The Dealmaker: 12/5/2017

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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



[EXCLUSIVE] Bell Storage on Shea wins after long debate. (Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents the Bell Storage project.) With a 6-1 vote, the Scottsdale City Council Monday night approved a major General Plan amendment and rezoning for a 2.8- acre property at Shea and 116th Street for a boutique self-storage facility, applied for by George H. Bell. The facility’s design is similar surrounding office buildings (low profile, 18-feet in height) and will be a walk-up, climate-controlled, highly secure storage project… Jordan Rose of Rose Law Group, the zoning attorney for the applicant [noted that] the existing commercial development is taller than the storage proposal, and [that] it took more than a minute and a half to travel from the storage site to the residential community gate (rebutting the idea the facility would be a “welcome” to the residential neighborhood). More on the Bell Storage project and its approval in Rose Law Group Reporter.

ROAD SIGNS – Andy Smith appointed to oversee voter-approved Pinal Regional Transportation Plan. “[Smith], the principal planner for Pinal County Public Works… has been appointed by the Pinal Regional Transportation Authority as general manager [and] will begin assisting the Pinal Regional Transportation Board with coordinating the implementation of the plan.” And if what’s reported in Queen Creek Independent is any indication, Andy Smith will be an extremely busy ‘road manager’ — establishing committee by-laws, formulating transportation programs, coordinating discussions and meetings, and much more.

Everything we know about Ro2, a new development coming to Roosevelt Row. Phoenix New Times has the lowdown on True North Holdings’ mixed-use development coming to the “downtown Phoenix arts district,” including: Preliminary plan details; status of the historic Leighton G. Knipe House; why the project is called Ro2, and; the number of other developers that responded with proposals to the city’s RFP. (Hint: None.)

Grappling with growth in downtown Phoenix. “With the addition of new apartment complexes, student housing and condominium projects, more and more people are flocking to Arizona’s urban center.” And with all the growth comes its fans (“I’m really proud of Phoenix… Downtown has just blossomed”), along with its detractors (“Developers can’t find any dirt, so they’re going to want to tear down what’s already there…”). Both weigh in at Downtown Phoenix Journal.

Housing’s Uber challenge. Builder’s John McManus on “why the mindset of residential developers and builders needs to be more like that of the strategists driving Uber growth right now. They’re not simply competing with taxis and rental cars. They’re competing with any way you can get somewhere comfortably, dependably, for a good price… expanding access to a bigger unmet market.”

Want that house? You’d better pay in cash. “Investors, downsizing baby boomers and millennials with parental assistance are helping to drive a surge in all-cash deals.” (And speaking of having to cough up the cash, this is a paywall piece from the WSJ.

REALTORS® show force over tax reform. “REALTORS® were influential in spurring Congress to make key changes in the House and Senate tax reform plans, says Elizabeth Mendenhall, president of the National Association of REALTORS®. But as lawmakers prepare to reconcile the two proposals into one bill, more work needs to be done to protect the country’s middle-class homeowners.” REALTORMag.  

Pollack: Positives substantially outweigh the negatives. <–That is the big economic takeaway from The Monday Morning Quarterback, who adds: “There is always room for caution. But, as for now, enjoy the moment” — which would have to include delighting in the data for these ‘Snapshots’ –> U.S.: Consumer Confidence, Personal Income & Consumption, Corporate Profits & The Tax Cut, Manufacturing, Construction Spending, Singe-Family Home Sales, S&P/Case-Shiller HPI.  AZ: Sky Harbor Enplanes & Deplanes, HPI – Greater Phoenix.

I-11 project brought to Governor Ducey’s office. “A delegation of [Kingman] City Council members, department heads and state representatives presented a report on the proposed I-11 East Kingman Connection Project to staff from Gov. Doug Ducey’s office on Nov. 27. The one-hour PowerPoint presentation gave details on the project and what the city is requesting from the state of Arizona, which is at least $20 million in ADOT funding.” Kingman Daily Miner.

Feds award port study to Tucson company. “U.S. Rep. Martha McSally announced Friday that the architectural firm, Line and Space, has been awarded the contract [‘to complete a feasibility study of the Douglas Port of Entry and identify needed improvements at the 84-year-old structure’]. She said the company will evaluate the existing port in downtown Douglas, and recommend upgrades and possible expansion of the facility.” Douglas Dispatch.

