West Coast Capital Begins $3.8 Million in Capital Improvements at Williams Center

TUCSON, ARIZONA – WCCP Rosemont and PEA Enterprises (Phil Skillings, manager) affiliates of West Coast Capital with offices in Scottsdale and Los Angeles has begun $3.8 million in capital improvements to properties at the Williams Center in Tucson.

The properties include 5210 East Williams Circle, the Twin Towers at 5225 & 5285 East Williams Circle and a 1,932-square-foot freestanding former retail bank branch building with drive thru at 5180 East Williams Circle.

Phil Skillings with NAI Horizon of Tucson, and also a principal with WCCP is handles leasing and oversees the improvements.

The capital improvements start with an additional 135 parking spaces for 5210 East Williams Circle, a nine-story office building.

“By removing the fountain in front and making some landscaping changes to the property we’re gaining more parking and transforming the building from an industrial grade mid-1980 quality building, to a modern century class-A office in any market,” Skillings said. “The capital improvements being made also include modernizing the main lobby, the upper floor lobbies and adding upscale office amenities such as an onsite fitness center in the former freestanding 1,932-square-foot bank building.”

With only about 15% use of the office space right now, it’s a perfect time to be making these improvements. Skillings says there hasn’t been problems with tenants honoring their leases during the pandemic, with such tenants as Blue Cross / Blue Shield, The Waterfall Law Firm, Fairway Independent Mortgage, Quicken Financial, Crest Insurance, BBVA Bank, Clifton Larson Allen, and HealthNet. Skillings expects the office market will return to ‘pre-COVID normal’ in January and plans to be ready for office tenants when business social interaction is again brought back.

The property can currently accommodate tenants from 1,000 to 50,000-square-feet, Skillings told us.

The property was acquired in November 2019 from The Colton Company when seller was closing out its Tucson portfolio and sold these William Center properties along with The Cambric Center in a Bulk Sale for $68.35 million.

West Coast Capital has grown assets quickly in Tucson with creative solutions for office and retail properties. The company’s office portfolio in Tucson includes:

333 E. Wetmore Road  was acquired for $26. 5 million in 2015.

Bought in 2016 5431 & 5451 East Williams Circle was bought for $13.6 million.

Orange Grove Medical Center at  2155 W Orange Grove was acquired in 2015.

The former Five Palms Restaurant at 3500 East Sunrise Drive has been repurposed beautifully for Bank of America and Merrill Lynch since it was purchased in 2018.

Presidio de Rio Building conversion at Fort Lowell and Dodge was bought in April 2020 at 3700 E Fort Lowell.

For more information on any of these properties or West Coast Capital, Skillings should be reached at 520.603.4013.

Continental Realty Corporation Names Josh Dinstein Senior Vice President of Acquisitions

Dinstein to lead firm’s expansion with opening of New York City office

BALTIMORE, MD  – Continental Realty Corporation (CRC), a Baltimore-based commercial real estate investment and management company, will expand to New York City and has tapped Josh Dinstein as Senior Vice President of Acquisitions to lead the initiative. Dinstein brings over two decades of commercial real estate experience to the company and previously served as managing director at Garrison Investment Group.

In this new role, Dinstein will lead all activities of the CRC retail acquisition team in the sourcing and acquisition of retail properties, while growing the firm’s geographic presence with a New York office. Utilizing his deep network of industry relationships, Dinstein will seek to leverage CRC’s platform to identify and execute investment opportunities. Dinstein will also interact with investors, research companies and other market participants to further elevate the visibility and awareness of the CRC brand on a national basis.

Prior to joining CRC, Dinstein served as managing director at Garrison Investment Group, where he oversaw retail property investment, strategy, development, leasing, management and disposition. Earlier he was a portfolio manager in the special situations group at Kimco Realty Corporation, where he was responsible for investing in distressed retailers and grocery chains. Dinstein earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Boston University and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, the Urban Land Institute and the Turnaround Management Association.

“Josh assumes a critical position on our acquisition team as we continue our strategic approach in the identification and purchase of retail assets that bring long-term value to our investor groups,” stated JM Schapiro, Chief Executive Officer of Continental Realty Corporation. “We were particularly impressed with his varied background, originating and structuring transactions for companies with national platforms, combined with his perspective and experience in the debt and equity arenas. His demonstrated ability to analyze markets and complicated opportunities provides the perfect complement to our existing team and the current market in which we find ourselves as investors and operators of commercial real estate. Most importantly, Josh’s core values align with the CRC Core Values, which have been developed over our company’s 60 years.”

