Tag Archives: ORION Investment Real Estate

Maryland East Apartments

ORION announces two multifamily transactions in Phoenix

BelafloraCondosORION Investment Real Estate has announced the sale of two small apartment communities located in the Phoenix MSA. Located off the Loop 202 Freeway and Van Buren Street, Belaflora Condominiums sold for $1,255,000 or $83,667 per unit. This 15-unit portfolio sale of Class “A” Condos is part of a larger 185-unit complex within a strong rental sub-market in central Phoenix. The units are adjacent to the Papago Golf Course, and near attractions such as the Phoenix Zoo, Desert Botanical Garden, and Tempe Town Lake.

The property was sold by ORION Investment Real Estate’s Associate Chris Roach and Vice President Joe Dietz. “We are receiving a lot of demand from investors that are trying to enter the market while interest rates are low. The Phoenix multifamily market is continuing to attract investors that anticipate continued growth in market rents and property values,” Chris noted.

In the same week, Joe Dietz of ORION Investment Real Estate closed another multifamily deal, Maryland East Apartments, for $1,052,000 or $87,667 per unit. The 12-unit property sold at a high cap rate in the desirable area of Midtown Phoenix. The units are individually metered with spacious floor plans and upgraded features. The grounds include mature landscaping and individual storage for each unit.

Plaza 7 Photo

ORION closes sale of Plaza 7 Shopping Center for $2.3M

ORION Investment Real Estate announced the closing of Plaza 7 located at 18449 North 7th Street in Phoenix, Arizona for $2,300,000 ($143/SF) to a private individual who has a portfolio of commercial properties in Phoenix. The Sellers, ACV Calzona I, LLC, are developers based in Sonoma, CA who ended up with Plaza 7 after developing the CVS that anchors the center (Not a Part of Transaction). The property was 87% occupied at time of closing, bringing in strong cash flow with stable and successful tenants such as Pizza Hut, Proswingz, and Title Max.

The transaction was marketed and negotiated by Derek Buescher and Andrew Harrison of ORION Investment Real Estate.

Plaza 7 spans 16,125 SF sitting on 1.22 Acres of Land, and is anchored by CVS Pharmacy (not a part of transaction). The property is located just minutes from the Loop-101 & I-17 Freeways in the vibrant area of central Phoenix. The intersection at 7th and Union Hills is home to many large retailers that draw people to the area including Bashas’, Goodwill, Dollar Tree, Dairy Queen, Dominos, and more. With an NOI of over $220,000 annually and an excellent Cap of 9.8%, Plaza 7 will prove an excellent investment for the buyer.

Plaza 7 is located within a populous area with over 276,500 employees in a five mile radius, and an average income of $65,000 dollars as of 2014.

“Plaza 7 Shopping Center is an infill shopping center that is well maintained within a mature neighborhood of Phoenix. The property was approximately 87 % occupied at the time of sale and is shadow anchored by a newly developed CVS drug store. The offering provided for a stable investment for the private investor who wanted to take advantage for historically low interest rates” says Andrew Harrison, Vice President, and Derek Buescher, Vice President of ORION.


The Shops at Fry’s Marketplace sells for over $2M

The Shops at Fry’s Marketplace, a 23,790 square foot shopping center, sold for $2,045,000 or $85.96/SF.  The infill center is located at Stapley Drive and McKellips Road in Mesa and is shadow-anchored by a recently renovated Fry’s Marketplace. This investment provides the buyer with some stable, existing tenants and a great deal of upside through the lease-up of the vacant space. Currently, the property is 35% leased to Hi-Health, Daisy Nails, Ridgeview Cleaners and Botello Gym.

Derek Buescher and Andrew Harrison of ORION Investment Real Estate negotiated the transaction. “This property is located in North Mesa next to a highly trafficked Fry’s Marketplace. The property was 35% occupied at close of escrow, leaving tremendous upside for the new buyer,” noted Derek Buescher, who represented the Seller.

The property was sold by McKellips-Stapley Center, Inc. and purchased by Principals Jeff Geyser and Joshua Ungerecht from Geyser Management, LLC.


Scottsdale retail center sells for $600/SF

Reported as the highest price per square foot achieved for an Arizona multi-tenant retail property over 10KSF, The Marketplace at Lincoln & Scottsdale changed hands in a private, off-market transaction.  The 22,081 SF retail center, which has quickly become home to some of the hottest local eateries, sold for $14M.  The Marketplace is located on Scottsdale Road and Lincoln Drive, one of the most recognizable intersections in the Phoenix metropolitan area and the gateway to the affluent Paradise Valley community.

The property developed by developer, Len Noel of Covington Asset Management, has been a labor of love.  Noel originally purchased a bank-owned, office project on 7.5 acres in 2011 that had reached obsolescence.  The following year, Covington sold off approximately 5.3 acres to Alliance Residential, who recently completed their award-winning Broadstone at Lincoln, a 264 unit luxury rental community.

The sale was negotiated by local firm, ORION Investment Real Estate.  “We had no intention of selling The Marketplace.  It was intended to be a legacy asset.  ORION introduced the Buyer to us and we quickly developed a relationship with the Buyer and realized that they shared a very similar long-term vision for the property”, says Noel.

