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Joe Chandler will chair Fennemore Real Estate Group

Fennemore Craig, a leading Mountain West law firm, announced Joe Chandler, a shareholder in the firm’s Phoenix office, has been appointed the new Practice Group Chair of the firm’s Real Estate practice group. Fennemore Craig’s Real Estate practice group is one of the largest in the Mountain West, with a regional and national footprint, encompassing all aspects of real estate, from acquisition and finance, through development, leasing and sale.

“Joe brings a great deal of enthusiasm and fresh thinking to the real estate practice group” said Steve Good, managing partner of Fennemore Craig, “he is a leader and an innovative real estate professional.”

Joe Chandler works with both businesses and individuals to negotiate the purchase and sale of commercial and industrial properties, as well as, high-end residential matters. Chandler regularly negotiates and prepares restaurant, office, retail, industrial warehousing, agricultural and land leases for landlords, tenants and project developers. He also assists clients with real property issues in regards to receiverships, property management agreements, easements and licensing agreements. His experience includes over $500 million in transactions, including the purchase of sites for resource exploration and mining, multi-use commercial development, waste disposal facilities, and energy projects.

There are more than 35 attorneys in the firm’s real estate practice, as well as a number of other attorneys who handle various aspects of real estate matters. The firm represents developers of master-planned communities, condominiums, apartment complexes, hotels, resorts, clubs, office buildings, industrial parks, shopping centers, golf courses, and other residential and commercial projects. Our client representation extends to large landowners and includes transactions involving federal and state agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Arizona State Land Department, the Arizona Department of Real Estate and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, the Nevada Real Estate Division in the Nevada Department of Business and Industry, the Colorado Division of Real Estate, and Native American tribes and allottees.

Photo by Mike Mertes, Az Big Media

Jody Pokorski – Most Influential Women In Commercial Real Estate

Jody Pokorski
Partner and real estate practice leader, Snell & Wilmer
Years in the industry: 30

Jody Pokorski has been behind some of the biggest deals in the Valley. She represented Arizona State University in the State Farm headquarters in Tempe deal that has become the largest office development in the state. A few years ago, her team handled the sale-lease for the University of Phoenix, which became the largest transaction of the year that wasn’t handled by the Arizona State Land Department. Over the last 30 years, she has practiced in the areas of real estate transactions, finance and regulatory matters. Her career accomplishments also include representing a $220M state/federal highway extension and widening project that utilized a public-private partnership structure and the redevelopment of a 4,000-acre former Air Force base into a mixed-use community. One of Pokorski’s colleagues said many of the biggest projects in the Valley wouldn’t be here if not for her.

What is the hardest professional or personal challenge you’ve faced and how did you overcome it?
As a young lawyer, negotiating deals against more senior lawyers was intimidating, but I tried to observe how others approached the process and learn something from each experience.

What do you consider your greatest professional accomplishment?
The ability to look out the window and see so many projects that I have been a part of bringing to fruition.

What is your most memorable deal or project and why?
I have worked on many great projects, but it has been gratifying being a part of several complex deals for ASU, where I am a proud alumni and adjunct professor.

What is your favorite part of your job?
I love finding win-win solutions on challenging deals so that both parties walk away happy.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up and how did that aspiration affect your career?
My undergraduate degree was in psychology, and I often think back to lessons learned in my social and behavioral psych classes.

What is one little-known fact about you?
My first job was at Harkins Theatres; I started working concessions and wound up as a manager.

Arizona State Capitol

Valley Partnership on conquering the hill

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 water security for our economic vitality, economic development tools such as state land funding and consistent policies on taxes and fees, we had a successful year to build toward 2016 with the federal government, Arizona State Legislature and Valley cities,” says Cheryl Lombard, president and CEO of Valley Partnership.

Law of the Land
Arizona is the sixth-largest state, yet only 17 percent of its land is private. The role available land plays in economic activity is incomparable to East Coast states, says DMB Associates Executive Vice President Karrin Talyor.

States on the East Coast are nearly 98 percent private land, meaning there is a higher percentage (or less land) that exists as productive tax-producing land. Such disparity can make it difficult to draft legislation that can fairly apply to all states, says Taylor.

“When you overlay the federal land, conservation land, clean water and critical habitats, there’s nothing left,” says Taylor. “You overlay all these regulations and you wonder, ‘How do you pay for economic activity?’”

Taylor says there is the possibility of more land that may be taken away from productive use in the name of conservation before the end of President Barack Obama’s second term. She notes that former President Bill Clinton created the Sonoran Desert Monument before the end of his term. It was a designation that she says removes land from being leased for grazing, mining or other economically vital purposes.

