The Dealmaker: 11/2/2017

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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


Toll Brothers at Whitewing luxury home community opens in Gilbert.“[The] private, staff-gated luxury home community, has opened at 2731 East Pelican Court in the heart of Gilbert.” Citing Belfiore Real Estate Consulting, AzBigMedianotes that “Toll Brothers at Whitewing is already one of the Southeast Valley’s best sellers, recognized as the No. 1 top selling new home community priced over $550,000 in Gilbert as of July 11, 2017.” Head to ABM for more on Whitewing plus details on another new Toll Brothers community in Fountain Hills, with homes featuring private outdoor spas.

TRUE LIFE SHRUGS? –True Life prepared to walk if it doesn’t get its way. “[T]he fate of True Life’s crapshoot [‘spending $3 million to sell its vision of turning the fallow Ahwatukee Lakes Golf Course into a lucrative residential redevelopment’] rides on a pending ruling by Superior Court John Hannah… [But even] if Hannah were to rule in True Life’s favor, the company would still face a stormy Phoenix rezoning hearing.” Ahwatukee Foothills News reports that if “nothing works out… a spinoff company created for the sole purpose of redeveloping the 101 acres… could simply default on an $8.25 million payment.” For more on the possibility of True Life taking its golf ball and going home, tap it:

Check out the $1M to $5M villas at the Ritz-Carlton development in Paradise Valley. “Five Star Development — which is building a new Ritz-Carlton hotel in Paradise Valley — also has a number of luxury villas for sale at the same project…. [The 1,700 to 4,500 sq. ft. villas] previously were sold out but a few have become available with prospective buyers not finalizing sales contracts.” Phoenix Business Journal (Subscriber Content.)

ADVERSE RULING FOR ADVERSE POSSESSOR –Judge rules that Tempe has right to evict squatter from valuable land near downtown. “Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Karen Mullins, in a ruling filed Wednesday, concluded there is no evidence that Steve Sussex [aka, the squatter] has any ownership of the land, which he has filled over the years with vehicles, a boat, a bus and various piles of debris… Under the ruling, the city would have the power to forcibly remove Sussex’s possessions from the land and take it over.” AZCentral. 

Council to move ahead on Deep Well. “Despite a looming change of leadership… [‘the Nov. 7 general election could result in the election of as many as four new members], consideration of the Deep Well Ranch master plan will move ahead under the current Prescott City Council.” Meanwhile, The Daily Courierreports that “[t]his week’s discussion focused largely on background on the project, as well the actions of the Prescott [P & Z]…”

3 lessons that can help win new home buyers. “What a multifamily company discovered could be welcome news to home builders.” From Nest via Builder.

US single-family rents up 3 percent year over year in August. A CoreLogicreport with highlights bullet-pointed for your convenience. • National rent growth decelerated in August 2017 compared with August 2016 • Low-end rent growth was almost double high-end rent growth • Overall Index pulled down by high-end segment • Phoenix rent growth driven by employment growth that was more than double the national figure.

Grand Canyon University reconsiders nonprofit status, embarks on $100M in construction projects. Phoenix Business Journal reports that “[c]onverting the university to a nonprofit status would help relieve the… property tax burden, which currently is the highest in Phoenix.” GCU president and CEO, Brian Mueller, touches on the pursuit of “non-profit status,” and PBJ looks of the latest projects that are set to break ground.

Marriott hotel proposal at DC Ranch Crossing in early stages. How early? “[D]evelopers are in the midst of their neighborhood outreach phase” for the “Marriott-branded hotel” proposed for “a parcel at 18211 N. Pima Road.” Get developer info and preliminary design details on the project at Scottsdale Independent.

BIG LEAGUE PIPE DREAMS? –Big League Dreams vows fight over Gilbert contract termination. “Gilbert’s stormy relationship with Big League Dreams has been headed for a nasty divorce since July, when the town unilaterally closed the sports park amid safety concerns about the integrity of outfield fences and faux grandstands. Gilbert considers the divorce final, now that the Town Council has terminated a memorandum of understanding with Big League Dreams… But the operators of Big League Dreams say they are not ready to pack up their bats and balls and leave forever. They are appealing the case in court…” East Valley Tribune.

