Film Channel relocates from MN to NM

A Copyrighted article from the NM Business Weekly indicates that Albuquerque has landed 100 new jobs and a corporate headquarters for the ReelzChannel.

Gov. Bill Richardson made the announcement today with Stan E. Hubbard, chairman and CEO of ReelzChannel – TV About Movies. ReelzChannel is owned by Hubbard Media Group, which also owns KOB-TV, Channel 4, in Albuquerque.

With this addition, maybe its time for the Hubbard Media group to look at relocating Channel 4 from the back end of the Albuquerque Country Club to the middle of downtown. Doing so would create more vibrancy (think of Good Morning America) around downtown and would free up some valuable land near the Bosque, Kit Carson Park, Zoo/Bio Park for additional residential development.

Suncal goes on the offensive and promotes TIDDs

Suncal, the recent buyer of Westland’s 64,000 acres, originally known as the Atrisco Land grant, has started promoting the benefits of Tax Increment Development Districts or TIDDS as it continues to seek the City’s approval of its development plan.

TIDDS are also in the works for the redevelopment of the Winrock shopping center (named for one of its original developers, Winthrop Rockfeller) and for the Quorum (ABQ Uptown Phase III).

How far will retailers go to understand how you buy?

In the December 20th, 2008 issue, the Economist covers the latest trends in how Retailers are analyzing your shopping habits.

Would you believe?
– Camera’s that read your facial patterns?
– receiver’s that record your wherebouts based on your cell phone?
– reorganizing the store so the things you buy the most are in the back?
– video cameras hooked up to computers that “mine” your traffic patterns, expressions, and more?

It all reminds me of Paco Underhill’s Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping-Updated and Revised for the Internet, the Global Consumer, and Beyond a favorite read of mine.

Another example of how the media doesn’t understand how real estate works…

In a story created by the Daily News (yes created, not reported), the Daily News “stole” the Empire State buidling by filing fraudulent deeds on the property transferring ownership to themselves.

The story then goes on to report, that once ownership is obtained, its easy for the new owner to obtain a mortgage.

While I am not sure of the real estate laws in New York, in most states in the country, doing what the Daily news did would be considered a slander of title…but hardly a transfer.

The story goes on to report that the office of the city register doesn’t bother to verify deeds prior to filing.

Ok, so Daily News, here is your Real Estate 101 lesson. By filing a document (any document including a deed), you are “noticing” the public about your interest in the property. Any investor/buyer who purchased the property, would obtain a property title report from a title conmpany would insure against bogus claims of ownership.

If it has a garage, is it real estate?


There is often a fine line between real estate and personal property.

Manufactured homes are often considerd personal property, unless they are affixed to the ground, wheels removed, and the appear to be even more like real esate if a garage is added.

So what happens when you add a garage to a mobile home ?

Well the result isn’t inexpensive, but it sure is cool!

Thanks to the guys over at for the tip on the latest in mobile real estate.

Thanks to CIRE Magazine – an overview of how a commercial Realtor can position themselves in the downturns

One CCIM shares how starting a consulting business can help during an economic downturn

By Todd D. Clarke, CCIM 

After a few years in the business and having completed more than 400 apartment transactions, I became focused on how to get paid for what I knew versus what I could do. Having been through the ups and downs of economic cycles, I didn’t want all of my income generated from a source that had variables I couldn’t control, such as an economic meltdown and fluctuations in interest rates. You can work for years on a client relationship, precisely price a property through analysis, execute the perfect marketing plan, find a buyer, and put a property under contract, only to have the whole deal blow up because of forces outside your control. The commercial real estate industry has experienced this nationally during the 1980 Resolution Trust Corp. days and most recently in the current credit crunch.

continued here…

FAA approves Upham, NM for a space port…

The old adage about location, location, location certainly applies to Upham, NM.

Whats that you say? Where the H-E, double hockey sticks is Uphan? As a native NM who was born not too far from there, I’m afraid to tell you I didn’t know where Upham was until a couple of years ago when the Governor and Sir Richard Branson announced their plan to launch tourists, I mean paying astronauts, into space.

What is now a slab in the ground will soon look like this:

Courtesy Virgina Galactic, Dekker/Perich/Sabitini
Courtesy Virgina Galactic, Dekker/Perich/Sabitini
Rides into space are selling for a rumored to be selling for about  $200,000 – New Mexican’s can book travel here with All World Travel .
More on the FAA’s approval process can be found at .