Valley Partnership’s Federal Affairs Committee, which Taylor helped form about three years ago, is a gathering place for representatives from different delegations to discuss these topics.

“Part of it is raising awareness,” says Taylor. “We routinely have four or five representatives from delegations every month to exchange information. I don’t know if some of these staffers get together in other situations.”

The Arizona State Land Department (ASLD) is one such group that attends committee meetings.

“Valley Partnership Committees (give) ASLD the opportunity to meet with local government representatives and discuss issues of mutual importance including land planning efforts that can enhance the value of ASLD land and increase economic opportunities,” says Bill Boyd, legislative policy administrator for ASLD. “Valley Partnership provides a forum helping ASLD to be active in the local business community by sharing information about land acquisition and development opportunities while contributing to an ongoing understanding of the condition of the local and regional economy.”

Cue the Water Works
In 2014, Intel Corporation, Sundt Construction, Carollo Engineers and the city of Chandler entered into a unique public-private partnership to tackle one of the biggest resource issues facing Arizona — water.

When Intel expanded its Ocotillo Campus in Chandler, its facility was going to create more waste streams that would add pressure to the city’s reverse osmosis facility (CHRO), which treats water for reclamation.

Salinity and total dissolved solids, referred to as TDS, are rising in reclaimed water throughout the Valley and most growing cities. Reclaimed water is what’s used to irrigate public spaces in the city of Chandler. As reclaimed water quality drops, water shortages sit on the horizon. This is particularly an issue that arises when an industrial facility like one expanded by Intel increases its own need for water. Therefore, Intel went to work on developing the Ocotillo Brine Reduction Facility, which would accommodate the increased waste streams and also contribute to upgrades at the CHRO facility. In the end, The OBRF project also eliminated discharges from the CHRO facility to the sewer – improving operations at the city’s water reclamation facility.

This project is an example of what Valley Partnership’s members are about. Sundt Construction, one of the oldest Arizona-based construction companies at 125 years old, is ahead of its time in bringing together the private and public sectors to build a project that’s responsible and sensitive to the future of Arizona.

The "Class of 2014" advocates visit DMB Associates' masterplanned community Eastmark.

It takes two

Valley principals host young professionals in inaugural advocates program

A look around the room at a Valley Partnership Friday Morning Breakfast (FMB) reveals a who’s who of Arizona’s commercial real estate industry. You’ll see seasoned professionals sitting next to up-and-comers, and though these are an effective networking tool, Valley Partnership took the concept to the next level.

It created the Valley Partnership Advocates Program for young professionals. The program is a nine-month-long course for a “class” of 20 people under the age of 35 to meet with a new industry leader every month.

The inaugural program began last August and has included sessions hosted by prominent figures from DMB Associates, Inc., Vestar, Arizona State Land Department, Ryan Companies, Sunbelt Holdings, Evergreen Development, ASU and Macerich/WDP Partners. Many of the sessions were hosted by board members, including one held during a board meeting. “I did not understand the power of Valley Partnership and the people behind it until I attended that board meeting,” says advocate Nicole Mass, 35, Kitchell’s director of marketing.

The feeling is mutual. Bruce Pomeroy, founding principal at Evergreen Devco, has worked in the industry for 40 years. During that time, he has trained many young hires and has taught classes for the International Council of Shopping Centers. Pomeroy says of the session he hosted at Centerpointe in Goodyear that “the ‘students’ were very engaged and asked good questions.”

“I believe the most important issue was that the advocates wanted to spend more time with the developers during each monthly event,” says Vice President and General Counsel to Maven Universal Brett Hopper, who helped design the program. “We want to provide the advocates a greater opportunity to interact with senior executives and create long-lasting relationships.”

Stephanie Stephens, 27, marketing and project coordinator at Buesing, says the mentors emphasized the importance of getting involved in the real estate community. That typically starts with something as simple as the monthly Valley Partnership breakfasts, where Stephens heard about the program. Easton Mullen, 37, started his general contracting company Mullen Construction and Development in 2006 and has since built capital with the goal of becoming a developer. The advocates program, he says, created a foundation of contacts to use while his company evolves. “You can’t call these people up on the phone,” he says, “but if you’re part of the program, you can.”

The mentors encouraged community involvement and engagement within Valley Partnership’s committees and leadership roles. CBRE Sales Assistant Chris Marchildon, 28, was approached by board members at the suggestion of CBRE Executive Vice President Barry Gabel, about joining Valley Partnership’s Advocates Program.

sidebar“One of the first things I was told in this business was to ‘be a sponge,’” he says. “The second was to develop as many good relationships as you can along the way. Through the program, I was certainly provided the opportunity to learn success stories from the ground up as well as the chance to ‘soak up’ as much information as I could.”

