Slugging it out – Reasons and opinions on the economic recovery










“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”

-Mark Twain


Oct 2, 2014, 3:58pm MST Eric Jay Toll Reporter-Phoenix Business Journal

he license plate on a car I once owned was “SEVANY,” Self-Employed, Vacation Anytime Next Year.” The plate hanging on the garage wall should be hung on the Arizona economic recovery. Upon being told that the recovery’s coming — in 2016 — there was almost a collective Charlie Brown “auughh” from the 600 business professionals at the 2015 SRP Economic Forecast presented by the Phoenix Business Journal.

Lucy may as well have pulled the football during the run-up for the kick.

Economic experts John Manzella and Mark Stapp played their way through reasons for the sluggish recovery and had the x’s and o’s charted for the market confidence impacts.

John Manzella is president of Manzella Trade Communications, a strategic communication publishing and consultancy. Stapp is professor of real estate practice and executive director of the Master of Real Estate Development program, W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University.

Manzella took the session’s opening kick and ran the group through a gloomy look at the reasons the economy can’t get out of the red zone. He moved the ball with professional optimism when seeing open down-field economic indicators. There’s always next season.

Stapp passed down field to what his CRE players in the Commercial Real Estate Brokers’ Forum are saying about the current season and looking ahead to the playoffs.

The experts are reading from the recovery playbook, with 92 percent of those surveyed using the word “recovery” in describing the cycle. The brokers huddled and 79 percent said the Phoenix market is moving up.

A strong 71 percent jumped off the bench agreeing that uncertainty in the federal government is affecting the commercial real estate market and hindering growth.

During half-time, the team put all hands in and 93 percent cheered “optimistic” on the overall CRE market feeling. Crunching back out on the field, only 29 percent thought interest rates are climbing and no one on the team said investor returns are headed up.

It’s kind of a fantasy football for CRE to try and make sense of the numbers, but some of the Forum members’ comments were noted by Stapp.

“The Phoenix metro,” said one, “is acting more like a more mature urban setting.”

“Don’t expect big changes in 2015,” said another, echoing the thrust of both Mazella’s and Stapp’s presentation.

Another Forum member said the market is poised for growth, “we’re armed and dangerous,” was the phrase.

What Forum members are saying about market

  • 64% – Apartment rents are going up
  • 29% – Big box industrial rents going up
  • 43% – Landlord industrial market
  • 50% – Office rents headed up
  • 8% – Unanchored retail center rents headed up
  • 29% – Anchored retail center rents going up






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I am a successful Commercial Investment Real Estate Broker in Arizona now for 20 years and I worked with banks and their commercial REO properties for 3 years. I am also a commercial landspecialist in Phoenix and a Landspecialist in Arizona.





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