Scottsdale City Council approves initiation of DC Ranch park planning. (Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents Great Hearts in working with the City of Scottsdale to help develop a public park.) “The City Hall Kiva was packed… with… residents, many of whom were there to show their support for a potential park/athletic field on a 12.8-acre site on the corner of Pima… and Union Hills…” Commenting on the city’s decision to “venture down a road partnering with Great Hearts,” one resident said, “I think this is a beautiful example of how different groups can come together and collaborate to create good news for all the constitutes involved.” Get full coverage of Tuesday’s public hearing at Scottsdale Independent. http://bit.ly/2oNacfS
Court brief alleges South Mountain Freeway planning is an abuse of discretion. And that’s not all that was alleged in the brief. The attorney for the Ahwatukee opposition group Protect Arizona’s Resources and Children also stated that the “approval of the South Mountain Freeway Agency ‘was arbitrary, capricious… or otherwise not in accordance with law.” And the immediate impact of the latest legal salvo in this decade-long fight? According to Ahwatukee Foothills News, “work is proceeding along most of the 22-mile freeway.” (Additionally, ideas are being floated for a “high-tech manufacturing corridor” on the freeway — see item below.) http://bit.ly/2p8dBsP
Phoenix wants to create high-tech manufacturing corridor on new freeway. “Mayor Greg Stanton wants to develop technology and manufacturing focused business parks along the new South Mountain Freeway.” Phoenix Business Journal reports that there are “plenty of real estate developers and investors who have already bought or are eyeing properties…” More about the “South Mountain Technology Corridor” in PBJ’s coverage of the mayor’s State of City Address.
AN AHWA-KOOKY REQUEST? – Organization asks court to change Ahwatukee Lakes Golf Course land-use regulations. “True Life last week asked the same judge presiding over a homeowners’ lawsuit against the company to change the CC&Rs governing the 101-acre site — a move that would pave the way for the next step in the company’s effort to create an ‘agrihood’ called Ahwatukee Farms.” Ahwatukee Foothills News. http://bit.ly/2oNrHg1
Main Street Place set for downtown Scottsdale debut at Center Park. “The project… is on the ‘quiet side’ of Main Street, at the entry to Scottsdale Civic Center Park” Get details on the “over all design plan” — with its “urban cul-de-sac” feel — and view renderings, at Scottsdale Independent. http://bit.ly/2pmqI8e
Ground broken for Chandler downtown development Overstreet. “The 77,000-square-foot project will be built along the south side of Chandler Boulevard between Arizona Avenue and California Street and will probably attract two restaurants in addition to Flix [Brewhouse], and possibly a clothing boutique and fitness center. A 350-spot parking structure is also planned.” East Valley Tribune has further details on Overstreet along with a layout shot of this LGE Design Build project. http://bit.ly/2pqg96c
Queen Creek continues process to annex two San Tan Valley properties. The properties are: “Banner Health’s Banner Ironwood Medical Center… on Gantzel… south of Combs; and Amerco… located at the [SE] corner of Ellsworth [and] Empire… The public hearings, which were attended by a number of San Tan Valley residents, identified several areas of misinformation regarding the annexation process….” Details on the April 19th hearings along with a link to an update, in Queen Creek Independent. http://bit.ly/2qaZlhs
Pollack study shows hotel demand growing for Casa Grande. “[The Elliott Pollack and Co.] survey — ‘Lodging Market Study Pinal County, Arizona’ — provides an insight to what kind of demand will exist for hotel rooms in the interstates 8 and 10 general area.” Here’s a snippet from the study: “Dreamport Village will likely demand the addition of 500 to 750 off-site hotel rooms to the market area in addition to the 500 rooms planned in the first phase of the project.” Area officials weigh in on the survey results in Apache Junction Independent. http://bit.ly/2pDBsCg
As a supplement to the Dealmaker, we thought you might enjoy these articles!
A SEVEN-STEP PROGRAM – Maricopa economic development strategic plan calls for total buy-in.
“The City Council contracted IO.INC in December to create a comprehensive economic strategic plan that would outline the strengths and weaknesses of Maricopa’s economy… The company met with elected officials, city staff, business owners, developers, local organizations and more.” Maricopa Monitor
looks at IO’s conclusions and lays out the “seven steps the city can take to improve its economic development.” http://bit.ly/2qcfJ42
Amid shutdown talk, states and cities seek clues to the future. “[S]tates and localities are watching this week’s developments with a wary eye. A federal shutdown of a few days won’t break budgets. Any longer, however, and it becomes a genuine economic concern.” Using 2013’s government shutdown as a guide, Governing’s finance reporter Liz Farmer looks at how the “tenor of [this week’s] negotiations could provide a window for states and localities into what to expect from future budget debates…” http://bit.ly/2oQurKc
Federal cuts threaten to derail light rail, trolley projects, says Valley Metro chief. Besides jeopardizing expansion of light rail and the Tempe trolly, CEO Scott Smith said the cuts “could also hobble the economic development that often accompanies investments in transit infrastructure.” Meanwhile, a Heritage Foundation policy analyst has a different take: “I’m not terribly surprised that they don’t like (the cuts)… Free money is incredibly popular. Especially when it comes to capital investment grants, you’d be hard-pressed to find a transportation program that provides worse incentives for localities.” Cronkite News. http://bit.ly/2qcu1BG
A MONUMENTAL CASE? – Trump’s executive order puts 4 national monuments in Arizona in jeopardy. “There are 18 national monuments in Arizona, the most of any state.” Find out which four are under review in USA TODAY, and also learn how this may “force a question never before tested in the 111-year history of the Antiquities Act: Whether one president can nullify a previous president’s proclamation establishing a national monument.” http://bit.ly/2qb1p9k
SRP agrees to purchase power from proposed Pinal solar plant. “[T]he utility company will purchase all of the energy produced by Pinal Central Energy Center… The project is owned and operated by Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources…. 20 megawatts of solar power budgeted for the project could serve… 5,000 average residential homes.” However, Casa Grande Dispatch reports that there are some in the area who aren’t seeing the sunny side of the proposed plant. http://bit.ly/2pDtJny
Our View: Bad bill undermines Arizona’s good water law. “Any changes made to reflect the urbanization of rural areas need to be done carefully to avoid 1) undermining this law, 2) depleting ground water supplies and/or 3) creating unsustainable developments.” And in the view of AZCentral’s editorial board, “[Senate Bill 1309 ] fails all three tests.” http://bit.ly/2oQqhlu
More Backpage.com contributions to Arizona pols reported. Did “Rep. Tom O’Halleran and another Arizona Democratic representative [accept] political donations from people associated with a Website suspected of promoting child sex trafficking”? That’s what state GOP officials are alleging. But according to this White Mountain Independent report from Michael Johnson, “O’Halleran… vehemently denies knowingly accepting money from executives and family members of those associated with Backpage…” Read the story in Casa Grand Dispatch. http://bit.ly/2pDEPcv