Gilbert earns ‘Civic Engagement Program of the Year’ honor. “Gilbert’s Office of Digital Government has been named Civic Engagement Program of the Year by Smart Cities Dive, a leading industry news publisher.” Cody Boteler, “Associate Editor for Smart Cities Dive,” calls Gilbert “a city that’s meeting its residents where they are: online,” and says that its “Office of Digital Government is a model department that other cities can – and should — look to when developing engagement strategies…” AZ Business Magazine.

Assistant Manager Knudson leaving Florence for Lake Havasu City. “Assistant Town Manager Jess Knudson, a longtime Florence employee, has been hired to become the new manager of Lake Havasu City.” Knudson: ‘[I]t’s been gratifying to be part of the town and all the success the town has had since I’ve served the town of Florence.”  The Reminder reports that Jess Knudson’s “last day in Florence will be Dec. 27.”

Maricopa City Council to vote on interim city manager“During their regular scheduled meeting [today], council will decide whether to fill the vacancy created by departing City Manager Gregory Rose with former interim City Manager Patricia Sorensen. Sorensen briefly took the helm in Maricopa in July of 2013 when then-manager Brenda Fischer left for Glendale.” More on Patricia “Pinch-Hitter” Sorensen at InMaricopa.

Prescott mayoral hopeful gets her reputation back. [Prescott mayoral candidate Mary Beth] Hrin filed the defamation lawsuit in early August, after the Arizona Voter Education Project, which is chaired by [Max] Fose, mailed out two flyers that included negative claims about Hrin.” The Daily Courier reports that the suit was settled this week “on confidential terms.” Hrin: “[‘The settlement’] proves the assault on my reputation was false.”

Dealmaker BONUS: Ellman’s Branded Cities closes a growth investment from Shamrock Capital to continue expansion trajectory. Branded Cities… announced today a large minority investment from Shamrock Capital, a Los Angeles based media, entertainment and communication focused investment firm. Branded Cities is a digital and spectacular out-of-home media company with iconic signage in iconic destinations and is led by [dare we say “LED by”?] industry veteran Steven Ellman as its Founder and CEO.” Ellman on the deal: “Shamrock’s expertise in media and experience investing in innovative companies will highly complement and support our growth strategy and the digitization of our signage portfolio…”

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

Arizona students come to school hungry and troubled, survey finds. “A majority of teachers and principals in Arizona said their students are facing multiple barriers to learning, including coming to school hungry and dealing with a personal or family crisis.” Scholastic, a national literacy organization, conducted the survey. KTAR looks at the results.

Arizona lobbyists form ‘battle lines’ over practice of medical professionals. “[It] was designed to allow medical professions to bring legislative attention to necessary regulations. Instead, Arizona lobbyists argue that the [sunrise review] process is now used to block applications by lower-level health care providers and to stifle change.” Example? “In 2016, the Arizona Dental Association opposed the licensing of a new mid-level profession of ‘dental therapists.’ “Arizona Capitol Times looks into “one of the more obscure proceedings at the Arizona Legislature” that’s “also the battleground for recurring turf wars.”

Let’s’ discuss effectiveness of income tax credits as required by law. Let’s don’t. Since 2015, the Joint Legislative Income Tax Credit [Non?] Review Committee “failed to hold hearings on 13 tax credits as required by statute.” So what’s the problem? Why hasn’t the committee met in “nearly two years”? Arizona Capitol Times reports it’s “because no one wanted to.” Seriously.

Don’t bite the Bear’s Ears, Mr. Trump. “On Dec. 4, President Trump signed a proclamation to reduce the Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah. The decision was met with widespread opposition from Navajo leadership [pushback that includes legal action against the administration].” See what Navajo officials are saying about the shrinkage, in Arizona Daily Independent.

More and more and more want to be citizens of Arizona, nation.“Naturalization applications in Arizona jumped 48 percent over the past three years, to more than 19,000 last year… The Arizona numbers reflect a national increase of 35 percent over the same period… But with the growing caseload has come an even faster-growing backlog…” Cronkite News (RELATED, from AZCentral: “Protesters arrested at McCain’s office amid call for new DACA legislation.”)

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