The Dealmaker: 2/20/2018

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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





Modern homes in Phoenix historic districts causing rift, and now, no one’s happy. “Some believe the new homes should mirror the architecture of the surrounding historic homes. Others say they should feature modern design to separate them from the vintage homes… A recent fight over a new home in the Coronado neighborhood illustrates the broader dispute over how the community should develop.” AZCentral.

Least expensive homes gaining wealth faster than any other. “Since [the market crash], demand for less expensive, entry-level homes has built steadily, causing prices to grow rapidly. As a result, these homeowners have been able to build wealth at a faster pace than owners of more expensive homes.” Findings from this Zillow analysis, including how Phoenix stacks up, at Arizona Daily Independent.

Phoenix ranks 9th most unaffordable city for renters, according to study. • Average Valley renters use more than a week-and-a-half of their monthly pay to afford one-bedroom apartment • Phoenix-area rents still look affordable compared those cities, but it’s also about incomes • Real estate reporter Catherine Reagor gives us her take on this recently released SmartAsset study, at AZCentral.

What Phoenix promised Amazon to woo HQ2. “Through a public records request, Phoenix New Times obtained documents that show how Phoenix’s Office of Community and Economic Development sought to win over Amazon using some fairly significant public-sector incentives that appear targeted to the company’s bottom line.” To borrow from Jimmy Fallon’s bit, “First Drafts of Rock”… Arizona has never heard the details of Phoenix’s wooing — until now.

10 incoming East Valley developments to watch. “The southeast Valley (er, PHX East Valley) is teeming with new developments…” AZCentral has a rundown of the 10 developments that it says “could help reshape the region.”

Mesa to consider ASU development in downtown…again. This time with film, gaming programs. “[O]fficials outlined a proposal showing that the first phase of the project could include a five-story building on the [N.W.] corner of Pepper Place and Centennial Way…The agreement signals what could be a significant expansion of the university’s film, media and gaming programs.” Mayor John Giles: “Absent an anchor like ASU, we will continue to tread water in downtown and won’t make any meaningful progress…” AZCentral.

Development hasn’t sprung up around Cubs’ Mesa stadium. “While the Cubs’ spring presence has had a positive economic impact on Mesa,” East Vally Tribune reports that “Sloan Park did not produce the development in the surrounding area that Mesa officials envisioned eight years ago.”

Gilbert just growing and growing for foodies. “With an eye toward turning the onetime center of the so-called Hay Capital of the World into a vibrant urban core, town officials looked for opportunities to lure… restaurateurs downtown and a whole line of eateries with different fare began springing up. [N]ew menus keep moving in and sweetening the area for food lovers. And it’s no longer just in downtown…” East Valley Tribune.

Ottawa University-Arizona breaks ground on new athletics center. “The O’Dell Center for Athletics was made possible from a $6 million donation from alumni Jim and Jeanne O’Dell and is the single largest donation in the school’s 152 years.” View renderings of the facility along with images of Friday’s groundbreaking ceremony in Surprise; plus, see what Jim O’Dell and OU president Kevin Eichner have to say about it, at KTAR.

New 1,200-bed student complex in Flagstaff advances. “The project, called Mill Town, will be geared toward student housing, but will also have 48,400 square feet of retail space, with three freestanding commercial establishments and mixed use commercial area on the bottom floor of the residential building… The project is proposed as part of a series of developments by Phoenix-based Vintage Partners.” Renderings and  details on the Milton Road development, in Arizona Daily Sun

Hopis set to get I-40 land; Flagstaff forest parcels go to State Lands. “Talk about the land swap began last year when, at the request of the Hopi Tribe, staff in [Sen. John] McCain’s office began exploring options to transfer to the tribe nearly 150,000 acres of state land south of [I-40] and east of Flagstaff… The acreage had been promised to the tribe under a 1996 agreement approved by Congress to settle a dispute, now more than a century old, involving Hopi and Navajo lands.” Arizona Daily Sun.

Sober living homes: Prescott’s count is down 77%; Prescott Valley is up about 33%; encouraging to see legislature taking interest says Evan Bolick, Rose Law Group Litigator. “[Prescott] has credited its new [sober home] ordinance with helping to get control of the burgeoning problem. Now, the fate of the… ordinance is uncertain as the Arizona Legislature considers a bill that would require registration and regulation of the homes on a statewide basis.” Evan Bolick, who has successfully handled sober-living-home fights for neighbors in various Arizona municipalities, calls it “encouraging to see the State legislature taking an interest in ensuring that they will be run in accordance with certain standards….” More from Evan, plus The Daily Courier’s report, here:

Tech start-up Katerra aims to optimize all aspects of development. “Just as Apple controls everything from design to manufacturing, Katerra [with its ‘1,300 employees,’ including ‘100 architects, plus many more workers at a plant in Phoenix that produces wall panels, trusses, doors, and most other parts of a structure’] basically aims to provide turnkey service from initial sketches to the final punch list.” Multifamily Executive.