So how does location fit in? Upham, New Mexico is located just west of the WhiteSand Missile Range which is one of North America’s largest no-fly zones and as the FAA report mentions, there isn’t much out here to be impacted by a rocket launch…

Multifamily Financing Update – A roller coast ride!

I’d like to thank Jamie Dick for allowing me to reprint this fabulous overview of the current capital markets and their impact on multifamily.


The roller coaster that is the 10-year Treasury has continued to be a wild ride with today’s rate closing at an astounding 2.60%!!!  A quick review of the attached chart will show you exactly what this means…the 10-year Treasury is now at it’s lowest level since these rates started being tracked.  Normally this bodes well for income property owners as normally a drop in this index results in a drop in the cost of long term debt for properties.  However, if you haven’t noticed already, these are not normal times


T Bills
T Bills




Perhaps the best example of this is what’s been happening is at Fannie Mae with it’s apartment lending program.  Fannie Mae has effectively established a “soft floor” on their all-in rates.  As the 10-year Treasury has dropped over the past 3 weeks Fannie Mae has matched each drop in the 10-year with an increase in their spreads…effectively resulting in no drop in the rates they charge for new apartment loans.  Why?  There are many reasons but perhaps the best explanation is because they can!  With the entire life insurance industry closed for new loans through the end of the year (at least) Fannie and Freddie Mac find themselves in a position of no competition.  If you want a loan for an apartment project with a balance over $10,000,000 you really have very few other choices…especially if you want that loan to be non-recourse. 


Borrowers/owners should make note of this trend as 2009 is sure to see this dynamic for all office, industrial and retail properties.  Conduit related lending on income property over the last 5 years represented 45-50% of all loan dollars available.  With the secondary market for income property loans shutdown for the foreseeable future borrowers will be faced with a lending environment with fewer choices.  As part of my wider lender survey during the last several weeks my discussions with the 20 life insurance companies we work with found all of them currently not accepting any new loan submissions.  They all are waiting to see what their respective “allocations” will be for 2009 but expect that when they do return to the market spreads will be in the 350-450 range.  With the annual Commercial/Multifamily Finance Conference scheduled for the 1st week of February we will all should have a clear idea what the income property lending environment for 2009 will be by the end of January.  Having said that expect pricing to stay at these levels or higher for at least the first six months of the year with maximum LTV’s at 60-65%. 


One of the more interesting trends to monitor for 2009 may be an unusually large number of larger, institutional quality apartment properties coming to the market.  While speaking with the owner of a $12 Billion real estate pension advisor today he mentioned he thought this might be the case with the sellers being pension advisors.  With the drop in the value of pension plans stock portfolios they find themselves with “over allocations” for real estate.  This may result in many pension funds requesting redemptions on their holdings in pension advisor managed funds in order to re-balance their overall investment portfolios.  This pension advisor indicated that in the current (and expected 2009) real estate environment the property type whose value has held up the best is apartments.  This is due to still solid fundamentals (i.e. vacancies) and the availability of debt for potential buyers (Fannie/Freddie/etc.).  Investors who have an interest may want to begin to gather investor capital as some good quality properties may be headed to the market.  A VERY interesting potential aspect of this trend may be these sellers ability to carry-back seller financing to enhance a property’s market attractiveness.  If a seller has this ability look for industrial and office properties to hit the market as well.  Retail looks to be the hardest hit by the current recession going forward.


Lastly expect that the most active life insurance companies next may be the small or medium sized firms.  These LC’s find themselves with far fewer portfolio problems as they typically did not invest in CMBS bonds or compete as aggressively with conduit lenders during the 2006-2007 hyper lending period.  Once again they will take advantage of the lack of competition by demanding more spread for more conservatively underwritten loans.


As Always, if I may help you or your clients with their income property financing needs please give me a call.  I hope you and your family all have a wonderful Holiday Season!


Happy Holidays!




James M. Dick
Senior Director

Real Estate Finance Group
Cushman & Wakefield of San Diego, Inc.

4435 Eastgate Mall, Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92121

Tel: (858)334-4021
Fax: (858)334-6718
Cell: (858)735-5963

Higest and Best Use Analysis…for a space shuttle?

