The Dealmaker: 9/7/2017

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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




Casa Grande council ‘absolutely’ approves Dreamport agreement.(Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents The Block Sports Group.) “The council already had issued initial approval for giving tax incentives to the Block Sports Company last month so it can develop a 1,500-acre [‘sun-drenched land of rides, attractions and hotels’]… But state law required the city to give the development agreement a second read Tuesday night. The council unanimously approved the agreement a second time… [as] some council members vocalized their excitement by stating ‘absolutely’ instead of delivering the generic ‘yes.’” Casa Grand Dispatch.

Appeals Court sides with Maricopa in Apex suit. (Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents APEX Motor Club.) [The Arizona Court of Appeals] stated the trial court erred when it ordered the city clerk to forward petitions to the county recorder… The ruling gives new life to Apex Motor Club, which seeks to develop land on the northwest corner of town.” And, according to this report from inMaricopa,the ruling also “means the Nov. 7 election date is quashed.” Mayor Christian Price: “Obviously, I think, the city is elated.”

LOTS HAPPENING IN THE WV – Three home builders purchase 61 acres in West Valley. KB, Lennar, and Meritage purchased the property from Marbella Ranch for $5,187,000. The site, located at the NW corner of El Mirage and Glendale Avenue in Glendale, will include 254 lots for single-family homes.  For further details, including the number of lots each homebuilder purchased, tap to Rose Law Group Reporter.

Apartments going up in Glendale’s Westgate Entertainment District.“Westgate developer iStar has started construction on 76 loft-style apartments in a building next to Gila River Arena… The apartments will be located on the third and fourth floors of a building that is home to Bar Louie, Kabuki Japanese Restaurant and Tavern + Bowl.” AZCentral also reports that these “lofts will be the first new apartments to go up in Glendale in nearly a decade.”

Park Place: Dispute may go to court. “N-Shea Group and its principal, Bart Shea, have filed for a temporary restraining order to prevent [the Town of Fountain Hills] from shutting down construction [on the Park Place project on Avenue of the Fountains] for $453,611 in unpaid development fees… Shea’s court filing states that ‘an emergency intervention by the court is needed to bar defendant from shutting down the project until the right to development fees cause of action is resolved.’” FHT. 

[SLIDESHOW] The Valley’s Best Places To Live 2017: What’s new. “From super-cool condos with smart-home tech and resort-style amenities to high-end family residences replete with the most fab of fixtures and finishes, these new local housing options prove that moving in means moving up.” In Arizona Foothills Magazine.

Time to build a single-family home in 2016. “[T]he average completion time of a single-family house is around 7.5 months, which usually includes almost a month from authorization to start and another 6.5 months to finish the construction,” according to the Census Bureau’s 2016 Survey of Construction. Get the survey breakdown, including permit-start-completion times for Arizona, at EyeOnHousing.

Home is where the wealth is. “Holding onto your home for a long period of time over the last decade meant a serious return on investment, especially in some of the nation’s hottest housing markets.” Builder takes a look at a new Zillow study of “cities where sellers saw the greatest return on investment.” How does Phoenix measure up? –>

The formula behind the success of LGI’s entry-level model. In a Builder VIDEO that comes in at just under 3 minutes, Eric Lipar, CEO of LGI discusses this entry-level home along with “four key reasons for his company’s astounding growth.”

Redfin Housing Demand Index dipped in July as inventory shortage deepened. “The Redfin Housing Demand Index fell 5.0 percent from its all-time high of 130 in June to 124 in July. Still, the Demand Index was up 29.7 percent year over year.” More on the HDI, plus Chief economist Nela Richardson weighs in on the “low inventory,” at Redfin.

HPI HIGHS & LOWS – CoreLogic: Lower-cost homes appreciated faster than all other price segments in July. Other takeaways from the CoreLogic “Home Price Index Highlights: July 2017”: • Home prices forecast to rise 5 percent over the next year. • Pacific Northwest states led the nation in home price growth. • Washington and Utah price growth has accelerated by 3 percentage points this year.

Residents rally against unregulated Paradise Valley sober-living facility; Rose Law Group Founder and President Jordan Rose comments. Councilwoman Julie Pace: “When a new business wants to operate next to a home in an established neighborhood, concerns naturally arise regarding [among many others] potential zoning code compliance issues…” And in this case, as Paradise Valley Independent reports, “residents are raising concerns regarding an alleged sober-living facility operating… outside of established bounds for the home-based business…” Jordan Rose, who has successfully represented multiple neighbor groups opposing various sober living homes, both in Paradise Valley and other Valley Municipalities, says, “Every case we have dealt with is unique in terms of how a neighborhood can prevail to protect their residential character. In this case, the neighborhood has the Town Ordinances on their side in that this operator appears to be clearly violating the law.”

Chinese Cultural Center fight takes new turns. “The private equity firm that now owns the Chinese center on 44th Street near Van Buren Street is offering to preserve some of its iconic Asian architecture and help develop a new cultural center in downtown Phoenix. [The offer from True North Cos] comes as activists wanting to preserve the Chinese center petition for help from the Phoenix City Council.” Check out what True North is offering to preserve and view a 16-image slideshow of the center at PBJ.

