The Dealmaker: 12/27/2017

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Sen. John McCain’s legacy project: Develop 45 miles of the Rio Salado.“[A] recent commitment by… McCain has re-energized the effort to revitalize the Salt River corridor.” Picture Tempe Town Lake, or a series of them, all the way from “east Mesa to Buckeye,” turning “the riverbanks into an economic and recreational boomtown… All of the stakeholders — including the leadership from all of the cities and Indian communities the river traverses — say they’re on board.” McCain: “It may not be completed in my time, but I believe that someday it will be…” AZCentral. 

Windrose master-planned community celebrates opening. (Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents Sunbelt Holdings on other projects.) “Windrose will open its first phase of 327 homesites with four award-winning builders including Beazer… David Weekley… Gehan… and Homes by Towne.” Details on Sunbelt Holdings’ 640-acre master planned community, plus info on the grand-opening festivities, at AZ Business Magazine.

Habitat for Humanity partners with Phoenix for Warehouse District revitalization. “[Habitat] will be building homes and revitalizing neighborhoods and parks in Matthew Henson Village, the Grant and Central Park neighborhoods…” As for the city, it is “contributing… vacant lots,” and has “approved a proposal for the allocation of [a nice chunk of change] to execute the contracts.” AzBigMedia.

Phoenix home prices up 6% since 2016. “The region finished in the middle of the pack in terms of price gains when compared to the 20 metro areas…” See which metros had the highest and lowest price gains, and access the full S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index report, at Phoenix Business Journal.

DiCiccio chides citizens’ tactics in opposing big apartment complex. “Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio joined five of his colleagues in turning back an attempt by neighbors in one council district to stop a luxury apartment development in his. City Council last week voted 6-2 to approve the 229-unit, four-story Alta Marlette complex on Marlette Avenue and Seventh (sic) Street in North Phoenix.” Ahwatukee Foothills News.

Why Phoenix started embracing multifamily and mixed-use growth after the recession. “The era of Phoenix as exclusively a homebuilding town is over, according to the speakers at Bisnow’s recent Phoenix Multifamily and Mixed-Use event… The progression used to be getting an apartment, then a house, then downsizing… But millennials saw parents and friends lose a lot in the housing crash. ‘Now they ask, why buy?’ ”

Tiny house-like apartment complexes? Metro Phoenix’s new rental trend. “More than a dozen of these horizontal complexes have recently been built or are under construction” and “renters are snapping them up.” AZCentral real estate reporter Catherine Reagor looks at projects from two companies at the forefront of this trend: Christopher Todd and NexMetro. And real estate consultant Jim Belfiore tackles the “big question” of what this “apartment-building boom” means for the “Valley’s housing market.” –>

Surprise, Gilbert see biggest jumps in apartment rents. “The two suburbs at opposite ends of the region saw yearly increases well above other Valley cities, and those hikes were consistent in one- and two-bedroom apartments…” Get the numbers and access Zumper’s entire “monthly report on rents,” at PBJ.

[OPINION] ASU president: Tax-free office complex is not a ‘scheme’ to hurt schools. Arizona State University president, Michael M. Crow, takes umbrage at a recent piece by Republic columnist Laurie Roberts (“Arizona’s largest office complex pays no property taxes,” Dec 18). Crow lays out a number of reasons why Roberts’ piece “misrepresents [ASU’s] use of its land to generate revenue for the university as a ‘scheme’ that is diverting money from K-12.” In AZCentral.

TINY HOMES, TEENY VILLAGE, A LITTLE CRITICISM – Vail school district planning tiny home village. “The school district that is located approximately 20 miles southeast of Tuscan [sic] intends to start with at least four homes on land the district owns…” Sonoran News reports that the “tiny luxury homes” are being built in “an effort to attract teachers to an area that lacks affordable housing… But, there’s at least one quasi-opponent of the tiny home concept [who] views offering tiny homes to teachers as an insult and a direct reflection of low teacher pay.”

Homeowners rush to prepay 2018 property tax bills. “Homeowners across the nation are rushing this week to prepay their property taxes for 2018 before the Republican tax law kicks in Jan. 1 and effectively raises the levy on higher-end homes… Municipal offices in a number of states saw a busy post-Christmas rush on Tuesday as taxpayers calculated the effects of the new law.” Says one “town treasurer” in this WSJ paywall piece: “It’s been insane here.”

