges
Harper-Marinick oversees all areas of academic and student affairs, workforce development, and strategic planning. She serves on several national and local boards including ABEC and AMEPAC, which she chairs.  Originally from the Dominican Republic, Harper-Marinick came to ASU as a Fulbright Scholar.
Her hope for her professional legacy: “Passion for, and unwavering commitment to, public education as the foundation of a democratic society.”
Surprising fact: “The joy I get from driving fast cars.”

Julio Herrera
National Spanish Sales and Retention Director
Cox Communications
Herrera and his team work across markets and cross-functional departments to drive Spanish language sales and grow Cox’s Hispanic markets nationally. He also helped establish LIDER, a leadership program tailored for Hispanic team members looking for advancement opportunities in Phoenix and Southern Arizona.
His hope for his professional legacy: “Growing and improving the Hispanic customer experience and making a difference our communities.”
Surprising fact: “Spanish was my first language and I started my career in sales leadership at 18 ears old.”

Lori Higuera
Director
Fennemore Craig
Higuera defends, provides counsel and trains employers of all sizes. She’s a Southwest Super Lawyer, an employment law expert for the Arizona Republic/Arizona Business Gazette and is a recent recipient of the High-Level Business Spanish Diploma from the Madrid Chamber of Commerce.
Her hope for her professional legacy: “A skilled lawyer who elevated the practice by integrating the diverse perspectives of our community.”
Surprising fact: “I was fired from my first job as a Santa’s helper for being too social!”

Ana María López, MD, MPH, FACP
Associate dean, outreach and multicultural affairs
Professor of medicine (Tenured) and pathology, College of Medicine
Medical director, Arizona Telemedicine Program
University of Arizona
López has a passion for addressing health inequities and human suffering. From clinical research with molecular targets to health services research, her work focuses on optimizing the health of individuals and communities.
Her hope for her professional legacy: “Life is an opportunity to contribute. I hope to contribute, to make a difference.”
Surprising fact: “I love simple pleasures. Witnessing the daily miracle of the sun rising sustains me.”

Paul Luna
President and CEO
Helios Education Foundation
Luna leads Helios Education Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to creating opportunities for individuals in Arizona and Florida to succeed in postsecondary education. He is the former president of Valley of the Sun United Way and has held positions with Pepsi, IBM and the Office of Governor Bruce Babbitt.
His hope for his professional legacy: “That I cared about our community and helped make it better.”
Surprising fact: “I’m seriously considering getting matching tattoos with my kids in the near future.”

Steve Macias
President and CEO
Pivot Manufacturing
Macias is a co-owner of Pivot Manufacturing, a Phoenix machine shop, chairs the Arizona Manufacturers Council, and is on the boards of the Arizona Commerce Authority and the Arizona Hispanic Chamber. He is an active proponent of manufacturing in Arizona and a proud father of three boys.
His hope for his professional legacy: “Contributed in some small way to the sustainment of manufacturing in Arizona.”
Surprising fact: “In high school, I was the school mascot – a Bronco.”

Mario Martinez II
CEO
360 Vantage
Martinez is responsible for the overall vision, strategy and execution of 360 Vantage, a leader in cloud-based sales and marketing technology solutions designed to solve the unique challenges of the mobile workforce in life sciences, healthcare and other industries.
His hope for his professional legacy: “I would most like to be remembered for truly changing the lives of our clients, employees and our community in great and meaningful ways.”
Surprising fact: “I hosted a radio show during my college years.”

Clarence McCallister
CEO
Fortis Networks, Inc.
McAllister was born in Panama and earned his master’s in electrical engineering from ASU. In 2000, he and his wife started Fortis Networks, Inc., a certified 8a and HUBzone government contractor specializing in engineering, construction and technology services.
His hope for his professional legacy: “Building a world-class organization that always exceeds our customers’ expectations.”
Surprising fact: “I did an emergency landing on a City of Mesa street.”

