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The Dealmaker: 12/6/2017

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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






Court releases opinion in Maricopa APEX case. (Disclosure: Rose Law Group litigators Evan Bolick and Logan Elia represented Apex Motor Club in this case.) “On Monday, the [Arizona Court of Appeals] released its opinion on why it ruled in favor of Private Motorsports Group, developers behind the APEX park…” — why it ruled that granting the permit was an “administrative” rather than a “legislative” act by the city of Maricopa. Also learn how Mesa factored into the court’s decision, in Maricopa Monitor.

[OP-ED] Smith: I’d like to explain my Bell storage zoning case position. (Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents the Bell Storage project.) Rose Law Group Reporter broke the news yesterday about Scottsdale City Council approving (by a vote of 6-1) a rezoning request from Bell Storage — and Vice Mayor David Smith was among those six. In his Scottsdale Independent piece, the vice mayor lays out his reason  — several actually — for casting a vote in favor of the rezone.

As opioid crisis escalates, Scottsdale latest city to zero in on sober-living homes; Rose Law Group litigator Evan Bolick comments on the increasing municipal scrutiny. “This is kind of like the Wild West of group homes out here in Scottsdale.” Phoenix New Times reports that “Scottsdale City Council will consider an amendment to the zoning ordinance with new language geared toward the sober-living homes that have set up shop in the city.” But will the council be able to “weed out bad actors… without violating federal law and exacerbating a crisis of addiction?” Evan Bolick: “One avenue municipalities would be wise to explore is adopting a cap on the number of people that may reside in a home on a square footage basis. Such restrictions have typically not run afoul of fair housing act requirements.”

Shea Homes gives the 55+ set new reasons to go clubbing. (Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents Shea Homes.) “[The home builder] has found that potential new home shoppers seeking to relocate within 55 plus communities say lifestyle execution is a chief priority… That’s where the clubs come in… Shea Homes hasopened eight Trilogy branded resort clubs over the past three years, doubling its portfolio of amenitized communities across the U.S.” Builder.

Mark Taylor opens San Portales in North Scottsdale. Mark-Taylor Executive VP Chris Brozina, who touts the community’s “security, convenience” and overall livability, says that they “made a concerted effort to create a place that renters truly see as a viable option to owning a single-family home.” And based on this glowing review, which includes a rendering along with positive feedback from a new resident at San Portales, it seems the home builder has succeeded in that effort — at AZRE. 

Housing trend to watch: The ‘Surban.’ <– That according to RISMedia, which calls it “that sweet spot between city and suburb,” — a living style  REALTORMagsays “offers greater walkability to retail and restaurants from a home or apartment.” Tap through for a closer look at what “[m]any in the real estate industry are predicting… to be one of the hottest housing trends to watch heading into the new year.”

Zillow panel of housing experts sees 4.1% rise in 2018 home prices. “The quarterly survey… asked more than 100 housing experts, market strategists, and economists about their expectations for the U.S. housing market in 2018 and beyond.” KEY TAKEAWAY: “The American labor market is stronger than it’s been in decades and Americans, particularly young Americans, are increasingly feeling confident enough to buy homes.” Builder.

2018 Z’expectations for housing: Same as it ever was. “[A] Zillow panel of housing experts and economists sees dynamics carrying forward into next year, with the exception of interest rate rises.” And Builder’s John McManus says “that might be good.” –>

[OPINION] To spur homeownership, stop subsidizing it. “It is time to put the interests of taxpayers and aspiring homeowners ahead of the interests of the housing lobby. Tax reform — especially if the final bill fully implements the House’s subsidy cuts — will improve the housing market and make homeownership more accessible to all.” By Edward Pinto, co-director of the American Enterprise Institute’s Center on Housing Markets and Finance, in The Wall Street Journal (Subscriber Content). 

Pinal legislator says Tempe violating law regarding GPLET actions.“[The Government Property Lease Excise Tax has] been the subject of much controversy, with critics charging that cities are manipulating the intent of the program to reward well-connected developers…” State Rep. Vince Leach is among those critics. ADI reports that “Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell and Tempe City Council members have been put on notice [via a letter from] Leach about the city’s actions on various [GPLET] projects, which Leach alleges are in violation of state law.”

Polo event has global eyes. (Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships event.) “The Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships last month had a record crowd with more than 13,100 attending matches and events at WestWorld of Scottsdale.” Valley PR exec Jason Rose, the event’s co-founder, says that “his goal [now] ‘is to become the biggest polo event in the world, one day surpassing the crowds even in Buenos Aires.’ ” Phoenix Business Journal. 