Road extension to provide more commuting choice in San Tan Valley. “The town of Queen Creek broke ground Tuesday on the extension of Crismon Road from Queen Creek Road to Germann Road… This will take Crismon Road all the way to Queen Creek’s northern boundary with Mesa. [The] Crismon Road extension is part of a larger infrastructure improvement plan in Queen Creek that includes $175 million of roadway funding and 91 new lane miles over the next 10 years.” Go to San Tan Valley Sentinel for some of the “projects included in the plan,” plus view a photo featuring 16 Queen Creek officials leading the groundbreaking — an image that would make for a fine addition to any Groundbreaking Photo Album

The Most Livable Cities in the U.S. – 2017 edition. A couple of weeks ago, Dealmaker featured the “Most Livable Cities” rankings from 24/7 Wall St.  Now “SmartAsset is out with its second annual ranking” of the same. The personal finance site “looked at unemployment rates, income after housing costs, population density, property and violent crime rates and walkability” — and both Chandler and Scottsdale crack the top 10!  You can access the full study via Builder.

Gains in September personal spending. “Personal consumption expenditures rose 1%… Personal income climbed 0.4%…” Eye On Housing has the “here’s why.” 

Cameron’s $5M + deals of the day – 

Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships return November 11th and 12th –


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


Supreme Court won’t hear Arizona case on custody fight over tribal kids; Kaine Fisher, Rose Law Group Partner and Director of Family Law, comments. “The [U.S.] Supreme Court refused to consider whether the Indian Child Welfare Act, designed to keep the government from separating Native American families, should be invoked in a custody dispute between a non-Native Arizona mother and a Native father.” Cronkite News. While reiterating his previous opinion that “no legal principal should stand in the way of a Judge entering orders that are necessary to protect the best interest of children,” Kaine Fisher also observes that “at least some segment of the American Indian population has taken the same position even though doing so may mean jeopardizing certain protections afforded to them under the Indian Child Welfare Act.” More on Monday’s decision plus Kaine’s complete comment in Rose Law Group Reporter.

EPA announces $23.5 million for environmental improvements on tribal lands in Ariz. To which one smart-alecky Dealmaker staffer remarked, “What for? To reduce the carbon footprint caused by slot machines?” Not quite. Sonoran News reports that the “funding to 15 Arizona tribes, including the Navajo Nation, [will go toward] environmental programs [e.g., air quality improvement] and water infrastructure [e.g., watershed restoration].” More on the improvements here:

Trump administration targets uranium mining ban near Grand Canyon. Per a news release from the National Parks Conservation Association: “Under… recommendations the Interior Department would revise an Obama-era mining ban that sought to protect tribal resources and drinking water, as well as safeguard critical wildlife corridors and habitat threatened by uranium contamination.” (Sounds like the administration might want to think about upping the amount of that $23.5 million environmental grant mentioned in the previousstory.) Tap through for more on the possible mining-ban rollback.

Oro Valley’s notorious political nastiness won’t mean Prop. 454’s defeat. “[Prop. 454] would allow the town to float up to $17 million in bonds for adding sports fields, bathrooms, ramadas, trails and parking to Naranja Park.” As the battle heats up between supporters and opponents of the proposition, Arizona Daily Star columnist Tim Steller looks into the nastiness of Oro Valley’s politics — it’s “recall elections every few years, bitter taxing disputes and yes, that crime of election passion, sign-stealing.”

One state’s crusade to limit campaign contributions could have nationwide repercussions. “Montana has spent more than a hundred years trying to keep a lid on campaign contributions. It is still trying.” In a piece that examines the state’s past efforts to curb such contributions, Governing poses — then supplies an answer — to this critical question: “Should Montana have to prove corruption to limit campaign contributions?”

MORE BAD MATH AT DEPT. OF ED. – New school funding error found, no solution in place. “The Arizona Department of Education has revealed a second error in federal funding allocations, resulting in… [an under-allocation of] $15.2 million in Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, funding.” Arizona Capitol Times also reports that “$14.3 million was over-allocated, affecting about 400 charters and districts,” and that an “antiquated formula” is to blame. As for a quick solution to the over-under blunder? Don’t bet on it. (A tap will also get you this RELATED item from KTAR: “Ducey aims to continue KidsCare if Congress fails to act.”)

Phoenix City Council votes to support law that would ban bump stocks.“The council voted 5-2 to adopt the resolution that called on lawmakers to create future legislation to prohibit sales of the gun accessory which helps turn semi-automatic weapons into high-powered machine guns.” Why not just vote to ban the item outright? Find out at KTAR

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Phoenix Office Market Slows in Third Quarter Read more

First-time Buyers Stifled by Low Supply, Affordability: 2017 Buyer and Seller SurveyRead more

Phoenix Industrial Market Surging with Activity Read more

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November 2017