Recent Denver transplant Kelly Kaminskas, 34, senior vice president at FirstBank, used the advocates program as an introduction to the industry. “It would have taken me years to piece together the information I received by being part of this group,” she says.

Tuition is $150. Applications are available on Valley Partnership’s website through July.


Arizona Biomedical Corridor advances

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and the City Council today approved the Phoenix Industrial Development Authority to issue up to $180 million in revenue bonds to finance Mayo Clinic’s new proton beam radiation therapy center.

The Council also approved a two-year extension of its agreement with ASU and Mayo Clinic to continue collaborative planning efforts to develop the Arizona Biomedical Corridor in northeast Phoenix.

The Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, the corridor’s anchor, will be the only center in the Southwest to provide proton beam radiation, a technology that precisely delivers radiation to a tumor while protecting surrounding healthy tissue and organs. The 165,000-square-foot underground facility will help Mayo medical teams treat about 2,000 patients, including children, each year beginning in spring 2016.

“Mayo Clinic’s newly consolidated cancer center is exciting for our community because it helps to deliver top-notch care to our residents and contributes to the innovation-based economy we need,” said Stanton.

“I am thrilled we are taking the next step in our partnership with ASU and Mayo Clinic on the Biomedical Corridor in District 2,” said Vice Mayor Jim Waring. “This project will be a great economic driver for the city and the state, and only enhance Phoenix’s image as an international destination for medical care.”

“Arizona cancer patients will no longer have to travel far to receive proton beam therapy,” said Wyatt Decker, M.D., chief executive officer of Mayo Clinic in Arizona. “Proton beam therapy, with fewer side effects and greater precision, is particularly beneficial for children and younger patients. We’re pleased to be offering this important treatment soon in the fight against cancer, right here in our community.”

Stanton also announced that the Arizona State Land Department has accepted the application by KUD International, a private developer, to play a key role in developing biomedical and advanced technology research on the site. As a result, the department plans to auction 225 acres of land within the proposed corridor by the end of this year.


Plans advance for Arizona Biomedical Corridor

Plans to establish a biomedical and advanced technology research and development campus in northeast Phoenix advanced this week as KUD International, a subsidiary of one of the world’s largest development, design and construction companies, announced its plans and submitted an application to acquire 225 acres for the project from the Arizona State Land Department.

The proposed campus is the cornerstone of the Arizona Biomedical Corridor, a collaboration between the City of Phoenix, Arizona State University and Mayo Clinic announced in 2012 to expand the state’s bioscience industry by clustering compatible organizations in the corridor, located in northeast Phoenix at 56th Street and Mayo Boulevard, just south of the Loop 101 freeway. The development lies adjacent to the Phoenix campus of Mayo Clinic.

Acquiring the land could take up to a year, KUD officials anticipate. In the meantime, KUD is moving forward on plans for the first building at the more than $1 billion research park, which upon completion could generate thousands of jobs in the region.

Wyatt Decker, Vice President, Mayo Clinic and CEO Mayo Clinic in Arizona, said the project aligns well with Mayo Clinic’s plans in Phoenix and will play an integral part in its vision to continue to provide innovative, patient-centered medical care, supported by robust programs in research and education.

“The Arizona Biomedical Corridor will further strengthen the region’s growth as a national and international destination for healthcare-related research, education and private sector interests,” Decker said. “Our work with the City of Phoenix and ASU led to our relationship with KUD, a firm we believe will successfully complement and support our vision.”

Arizona State University President Michael Crow agreed, saying, “The development of the area adjacent to the Mayo Clinic Hospital, with its focus on biomedical and advanced technology research and manufacturing, is well aligned with ASU’s partnership with Mayo Clinic to create new health education and research facilities. We are encouraged that KUD shares our collective vision.”

KUD International LLC specializes in developing public-private projects around the world. It has extensive experience with large-scale developments that are founded on research and education and supported with a complementary mix of uses. The company is constructing a research park in Israel in conjunction with Ben-Gurion University that is similar to the one proposed in northeast Phoenix.

KUD International President and CEO Marvin Suomi said the collaboration with Mayo Clinic presented KUD with a sound basis to make a significant investment in establishing a major biomedical research and healthcare complex in north Phoenix. “We consider this a mission-driven project in alliance with Mayo Clinic, and procuring the land is the first step in realizing its vision set long ago,” Suomi said.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer added, “I’m pleased the Arizona Land Department has accepted and advanced an application for this proposal, paving the way for the development of a premier medical and research facility in north Phoenix. Not only will this project create thousands of high-quality jobs, it will strengthen and secure our position as a global leader in providing world-class medical care. With the involvement of partners like the Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University, I know this project will be a point of pride for the entire state.”