Council approves funding for $16M Casa Grande rec center. <– That “despite concerns” from Councilman Dick Powell, who “questioned the issuance of bonds for the project” and said that “he didn’t want the recreation center to turn into a ‘wreck like Francisco Grande.’ ” There was another council action as well, including some forward motion on the Dreamport Villages project. Get the rundown in Casa Grande Dispatch.

The old suburban office park is getting a big reboot. “Once a proud symbol of suburban working life now suffering from high vacancy rates in many parts of the country, corporate office parks are being reimagined as sports domes, upscale townhouses, retail shops and green gathering spaces, among other possibilities.” The New York Times looks at some of the face-lifts cropping up around the country, including the Wentworth Property Company acquisition and modernization of an aging office park in Tempe.

“IS IT SAFE?…”  Phoenix suburb takes top spot among safest cities in Arizona, US. Remember Lawrence Olivier in the tooth-yanking scene from movie Marathon Man, asking Dustin Hoffman over and over: “Is it safe?” Well, if WalletHub somehow played that part instead of Hoffman, it could have answered: “Yes! Gilbert is safe!” Check out why the finance site ranked Gilbert, Ariz. “as the fifth-safest city in the country” — at KTAR.

Cameron’s $5M + deals of the day –

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

Most people in Scottsdale eat when they’re hungry? Time to stop surveys before they get out of control. Senior Reporter/Writer Phil Riske grumbles about “silly, inaccurate” surveys. In calling for their demise, he does so with a rather amusing twist. In Rose Law Group Reporter “Growlery.”

Congress divided over whether to kill thousands of wild horses; Rose Law Group equine lawyer Adam Trenk suggests ‘holistic’ approach. “Nevada bears the worst of a problem trampling the West, with more than 72,000 horses occupying BLM-managed lands as of March, almost 300 percent more than the 26,715 the agency says it can control in an environmentally sustainable manner. —Washington Examiner. Adam Trenk: “As a horseman and advocate for sustainable range management practices, euthanasia is a painful short-term solution. In my humble opinion… the humane roundup of these wild horses, sterilization and release of older population, and the legislation of aggressive long-term incentives for the public to adopt younger horses is the only way to ensure that the population is managed over time.”

Male House GOP members join women in seeking Ugenti-Rita’s suspension from leadership. “Eight male GOP state representatives have joined [Republican Reps. Regina Cobb, Jill Norgaard, Becky Nutt and Maria Syms] in calling for Reps. Michelle Ugenti-Rita and Rebecca Rios to be removed from their leadership roles during an investigation of their alleged inappropriate relationships with Capitol staffers.” The four contend that since Rep. Don Shooter, R-Yuma “was stripped of a leadership role pending the House’s investigation [into allegations of sexual harassment], it would only be right for the same to be done to Ugenti-Rita and Rios.” (BTW, “stripped” isn’t a term we would have used in this story, given the nature of the allegations. OTOH, maybe we should all just be super thankful that in this “good for the goose/good for the gander” matter, Arizona Capitol Times steered clear of the phrase “tit for tat.”)

Arizona goes after serial suer. “The [AG’s office] filed a motion [in federal court Tuesday] to intervene to stop Peter Strojnik, who officials said has filed about 60 disability access lawsuits against Arizona businesses.” (E.g.:  Your sign’s too low. Pay up or else see you in court!). “[O]fficials said the lawsuits… are ‘baseless’ and that Strojnik is a ‘vexatious litigant’ who is ‘abusing’ the Arizona court system.’ ” (KTAR doesn’t mention in its report  whether or not Strojnik, upon learning of the filing and seeking retribution, raced to the AG’s office to measure its handicap parking signage.)

Don’t cross this line, Border Patrol argues in court. “Federal appellate judges grilled an attorney for the Border Patrol who argued Tuesday it has the right to keep observers and protesters at least 150 feet from a controversial checkpoint in southern Arizona.” Capitol Media Services’ Howard Fischer reports that “as far as the Border Patrol is concerned, the entire area… is not an area where people can exercise their First Amendment rights of observation and protest” — which one of the judges found “kind of shocking.” In Arizona Capitol Times.

Stunning suicide rate among nation’s farmers. “Last year, a study by the (CDC) found that people working in agriculture… take their lives at a rate higher than any other occupation. The data suggested that the suicide rate for agricultural workers in 17 states was nearly five times higher compared with that in the general population.” A former vegetable farmer in Arizona speaks out about the crisis in The Guardian, which looks into to the problem and its possible causes.

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