With demographics among the most affluent in the Southwestern United States, Scottsdale Road frontage, an award winning design, and a premier residential community as its anchor, The Marketplace became an instant success.  “It was a difficult decision to part with The Marketplace.  In my many years in the industry, I have never had such an overwhelming interest from tenants on any project that I have developed or redeveloped.  We are thrilled with what we created and to have a like-minded group to pass the torch to,” Noel continued.

The buyer, MDC Realty Advisors USA, Inc. through its U.S. affiliated company Hannay Realty Advisors is a private commercial real estate company that focuses on asset and property management in the United States.  Hannay Realty Advisors currently manages approximately 12 million square feet of commercial properties and has offices in Phoenix, Denver, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco, Kansas City and Las Vegas. In addition to several other transactions across the western U.S., they have recently purchased other high profile Arizona assets, including Paloma Village in Tucson, the Corner on 7th and Camelback East Shops in Phoenix.  They have acquired over $400M in U.S. real estate assets in the past 36 months.

“MDC is extremely active in acquiring and operating high-end properties in prominent locations.  The Marketplace was a natural strategic fit in growing their impressive local portfolio into Scottsdale”, noted Ari Spiro, President of ORION, who brokered the transaction along with partner, Sean Stutzman.  MDC, with a strong local management presence, will continue looking to grow their footprint in the Phoenix market.

Spiro concludes, “we have sold several retail properties that surpass the $500 per square foot threshold, but none can match The Marketplace’s combination of location, demographics, design, while incorporating the mixed-use element of an award-winning residential community as its anchor.  Those factors widely recognized, it is no wonder that the center has quickly became home to a strong mix of salons and boutiques, Opus Bank and valley hotspots of Sumo Maya, Vivo! Ristorante and Scramble.”

Williams Landing Apartments sell for $4.15M

ORION Investment Real Estate announced the sale of Williams Landing Apartments, a 72-unit apartment complex in Gilbert, Arizona, for $4,150,000.  Jackie Allen, Vice President of Multifamily Investments at ORION marketed the property and negotiated the transaction.


Williams Landing Apartments is a two-story community consisting of 72 rental units. The property was built in 1982 using frame & stucco construction, with pitched tile roofs. The unit mix is comprised of one and two bedroom apartments housed in 6- two story buildings. Community amenities include a stand-alone leasing office, swimming pool and laundry facilities.


The multifamily asset is located in the desirable Gilbert submarket. It is strategically located in the center of the Power Road corridor, determined by planners to be a “road of regional significance.” Williams Landing is the only apartment complex between 50-100 units within this submarket.


The Seller was AMPOL, LLC based in Gilbert and the Buyer was Williams Landing LP based in Chicago.


Hawthorne Condos sell for $19.11M

ORION Investment Real Estate announced the sale of The Hawthorne condominiums located in the Midtown area of Phoenix, near the intersection of 3rd Avenue and Indian School Road.  The condominium complex consists of 276 total units, of which 182 were just sold for $19,110,000.  The seller in the transaction was Jeff Appleton of the Hawthorne Phoenix Condominiums, LLC, which is based in Winter Haven, Fla.

The seller was represented by Joseph Dietz of ORION Investment Real Estate based in Scottsdale.

Hawthorne is a gated community which includes privately-owned condos and condominium rentals. The community consists of one, two and three-bedroom floor plans ranging in size from 752 to 1,198 square feet. There are various levels of upgrades; however, each unit includes a fully equipped kitchen, washer and dryer, a separate storage room, and a private patio or balcony. The community has two pools and spas, a 24-hour fitness center, resident clubhouse with a business center and various courtyards with barbeque areas.

Located just south of Indian School on the west side of 3rd Avenue, The Hawthorne is optimally located near St. Joseph’s Medical Campus, the Clarendon Hotel, Park Central Mall, the light rail, and just minutes away from downtown Phoenix attractions including Chase Field, US Airways Center and the Phoenix Art Museum

ORION’s Vice President Joseph Dietz noted, “The Hawthorne condominium project represents what is right and good in the Phoenix real estate market.  In 2009, the Seller purchased a highly distressed property from the bank, and then he injected the appropriate amount of capital into both the physical property and the community association.  Today, The Hawthorne is a fully stabilized property that provides a very nice living environment for its community.  The Seller did what he set out to do, and now he plans to ride off into the sunset…”

The buyer in the transaction was Pacific Real Estate Partners, Inc., located in the San Francisco Bay Area and was represented by Doug Lazovick of ABI Multifamily in Phoenix.

Sunburst Plaza in Glendale closes for $9.3M

ORION Investment Real Estate announced the sale of Sunburst Plaza in Glendale, located at the Southwest corner of 43rd Avenue and Bell Road in Glendale.  The 103,000 square foot shopping center sold for $9,300,000 to Sunburst Station LLC an entity affiliated with Phillips Edison & Company based in Cincinnati, OH.  The Seller in the transaction was The Sunburst Plaza Company, LLC based in Beverly Hills, CA.  The anchor tenant occupying Sunburst Plaza is a 56,000 square foot Fry’s Food Store (Kroger) that was originally developed in 1987. The grocery store has recently gone through an expansion and remodel over the last couple years in addition to adding a Fry’s fuel pump pad.


Additional tenants occupying the center include Epic Thrift, H & R Block, Just Brakes, Fresh Vitamins, as well as numerous local tenants. The grocery anchored center is located within an infill location on a major arterial road with traffic counts that exceed 55,000 vehicles per day at the intersection.


