Businessman Expanding Commercial Investments
Newspaper: The Business Journal
Author: Mike Padgett
Even in a bear market, East Valley businessman Michael A. Pollack is bullish on commercial real estate investments.
His targets are aging neighborhood shopping centers that, because of economic downturns, are losing tenants. The properties' increasing vacancy rates, among other things, are the targets of Pollack's financial radar. And in recent weeks, those situations have kept Pollack busier than he's been in the rest of 2002.
Since September, Pollack's company acquired more than 400,000 square feet of retail space in Chandler, Phoenix, Glendale, Mesa and Peoria. He also is scouting what could be his second commercial property in Tucson.
"This is probably going to be one of our biggest years for acquisitions," Pollack said. "For the first three quarters of this year, we were on the fence looking in and studying, waiting for the fourth quarter."
He said 1998 was the last time he bought a similar amount of property. Today, Michael A. Pollack Real Estate Investments has nearly 50 commercial properties in metro Phoenix.
Including his holdings in California, Pollack has about 3.5 million square feet of shopping centers and other retail space. He said his occupancy rate is 98 percent.
Pollack agrees with analysts who speculate that the stock market is at or near the bottom, but any hint of recovery is months off.
"I think we're just about to hit the bottom," he said. "Middle of next year, maybe."
Real estate division expands
Attorney Tim White, formerly of Tiffany & Boscoe, is the new man in charge of the real estate division at Greenberg Traurig. His charge is to expand the law firm's real estate division over the next couple of years to 10 attorneys. Until early this year, the division had two attorneys.
White relocated about a month ago, and already he's helping search for more recruits he calls "mid- to high-level people" at several other large law firms in Arizona.
One recruit is David Paltzik at Snell & Wilmer's Tucson office. In July, Greenberg Traurig recruited Quinn Williams, also from Snell & Wilmer.
Greenberg Traurig has more than 850 lawyers in 22 offices nationwide. In greater Phoenix, the company has about 50 lawyers. The firm arrived in the Valley in 1999 when it acquired the corporate securities group of O'Connor Cavanagh.
White, 42, is a native of the Valley, and he has practiced real estate law since 1985.
His membership on the board at Meritage Homes has provided him with insight on the industry's issues and finances as well as market knowledge. Besides Meritage, his clients include Trend Homes, Monterey Homes, Hancock Communities, Hacienda Builders, Classic Communities, and Legendary Homes.
Builder heads to Prescott
Word about a Scottsdale company's luxury-home achievements in Phoenix has spread to Prescott, where Canavest Group LLC is busy with a development of nearly 100 multi- and single-family homes under construction or in design.
Canavest's newest venture is The Views at Hassayampa, a gated condominium community along the 11th and 12th fairways of the Hassayampa Golf Club. The 30 luxury condos start at $239,900.
The company's Villages at Hassayampa condos are nearly sold out. And its Aspen Creek Meadows offers 68 townhomes, with prices starting at $359,900.
In early 2003, Canavest plans to open Willow Park Estates, with 50 luxury townhomes overlooking the 18th green at Prescott Lakes, and Bloominghills Estates, a development of 98 homes planned next to Prescott Lakes.
Work starts on Avondale complex
Work is starting on the Avondale Civic Center on 115th Avenue a half mile south of Van Buren Street. The $22 million government complex will be the new home for City Hall, a police administration building and a municipal court. The 60-acre parcel also will have space for future commercial construction.
Sundt Construction is the contractor, and SmithGroup is the architect. The work is scheduled for completion in late 2003.
Consultant returns to Valley
A construction consulting company is in the process of shifting its corporate offices from San Diego to metro Phoenix, the home city of President and Chief Executive Charles Dahill Jr.
PinnacleOne will keep a regional office in San Diego, along with those in Sacramento, Los Angeles, and Irvine, Calif.; Hartford, Conn.; and the New York City area. Dahill said the company has satellite offices in Tucson and Flagstaff.
The company's construction consulting expertise is in program and project management, dispute avoidance and resolution, and real property advisory services.
"We're a true consulting company in that we represent and provide advice and input on anything related to design and construction," Dahill said. "Our primary role is representing owners, investors and lenders."
Dahill joined the company in 1990 as general manager. Two years ago, he became president and chief executive. For several years, he worked in San Diego.
Dahill said about 70 percent of the company's work is in the public sector, with the rest in private industry.