Tampa Bay Fox News is reporting that NASA has issued a Request for Inquiries for potential uses for three soon to be retired space shuttles.  Space shuttles Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour are slated to be mothballed and sold off for approx. $42M each.  Shipping is likely to be $6M, and I’m guessing that since these are larger than 75lbs, they won’t be delivered by our friendly UPS driver, Tony.

Since New Mexico is part of the space shuttle program, it seems only fitting that we should have our own space shuttle. And what better use than installed a newly built Space/Air musuem?

What do you say Mayor? Can we add one of these to a new Space musuem?

(If you are curious, the Space Shuttle will most likely be delivered on the back of one of NASA;s 747’s – thanks to the guys at for turning us on to this photo.

Book Reccomendation – Measuring America (the tie between Democracy and Real Estate ownership)

Measuring America: How an Untamed Wilderness Shaped the United States and Fulfilled the Promise of Democracy by Andro Linklater

This book has turned out to be one of my favorite real estate reads.  Although many of America’s founding fathers were surveyors (George Washington and Thomas Jefferson included) this book extends its reach much further than just surveying the United States of America.

Politics, measurement systems, legal systems and the history of the acquistion/annexation of the lands that make up our fair country are all wound up into one compelling story that is underpinnned by one fundamental ideal – that those who “own” property are likely to active particpants in a viable democracy.

Items of interest that I was pleased to discover in this book:

– A renaissance of knowledge and learning was the vibrantly cradling our world and the people of the time who pushed the boundaries of idea and thought.

– the metric system was based on nature, where as the current American and former British systems of measurement were based on man

– Prior to the adoption of standard measurements, measurements of land were often based on how much land one man could plough in a day

–  Jefferson was one of the primary proponets of adoption of the Metric system

– the township and range divison of our country can be traced back to the surveyor’s chain

– the conversion of the 6 x6 township range to metric system (and thus all of the legal descriptions) would be all but impossible today

– Metes and Bounds (as in surveys) – actually was called Buttes and Bounds by Master (Surveyor) John Fitzherbet’s book, the Art of Husbandry, published in 1523 (p.7)

– The lack of standardized measurements was one of many components that our Congress debated in the creation of the founding papers that led to the creation of this country.

– Many of our original 13 colonies were founded as English Companies whose boundaries were described as latitudal numbers assuming the states ran from the Atlantic seaboard west to the Pacific Ocean (p. 30-31)

– In the early 1600’s, The Virginia company lost 6,000 of it’s 7,300 migrants and encouraged immigration by offering “headright” of 50 acres to anyone who would emigrate- by the 1630’s more people came to the state than those that perished in it, and those 50 acre parcel started to sell for about $1.25 per “headright”.   

 -Thomas Jefferson’s father, Peter Jefferson  surveyed the southern boundary of 5 million acre estate of Lord Fairfax of Virginia (p. 38)

– George Washington at one point ownewd 52,000 acres across six states.

– The Viriginia Consitution drawn up in 1776 by  George Mason read “That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights…namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.” (p.48)

– “Democracy depended on getting the land into the hands of the people” (p. 72) 

– Land bubbles were created and caused by the mismatch between demand and supply (p. 148)

Patrick Henry created America’s first land trust in 1765, known as the North American Land Company. 

– The Louisiana Purchased involved $15M and an unknown quantity of land, which once measured, indicated that USA paid France about 5 cents per acre.
– As the Federal Government encouraged homesteading, the “section” and measurement of couldn’t have been made any easier (a quarter section is approx. 250 “double paces” or 440 yards x 440 yards) (p. 169)
– Manhattan was subdivided in such a way to encourage growth and make it readily apparent where the city’s master plan was headed
– My home state, NM was exceedingly difficult to survey due to the land grants which had the 1890 surveyor general remarking “Certain title to the land is the foundation of all values. Enterprise in this Territory is greatly retarded because that foundation is so lacking” (“Handicapped by the absence of a market in land, the New Mexico economy was slow to develop before the twentieth century, and much of the capital then had to come from the outside.” (p. 221)
– The railroads were land developers and in the 1800’s sold about 120 million acres, outstripping the 80 million acres the USA offered as free homesteads (p.228)

If any of the above tidbits whet your appetite to learn more about how our country grew, I would highly recommend this read.