The transaction was negotiated by Nick Miner, CCIM and Andrew Harrison of ORION Investment Real Estate based in Scottsdale.


ORION’s Vice President Andrew Harrison, “The buyer has been focused on acquiring this asset for over two years, due to the existing debt that was encumbering the property we had to be patient with the seller. In the end we believe the seller and buyer walked away from the transaction very satisfied.”

Monterey Vista Village

Monterey Vista Village sells for $9.8M

ORION Investment Real Estate announced the sale of Monterey Vista Village Shopping Center located on the northwest corner of Pecos and McQueen Roads in Chandler.  Monterey Vista Village is an 88,382 square foot center built in 2006 and sold for $9,800,000.  The property sits on 10.47 acres and is 77% leased to Auto Zone, Air Extreme Trampoline Park, State Farm Insurance, SANS Plumbing, Salon Boutique and more.


The transaction was negotiated by Jared Williams, Ari Spiro and Sean Stutzman of ORION Investment Real Estate based in Scottsdale.  The buyer was MVV Retail I, LLC an affiliate of CIRE Management based in La Jolla, California and the seller, Monterey Vista Village Shopping Center, LLC, is based in Sandy, Utah.


The property originally supported a construction loan of $13.6 million in 2005.  ORION’s President Ari Spiro noted, “This was a win-win transaction.  The Seller had acquired the property in 2014 and had, in short order, increased their basis in the property.  The Buyer, who has been very active in this marketplace over the last couple of years, anticipates creating value through continued leasing.”


Jared Williams, Associate, concludes, “At half of replacement cost, Monterey Vista Village was a strong acquisition at an attractive price point.  The property is in the path of growth and, as the market continues its recovery, the center should prove to be a great value-add acquisition.”

Cornerstone 1, Orion, WEB

Bob Parsons affiliate buys Cornerstone shopping center

ORION Investment Real Estate announced Tuesday the sale of The Cornerstone shopping center in Tempe, Ariz., located on the NEC of Rural Road and University Drive adjacent to Arizona State University.  The 117,351-square-foot center sold for $28,556,152 to Cornerstone Retail, L.L.C., a commercial real estate entity affiliated with YAM Properties which was founded by Valley businessman Bob Parsons.

The transaction was negotiated by Ari Spiro, Sean Stutzman and Andrew Harrison of ORION Investment Real Estate based in Scottsdale.

The Cornerstone is part of a five-building complex located at one of the most recognizable intersections in the Southeast Valley. The property is adjacent to ASU’s University Center and Athletic Performance Center.  The shopping center which was 90 percent occupied at the time of the sale, is anchored by Tempe Improv and is home to notable tenants including ASU, Buffalo Wild Wings, Fast Med Urgent Care, and Raising Canes.

ORION’s President Ari Spiro noted, “This is a landmark property at the gateway to Tempe and Arizona State University on a 10.7 acre lot.  Locations like this rarely trade.  Tempe is undergoing a building boom with no less than half a dozen cranes dotting the skyline.”

The Seller in the transaction was Cornerstone Center 99, LLC, an Arizona limited liability company, owned by ACF Property Management Inc. based in Sherman Oaks, California.

CCIM Central Arizona Chapter Logo

Nick Miner appointed to CCIM executive committee


Nick Miner, ORION

Nick Miner, ORION

The CCIM Institute, one of the largest commercial real estate networks in the world, announced its 2015 leadership teams during the organization’s annual conference in Los Angeles on Oct. 17. The CCIM Institute confers the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation, commercial real estate’s global standard for professional achievement.

Nick Miner, CCIM, Vice President of ORION Investment Real Estate was appointed to serve as a member of the CCIM Institute’s Executive Committee, which is as a governing body for the organization that works in conjunction with CCIM’s Board of Directors, national committees, and staff. The organization’s leadership teams convene at the CCIM Institute’s spring and fall business meetings.

Miner has been in commercial real estate since 1998.  He has completed more than $142 million dollars in sales and leasing activity.  His primary focus is to assist investors in the acquisition and disposition of investment properties.  Miner obtained his CCIM designation in 2003 and has been active locally and nationally ever since.

The CCIM Institute’s 2015 executive leadership team includes President Mark Macek, CCIM, president and owner of Macek Companies, Inc., in Great Falls, Mont.; President Elect Steven Moreira, CCIM, president of Magic Properties and Investments, Inc., in Longwood, Fla.; First Vice President Robin Webb, CCIM, managing director/principal of NAI Realvest in Orlando, Fla.; and Treasurer Charles C. (Chuck) Connely IV, CCIM, managing director of EPR Financial Services in Kansas City, Mo.

Campbell Shops at 24, ORION, WEB

Campbell Shops at 24th sell for $2.3M

ORION Investment Real Estate announced the closing of the Campbell Shops at 24th Street located at 4517 North 24th Street in Phoenix for $2,300,000 ($263/SF) to Santa Fe Arms LLC, managed by Steve Olafson in Scottsdale, Ariz. The seller was Greenfield-Inverness, LLC based in Phoenix. The property was 57 percent occupied at time of closing. The current tenants are 7-Eleven and Ye Olde Pipe & Tobacco Shoppe who are both signed to long-term leases.

Ari Spiro and Sean Stutzman of ORION Investment Real Estate negotiated the transaction. The buyer was drawn to the strong location, in-place cash flow and ability for upside through lease up.