$17,000 spent on Tusayan building height measure. “Spending in support of the measure can be traced back to Stilo Development Group USA… Opposition to higher building heights was bankrolled by hotel owner and property manager Clarinda Vail, a longtime critic of Stilo’s projects.” Spending details and a look back at the controversial ballot measure, in Arizona Daily Sun.

Trans-Canyon Waterline replacement update. “The Arizona chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers held their February Luncheon [last week] to discuss the Grand Canyon Trans-Canyon Waterline and the plan to replace it rather than fix the existing pipeline.” Get the latest info on the pipeline project in this AZBEX coverage.

Tucson City Council to consider paying for water lines to new employers.“A greened-up proposal for Tucson to foot the tab for water lines to new employers has heightened support for the package from previously skeptical City Council members…. While the earlier proposal would have given developers incentive bonuses for environmentally sound practices, the new package makes such practices mandatory.” Still, one council member “remains opposed.” Arizona Daily Star.

Councilwoman Pace talks photo radar on Paradise Valley streets. With the Arizona House of Representatives having recently passed HB 2208, a “formal measure to prohibit the use of photo radar in Arizona” Paradise Valley Independent “reached out to [PV] Councilwoman Julie Pace to get her perspective… on both photo radar practices and the prospect of a prohibition on photo radar becoming a reality.”

Arizona’s economy is expected to grow this year. Here is what’s driving it. “A stabilizing housing market and population gains will help Arizona’s economy expand faster than the nation’s again this year, though the gap will narrow…” For key findings from the forecast by BMO Capitol, tap to AZCentral


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

Student group warns against policies, budget cuts that could hurt Arizona solar industry. “Defend Our Future… held a news conference at the state Capitol to raise awareness about… policies they say could damage the solar power industry in Arizona… [Among other things, the] group voiced concerns about a 30 percent tariff on imported solar panels, which the Trump administration imposed earlier this year…” Cronkite News.

Interstate water storage deals violated state law, former Arizona water chiefs say. “[F]ormer directors, Rita Maguire and Herb Guenther, said recently that they told state auditors the Central Arizona Water Conservation District… overstepped its bounds… by negotiating two rounds of water-storage deals with Southern California’s Metropolitan Water District and a Nevada water agency in the 1990s and a third deal with the Southern California district in 2015.” READ ON at Arizona Daily Star

Arizona competitive when it comes to low taxes. “24/7 Wall Street reviewed the tax burden of residents in each state — the portion of income that goes to state and local governments’ taxes… According to the report, tax burdens in the 2012 tax season were as low as 6.5% in Alaska and as high as 12.7% in New York.” And Arizona? Find out in USA TODAY.

Bill: Counties could raise their own money for roads through sales taxes. “Unable to get the votes to raise the gas tax” (and with Gov. Doug Ducey opposed to any increase) Sen. Bob Worsley, R-Mesa “is settling for allowing counties to raise their own money for road needs. On a voice vote Monday, the Arizona Senate agreed to permit the state’s 13 rural counties, for the first time, to ask their voters to settling for allowing counties to raise their own money for road needs.” More on SB 1147 in this Capitol Media Services/Howard Fischer report at Arizona Daily Star

Call it a re-re-redistricting bill. “Senate President Steve Yarbrough tells Arizona Capitol Times he hopes amendments he’s preparing for SCR 1034, which increases the membership of the Independent Redistricting Commission from five to eight, will bring Democrats on board and create truly bipartisan reform.” Read about it in Rose Law Group Reporter

Who’s more mature — 18-year-old or 50-year-old legislator? A House panel has approved a measure that, if ultimately approved by voters, would “mean someone as young as 18 could not only run for the Legislature but could even become governor.” Rep. Anthony Kern, who “crafted the measure, says, “if you allow them to drive a tank and give them a gun to go fight overseas, they should be eligible to run for office…’ ” Who could argue with that? Rep. Vince Leach and Rep. Mark Cardenas, that’s who. Find out why, in Howard Fischer’s report at Arizona Capitol Times

Despite Parkland, state Democrat doubts Legislature will act. “[The] deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida… put the national debate about gun control back into the spotlight…. Legislators have introduced several bills this session that would place bans or preventative measures on the sale, distribution, accessibility and storage of firearms… But [state Sen. Sean Bowie, D-Phoenix] remained skeptical much would change in Arizona.” Cronkite News.

How Arizona members of Congress voted. –> “On major issues in the week ending Feb. 16”… SENATEBipartisan Immigration Plan, Trump Immigration Plan, McCain-Coons Immigration Plan, Sanctuary Cities, Immigration Enforcement. HOUSEAmericans With Disabilities Act Lawsuits, Scaling Back Disability Bill, Payday Loans, Usury Laws. Tap to Rose Law Group Reporter for the full Voteramabreakdown.

The agency. With Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s recent charges of Russian meddling, this New York Times Magazine piece by Adrian Chen seems to carry more significance today than when it was published back in 2015. As Chen says: “I went to St. Petersburg to learn more about the agency and its brand of information warfare, which it has aggressively deployed against political opponents at home, Russia’s perceived enemies abroad and, more recently, me.”

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February 2018