The Dealmaker: 9/18/2017

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The Dealmaker is a daily note of the day’s top real estate stories served just in time for lunch. Bon Appetit! Subscribe here to receive the Dealmaker to your inbox



GOING, GOING, GONE – Investors line up to buy bargain homes at Phoenix HOA foreclosure auction. “Since 2015, bidders have purchased more than 400 Phoenix-area homes at HOA foreclosure auctions… [B]idding is so competitive that investors are removing the sheets with the list of HOA auctions posted in the courthouse, so others can’t see what homes are going on the block that day.” Who reigns supreme as the Valley’s top “HOA foreclosure investor”? And what happens to any money left over after liens are paid? Find out in this Arizona Republic investigation.

Millennials, Baby Boomers agree on one thing: the condominium. “The Valley of the Sun — the city of Scottsdale in particular — has become a hotbed for luxury multifamily housing construction with hundreds of new units expected to come to market over the next 12 to 24 months.” Scottsdale Independent surveys the Valley’s multifamily landscape, with industry experts weighing in on “emerging Millennial clients and established Baby Boomer buyers.”

[OPINION] Principle & principals at work, and not, with Phoenix’s Chinese Cultural Center. The “Private Property Rights Protection Act” of 2006, Phoenix Planning Director Alan Stephenson, and Sir Thomas More in a Man For All Seasons — each come into play in this Arizona Progress & Gazette piece supporting “the new owner of the twenty-year old Chinese Cultural Center near 44th and Van Buren,” and each convey lessons that stand in stark contrast to the actions of those trying to “dictate” what this new owner should do with the property.

Tempe strip rebuilds as Mesa center finds hope. “After more than a decade of disuse and decay, there are at last signs of hope that Mesa’s infamous Fiesta Village shopping center can be revived. Meanwhile in Tempe, the site of the former Lake Country Village is seeing exactly that — rebirth as an urban-style, mixed-use center where people can literally walk out their doors to work, shop or dine.” East Valley Tribune.

Construction in AZ: Busy, but… “Has the Construction market in AZ fully recovered from the 2008-2009-2010 crash?” AZBEX’s Rebekah Morris and Roland Murphy analyze “sales tax data and employment data” in search of a “more accurate picture of the current level of construction activity.” They kick it all off with a “Roller Coaster” graph that they call “The Scariest Ride The Construction Industry Has Ever Been On.”

EdgeConneX may expand data center ops. AZBEX: “Loop 202 & Elliot Road LLC (c/o EdgeConneX Holdings LLC) paid $10.2M for [’55 undeveloped acres’] at the NEC of Hawes and Elliot roads… BREW claims EdgeConneX ‘is on a fast track to start construction on what likely will be a phased development,’ and may be planning to purchase more land in the area.”

Local teen wants to rescue old Casa Grande Mall. “17-year-old Casa Grande resident [Travis Sewell-Jones] wants to revamp the empty property into an entertainment center for local youths. He said he’s in the process of developing a business plan and hopes to have something running by early next year.” Casa Grande Dispatch. 

Sedona debates landlocked parcel. “The Sedona City Council was asked to give input into a long-standing issue of 27 landlocked acres across Oak Creek from Poco Diablo Resort. After nearly two hours of discussion [last week], council gave direction to staff… to pen a letter to the U.S. Forest Service listing its thoughts and concerns.” More on the debate, plus some of the “thoughts and concerns” that may be included in the letter — at Red Rock News.

Vote on Deep Well Ranch project set for Sept. 28. “[Prescott P&Z] conducted its fifth review of the 1,800-acre project [on] Sept. 14, and opted to wait until its next meeting on Sept. 28 to consider a vote…” Daily Courier reporter Cindy Barks brings us up to speed on commissioners’ “concerns and suggestions” for Deep Well Ranch, a project that may include as many as “10,500 dwelling units” and which “could bring about 26,250 new residents.”

The Mark at Tucson student housing land sale closes at Broadway & Park for $4.6 million. “The Mark at Tucson will be on 2.56 acres and have 154-units with 595-beds in a layered 4- going to 6-story building with a five-story parking structure… [It] will encompass a full city block at Broadway Blvd. and Park Avenue, bordered by Tyndall and 10th Street, between the high growth are of Downtown and the University of Arizona.” RED.