The 8,750 SF strip center was originally built in 1962, but was completely renovated in 2007. The center is well-located near the major intersection of 24th Street & Camelback Road in the Camelback Corridor submarket. The population within 5 miles of the property is 330,000 and is in close proximity to Biltmore Fashion Park, Camelback Esplanade and several high rise condo developments.

The Camelback Corridor is host to some of Phoenix’s finest hotels/resorts, entertainment venues, retail centers, restaurants, office and condos. The corridor has attracted major tenants from finance, real estate, and technology. Some tenants include Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Merrill Lynch, Charles Schwab, UBS, Cisco System and Cole Capital. Other major tenants include the RitzCarlton, Arizona Biltmore and Camelback Colonnade Retail Center.

“This investment was unique in that the current cash flow provided a stable base to this investor allowing them the ability to lease-up and build out the remaining vacancies in a dynamic, infill submarket that otherwise has little vacancy” says Ari Spiro, President of ORION.


ROIs on commercial properties see some uncertainty

Asking about a solid investment is a loaded question, says Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) Jason Eisenberg, vice president of development and acquisitions for the Eisenberg Company.

Commercial real estate investment returns are expected to remain steady through year-end, according to a forecast released by Real Estate Research Corp. Deloitte and the National Association of Realtors. However, there are still uncertainties in that equation.

“I am still concerned that we are not seeing the job numbers where I believe they need to be in order to feel like we’re off the edge of the financial abyss,” says CCIM Alan Davidson, vice president of ORION Investment Real Estate.

“As a secondary market to Los Angeles, I’m hopeful, but not confident, we’re on a longer upward trend. The lack of growth in the housing market is particularly vexing as it has historically been a barometer of the local economy. This last recession may have permanently altered that trend.”

It’s predicted that returns on investment in commercial properties will be lower in 2014 than 2013 due to an increase in development costs as the economy rebounds.

“We have seen a dramatic increase in costs from both the land acquisition side and the materials and labor side. Rental rates have not caught up to these increases,” says Eisenberg.

There were bargains in 2013. In 2014, investors must go to smaller secondary and tertiary markets to find value.
“Bargains are scarce and often never see the light of day before sold,” Davidson says.

Depending on the quality of the asset, Eisenberg says, sellers are definitely feeling more bullish and buyers are still trying to find deals. That being said, deals are still getting done so that separation is being filled. Davidson notes that sellers are valuing properties at 2005 and 2006 levels.

“Buyers are having to contribute more equity and are concerned about paying too much in this market versus a market like Los Angeles or San Francisco, plus lenders are imposing more stringent underwriting criteria, thus dampening the ability to obtain leveraged funds with favorable terms,” Davidson says. “There’s still a gap, but one that can be bridged if both parties exhibit reasonable expectations. How much depends largely on type of property. There appears to be more interest in our market from buyers outside Arizona which is a very positive trend.”

This is something Attorney Howard Weiss, of Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner PC, has also observed.

“Over the past 24 months, there was a large influx of Canadian buyers that were mostly purchasing multi-family assets,” he says. “While there are still many Canadian buyers, the numbers have definitely decreased. I attribute this to the fact that there are less multi-family properties available, and the Canadian dollar is now weaker against the US dollar. In addition, these buyers are not seeing the low property values that initially attracted them to the Phoenix market. Some of the current Canadian buyers, however, are diversifying their portfolios by purchasing retail and office properties, including medical offices.”
Another trend Weiss noted was more sophisticated buyers, such as large institutions, entering the market.

Retail and multi-family are solid in the Phoenix market, Davidson says, adding that office has a long way to go and based on the industrial he works with, self storage, it’s a little flat.

“It all gets back to location,” Eisenberg says. “From a grocery anchored development and acquisition standpoint it will be very interesting to see what challenges and opportunities arise over the next 24 months with the Cerberus acquisition of Safeway.”

The value-add opportunities, he says, are in land. Davidson suggests looking at infill and multi-family.

“I was listening to a speaker at ICSC in Texas and he had a great quote, ‘We do not have an over-development problem, we have an under-demolition problem.’ A lot of the product out there that is deemed a value-add opportunity has little to no value except in the land,” Eiseinberg says. “The viable value-add product is all up to the relationships that the buyer has with its retailers and there are some groups in Phoenix that are doing an excellent job revitalizing old centers with new tenants.

“I see the grocery-anchored projects continue to see cap rate compression. I also see investors not seeing the returns they are needing in primary markets and turning more toward secondary and outlying markets.”

Eisenberg doesn’t see a sharp increase in interest rates in the next two to three years.

“I think there will be a modest increase as our economy finds its footing, but that will hopefully be absorbed by rental increases and higher valuations,” he says.

Davidson calls the upcoming midterms absolutely critical. “More transactions are structured as 1031 Exchanges,” Weiss says, “since there are increasing property values that result in taxable gains upon a sale.”

“There are a number of tax proposals working their way through Capitol Hill that would deliver a massive hit to the commercial real estate world, most particularly ending 1031 Exchanges,” Davidson says.

“Fiscal conservatives must obtain control of the Senate and maintain their House majority.”