“While the real estate market has changed dramatically over the past five months due to the pandemic, we believe that the uncertainty in the market will provide generational risk-adjusted buying opportunities, “ stated David Donato, Senior Vice President of Continental Realty Corporation, “Josh’s unique real estate experience across various corporate structures and market segments, ranging from a publicly-traded shopping center REIT to a diversified fund with a focus on alternative investments, gives him strong skills and relationships to help CRC source quality acquisitions.”

“The combination of CRC’s vertically integrated organization and long-term view has created an ideal platform with which to invest in retail real estate today,” added Dinstein. “The opportunity to grow the brand at such a critical time in the industry is exciting to me and the company is ripe for it. I am thrilled to join such an established and respected firm.”

Continental Realty Corporation (CRC) is focused on acquiring value-add retail and multifamily properties located throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the United States. Headquartered in Baltimore and founded in 1960, CRC is a full-service commercial real estate and investment company. The privately-owned firm owns and manages a diversified portfolio of retail centers consisting of more than 5 million square feet of commercial space, as well as nearly 10,000 apartment homes. Positioned throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions, the portfolio’s value exceeds $2 billion. For additional information, visit www.crcrealty.com

COVID-19 in Arizona: Ducey extends eviction moratorium until Oct. 31

PHOENIX – Gov. Doug Ducey extended the state’s eviction moratorium and announced an additional $5 million for renters and measures to prevent foreclosure as the state continues to grapple with unemployment and housing problems caused by COVID-19.

“Today’s plan protects families and individuals impacted by COVID-19 while empowering them to keep making rent payments,” Ducey told a news conference Thursday. “We’ll continue working with our partners at the county and local levels to make resources and assistance available for all those impacted by COVID-19.”

Housing advocates this week had raised the alarm that with the moratorium slated to end July 25, many Arizonans were in danger of losing housing or facing hardship, the Arizona Daily Star reported.

The second-term Republican governor voiced optimism about the latest numbers in Arizona, stating that the percentage of positive tests is trending downward.

“Much of this gives us reason to be very cautious, but to have some hope and optimism about what is possible in the very near future in the state of Arizona,” he said.

Ducey also said he will speak to school officials and make an announcement next week about reopening plans, working in tandem with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman. Hoffman this week told Cronkite News that the proposed Aug. 17 start date may not be realistic.

“Arizona will be open for learning,” Ducey said, “we’ve put a date out there about five weeks away,” He added that he will do his “best to provide the most positive educational year.”

Ducey also stated he would feel comfortable sending his children back to school in August, as did Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services.

“Kids are at low risk of transmission and outcomes … I have noticed other detrimental impacts from my kids not being in school,” Christ said at the news conference.

Ducey also announced free cloth masks for medically vulnerable Arizonans and those 65 or older, available through azhealth.gov/ordermasks. Further details were not immediately available.

As of July 16, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported a total of 134,613 cases of COVID-19 and 2,492 total deaths in the state. It said 951,809 tests have been completed in public and private labs in Arizona, and 12.1% have come back positive for the virus that causes the disease.

UArizona cuts staff amid fear of low enrollments

The University of Arizona laid off more than 250 employees, with plans to furlough more in August, The Arizona Republic reported. Financial strain from the pandemic led school officials to announce plans for furloughs back in April. Of those laid off, 151 did not have their contracts renewed at the end of June, a large increase not seen in previous years. Northern Arizona University also recently laid off 10% of its staff members to adjust for an expected drop in enrollment.

Phoenix enlists librarians to help staff COVID testing sites

More than 100 Phoenix librarians and other nonmedical staff will help at federal COVID-19 testing sites for the next couple of weeks, The Arizona Republic reported. Their duties during the four-hour shifts will range from providing security to handing out water, it said.

Navajo Nation extends weekend curfew into early August

Navajo President Jonathan Nez on Thursday said the tribe’s 57-hour weekend curfews will continue into August. “We don’t see any changes, or even decline, in some of these major cities and communities in and around us,” Nez said in a Facebook Live town hall.

On Wednesday, Nez announced on Twitter that an additional 80 cases and four deaths have been confirmed on the reservation, bringing the total of positive cases to 8,370 and the number of deaths to 405. The Navajo Department of Health said more than 69,000 people have been tested. Of those who contracted COVID-19, more than 6,000 have recovered.

Arizona’s curve could be flattening, researcher says

After making global headlines last week as the top global hot spot for COVID-19, Arizona could be making some progress, according to Joshua LaBaer, executive director of Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute. LaBaer told Cronkite News that the state’s new-case curve seemed to be flattening, as it reached 130,000 total cases Wednesday. He also mentioned the apparent success of newly released saliva tests, the product of a partnership between the state and researchers at ASU. LaBaer’s goal is to make the saliva tests more common, as they now only are available two days a week by appointment.