The Dealmaker: 11/8/2017

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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


ELECTION RETURNS – Pinal Regional Transportation Authority Props. 416 & 417 — and more. The latest election results for Proposition 416, which “would approve the Regional Transportation Authority’s county-wide road project plan,” show YES votes crushing the NOs. Meanwhile, Proposition 417, which “would create a half-cent sales tax to fund the Regional Transportation Authority’s county-wide road project plan,” holds onto a slim lead. (Info from ClarityElections and PinalCentral.) For continual updates tap to Rose Law Group Reporter.

Storage wars: Scottsdale residents challenge proposed storage building; ‘happy to take height issue off table,’ says Jordan Rose, founder and president of Rose Law Group. “[Bell Group Self Storage application] is for a “two-story, 106,224-square-foot storage facility seeking a major General Plan amendment [on a ‘4.6 acre site’ on the S.E. corner of  Shea and 116th St.]. [On Oct. 25] Scottsdale Planning Commission heard the case before ultimately continuing [it] to Nov. 8.” Yesterday, in an email to Scottsdale Independent, Bell Group Self Storage representative, Jordan Rose, stated: “We are happy to take [the height request] issue off the table and glad the neighbors gave us the opportunity to hear that concern and react to it.” More about the proposed project here: 

FEAR OF HEIGHTS? – ‘Taller’ Tusayan defeated by 11 votes. “Of the 131 votes cast, 60 were in favor of the measure and 71 were against it. If it had passed, the referendum would have increased the maximum building height in Tusayan to 65 feet, up from a current limit of between 35 feet and 40 feet. Rejection means the town’s current building height restrictions will stay the same.” Arizona Daily Sun.

See the big real estate names who sold Arizona land the size of Tempe to Bill Gates. “[The 20,000-acre area off I-10] is called Belmont and… it could be home to 80,000 homes and 3,800 acres of commercial… development… Belmont Partners, the… real estate investment arm that struck the deal… includes some prominent names in Arizona real estate…” Here are just a few of several that PBJname-checks in its subscriber-content report: Larry Yount and Robyn Calihan of LKY Development Company Inc., Mike Cowley of Cowley Companies, and Broc Hiatt and Craig Cardon of Cardon Hiatt Companies.

Insurance work casts its spell on job site crews. “[I]nsurance-financed restoration and repair work among skilled workers and trades who tend toward transient opportunity… has begun casting a powerful spell across job sites near you and me… The full effects… have not become a factor yet, but talk of them is already hitting a vibrational level that’s adding worry to divisional year-end goals in many markets.” By John McManus, in Builder.

Zillow just had its best quarter ever. “Last year’s third quarter saw the company post its biggest profit ever — and its first quarterly profit since the fourth quarter of 2013. Since then, it’s been three straight quarters back in the red… But now that the third quarter has come around again, Zillow is back in the black, with… its highest profit ever… In addition to seeing record profits, Zillow also saw record revenue…” HousingWire. 

Black Knight: Housing affordability strong despite rising price. “Home prices continue to increase, yet affordability actually improved since July, according to the latest Mortgage Monitor report from Black Knight.” Get the figures and check out the charts — one “demonstrating the main cause for the increase in affordability,” and another showing how “home price growth may have tapered off,” in HousingWire.

MBA: Mortgage interest deduction changes will spur “negative impact” on local housing markets. “[MBA] sent a letter to Kevin Brady, R-Texas, chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, and Richard Neal, D-Mass., ranking member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, in order to share the industry’s perspective on the most recently released text of H.R. 1, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” HousingWire.

Reverse mortgages: Opportunities and concerns. Here are the bullet-pointed highlights from this CNBC report: • Changes include higher upfront costs, a lowered principal limit factor and an interest-rate deduction. • Advisors have recommended clients use reverse mortgages for cash management, delaying Social Security withdrawals and funding long-term care. • In August the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a warning against taking out a reverse mortgage to maximize Social Security benefits.