Saguaro Heights, WEB

ORION negotiates sale of 34-unit apartment complex in Surprise

ORION Investment Real Estate is pleased to announce the sale of Saguaro Heights, a 34-unit apartment complex in Surprise, Ariz., for $1.3M.  The property was built in 1987 and was 95% occupied at the time of sale.  It consists of 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath townhome units and is located near the intersection of El Mirage and Greenway Roads.  The Buyer was able to obtain new financing on the property from Bank of the West with 25% down.  Both the Seller, Saguaro Heights LP, and the Buyer, JMY Properties, are based out of Southern California.

This is the Buyers third acquisition in the Phoenix marketplace.  “This was a good addition to their portfolio , noted Jackie Allen, Vice President of Multifamily Investments at ORION.  Allen continues, “We are continuing to experience an influx of California buyers to our market.  These buyers, like many others from California, are attracted by a lower cost per unit in Phoenix.”

The Sellers have owned this property since 1996 and Saguaro Heights was the last apartment building holding they owned in the Phoenix area; having recently closed a 66 unit complex also with ORION last year.  Dan Ray, a principal with Saguaro Heights, LP, concluded, “It was terrific working with ORION once again.  She [Jackie] made the transaction seamless from begin to end.”

Jackie Allen focuses on investment sales of multifamily properties.


ORION Investment Real Estate Assists Long-Term Phoenix Multi-Family Investor Sell Villa Contenta Apartments


The ORION Multifamily Group of Orion Investment Real Estate announced the closing of the 62-unit, Villa Contenta Apartments for $2.7M ($43,548 per unit).

Centercrest III Condos, L.P. originally purchased the property in 1998 for $1,5M ($24,194 per unit). John Kobierowski and Alon Shnitzer with the Orion Multifamily Group led their team in this transaction.

“This was a unique opportunity to acquire a low density, all Two and Three Bedroom community that had significant value add still left in it. The property was owned for 15 years by the selling entity and that long-term of a hold period has become somewhat rare for the Phoenix apartment market,” said Alon Shnitzer with the Orion Multifamily Group.

“The location of Villa Contenta is only getting better and it especially helps that the Phoenix Light Rail is within walking distance to the property. Properties around the light rail are being sought after by renters and we have seen a recent increase in occupancies, which does typically result in higher values. This is one of the many reasons why the property went under contract in just a matter of a week,” said John Kobierowski with the Orion Multifamily Group.

Villa Contenta Apartments is a 62-unit multi-family property completed in 1969, located within walking distance to the Phoenix light rail.

The buyer, Pioneer Acquisitions, LLC is a privately owned company from White Plains, N.Y. Since its inception, Pioneer has been very active on the East Coast and in the Midwest, closing on several multifamily and retail acquisitions and purchasing secured debt. The acquisition of Villa Contenta Apartments is its first multi-family purchase in Arizona.

The Seller was Centercrest III Condos, L.P., a partnership based in Costa Mesa, Calif.

Shnitzer, Kobierowski, Rue Bax, Eddie Chang and Doug Lazovick of ORION Investment Real Estate in Scottsdale negotiated the transaction.


Nick Miner

Arizona Investment Broker Nominated To Be Next CCIM President


The CCIM Institute has announced the candidacy of ORION Investment Real Estate Vice President, Nick Miner, CCIM, for the position of 2014 First Vice President, a 3-year term that culminates in the 2016 Institute Presidency.

The election will take place at the CCIM Board of Directors meeting on Oct. 24 in Denver. Only the Board of Directors is eligible to vote. The President shall serve as an ex–officio member of all committees, standing or otherwise, and will represent the best interests of the Institute. The President acts as chief spokesperson and inspirational leader and shall work in partnership with the Chief Executive Officer.

Miner has spent his 15-year commercial real estate career helping his clients with a diverse background in sales, leasing and management. In the past several years, he has transitioned into a top investment sales broker with a heavy focus on multi-tenant retail properties.

Miner’s involvement with CCIM has spanned the past 14 years, having served as President of the Central Arizona CCIM Chapter in 2005 and elected to the CCIM Institute Board of Directors and CCIM Tech Board of Directors.

“Nick is a well-respected commercial real estate veteran and I’ve always admired his industry knowledge and dedication to the CCIM program.” says ORION President, Ari Spiro.

Since 1969, the Chicago-based CCIM Institute has conferred the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation to commercial real estate and allied professionals through an extensive curriculum of 200 classroom hours and professional experiential requirements.

The core curriculum addresses financial analysis, market analysis, user decision analysis, investment analysis, and negotiation — the cornerstones of commercial investment real estate. An affiliate of the National Association of Realtors, the CCIM Institute also offers powerful technology tools such as the Site To Do Business, an online demographics and site analysis resource.

Currently, there are nearly 10,000 CCIMs in 1,000 U.S. metros and 30 global markets, with another 3,000 practitioners pursuing the designation, making the Institute one of the largest commercial real estate networks in the world.


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ORION Investment Real Estate Helps Weidner Apartment Homes Acquire Property

The ORION Multifamily Group of ORION Investment Real Estate is pleased to announce the closing of the 192-unit “Class B” apartment project – Dunlap Square Apartments – for $8,800,000 ($45,833 per unit). The buyer, Weidner Apartment Homes is among the most experienced multifamily real estate operating companies in the United States and one of the largest multifamily owners in Arizona.  “We are pleased to continue assisting Weidner Apartment Homes with their growth in the Phoenix Valley and helping them acquire an asset across the street from their “Class A,” Acclaim Apartments. This acquisition fit the buyer’s profile as it is a value-add asset near the new light rail extension route,” stated Rue Bax with the Orion Multifamily Group.

