Author Archives: Amanda Ventura

Amanda Ventura

About Amanda Ventura

Amanda Ventura is an editor, award-winning writer and pop culture enthusiast. When she's not up against deadlines, she is exploring Arizona, trying recipes that require every dish in her kitchen be used, collecting 5K swag bags and race numbers and volunteering at a local animal shelter. Her bookshelf is full of autobiographies and her desk is covered in Sticky Notes. She dislikes the Oxford comma and still cannot believe she gets to meet and write about interesting people for a living.

‘Into the Woods,’ Aerosmith and more to do this weekend

mcclelland irish stonemason

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Indie rock group Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is playing the Crescent Ballroom this Tuesday as part of their 10th Anniversary Tour. The band has self-released, marketed, and distributed all four of their albums, including 2014’s Only Run. In addition to a tour, the band has reissued its self-titled first… Read More →

Valley Partnership on conquering the hill

Arizona State Capitol

Valley Partnership defines itself as an advocacy organization with responsible development at its core. Behind the organization’s educational Friday Morning Breakfasts, networking mixers, fundraisers and annual community project, Valley Partnership has three committees that work year-round on the organization’s advocacy efforts on a federal, state and cities/county issues. “Keeping with Valley Partnership’s focus on supporting… Read More →

The changing face of development: Cheryl Lombard

Cheryl Lombard, Photo by Mike Mertes for AZ Big Media

If Valley Partnership is the voice of responsible development in the Valley, new CEO and President Cheryl Lombard is expected to be the deep breath behind it.  In mid-March, she transitioned from being director of government relations at The Nature Conservancy in Arizona to the leader of Valley Partnership. “We were looking for a transformative… Read More →

Arizona’s Valley of the Scholars

Grand Canyon University; Photo by Shavon Rose for AZ Big Media

Phoenix may be built on a grid system, but it’s not too hyperbolic to say all roads (and, one day, light rail routes) lead to Arizona State University. It’s the theory of diffusion of innovations, says Sundt Construction’s Business Development Manager Ryan Abbott. The theory, which has been around since Everett Rogers published a book… Read More →

The great exchange: How 1031 exchanges affect local markets

The Offices at Reems in Surprise were recently exchanged through a 1031 deferral, handled by Colliers International's Rob Martensen.

With the talk of tax reform that would repeal or limit 1031 Exchanges, the global effect of changing like-kind deals is in the spotlight. Section 1031 Exchanges, or like-kind exchanges, are used in commercial real estate to allow investors to reinvest their profits into a new property through an exchange of a similarly valued property… Read More →

No guts, no glory: Tales of risk from Arizona CCIMs

Credit: Wavebreak Media Ltd.

Not all commercial deals were created equal. It’s when things get a little messy, complex or a buyer is considering a potentially risky investment that having a Certified Commercial Investment Manager on his or her side can lead to the most informed decisions possible. This was especially true during the Great Recession. Below are vignettes… Read More →

Technology carries real estate through healthcare changes

A nurse sits at the iCare ICU Program at Banner Desert in Mesa.

A patient sits in the ICU at Banner Health’s Fairbanks Memorial Hospital in Alaska. It’s late, many of the staff have gone home. He watches the glowing blinks of the machines monitoring his vital signs lighting the room in little blue and green bursts. Suddenly, a nurse is beckoned to his bedside by an abnormal… Read More →

Thirsty Thursday: Bitter & Twisted Menu, Vol. 2

Ross Simon, Bitter & Twisted

Bitter & Twisted’s Ross Simon is the Bill Nye of cocktails, the Neil deGrasse Tyson of spirits, the kind of mixologist who transfixes you with the chemistry and history of the torched/shaken/flawlessly frozen imbibement sweating on the bar in front of you. Oh, and everything tastes good, too. For fans of the Arizona Cocktail Week… Read More →

Grant Woods aims to fix Arizona’s image problem with music

Grant Woods at 3 Leaf Recording Studio.
May 20, 2015 by in Blogs | Featured

You don’t need a beard or bed head to make a musical statement these days. In fact, you can be the former attorney general of Arizona and drop an album to save Arizona if you want to. And that’s exactly what former AG (1991-1999) Grant Woods has done. Woods grew up in the ‘70s —… Read More →

Concentrated Culture: The symbiosis of new-build and adaptive reuse

Portland on the Park, Courtesy of DAVIS

There are undeniable truths in commercial real estate. For instance — retail follows rooftops. However, when the right variables come together, the presence of retail can create a demand for mixed-use communities. This is a phenomenon Michelle Schwartz, associate at RSP Architects, has observed in her firm’s recent work. “Arizona has such a short history… Read More →

Thirsty Thursday: Bobby Q’s Jalarita

Courtesy of MMPR

When it’s time to kick the heat without sacrificing your Arizona love for spice, throw back the Jalarita mixed up by the barbecue pros at Bobby Q. The jalapeno cocktail, new to the menu, is served on the rocks, costs $10 at the restaurant and is also available with mango, raspberry, peach and strawberry twists.… Read More →

2 Arizona healthcare projects bring contractors together

Banner University Medical Center Tucson, Courtesy Shepley-Bulfinch

If you want to build it, they will come. Healthcare contractors have been champing at the bit for the last year in anticipation of two major hospital projects in Arizona. In November 2014, Prop 480 passed, which would enable a replacement of the largest clinical teaching hospital in Maricopa County, Maricopa Integrated Health Systems (MIHS),… Read More →

Local business owners get a chance at commercial fame

Aha Moment Tour trailer, courtesy of Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha is traveling cross-country in search of local business owners’ “aha moments.” Defined by Mutual of Omaha as a moment when someone has a “clarity of purpose,” these aha moments have inspired Mutual of Omaha ad campaigns for the last five years. Phoenix residents will have a chance on May 11 and 12… Read More →

Meet the 2015 AAED EDDE award winners

Galleria Corporate Center, new home to weebly, for Scottsdale Economic Development Department

  The Arizona Association for Economic Development has been a community of practitioners who have worked through four decades to improve business attraction throughout the state. Every year, AAED awards Economic Development Distinguished by Excellence (EDDE) awards to those who keep the nonprofit organization at the top of its game and those who best uphold… Read More →

Q&A with CoreNet Global Arizona’s Bob Gracz

gracz

What are the trends CoreNet Global Arizona is watching? The working world has changed dramatically. And, as the way we work continues to evolve, the “where we work” is keeping pace right along with it. A corporate real estate executive leads the team responsible for not only locating the right facilities to meet the demands… Read More →