The Dealmaker: 12/11/2017

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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





Lots of promise in the Pinal County pipeline, says analyst. “Economic analyst Elliott Pollack… gave his annual economic forecast at a Pinal Partnership breakfast Friday at Rawhide, saying that he is more optimistic than he has been in a long time.” Pollack “said that Pinal has been the ‘star of the state in terms of economic recovery,’ ” and that the passage of Propositions 416 and 417 “opens a huge door.” More from Pollack at the Pinal Partnership breakfast in Pinal Central.

Real Estate Q & A: Is a dispensary lease valid even though illegal under federal law? A commercial landlord claims that “even though Arizona law allows medical marijuana dispensaries to operate, marijuana is still prohibited under federal law… and, as a result, [a dispensary tenant’s] lease is invalid because contracts for an illegal activity are invalid.” But not so fast. With the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act on his side, Rose Law Group Real Estate Litigation Department Chairman, Adam Martinez, pretty much puts to rest any doubts about the matter, schooling the landlord on lease enforceability under such circumstances, in Rose Law Group Reporter.

San Tan subdivision would ‘love’ to be in Queen Creek. (Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents Fulton Homes at Ironwood Crossing.) “Beth Riley and Nancie Naylor… have been working for months to get their San Tan Valley community annexed by Queen Creek. The effort became all the more urgent when they saw they had been drawn into the proposed San Tan Valley incorporation boundaries, which they have no interest in being a part of.” San Tan Valley Sentinel.

Real-estate agents continue Salvation Army bell-ringing tradition.(Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents Those Callaways.) “Veteran Valley real-estate agents JoAnn and Joseph Callaway launched Real Estate Wednesdays in 2013… [That year], the Callaways recruited more than 1,500 of their friends in real estate to ring bells. Last year, more than 2,000 people from the Valley’s real-estate market volunteered…” AZCentral.

Downtown Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row continues to attract developers, businesses. “Boarded-up buildings and weed-filled vacant lots were the norm in metro Phoenix’s oldest historic neighborhood not too long ago. Now, the 100-plus-year-old Roosevelt District in downtown Phoenix has evolved before our eyes into Roosevelt Row, one of the most popular neighborhoods in not only metro Phoenix but the U.S.” As AZCentral puts it “ ‘RoRo’ is on a roll”

Alliance Bank bets big on East Valley with $225 million of loans. “Overall, Alliance Bank has financed 1.74 million square feet of commercial projects and over 434 acres of single-family residential projects in the area over the past year and a half.” Alliance Bank senior VP Paul Engler: “The East Valley has a lot of wind at its back…” East Valley Tribune.

Ground broken on Ovation, Queen Creek’s first active adult community.Ovation at Meridian — a 780-home, 245-acre development located at East Ocotilloand South Signal Butte —  is also “William Lyon’s first active adult offering in Arizona.” Details and renderings in Queen Creek Independent.

Airbnb a boon for owners, headache for neighbors. “Residents who have listed their homes as short term rentals cite the ability to make additional income [and that] they like hosting visitors and meeting new people. At the same time, locals say they are seeing their neighbors replaced by rotating casts of weekend guests [with] more noise and traffic… and there’s a broadly shared worry that the trend is putting a squeeze on Flagstaff’s already tight housing market.” Arizona Daily Sun.

Here are the 2017 AIA Arizona Design Award winners. Check out the impressive “projects, concepts and designs recognized at this year’s AIA Arizona Design Awards for excellence in architectural projects and practices” — at AZRE.

Google’s new headquarters could be the next trend in architecture.“Experts believe that Google’s new London headquarters unique design could be the next big trend in architecture and say the style is a perfect fit for a city like Phoenix.” Find out why, and view an 11-image slideshow of the building (nicknamed “landscraper,” it sort of looks like a giant cruise ship run aground), at KTAR.

South Mountain Freeway thrown for a loop. “A federal appeals panel unanimously rejected all arguments against the South Mountain Freeway, and one of the lead attorneys for opponents said the legal battle to stop construction is over.” Meanwhile: “A jubilant John Halikowski, director of ADOT, hailed the decision as ‘a clear victory for one of the nation’s fastest-growing regions, ensuring that progress will continue on a project that will make this a better place to live and do business.’ ” Ahwatukee Foothills News.

