The Dealmaker: 10/19/2017

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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




Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships ignites new passion for the Sport of Kings. “Expanding to two full days is an exhibition of the Sport of Kings as the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships brings the flair of affluence and offers its aromas, its sights and its sounds to be experienced by both aficionado and the curious.” (Awesome way to put it, Terrence Thornton!) The Scottsdale Independent reporter talks with Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships’ co-founder Jason Rose about the November 11 Westworld event and how it has “exceeded even his expectations in terms of revenue generated and audiences attracted.”

Park Central Mall purchase closes, renovation plans unveiled. “The overall price of the purchase and expected renovations is approximately $57 million, and construction work will begin on the transformation effort in the coming weeks. The new ownership group [Plaza Companies and Holualoa Companies] is working with architect richärd+bauer and DPR Construction to reinvent Park Central by converting it into a modern, mixed-use.” Makeover details and a 9-image slideshow of the “new look” at AZRE

Where downtown isn’t the most expensive place to rent. Phoenix’s urban core or North Tempe — where are the pricier rents? This Forbes piece digs into RealPage research for a “handful metro areas in which the most expensive apartments are located outside the central business district.”

Careful with that investment: 20 housing markets with slowing job growth. “Local Market Monitor… sifted through 320 local markets to identify 20 where a significant slowing in growth has taken place.” See which Arizona city made the list, in Forbes. 

Arizona ranks amongst the lowest in U.S. in land-use and zoning regulations — important factors in lower housing costs. “In a new paper… Cato policy analyst Vanessa Brown Calder finds that the increase in zoning and land-use regulations over the past decades is reducing the supply of housing, including multifamily and low-income housing… [and] further compound[ing] the housing affordability challenges that many U.S. cities currently face.” Read the full news release in Rose Law Group Reporter.

[OPINION] The Greek Leadership Village will have more drawbacks than benefits. “ASU is spending $70 million to build a Greek Leadership Village.” In her State Press piece, columnist Jessica Ferrigno contends that “although the concept seems nice, it is not what ASU should be spending that money on right now, especially with all the drawbacks associated.”

Panel will hear 40 minutes of pros and cons about freeway. “[A]ttorneys for two highway planning agencies and opponents of the South Mountain Freeway likely will have 20 minutes each to make their case in oral arguments tomorrow… in a San Francisco courtroom.” Ahwatukee Foothills News brings us up to speed on the case that will be argued “before a three-judge panel” of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, noting that it “likely will determine whether the freeway’s construction continues hurtling toward a late 2019 opening or whether it will be stopped dead in its tracks.”

Lot talk. “Footprints expand, go wider, and get more valuable as buyers weigh initial costs against operating expenses and exit returns in their homeownership strategies.” A succinctly titled piece. About lots. By John McManus. In Builder. 

Sale and contract prices per square foot in 2016. “Looking at single-family homes started in 2016, the median prices per square foot, excluding improved lot values, range from $164 for contractor-built homes in the Pacific division to $81 for speculatively built homes in the East South Central division.” Eye On Housingbreaks down the data and maps it all out.

NVR 3rd-quarter profit up 38%. Also: “Orders up 27%, closings up 6%, backlog up 16%.” Get further “Operating Activity” details for the homebuilder/mortgage company in Builder  

Glendale Council shuts down light rail to downtown. “[Due to] lack of consensus to continue from council, the city manager will now stop further planning and study of a West Phoenix/Central Glendale High Capacity Transit project… ‘Five years ago, we were considered along the lines of Detroit, who filed for bankruptcy, and now we are doing so much better, I just cannot agree to spend that much money on light rail.’ ” <– That from Mayor Jerry Weiers, one of four council members opposed to further research into “bringing light rail to downtown.” The Glendale Star. 

Abrazo Health announces closure of Maryvale Campus facility. “Abrazo Community Health Network announced today that it is closing Abrazo Maryvale Campus, effective Dec. 18, 2017… The ER will remain open through Dec. 17.” (NOTE: While this report at AZ Business Magazine has further details on the closure, including its impact on “the community’s ability to access care,” it says absolutely nothing about the impact the closure might have on producers of plastic i.d. wristbands.)

Old Chandler eyesore site finally seeing rebirth. “Hines broke ground recently for the Offices at Chandler Viridian, a six-story building at the intersection of Loops 101 and 202… The office building marks the… final stake in the heart of Elevation Chandler, a hotel/condo project that went belly up before the building was finished.” East Valley Tribune.

Eyeing Queen Creek, San Tan neighborhood wants out of incorporation effort. “[A] group of seven residents [known as the Ironwood Crossing Annexation Committee] has been working since May to facilitate the annexation of their community into Queen Creek. Despite being included in Vote San Tan Valley’s incorporation map, they plan to continue with the process to join Queen Creek.” More on the group’s efforts and along with a map showing the Ironwood Crossing neighborhood. (You can’t miss it. The area is clearly marked in blue and has a shape that some around Dealmaker HQ have ‘Rorschached’ into the outlined likeness of a turtle shell on tilt.) Casa Grande Dispatch.