Others involved with the project identify KUD’s relationship with Mayo Clinic, its expertise and its initiative in acquiring the state land as important factors that will help the Arizona Biomedical Corridor become a reality.

“I think this is another example of Arizona’s economic recovery and an indication of the growing strength of the Arizona real estate market,” said Arizona State Land Commissioner Vanessa Hickman. “This is a big win for State Trust Land beneficiaries and the result of careful negotiations between the Arizona State Land Department and the other collaborators.”

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said, “In January 2012, I announced a vision to grow more high-wage jobs in Phoenix by creating a second bioscience campus on a 1,000-acre corridor in Desert Ridge in Northeast Phoenix. Because we already have great partners like Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University, KUD’s investment plans are the key private interest we need to unlock the potential at this location for education and research and create a greater magnet to attract high-wage jobs to Phoenix.”

District 2 Councilman Jim Waring adds, “In February 2013, the City Council adopted a formal strategy to focus on high-wage, bioscience and technology uses within this corridor. I am very pleased to see that the private sector agrees and validates the City’s concept. The City of Phoenix will be a great partner in the project, focused on helping KUD start their development projects as quickly as possible.  Our business community tells us time and again that five-day site plan reviews and one-day construction permitting provides great value and we look forward to delivering this same great service to KUD.”

GoGreen Conference '11

GoGreen Conference ’11 Emphasizes Sustainability Education, Patience

Whether it’s educating attendees of green and sustainability in the workplace or the speakers’ efforts to educate public and private entities of sustainability in their community, “education” was the buzzword and couldn’t have been stressed enough at the GoGreen Conference ’11 this past Tuesday, November 15. Well, that and a lot of patience.

“It’s not just about being and going green,” said Ed Fox, chief sustainability officer for APS.” It’s about educating and sustaining it.”

Dr. George Brooks, owner of Southwest Green and NxT Horizon Group, agreed: “There’s more to sustainability than solar panels,” he said. “If you want to make sustainability and its process sustainable, you need to make it useful.”

More than 50 speakers from all over the state were in attendance for the first GoGreen Conference ’11 held at the Phoenix Convention Center. Furniture IKEA donated to the panel discussions will be donated to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

This all-day conference held back-to-back panel sessions with leaders of sustainable business, who educated attendees on the latest sustainable practices for their respective businesses.

City of Phoenix Major Phil Gordon announced that this was possibly his last opportunity to speak as an elected official about his and the city’s green efforts. He said that although mayor elect Greg Stanton was unable to attend the GoGreen Conference, Stanton is committed to “help build Phoenix as the greenest city.”

Gordon also shared Phoenix-area, sustainability-related statistics and accomplishments over the years, including:

  • Phoenix is home to the only solar light rail stop (near the U.S. Airways Center) in the nation, “maybe in the world.”
  • The city has raised more than $1M in incentives to businesses and homeowners for their sustainability efforts.
  • Through Solar Phoenix, the Valley has more than 425 solar-installed homes. These homeowners have saved 10 percent on utility bills, on average.
  • By 2025, 15 percent of the city will be powered by fossil fuels. And also by 2025, 25 percent of the city will be shaded throughout with canopies and palm trees.

Maria Baier, commissioner of the Arizona State Land Department, provided opening remarks, emphasizing the importance of supporting universities and higher education seeking research dollars for its sustainability efforts. She continues to speak about how to not only go green, but also stay green.

“In order to go green and stay green, we need to keep our product legitimate,” Baier said. “We need to continue to defend it and improve reliability and dependability.”

Rounding out the first session of the conference was Al Halvorsen, senior director of environmental sustainability of Frito-Lay North America.

Halvorsen spoke about Frito-Lay and PepsiCo’s environmental sustain/ability journey — how they were able to confront their challenges (reducing its environmental impact), become an “embracer” of sustainability instead of a “cautious adapter,” and view sustainability as a competitive advantage — incorporating it into PepsiCo’s business with the following strategies:

  • Move Early: Over time, your business will evolve.
  • Balance Short/Long Term: Achieve near-term wins with long-term vision. Your business needs a foundation to help push longer-term envelopes.
  • Focus Top Down and Bottom Up: Track and monitor usage every day.
  • Measure Everything: By 2020, Frito-Lay predicts it will cut its diesel fuel usage in half.
  • Value Intangible Benefits
  • Be Authentic and Transparent: Share your business’s wins, losses and challenges.

“Sustainability for us is a journey and by no means are we there,” Halvorsen said. Jonce Walker, sustainability manager for Maricopa County agreed: “We are nowhere near done,” he said. “We still have so much left to do.”

Check back for part II of the GoGreen Conference ’11 coverage on AZNow.Biz.

For more information about the GoGreen Conference, visit www.gogreenconference.net.