Rodolfo Parga, Jr.
Managing shareholder
Ryley Carlock & Applewhite
In addition to managing a law firm with 120 attorneys, Parga has been to Best Lawyers in America for the last four years. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Chicanos Por la Causa, a leading non-profit helping advance and create economic and educational opportunities.
His hope for his professional legacy: “I want to be remembered as always trying to do the right thing and having led with integrity.”
Surprising fact: “I was bullied until age 11, which drove me not only to strengthen my body, but my resolve.”

Hector Peñuñuri
Senior planning analyst
SRP
Peñuñuri is an Arizona native and has spent most of the past 15 years in the Customer Services Division at SRP.  He has served on several boards including the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and LISC.  He was raised in the West Valley, and currently resides in Gilbert.
His hope for his professional legacy: “A trusted and valuable team member/leader; a communicator who understands the importance of sharing knowledge to help others.”
Surprising fact: “I’m a jack of all trades – woodworker, photographer, musician, outdoorsman and a decent cook when I put my mind to it.”

Dan Puente
Owner
D.P. Electric
Puente founded D.P. Electric in 1990 out of his garage with one truck. D.P. Electric now has more than 200 employees and generated more than $30 million in revenue in 2012, making it the biggest Hispanic-owned company in Arizona.
His hope for his professional legacy: “A guy that is fair, honest, hard-working and gives back both personally and professionally.”
Surprising fact: “Professionally, that I do not have a college degree and personally, that I am a Bikram Yoga junkie.”

Marie Torres
Founder
MRM Construction Services
Torres is an Arizona native and built her business in the community that she grew up in. With more than 30 years experience in the construction field, she started MRM in 2002 and currently has more than 50 employees. The focus of her company has been in government contracting and has self performed airfield work at Luke AFB, MCAS Yuma and Davis Monthan.
Her hope for her professional legacy: “As being technically competent.”
Surprising fact: “I don’t like to drive and I am happy as a passenger – even in my own car.”

Lisa Urias
President and CEO
Urias Communications
After 15 years in international marketing and communications, Urias founded Urias Communications to address the need for advertising and PR with a uniquely multicultural focus. Now an award-winning advertising, and PR agency, Urias Communications specializes in the multicultural markets of the U.S. Southwest, with concentration on the burgeoning Hispanic market.
Her hope for her professional legacy: “Bridging the divide between corporations and the growing Hispanic community for mutual benefit and respect.”
Surprising fact: “I am a fourth-generation Arizonan whose grandfather was the first Hispanic city councilman.”

Dawn C. Valdivia
Partner, chair of the Labor & Employment Practice Group
Quarles & Brady
Valdivia is the chair of Quarles & Brady’s Labor and Employment Group in Phoenix. She regularly advises clients in all matters of labor and employment law and is skilled in complex litigation matters, including wage and hour class action litigation in Arizona and California.
Her hope for her professional legacy: “A creative problem solver, committed to her clients and to giving back to the community.”
Surprising fact: “I love adventure — sky diving, gliding, scuba diving, helicopters, etc.”

Lorena Valencia
CEO
Reliance Wire
Valencia is the founder and CEO of Reliance Wire Systems, a wire and tubing manufacturing company she founded in 2000. She is also the founder and president of Magin Corporation — an eco-friendly wood pallet alternative company — and the FRDM Foundation.
Her hope for her professional legacy: “Empowering children by building schools and libraries in impoverished countries through my FRDM Foundation.”
Surprising fact: “I put hot peppers on almost everything I eat. The hotter. the better.”

Roberto Yañez
Vice president and GM
Univision Arizona
Yañez is a 27-year broadcast television veteran, who has served 17 of those years with the Univision Television Group (UTG). Yañez has created various opportunities that helped build the station’s relationship with the community: Cadena de Gente Buena, El 34 Esta Aqui and Ya Es Hora.
His hope for his professional legacy: “Someone who used his craft to build bridges between the problem and the solution.”
Surprising fact: “Though Monday through Friday you will never see me without a suit and tie, I am most comfortable in boots, jeans and driving a pick-up truck.”