RESNET clears up data-sharing rumors. “The organization responds to false allegations that it won’t share HERS information with green building and energy efficiency programs.” By Ryan Meres, “programs director at the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), an independent, non-profit organization that works to help homeowners reduce the cost of their utility bills by making their homes more energy efficient” — in Builder.

Phoenix Business Journal has updated its Crane Watch map. And PBJpractically shouts it from the soon-to-be-built rooftops, announcing the update on its front page. “The interactive feature includes [details on] dozens of projects currently underway in the Valley or in the planning stages.”

Phoenix Latino Cultural Center report sparks ideas, funding concerns. “A feasibility report presented during a [recent] Phoenix City Council subcommittee meeting… included two building cost figures [for rehabbing, and for building a new facility], both of which surpass the approximately $1.4 million in bond money set aside for a facility promoting Latino culture.”  AZCentral.

Payson to become Dark Sky community. “There are currently 11 Dark Sky communities in the U.S. including Flagstaff, Sedona and Oak Creek and town officials hope the title will be a tourism draw.” Payson Roundup reports that becoming a Dark Sky community would “require the town to adopt several codes that affect the type of lighting fixtures and bulbs used by businesses, the town and residents.” –>

Mengarelli elected mayor; Goode, Scholl, Blair win seats on Prescott council. “[F]ront runner Greg Mengarelli appears to have won a two-year term as Prescott’s mayor, defeating current City Councilwoman Jean Wilcox by a 55-to-45-percent margin… In the council race, the three top vote-getters from the primary — Phil Goode, Alexa Scholl, and Steve Blair — also all held onto their places in the lineup, taking the three open seats.” The Daily Courier.

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

Arizona lawmaker backs allegation of sexual harassment with name. [VIDEO]. “It was two weeks ago Michelle Ugenti-Rita claimed she was the victim of sexual harassment. At the time, she did not reveal who it was. But now she is… ‘I do feel compelled to want to come forward with someone who has been who has harassed me since I got here… Currently he’s a former senator and he’s appropriations chairman Don Shooter.’ “And Shooter’s response? “Ms. Ugenti is lying about me…” — and that’s just a snippet. See what else Shooter had to say, and WATCH Ugenti-Rita’s interview with 3TV/CBS 5 political editor Dennis Welch, here:

Rep. Martha McSally tells House colleagues she is running for Senate. “[But the congresswoman] didn’t indicate when she would formally announce her bid, according to two people with knowledge of the conversations.” AZCentralreports that “McSally can expect opposition from some on the right, including a political-action committee aligned with the conservative Club for Growth, which warned recently that it would oppose her candidacy.” (ALSO, at KTAR: “Sen. Jeff Flake speaks out against Donald Trump in latest op-ed.”)

Arizona lawsuit contends voters are being disenfranchised. “A new lawsuit charges that thousands of Arizonans are illegally being denied the right to vote in federal elections… The lawyers want U.S. District Court Judge David Campbell to order counties to register people for federal elections if their state registration forms are otherwise valid, regardless of whether they have provided the citizenship proof.” By Capitol Media Services’ Howard Fischer in Arizona Daily Sun.

Google parent Alphabet rolling out Waymo self-driving cars [VIDEO].“Until this test, Waymo had tested cars in Chandler and other areas of east of Phoenix with an employee sitting behind the wheel. Now, those workers and as well as the driver part of a pilot project will take to the back seats of Waymo’s fleet.” If ultimately successful, it means passengers in such driverless vehicles can devote attention to other matters, like texting, emailing, signing documents, and holding on for dear life. (All kidding aside, the six backseat passengers shown in the demonstration video do seem, for the most part, a little reluctant to take their eyes off the road. And who can blame them?) WATCH at Phoenix Business Journal.

Uber’s ‘Blade Runner’ flying car mission comes to L.A. “Uber chief product officer Jeff Holden planned to announce at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon [today] that Los Angeles will join Dallas as the first two cities to host the company’s proposed network of flying vehicles. He said the company expects L.A. residents to be making ‘heavy use’ of the service by the time it hosts the 2028 Olympics.” USA TODAY. 

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