Dunlap Square Apartments is a 192 unit multifamily property built in 1984, located one block from the new Park and Ride light rail station right at 19th Avenue and Dunlap Avenue. The property has a great mix of one and two bedroom unit types.  With easy access to Interstate 17, the property provides the convenience of modern living with an array of businesses, shopping, restaurants and nightspots nearby.

Weidner Apartment Homes was founded by W. Dean Weidner in 1977.  Weidner Apartment Homes is a multi-faceted real estate investment and management company, recognized industry-wide as an efficient provider of quality rental homes and a creative developer of new housing.  Their commitment to delivering value drives their vision to distinguish their company as the apartment leader in each of their markets. In order to provide the benefits of regional and economic diversity, their properties are located in: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Washington, and Canada, in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

The seller was a private partnership based in Sacramento, who acquired the property in 2006.

Rue Bax, Alon Shnitzer, John Kobierowski, Eddie Chang, and Doug Lazovick of ORION Investment Real Estate in Scottsdale negotiated the transaction. The ORION Multifamily Group was formed to provide clients with the most comprehensive and effective brokerage experience. A seasoned group of brokers was assembled with a combined track record consisting of over two billion in sales, 1,000+ transactions and collectively over 55 years of experience. The ORION Multifamily Group provides brokerage and advisory services to Arizona multifamily owners, developers, lenders and managers.


ORION Investment Real Estate Negotiates Sale Of Retail Center To Canadian Investor For $1.75M


ORION Investment Real Estate announced the closing of Saguaro Plaza, a multi-tenant retail center, located in Fountain Hills, Arizona for $1.75M ($155 PSF) to US Saguaro Property, LLC.

This acquisition represents the first purchase in the U.S. for this Canadian investor.

“Saguaro Plaza is an extremely well-located asset in the heart of Fountain Hills. It is located at the SWC of Saguaro Boulevard and Palisades Boulevard, across the street from The Fountain. “The property was 100% leased at close of escrow and has a history of high occupancy levels in the marketplace.” says Brent Pearlstein, Vice President at ORION.

“Due to its location, tenant mix and curb appeal, the property attracted local, national and international investment firms. The seller received numerous offers from interested parties before engaging the buyer, which we feel is a positive sign for the retail investment market.”

The property was constructed in 1997 and totals 11,245 SF. Saguaro Plaza offers two drive-through windows, an outdoor patio and ample parking. The property includes monument signage, excellent visibility and strong traffic counts.

It has served the surrounding neighborhood community for many years. With easy access to Beeline Highway and Shea Boulevard, the property provides an array of businesses, shopping and restaurants nearby.

The seller, Staletovic Property Holdings, LLC, was a local private investment company with several holdings in Arizona.



ORION Investment Real Estate Sells Vacant Property to Charter School


ORION Investment Real Estate announced the closing of 2100 W. Indian School Rd. for $1.024M ($42 PSF) to Pan-American Elementary Charter School.

The property was constructed in 1975 and totals 24,436 SF. The facility includes 16 classrooms, a cafeteria, a theater room, and administrative offices and was operated by the previous owner as a school for nine years.

The property has been vacant since 2010 and the new owner will inject some capital to modernize the facility.

“We were pleased to have been able to bring a community-centered use that will resurrect the property and provide a desired and important service to the residents in the area,” said Brent Pearlstein, Senior Associate at ORION.

Due to its location, vicinity to Interstate 17, excellent visibility, traffic counts and monument signage on Indian School, the property attracted many buyers with various uses. Ultimately, Pan-American emerged as the buyer.

“Pan-American was the perfect fit for the property and they have a long history of serving the surrounding neighborhood community,” Pearlstein said. “We are excited about the possibilities at this location and the school plans on remodeling the facility to provide the best educational experience to its students.”

Pan-American has served the Phoenix area for more than 10 years and provides K-6 education to their students.

The seller, Academy of America, designs, develops, implements, and manages unique educational opportunities and programs for lifelong learning. It currently operates two charter schools in Michigan, the Academy of Southfield and the Academy of Waterford.


ORION Sets Call For Offer Date of May 7 For 300 Units in Biltmore Area



When the first phase of Biltmore Pointe was built in the late 1950s, Phoenix was in the midst of a population boom, in which the city experienced growth from 100,000 residents to more than 400,000 through the 1950s.

The area surrounding Biltmore Pointe was one of many burgeoning suburban areas responsible for this boom.

Flash forward to today and the Phoenix Metropolitan area has grown into the sixth most populous city in the United States and now the 10+ acre Biltmore Pointe site is “primed for a current renovation and an eventual re-development play,” says Alon Shnitzer, Senior Vice President of ORION Investment Real Estate.

The property is currently a 302-unit garden-style apartment community located just south of the Biltmore area and west of Arcadia. Shnitzer reports that the property is currently occupied at 93% and rising with an excellent unit mix whereby 60% of the community contains highly desirable two bedroom unit types.

The property has had recent capital expenditures and will trade at well below replacement cost offering an opportunity to renovate and reposition at higher market rents. But what has drawn so much attention to this site is its + 450,000 SF parcel size with nearly a quarter of mile of frontage along Osborn Road, spanning two full city blocks from 28th to 30th street.