2012 Annual Economic Outlook

Industry Experts' Forecast On 2012 Economy

Recovery is on the horizon, but industry experts are cautious in their forecast as the 2012 economy slowly bounces back. 

Looking at Arizona’s recession-starved commercial real estate industry as a whole, 2011 was flat and 2012 is trending just slightly better. So say local experts.

But broken down into its various components, there is a wide divergence of attitude and optimism for the rest of this year.

AZRE tapped key players from a variety of real estate-related disciplines to check their crystal balls and predict whether commercial real estate will soar, slump or stagnate in 2012, and what factors could turn the tide.

Investment
A plethora of CMBS properties will come due in 2012, and private owners of distressed properties may be more willing to sell, says Jennifer Pescatore, who oversees commercial real estate loans for Bank of Arizona.

There is plenty of money available for the right property in the right submarket and investors with the right credentials, she says.

But except for the multi-family sector and some industrial opportunities, Pescatore isn’t sure values have slipped enough to generate a significant number of sales or new development in 2012.

She’s anticipating relatively small loans — $2M to $15M — on income properties as standard 2012 fare.

But substantial job growth and improvement in the global economic picture could change that relatively pessimistic outlook, says Ryan Suchala, Bank of Arizona president.

“Arizona offers a unique opportunity, and it’s a great place to do business,” Suchala says.

This year could be better than expected, Suchala notes, but for measurable improvement in real estate values and transactions, 2013 is a more realistic time frame.

Economic development
Economic development directors by nature are always upbeat about the future, and Chandler’s Christine Mackay has reason to be.

“Activity level since the first of the year has gone through the roof,” she says.

Intel is constructing a new fabrication plant scheduled for completion in 2013 but already keeping a virtual army of construction workers busy. And when Intel ramps up, so do the tech giant’s customers and clients, Mackay adds.

Other healthy growth signals: EBay/PayPal is expanding, building out the fourth floor of its Chandler facility.

In January, San Diego-based developer Doug Allred Company broke ground at the NEC of Price and Willis roads in Chandler for Park Place, the Valley’s first spec office complex to rise from the dust of the recession since 2009.

Phoenix has a lot more old office properties to fill up before any spec projects are likely to appear on its planning agenda, but virtually all the big warehousing/distribution center space has been snapped up, and the city is actively looking for “shovel ready” spots where developers can build more, says Bruce MacTurk, deputy director for economic development.

It’s a good news-bad news scenario, he says.

By mid-January, five large industrial users were looking at Phoenix, but the city had only two buildings with more than 500,000 SF of space available.

There’s even some good news about Phoenix’s languishing retail centers as owners are renovating to reposition the sites, MacTurk says.

While economic development leaders like MacTurk and Mackay are focused on job creation, the fallout from job growth is a healthier, more vibrant residential and commercial real estate scenario, they say.

Construction
“Compared to this time last year, it feels much better,” says Bo Calbert, McCarthy Building Cos. Southwest president. “There are a lot more opportunities to pursue.”

McCarthy’s revenue is up 10%, he says. Key drivers for that spike are healthcare, renewable energy, schools and Native American projects, especially in hospitality and gaming.

But Calbert says he believes there is “more pain to come” before Arizona’s construction industry is back on a solid uphill track.

“To be an Arizona-only contractor is not sustainable,” he says. “There is promise, and more opportunities are coming, but not enough.”

D.P. Electric vice president Scott Muller says he has a backlog of healthcare and military projects to keep workers busy in 2012 — primarily technology upgrades.

And the company is detecting more interest from local property owners and developers, some hoping to entice California data centers and manufacturing operations ready to make a move.

“We’re excited about 2012,” Muller says.

“Those in the real estate and construction industry understand that the current market, compared to three or four years ago, has created a great opportunity to build, move or expand at a significant cost savings,” he says. “In 2012, we’ve seen an increase in our Design-Build/Design-Assist projects because this is where the best value is brought to the owner/developer.”

Architecture
Data centers, specialized healthcare facilities and military installations are also on Mike Medici’s 2012 hot list.