Payson Council approves working with group on university project.Backers of a plan to build a university in Payson envision a $1.1 billion, 254-acre campus. Roundup reports that if “Payson ever does lure a university to town — the zoning, street widths, building inspections and a myriad of other details have already been worked out.” Tap through for info on the amendments approved last week by the town council

Which infrastructure tools are propelling the Valley’s economy “Funding is still an issue, but there are many funded projects already under construction focused on Metro Phoenix’s infrastructure for its planes, trains and automobiles.” AzBigMedia has a “breakdown of some vital infrastructure projects happening right now.” –> 

Anthem Country Club considers raising dues and adding a fee on home sales. “The latter fee, which would amount to $750 on a $300,000 home, would be in addition to a similar quarter percent fee that the Anthem Community Council collects on the sale of every home in Anthem.” North Phoenix News has “reproduced verbatim” the newsletter that was sent from the Anthem Country Club Community Association Board of Directors to residents.

Sedona updated on sign code progress. “The current city code states that the only off-premises signs that are allowed are for garage sales and real estate open houses. But due to [the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Reed vs. Town of Gilbert], cities are now faced with an all-or-nothing scenario when it comes to these types of signs.” Red Rock News reports, however, that city staff “feels it’s found the middle ground…”

Q&A: Casey outlines the effect of housing on economic development. Scottsdale Independent newspaper reached out to Scottsdale Economic Development Director Danielle Casey to better understand how housing options have an impact on economic development efforts.”

U.S. mortgage rates hold steady at 2017 low mark. “The 30-year fixed mortgage averaged 3.78 percent for the week ending Sept. 14, the same as the previous week. A year ago, mortgage rates stood at 3.5 percent.” Sean Becketti, chief economist at Freddie Mac, has a little something to say about the figures, in Dayton Business Journal (which is essentially Phoenix Business Journal, except it’s in Dayton and covers mostly biz news there in Ohio, not here.)

Cameron’s $5M + deals of the day –

As a supplement to the Dealmaker, we thought you might enjoy these articles!


Unlike most industries, drone makers and operators clamor for federal regulation; Lauren Reynolds, Rose Law Group litigator focusing on privacy and cybersecurity, calls current regs ‘insufficient.’ “[The FAA] has given limited approvals for small, remotely piloted aircraft… But for many leaders of a budding industry… progress is too slow…” Lauren Reynolds: “Although the regulations for the commercial use of drones issued by the FAA in August of 2016 allow for certain exemptions, those regulations proved insufficient for the growing industry from the moment they came out… The delay in sufficient regulation… threatens to stall innovation and the implementation of drones in commercial industries. ” Lauren’s full comment and link to the WSJ piece here:

Valley workers had highest wage increases in US. “From July 2016 to this July, hourly wages grew 7.6 percent, according to a release from the city of Phoenix using the latest labor numbers. The average hourly wage in Phoenix grew nearly $2 in the past year, from $24.87 to $26.75.” But could these figures actually be artificially inflated due to Prop. 206 and a higher minimum wage? Cronkite News. 

Voucher expansion ballot measure prompts questions on voter protection. “Proposition 305 will not only put the fate of school voucher expansion into the hands of Arizonans, but is also likely to set precedent on how the Voter Protection Act applies to referenda. The argument is sure to be made that whatever voters decide in the 2018 general election–approval or rejection–is protected, and any result may be less than ideal for those who want to see the expansion proceed. Let the speculation begin…” in Arizona Capitol Times. 

Grant funding reductions at EPA delaying air and water programs in Arizona. “The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality expects reductions in grant funding from the federal Environmental Protection Agency, but a lack of specifics have impeded planning, Arizona Capitol Times reported.” Check out programs on the “chopping block”:

Dealing with Democrats? Protecting ‘Dreamers’? Here in Arizona that’s just fine with these Trump supporters. “Trump’s fiery rhetoric and promise to seal the U.S. border with Mexico attracted millions of supporters in last year’s election… But as Trump shifted this week to a softer approach on the young immigrants in legal limbo through no fault of their own, many of his most die-hard supporters moved right along with him…”  The Los Angeles Times. 

Amid opioid crisis, insurers restrict pricey, less addictive painkillers.“Drugmakers, pharmaceutical distributors, pharmacies and doctors have come under intense scrutiny in recent years, but the role that insurers — and the pharmacy benefit managers that run their drug plans — have played in the opioid crisis has received less attention. That may be changing, however.” The New York Times. 

Studio Ma-designed Great Hearts Academies opens to students Read more

McCarthy Building Companies updates Mingus Union High School Read more

Phoenix Investment Real Estate Market Picks Up After Slow Start Read more

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September 2017