Phoenix a prime spot for more data centers. <– “[B]ecause it ranks as a top 10 U.S. location for low catastrophic and natural disaster risk, making it a safe place for data center developers to plant their flags.” But that’s not the only reason that “CyrusOne, Aligned Energy and IO Data Centers (just acquired by Iron Mountain) have projects underway… Phoenix has other advantages, as far as data center developers are concerned” Bisnow. 

2017 was a year of massive change in Maricopa. (Disclosure: Rose Law Group litigators Evan Bolick and Logan Elia represented APEX Motor Club.) Maricopa Monitor looks at the 20 biggest stories in Maricopa for 2017 (the APEX case among them.) Other big stories included the construction of the overpass on State Route 347, and the resignation of Maricopa City Manager, Gregory Rose.

Pinal County workforce grows; construction makes ‘atypical’ gains. “Doug Walls, research administrator for the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity, said the increase of 1,000 jobs was ‘an atypical change for November.’ Many of those new jobs, he said, were in specialty trades and heavy or civil engineering… In Pinal County, construction employment reached a new high point for 2017 in November.” Details at InMaricopa.

Governor’s water commission looks toward solutions. “Pinal County Supervisor Steve Miller, R-Casa Grande, serves on [Gov. Doug Ducey’s] commission, which has a two-fold interest: Managing Colorado River water and managing the state’s groundwater resources… The most pressing issue facing Pinal County is a proposal… regarding the Pinal Active Management Area’s extinguishment credits and groundwater allowance. Miller has been working closely on the rule… that would change the way groundwater credits are transferred when an agricultural property is sold to a potential developer…” READ ON at PinalCentral:

Pinal Partnership, Reclamation begin groundwater study. “With a grant from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the Eloy and Maricopa-Stanfield Water Basin Study will take a comprehensive look at the supply and demand of current and future uses for groundwater in Pinal County… ‘The study will look at what the groundwater supply will be in 50 years,’ ” Casa Grande Dispatch. 

♫… E-I-E-OLIVOS – The Farm at Los Olivos: Phoenix project ‘like the Desert Botanical Garden of agriculture.’ “Greenbelt Hospitality responded to a request for proposals put out by the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department, winning their bid in November… The project would turn part of Los Olivos Park [‘along 28th Street just north of Indian School’] into a farm, education center and park concession designed to enhance the community and reconnect residents with Phoenix’s agrarian roots.” AZCentral.

Maricopa ranked third safest city in Arizona. “Several Pinal County cities made [Safehome’s] recent list of safe Arizona cities. Maricopa was the highest ranked Pinal city on the list… coming in third out of the top 25 safest Arizona cities.” See the full list in Casa Grande Dispatch.


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

Man who climbed high in state government nailed for sexual harassment. Gerald Richard, “a former Phoenix police executive and ex-Arizona Attorney General’s Office aide,” was “accused in general of being overly friendly with female staff,” while “serving as deputy director of the DES’ Division of Child Support Services… The investigation and its outcome are detailed in nine of 127 pages of sexual harassment and other harassment allegations by state employees… which were released by the Arizona Department of Administration to Phoenix New Times…”

Documentary convinces Prescott’s silent veteran to speak. Forty-five years ago, “United States Air Force colonel and Vietnam War fighter pilot Duncan Wilmore” participated in a “Christmas bombing mission” over North Vietnam. Wilmore “has always been reluctant to talk about his war experiences,” but, “said he was so disturbed by the portrayal of this pivotal moment in Ken Burns/Lynn Novick’s recent documentary he decided to speak out as an eyewitness to history.” The Daily Courier.

Don’t talk to Indian Country about recovery from the Great Recession. “A decade after the start of the recession, Native Americans posted poverty and unemployment numbers that were more than twice the overall state average, and per capita incomes that were less than half those of the rest of the state. Those margins have barely budged since the recession started at the end of 2007…” Another major challenge: Access to water. (Also see this RELATED item from KTAR: “Caught in hard-hit fields, Arizona Latinos work to escape recession.”)

It’s all a matter of sticker price. “Scottsdale Republican [Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita] is proposing to eliminate one of the things police can use as an excuse to stop and question motorists: those metallic tags affixed to license plates that show whether a vehicle’s registration is expired. What is behind it, she said, is… ‘a savings of $1.8 million…” More on the matter in this Capitol Media Services/Howard Fischer report in Arizona Capitol Times.

‘The New York Times’ presents 2017 in pictures. Times’ Arts section columnist Amanda Hess introduces this photo-album retrospective with a few observations. Here’s just a slice: “We can still clip out newspaper images we want to remember and press them in albums. But today, while every photograph we have ever seen feels instantly accessible at any moment, we also rarely recall them. To pause and look back is a revelation.”

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