“Technology is constantly pushing the limits of existing buildings,” says Medici, managing director of SmithGroupJJR Arizona Architects. “And a lot of hospitals are positioning for the future or catching up from the past.”

Architects are tapped for new projects at the conceptualizing stage, and Medici sees good news coming for all commercial real estate sectors, even if the bounty won’t happen in 2012.

“We are seeing several developers looking at mixed-use office/retail/multi-family, especially along the light rail line,” he says. “It’s not as much activity as in 2004, 2005 and 2006, but there are opportunities bubbling up. For two years previously developers were not talking to us. Now modestly they are coming out of the woodwork.”

LEO A DALY architectural firm just completed the Casino Del Sol Resort in Tucson and is currently working on a project with Davis-Monthan Air Force base, says senior architect Rod Armstrong.

There is no pent-up demand for shopping centers or new office buildings, Armstrong says, but the international architecture firm is “always in business development mode,” and the signs are positive.

“We feel the increased level of commitment with potential clients. People are loosening up, and things will happen quickly. We’re hopeful for 2012,” he says.

Multi-family
While interest in and financing for new development remains limited in Metro Phoenix, one sector finding favor is multi-family, fueled by a limited supply and the single-family housing market collapse, says Tom Simplot, Arizona Multihousing Association president.

“Apartment owners are cautiously optimistic due to a rebound in values and rents,” Simplot says.

He doesn’t envision a lot more product coming online in 2012, but in select markets — in Scottsdale, Ahwatukee, and along the light rail line — some projects are moving forward and could be under construction this year and available by 2013.

Luxury condo developer Optima is betting Scottsdale is ready for more downtown-living opportunities.

“Optima Sonoran Village is in an advantageous position because it is the first new residential development in several years and builds on the economic, architecture, and marketing success of Optima Camelview Village,” says David Hovey Jr., Optima vice president. “Construction has started on Optima Sonoran Village with occupancy second quarter of 2013.”

Hovey says financing is still tight and mixed-use projects are iffy because of existing over-supply of office and retail components, but, if there is “only a gradual increase in new product over the next few years, the luxury unit market will remain healthy.”

Healthcare
Medical facilities needing upgrades or expansions to keep up with changing technologies, aging baby boomer needs and unsettled health coverage issues, are providing work for local real estate trades — a trend that will continue throughout 2012.

Cancer- and pediatric-focused projects are already in progress, as are several clinics and rehabilitation centers aimed at bringing cost-effective healthcare into communities, says Sundt Construction’s Russ Korcuska, who has been piloting hospital construction projects in Arizona for two decades.

Still, some of the big players will “sit on the sidelines until the (November) election because of the tremendous effect that could have on healthcare and Medicare. The new congress will be pivotal,” Korcuska says.

Some upgrades can’t wait.

“Healthcare construction is tied to population, and there is a great need to accommodate the baby boomer generation,” says Steve Whitworth, Kitchell’s Healthcare Division manager.

Healthcare construction will see a “slight increase in 2012, as larger organizations prepare for healthcare reform,” he says.

Whitworth predicts a sharper focus on cost-cutting delivery methods and energy efficiency in 2012 both in new development and upgrades to existing facilities.

“Healthcare will remain healthy,” he says.

Solar
Solar power was Arizona’s red-hot growth topic a year ago, with government leaders proffering incentives and touting the state’s virtues to the clean-energy companies looking for a place to grow and prosper.

Then mid-year, solar panel makers Solyndra and Stirling Energy Systems failed, and in December industry giant First Solar said it would slow progress of its under-construction Mesa plant.

So how do some of the state’s solar experts envision their industry’s 2012 prospects?

SRP sees strong demand for solar upgrades in both commercial and residential uses even though it “slowed somewhat” from 2011 when monetary inducements were greater, says Debbie Kimberly, director of customer programs and marketing.

“It’s encouraging to see this demand even at reduced incentive levels,” Kimberly says.

She says she expects interest in solar to continue apace throughout 2012, especially in leased rather than purchased systems.