* Link is a referal program to – any proceeds from book purchases are donated to the CCIM Education Foundation

Quorum (ABQ uptown Phase III)

In a copyrighted story by the Albuqueruque Journal Phase III of the very successful ABQ Uptown project is in the planning stages. Cantera Consultants & Advisors Inc. consulted on Phase II (ABQ Uptown apartments) and Phase III (Quorum).

Monday, May 5, 2008

3rd Phase of ABQ Uptown Includes Hotel, Offices, Shops, Condos and Parking Structures

By Richard Metcalf
Copyright © 2008 Albuquerque Journal; Journal Staff Writer
Quorum, the moniker of Hunt Development Group’s final and arguably most ambitious phase of its ABQ Uptown development, is designed to capture a densely developed and stylishly designed mix of uses.
Included in the $100 million project are a seven-story hotel, offices for both lease and purchase, shops, residential condos and extensive parking structures on the now-vacant 7.5 acres bounded by Louisiana, Indian School and Uptown Loop NE.
“It’s a one-of-a-kind piece of dirt,” said Trent Stafford, a Hunt vice president in charge of the project. “You can do things here you couldn’t pull off anywhere else in this market.”
The name of the third phase— Quorum— follows a “Q” theme established in the opening phase of ABQ Uptown, the lifestyle center with its chic stores and restaurants. The center has a tower with an illuminated Q on top. (Q also serves as a trendy slang abbreviation for Albuquerque.)
The second phase of the project, ABQ Uptown Village, has 198 apartments just west of the lifestyle center on the north side of Indian School.
Still under construction, the apartment project should be ready for tours by potential tenants in late May, said Terri Brown of Southwest Real Estate Advisors Inc.
The first tenants are expected to move in in June, said Brown, whose company will manage the apartment complex.

Almost a half-million square feet
Quorum, at a total of approximately 490,000 square feet on three blocks, would be the most dense use of land outside of Downtown, Stafford said.
Hunt Development’s goal is to begin construction late this year or early 2009. The roughly $100 million project would take about two years to build, Stafford said.
The first major component of the third phase would be a two-level underground parking structure that would take up roughly half of the site. The structure would have about 530 spaces.
The preliminary ground-level layout shows five buildings, a plaza and a park. One of the lifestyle center’s main thoroughfares, Q Street, would be extended south into the Quorum phase.
The highest-profile building would be a seven-story, 152,000-square-foot hotel near Louisiana and Uptown Loop.
A hotel that size would have about 200 rooms. Negotiations are under way with a hospitality company to own and operate it.
Two mixed-use buildings are also proposed:

A two- and three-story building with up to 80,000 square feet of offices. The ground floor of one wing in the L-shaped building would be used for retail.

A five-story building at the corner of Indian School and Uptown Loop would have some retail on the first floor and its own parking. The top three floors would have about 95,000 square feet of residential condos. Condo owners would have access to a rooftop swimming pool above a second-floor parking level.
The final phase would also have two restaurant buildings, both single story, along Louisiana.

Parking assistance
Hunt Development plans to seek approval of a Tax Increment Development District to cover the cost of the parking structures.
A TIDD is an incentive for private development of a designated area that meets a local government’s land-use goals and objectives.
A TIDD works by diverting a portion of the gross receipts and property taxes generated in the designated area from government coffers to a special fund to pay for infrastructure improvements.
Hunt will seek approval of its proposed TIDD from the city, county and state, Stafford said. Details are still being worked out.
City Councilor Sally Mayer, who represents Uptown, said she expected city approval of the TIDD because the Quorum project is urban infill— one of the goals of the TIDD program.
Vacant for just more than 20 years, the property currently generates no tax revenue, “but a lot of dust,” she said.
The southeast corner of Louisiana and Indian School NE was home to Monroe Junior High School from 1952 to 1974.
Albuquerque Public Schools closed the school due to commercial development and traffic congestion in Uptown, but continued to use the building until mid-1987.
The property was sold to a private development company, which tore down the building in 1988 and then defaulted on its purchase.
APS regained ownership of the land and, in early 2002, sold it to Hunt Development.
Hunt plans to submit its proposed development plan to the city Environmental Planning Commission in June.
Mayer said the proposal, with its residential condo component, conforms with the current Uptown Sector Plan.
Adopted in 1995, the sector plan says past ideas for developing the Monroe site included a 400-room hotel and 500,000 square feet of office space.