The property is well connected with access to both Piestewa Freeway (SR 51) and the Red Mountain Freeway (Loop 202). Centrally located to Downtown Phoenix, Sky Harbor Airport and over 500,000 employees within a 5-mile radius, the property’s location is on the radar of every major apartment owner and developer.

“Investors believe in this infill, rapidly gentrifying area. We have received a significant amount of interest in this asset that we believed it appropriate to set a call for offer date to better and fairly manage the bid process,” Shnitzer added.

The date has been set for May 7th and ORION anticipates numerous offers to be submitted.

ORION has set up a website, biltmorepointeapartments.com for additional information on the property. For additional information on the bid process ORION’s Alon Shnitzer can be reached at 480-689-4176.




ORION Facilitates Closing of Cambria Luxury Apartments in Gilbert


The ORION Multifamily Group of Orion Investment Real Estate closed on the 174-unit Class A luxury apartment project – Cambria Luxury Apartments – for $18.675M.

The buyer is a local private capital group that has been active in the Arizona multi-family market for many years.

“We were very excited to market and transact this Class A asset that was built in 2001 by one of Arizona’s premier developers, Robson Communities.” said Rue Bax, senior vice president at ORION.

“We began marketing the property for sale just before Thanksgiving and in a matter of 10 days we were able to secure over a dozen strong all cash offers, with many of those buyers being able to close by year-end. This was important to the seller due to the uncertainty of the current political climate and the unknown’s surrounding the fiscal cliff.

“This acquisition fit the buyer’s profile well, as it is a core asset in the Southeast Valley,” Bax said, “with strong occupancy due to its close proximity to many jobs and one of the best public school systems in the Valley. They also liked the variety of large condo-style floor plans, many of which have direct access garages and the future upside in remodeling the current interiors and common areas.”

Cambria Luxury Apartments is a 174-unit multi-family property built in 2001 by the Developer-Seller, Robson Communities. It is located in northern Gilbert near Downtown Gilbert.

The property has a mix of 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom /2-bathroom, and 3-bedroom/2-bathroom units and has easy access to US 60, Loop 202 and Loop 101.

The seller was a local private development company, Robson Communities, founded by Ed Robson.

Bax, Alon Shnitzer, John Kobierowski, Eddie Chang, and Doug Lazovick of ORION Investment Real Estate in Scottsdale negotiated the transaction.


Orion Brokers Sale of $3.175M Phoenix Apartment Complex


ORION Investment Real Estate negotiated the successful sale of the Sandpiper Apartments, 2735 E. Thomas Rd. in Phoenix.

The 100-unit, master metered, 1969 vintage property sold for $3.175M. The buyer was a foreign-based entity controlled by 2735 East Thomas Road LP and this apartment community represents the buyers’ first commercial real estate acquisition in the Phoenix market.

The new foreign buyer was successful in securing a 66% LTV, non-recourse, market rate loan from a U.S. based lender and plans to renovate and rebrand the property.

“There have been a number of properties with similar attributes (centrally located, block constructed, master metered, 60’s vintage properties that have experienced gentrification over the last few years and proven successful while paving the way for similar projects,” said Eddie Chang, a Vice President with the Orion Multifamily Group.

“The properties target a new wave of Gen Y renters who seek centrally located unique communities with amenities, smaller spaces and value.”

Alon Shnitzer, a Senior Vice President with the Orion Multifamily Group, added: “Phoenix apartment investing has sparked world-wide interest. This is the second property in 90 days that we have sold to an out of country based investor.”

The property was well maintained and 95% occupied at the time of sale. The seller was Ambrosie and Susana Halmagean of Litchfield Park.

Chang, Shnitzer, John Kobierowski, Rue Bax, and Doug Lazovick of ORION Investment Real Estate in Scottsdale negotiated the transaction.



Orion Investment Real Estate Helps Weidner Further its Growth in Arizona

The ORION Multifamily Group of Orion Investment Real Estate announced the closing of the 256-unit Class A apartment project Pala Mesa Apartments in Mesa for $22.6M.

The buyer, Weidner Apartment Homes, is among the most experienced multi-family real estate operating companies in the U.S. and one of the largest multi-family owners in Arizona.

“We are pleased to help Weidner Apartment Homes continue their growth in the Southeast Valley,” said  Rue Bax, Senior Vice President at ORION.  “This sale marks Weidner’s second major acquisition in the area in the last 30 days. In early October, Weidner purchased the 240-unit Dobson Towne Center apartments for just over $27 million.

“This acquisition fit the buyer’s profile as it is a core asset on the light rail with a history of high occupancy due to its close proximity to Arizona State University.”

Pala Mesa Apartments is a 256-unit multi-family property built in 1999 by the developer-seller, located on the light rail right at the border of Mesa and Tempe. The property is a  mix of 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom / 1-bathroom, and 2-bedroom/ 2-bathroom units.

With easy access to US 60, Loop 202 and Loop 101, the property provides the convenience of modern living with an array of businesses, shopping, restaurants and nightspots nearby.

The seller was a private company, Inland Empire Builders.  Based in Las Vegas, it was  motivated to dispose of Pala Mesa in order to free-up equity to acquire other assets.

Rue Bax, Alon Shnitzer, John Kobierowski, Eddie Chang, and Doug Lazovick of ORION Investment Real Estate in Scottsdale negotiated the transaction.

It is the sixth transaction the past two weeks negotiated by the ORION Multifamily Group.