Under new management: Prescott Golf and Country Club sells; ‘no immediate plans for condos.’ “The 18-hole, par-72 golf course officially changed hands this week when owner Michael Mathews signed the final paperwork and closed escrow… Two other principal players in the change in management are Wyatt Collier and Justin Henderson, both PGA golf professionals…” As for condo plans, “immediate” is the key word, as Mathews tees up this tease: “We’ll have an official statement on the condos in a few weeks.” The Daily Courier. 

GoDaddy billionaire founder Bob Parsons on his passion for golf and motorcycles. “Parsons has been called zany, outlandish and a renegade–none of which he disputes. But he is much more than that. Scratch below the surface and you’ll find a self-made billionaire who is also outrageous in his generosity.” But as this Forbes profile of Parson’s points out, there is an exception to that generosity. It occurs when he’s out and about on that other domain of his: The golf course.

Google’s founders wanted to shape a city — Toronto is their chance.“Google’s founders have long fantasized about what would happen if the company could shape the real world as much as it has life on the internet… Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Alphabet (now Google’s parent company)”: “ ‘We started talking about all of these things that we could do if someone would just give us a city and put us in charge.’ That is, of course, an outlandish idea… But there he was standing Tuesday before an array of Canadian flags, in front of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario officials, to announce the closest thing anyone has seen to a tech company that takes the reins in a major city.” The New York Times.

Why Amazon’s new headquarters won’t guarantee economic boon. “Cities across the country are falling over themselves to score the winning ticket in the biggest local lottery — Amazon’s second North American Headquarters… But luring Amazon’s promised 50,000 jobs comes with costs that may outweigh the benefits for some cities.” Axios.

Cameron’s $5M + deals of the day –

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

Jeff Sessions calls for “more competition” among medical marijuana growers for research, a statement praised by Laura Bianchi, director of Rose Law Group’s Medical Marijuana Cannabis practice group. “His statement came [‘before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday’] in response to a question from Sen. Orrin Hatch.” Laura Bianchi calls it a “surprising yet encouraging response from our Attorney General,” which, if acted upon, will “expand the depth of our medical research and development.” To access AG Sessions’ complete statement (in Cannibist), and for the rest of Laura’s comment, tap to Rose Law Group Reporter. 

As outcry over sexual harassment grows, focus shifts to state legislatures. “The movement, which has exploded in the wake of allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein, has brought attention to sexual harassment on college campuses, in Hollywood and in corporate America. And many of the women who are speaking out [‘many using the hashtag #MeToo’] have pointed to their time in and around state capitols.” (Also from Governing, this RELATED piece: “Democrats: Bullying incident underscores pattern of sexism in Arizona House.”) 

EL SOL TO PAY FOR IT? – Top immigration official says solar-paneled border wall ‘not off the table.’ “A solar-paneled barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border is an option the Trump administration could pursue, according to a senior Customs and Border Protection official who has been closely monitoring the construction of [border wall] prototypes…” Tap through for the story along with access to this RELATED item, also from AZCentral: “A first look at 8 possible versions of President Donald Trump’s border wall.” 

Nominal, politically driven tax breaks on the way. “Arizonans are in line for an income tax cut when they file their returns next April. But don’t go planning that trip to Europe — or even Los Angeles — just yet.” Capitol Media Services’ Howard Fischer explains, in Arizona Capitol Times.

Former DHS Director Janet Napolitano discusses Russian meddling in U.S. elections on CNN [VIDEO]. The current president of the University of California, Berkeley sits down with CNN’s Chris Cuomo to discuss what she says is a “difficult and complex” problem. You can watch the full interview with the one-time Arizona governor in Rose Law Group Reporter.

McCain’s latest surprise: regulate Facebook. “Today, [Sen. John] McCain will join with two Democrats — Sens. Mark Warner (Va.) and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) — to give bipartisan imprimatur to the first of the ‘Facebook bills,’ responding to last year’s election interference. Axios has a sneak peek at provisions of the Honest Ads Act…” –>

Environmental study ranks Arizona second lowest among Western states. “The scorecard, produced and released by the non-profit Center for Western Priorities, examined how Western states regulated public lands, recreation, wildlife conservation and energy development.” Although  “Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico and Nevada” all ranked higher than us, we “outperformed Idaho.” Find out where we could use some “improvement,” at AZCentral. 

Phoenix retail vacancy lowest in eight years; home furnishing store expansions signal housing market Read more

Optima Kierland condominium tower more than 75% sold Read more

CoreLogic analysis shows more than 172,000 homes at risk from wildfires in Napa and Santa Rosa Read more

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October 2017