ADOT to spend $185M expanding Loop 101. “North Valley commuters could see some relief for congestion on the Loop 101 by Fall 2020 as the result of  [a Request for Statement of Qualifications from] the Arizona Department of Transportation… The department plans… to expand the freeway between Interstate 17 and Pima Road through a Design-Build project.” AZBEX.

[OPINION] My Turn: 10 reasons not to kill light rail to downtown Glendale. “Voters approved bringing light rail to downtown Glendale in 2001, with 64 percent ‘yes’ votes. Of the nine projects voters approved to be funded by the Proposition 402 transportation tax, light rail is the only one not yet addressed.” That’s one of the reasons Glendale Councilman Bart Turner supports bringing light rail to downtown. Check out the other nine reasons at AZCentral.

Cost estimates up on Tempe Streetcar. <–That, according to a “memo from the Public Works Department Public Works Department to the City Council…” Find out what factors could kick up the cost of the “project’s estimated $186M price tag,” plus see what else was included in the memo, at AZBEX.

Flagstaff council approves first round of transect changes. “The amendments were developed in the hopes they would prohibit a future development like The Hub, which residents and elected officials have criticized for being too massive and out of place in the neighborhood where it is being built.” Arizona Daily Sun.

Gilbert may soon get tenant for vacant Saint Xavier University building. “The Town Council will meet… to discuss ongoing talks with a couple of universities and to consider leasing all or a portion of the [four-story, 87,000 square-foot building, near Vaughn Avenue and Ash]… The town’s focus remains on a higher-education tenant with programs such as nursing,” but AZCentral reports that “the council is ‘widening its target.’ ”

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

State investigators looking into Scottsdale school construction project.“Voters in the district approved a $229 million overhaul in 2016. But as the Scottsdale Unified School District has rolled out their plans, some of the same members of the community who supported the project began raising objections. After months of contention between the community and the district administrators, the district has hired outside attorneys to look into whether they followed proper procurement practices, and state investigators are looking into the matter as well.” Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting.

Franks is gone, leaving a monkey wrench into a special election. “A quirk in state law could force top contenders to replace Trent Franks to choose between a run for Congress and keeping their current jobs in the Legislature… The unexpected monkey wrench occurred when Franks moved up his resignation date.” Capitol Media Services’ Howard Fischer sorts out the matter and the “peculiarity of legislative terms — and when they end” — in Arizona Capitol Times.

More women plan to run for Congress than ever before. “As of December 7there were 369 women running or planning to run for Congress in 2018…” Axios has a rundown of a New York Times piece on the number of women “who are stepping forward, finding their voices, in many ways doing the classic ‘we are mad as hell and we aren’t going to take it any more.’ ”

Legislatures waking up about ‘scary’ cybercrime. “[I]n 2016, 28 states considered laws dealing with cybersecurity. Fifteen of those states enacted legislation on security practices in government agencies, cyber and computer crimes and suspensions from the state Freedom of Information Act if information could put critical information or infrastructure in danger.” Does Arizona have any such laws? Find out in this piece at Arizona Capitol Times

High divorce rate married to Arizona“ [T]he numbers vary greatly from place to place, and some states have divorce rates over four times higher than other regions in America! … To help see regional differences, Stacker analyzed the 2015 CDC report to see which states had the highest and lowest rates for divorce…” –>

2 major news organizations exit the exit poll. “The Associated Press… has joined Fox News in abandoning the so-called National Election Pool — the election surveying instrument that the news media, campaign operatives and political junkies have come to love and hate…” POLITICO. 

Judge says loan scheme targeting concussed NFL players had interest rates as high as 50%; Kathryn Honecker, Chair of Rose Law Group Class Action Department and representing dozens of NFL players, applauds the court’s action. “A group of former pro football players with cognitive impairment who took out tens of thousands of dollars in high-interest loans against their expected payments in the N.F.L. concussion settlement may not have to pay their lenders back. The federal judge overseeing the settlement… voided all contracts with lenders…” — The New York Times. Kathryn Honecker: “In any class action, the attorneys representing the class and the court have a fiduciary duty to the class members… I’m glad to see that the attorneys representing the class and the court both took action to protect these players from potential exploitation.”

‘SNL’: Mall Santa peppered with kids’ questions about Al Franken, Roy Moore, Matt Lauer. “A poor mall Santa (Kenan Thompson) had to field some uncomfortable questions from kids about the news cycle in this week’s holiday-themed cold open on Saturday Night Live.” Is President Trump on the Naughty List? WATCH here:

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