Has The Ship Sailed On Multi-family Or Is It Full Steam Ahead?

Since 2010, it’s been difficult to ignore the strong tailwinds behind the multi-family market in Phoenix as thousands of units have traded hands, rapid appreciation has been realized, and now thousands of units are in various stages of construction.

Despite any evidence, many have prematurely predicted or anticipate a softening in the market.

To the contrary. Mounting evidence exists that not only is the Phoenix multi-family market solid, but it should be strong for many years to come. Investor appetite remained strong with recent transactions totaling approximately 3,000 units of Class A properties, including CityScape at Lakeshore (Tempe), Broadstone Ahwatukee Fairways (Phoenix), Dobson Towne Center (Chandler), Brookstone at the Foothills (Phoenix), Tempe Groves (Tempe), Pillar at San Tan (Gilbert), and Coldwater Springs (Avondale)

With prices still more than 20% off of 2007 peak prices, investors anticipate additional appreciation, buoyed by, yet another, 2,000 units currently in escrow including Scottsdale’s Montierra, The Fairways and Villa Pallavicini in Chandler, The Palms on Scottsdale in Tempe and Phoenix’s The Retreat at the Raven.

Investor optimism is well-founded. First, rental rates are well below the highs of early 2008 and occupancy is getting tighter due to lack of supply. According to Dallas-based Axiometrics, Phoenix recently ranked in the top 10 Metros with the highest occupancy.

Second, the job market has become more diversified, not relying on construction jobs to drive the market, but diversifying into high technology and biotech. Lastly, with the housing across the nation improving, households who had planned on moving to Arizona have the opportunity to sell their house in other markets.

We have not yet fully realized the benefits of this population growth, but according to U-Haul’s List of Top Destinations, Phoenix now ranks 14th in the country. Aiding this trend, Phoenix’s home market was recently ranked as the fourth most affordable housing market by Intrest.com.

So strong is investor and tenant demand that an additional 30 projects totaling 6,300 units are currently under construction or have been completed in the past 30 days. An additional six notable projects will be under construction shortly, but the big surge in construction may still not be experienced until 2013.

The frenzy of development activity has been magnified by such highly recognized sites closing toward a completion date; sites such as Optima Sonoran Village at 68th St. and Camelback and Alliance Residential’s Broadstone on Camelback (and 26th St.)

Other high-profile projects already cleared or about to be prepared for construction starts in the next several months include the PB Bell’s Liv Apartments at Scottsdale Quarter and two additional Alliance Residential projects at Lincoln and Scottsdale roads and the 4-acre, high-rise parcel just south of the Scottsdale Fashion Square (Broadstone at Waterfront).

Mark-Taylor is also busy on numerous sites including the Norterra project in North Phoenix and the Fiddlesticks site on Elliot Road in Tempe.

With so much momentum, transaction velocity, pending sales, development of additional inventory and strong area fundamentals; multifamily will continue to lead the commercial real estate market and sail toward the horizon.

Rue Bax is a Senior Vice President at ORION Investment Real Estate and co-founder of The Orion Multifamily Group. Throughout his 10+ year career he has specialized in large apartment transactions and has closed more than 50 marketed and off-market Arizona multi-family properties. He may be reached at rue.bax@orionprop.com.


ORION Closes Largest Medical Office Deal of 2012


ORION Investment Real Estate facilitated the largest single asset medical office transaction of 2012 in Metro Phoenix.

Archway Holdings Corp. bought Arrowhead Health Center in Glendale for $19.86M from VCC Healthcare Fund, LLC, an entity controlled by Ventas REIT, the largest healthcare real estate investment trust in America.

Arrowhead Health Center, formerly known as Arrowhead Orchards Medical Office Building, is comprised of two, state-of-the art medical buildings totaling 103,216 SF plus a number of fully improved pads. The institutional quality buildings, which have been heralded as among the most luxurious medical office buildings in Arizona, were built in 2002 and 2006.

The property is adjacent to the 217-bed Arrowhead Hospital in Glendale’s affluent Arrowhead Ranch submarket.

“Arrowhead Health Center is a unique asset – it is the only fee simple, Class A medical office building on the Arrowhead Hospital Campus,” said ORION Vice President Braxton Glass. “Due to the property’s current vacancy, this was a rare opportunity to purchase such a quality asset at a discount to replacement cost.”

The subject property is currently 65% leased and provides an opportunity to increase cash flow by leasing up the asset, taking advantage of its superior income demographics, location, design, strong tenant demand and tight supply.

This is the fourth such asset in Metro Phoenix that Archway has purchased in the past 10 months. Archway is currently in the process of repositioning approximately 400,000 SF of medical office space in Arizona.

“We view vacancy, in sub-markets with appropriate demographics, as an asset in this new healthcare paradigm where small healthcare practitioners are being replaced by large practice groups that will be the likely ones to continue to thrive, thereby creating a premium for large contiguous square footage” said Archway President Sean Moghavem.

Glass added: “Archway’s acquisition of Arrowhead Health Center positions them extremely well from a competitive basis at this hospital complimenting Archway’s existing holdings; this acquisition represents an excellent opportunity to add value through repositioning.”

Commercial real estate advisory firm Lucent Capital, which has arranged $40M of financing for various Arizona product in the past 14 days, arranged extremely low cost financing for Arrowhead Health Center, LLC, for the acquisition and repositioning.