Dennis Desmond, Senior Managing Director – Phoenix of Jones Lang LaSalle, shares observations about the Phoenix market that came out of ULI’s 2011 Real Estate Summit at the Spring Council Forum, held May 18-20 at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown

Though the past year-and-a-half have been eerily quiet on the Phoenix commercial real estate investment front, 2011 is reflecting a clear uptick in buyer interest that has most industry experts confident about our return to the capital markets playing field.

This sense of re-emergence was echoed at last week’s Urban Land Institute (ULI) Real Estate Summit– an event that brought together top decision makers and industry experts to discuss the future of real estate and how companies can best operate within that future. Forums highlighted the opportunities that are emerging through Phoenix’s market recovery, efforts to diversify the Phoenix economy and the drivers of that diversification. A strong turnout of investors from across the country attended Jones Lang LaSalle’s client events, with a generally upbeat attitude about the future of our CRE marketplace.

Different investor groups are showing varying degrees of interest. Institutions are looking at Phoenix’s numbers but are holding back. They are focusing on the biggest cities like New York, Chicago and San Francisco until Phoenix can provide similarly competitive returns.

Conversely, investors who have “been here, done that” are returning to Phoenix to look and often buy,
An example from earlier this month is the Scottsdale Center, a 164,000-square-foot, Class B building in a Class A location on Scottsdale Road. Within days of a teaser announcement from JLL for this asset, more than 130 confidentiality agreements were signed. The bids on that property underscore the general belief that Phoenix will recover in earnest over the next two to three years.Dennis Desmond

Most investors participating in offerings like this one are located in nearby markets like Colorado, Texas or Southern California. They have owned Phoenix assets before, are aware of our market swings and instead focus on the strong fundamentals for future potential. Investors understand that the highest returns may go to those who acquire properties now, while we’re bouncing on the bottom, in anticipation of the approaching recovery.

Desmond DennisDennis Desmond is Senior Managing Director for the Phoenix office of Jones Lang LaSalle. He is responsible for directing the firm’s office and industrial landlord representation, research and capital markets teams, as well as pursuing local and national investment opportunities as head of the company’s Phoenix Capital Markets Group.

To reach Dennis Desmond, call (602) 282-6300 or email him at