Then and now: How Arizona’s core assets have evolved. “The Arizona Center, Biltmore Center, Esplanade and Renaissance Square are currently undergoing multi-million dollar renovations to modernize while preserving the timeless landmark nature of the properties, and creating a more interactive and enjoyable experience for tenants and visitors.” In a piece featuring more “BEFORE” & “AFTER” pics than a Marie Osmond Nutrisystem commercial, AzBigMedia’s David McGlothlin explores the changing mall landscape. 

Freeway blasting set to begin next week as opponents try to block it. “The attorney for opponents of the South Mountain Freeway on Wednesday tried again to get a federal appeals court to stop… blasting from occurring until the panel resolves his appeal of a lower-court ruling in July 2016 that cleared the way for freeway construction to begin.” So if you happen to live around Pecos Road in Ahwatukee, and next week you hear the scream of sirens followed by loud booms and what feels like a “large truck driving by your home or a 30 mph wind gust,” there is no cause for alarm. It just means that freeway opponents were once again unsuccessful in a bid to stop progress. More in Ahwatukee Foothills News.

Mesa plans for light rail line to Chandler. “Mesa is looking into its long-term options for a second light rail line that would run through the Fiesta District and might even head to downtown Chandler someday. Mesa and Chandler caution that the possibility of any such line eventually opening depends on a lot of factors that are difficult to predict…” East Valley Tribune.

Arizona ranks in top-half of states with most hazardous infrastructure. “[The] study done by 24/7 Wall St… took into account roads in poor condition, bridges classified as structurally deficient and dams at high hazard risk… Arizona finished at No. 15.” More study results, including the “five states in the worst shape,” at KTAR.

Surprise issues proposal request for comprehensive transit study. “[T]he consultant will produce a comprehensive document detailing how to implement their recommendations, including ‘…steps to plan, design, fund, equip, construct needed infrastructure, initiate transit service, carry out the plan, continually evaluate, and provide for future extension of transit service within the City of Surprise and the surrounding planning area…” And that’s not the half of it!  Much more on the RFP and the “scope of work and steps for qualified contractors to respond and compete for the lucrative contract” in YourWestValley.

Road work on Riggs aims for growth, improved commutes. “Maricopa County Department of Transportation will be working on road widening and traffic improvement on Riggs Road from Ellsworth Road to Meridian Road. This is part of a partnership between the towns of Gilbert and Queen Creek that… is intended to help commuters while paving the way for more growth in the Queen Creek area just outside San Tan Valley.” San Tan Valley Sentinel.

Mesa seeks applicants to replace ousted Councilman Ryan Winkle.“District 3 residents can apply to fill the Mesa City Council vacancy left by the ouster of Ryan Winkle. The council unanimously voted on Aug. 31 to remove Winkle… after he pleaded guilty to DUI.” Details on eligibility requirements and how to apply at AZCentral. “The council will interview candidates and make an appointment on Sept. 28.” (For whoever the lucky appointee turns out to be, here’s a suggestion: Probably not a great idea to celebrate by going hog-wild at a “Happy Hour.”)

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

More law firms are accepting Bitcoin payments; good business decision says Jordan Rose, Rose Law Group founder and president. “More large law firms are accepting bitcoin payments for their legal services, signaling the digital currency’s firmer foothold in corporate America. [Reps] from firms [tell] Bloomberg BNA that they started the new payment option to meet the demand of clients that deal with cryptocurrency assets. Accepting bitcoin may also help the firms attract new clients…” Jordan Rose calls it an “indisputably good business decision.“

Biggs, 2 others vote against Harvey aid package [UPDATED]. The Hill: “Nearly all House members of both parties voted to pass a $7.85 billion package to help victims of Hurricane Harvey… Reps. Justin Amash (Mich.), Thomas Massie (Ky.) and Andy Biggs (Ariz.) were the only lawmakers to oppose the aid in the 419-3 vote.” Read Congressman Biggs’ Statement on the Hurricane Relief Funding Package in Rose Law Group Reporter.

‘LEARNIN’ JUST AIN’T WORTH THE COST’ – Americans losing faith in college degrees, poll finds. “The findings [from a new Wall Street Journal / NBC News survey] reflect an increase in public skepticism of higher education from just four years ago and highlight a growing divide in opinion falling along gender, educational, regional and partisan lines. They also carry political implications for universities, already under public pressure to rein in their costs and adjust curricula after decades of sharp tuition increases.”

Facebook undermines its own effort to fight fake news. “The fact-checkers enlisted by Facebook to help clear the site of ‘fake news’ say the social media giant’s refusal to share information is hurting their efforts…. And as POLITICO reports: “Some fact-checkers are growing frustrated…”->

State doctor proposes regulations to combat opioid abuse, deaths. “The state’s top health official [Dr. Cara Christ] wants to limit how many pills with opiates patients can get at once, outlaw paper prescriptions for those drugs and outlaw doctors from giving out the drugs themselves.” But as Capitol Media Services’ Howard Fischer notes in his Arizona Capitol Times report, Dr. Christ “acknowledged under questioning that more people actually die each year in Arizona from other preventable causes, including automobile accidents and smoking-related diseases.”

McCarthy Building Companies updates Mingus Union High School Read more

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

Phoenix Multifamily Market Remains Strong Despite Seasonal Uptick in VacancyRead more

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September 2017