And APS’ 2012 outlook for solar is “overwhelmingly positive” based on continued strong customer demand, says Barbara Lockwood, the utility company’s director of energy innovation.

“We asked our customers,” she notes. “The customers want solar.”

Installers could second that.

“Our forecast is 100 percent growth over last year,” says Gary Held, Harmon Solar sales and marketing manager. “And last year was the biggest year we ever had on the commercial side.”

But that’s from the perspective of the companies that purchase and distribute solar energy.

While solar demand remains strong, supply is growing faster as solar producers and manufacturers ramp up, boosting competition and sending prices plummeting, Lockwood says.

The growing global glut in solar manufacturers is squeezing the industry from that perspective, she says, as evident by First Solar’s slowdown and some companies folding.

Lockwood predicts prices will stabilize in 2012, and solar supply and demand will reach equilibrium.

Brokerage
Nobody has a handle on the intricacies of the local commercial real estate industry like the brokers who buy, sell, market and lease properties. Their outlook for 2012 is guardedly upbeat, depending on the type of property and its location.

Phoenix’s overbuilt office market remains too over-supplied for new development, says Craig Henig, CBRE senior managing director.

In 2011, 1.8 MSF of office space was absorbed, dropping the vacancy rate to 25.5%, Henig adds.

And overall there was 5.9 MSF of “gross activity,” as plummeting rents prompted tenants to move to classier digs.

Most of the Valley’s Class A offices filled up in 2011, and Class B and C space could see an occupancy boost in 2012, whittling away at the surplus supply, says Chris Jantz, Cassidy Turley/BRE Commercial vice president of research.

But neither Henig or Jantz envision a big drop in overall office vacancy this year.

Empty industrial space was gobbled up in 2011, and that could spur development, Jantz says, but new properties likely won’t come online until 2013.

Retail real estate has been the big laggard throughout the recession, and while Henig doesn’t expect much overall absorption in 2012, he foresees “musical chairs” as retailers reexamine their footprints based on recent consumer trends. For example, the surge in online sales may result in smaller, or at least different, brick-and-mortar space usage and bigger warehousing needs.

Henig also predicts that Phoenix area retailers will take advantage of still-sinking rents to move into better locations in 2012.

Tucson’s prospects are rosy.

“All signals are pointing up for Tucson in 2012,” says CBRE Tucson managing director Tim Prouty. “Our vacancies have improved. We see a positive absorption in industrial certainly, office probably, and some improvement in retail as well.”

A recent University of Arizona study predicting 2.35% average job growth in Tucson for the next five years — a boost of more than 52,000 jobs overall — is nurturing Prouty’s confidence.

And Tucson’s successful wooing of biotech businesses, such as Roche Group’s planned major expansion, “will be a big story in 2012,” Prouty says.

Land
After bottoming in 2009, land sales nationally picked up modestly in 2012 and remained level in 2011, according to Grubb & Ellis.

Through 3Q 2011, land sales were just about even with the same period in 2012 at $13.6B, but the sales mix was different. Through 3Q 2011, industrial land sales were up 133% as the industrial leasing and user-sale market improved to the point where developers began ramping up for the next expansion cycle.

In 2012, according to Grubb & Ellis, expect a modest increase inland sales led by development sites for multi-family projects and distribution centers, which are further along the recovery cycle.

Key concerns
While all the players envision a slight, if spotty, up tick in Arizona’s commercial real estate market, they say job growth and the global economy are key concerns determining 2012′s prospects.

A couple of local legislative issues also factor into the mix, says Nick Wood of Snell & Wilmer.

Tax assessments paid in arrears for commercial structures built in the mid-2000s that experienced severely plunging values in recent years could hamper sales and renovations of languishing real estate, Wood says.

“If you look at values for 2007, some offices have lost 60% to 70% of their value, and there hasn’t been a corresponding reduction in taxes,” Wood says.

And recent revisions to government property lease excise tax (GPLET) rates for new commercial structures can act as a deterrent to economic development, especially in downtown areas, he says.

AZRE Magazine March/April 2012