Tag Archives: ASU

housing.prices

Phoenix housing market ending relatively flat year

After several years of wild roller-coaster activity, the Phoenix-area housing market is ready to end a relatively flat year. That’s according to the latest monthly report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Here are the highlights of the new report on Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of October:

• The median single-family-home sales price went up just 4 percent from last October to this October – from $200,000 to $208,000.
• Demand remains lower than last year, with sales of single-family homes down 5 percent from last October.
• The Valley is experiencing a very small bump up in two areas – investor interest and new-home sales.

After the housing crash, Phoenix-area home prices shot up from September 2011 to summer 2013. Then, the median single-family-home price rose just 4 percent more – from $200,000 to $208,000 – from last October to this October. Realtors will note the average price per square foot also went up 4 percent. The median townhome/condo sales price rose only 2 percent.

“We’ve seen very little change in the Greater Phoenix housing market for the last year, and stability is the order of the day,” says the report’s author, Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Price increases look tame over the last 12 months and even tamer if you examine just the last six months. There is no longer any real upward price momentum greater than the general level of inflation.”

Orr’s report notes that demand in the market remains lower than last year. In fact, the amount of single-family-home sales dropped 5 percent from last October to this October. Activity from first-time home buyers has been unusually low, in part because some people had their credit badly damaged during the housing crash and also because millennials are waiting to enter the home market until later in life than previous generations. These are also reasons the rental market is strong. Rents have increased 3.7 percent over the last 12 months in the Phoenix area.

Meantime, Valley foreclosures have dropped way down over the past year. Completed foreclosures of single-family and condo homes were down 19 percent from last October to this October. The lack of cheap foreclosures here has been largely driving investors to other areas of the country, where bargains are more plentiful. However, there was a little bump back up between this September and October. The percentage of residential properties bought by investors hit 15.5 percent, the highest level since May, but still well below last year’s levels.

“Investors and out-of-state buyers are showing a small recovery in buying interest, but to get our market back to what we would consider normal will still require a major increase in demand from local first-time home buyers,” explains Orr.

Some expect the coming introduction of conventional home loans with a lower, 3-percent down payments next year to stimulate more interest, but Orr isn’t sure this will make a major dent. He anticipates small, incremental improvements.

“The big economic gains of the last few years have helped companies, but not necessarily the average person who might consider taking out a home loan,” says Orr.

One other note from Orr: The market share for new-home sales is doing better and has recovered to 14 percent – the same level as October 2013. Taylor Morrison, Pulte Homes and Meritage Homes are leading the way in the Phoenix area.

Those wanting more Valley housing data can subscribe to Orr’s monthly reports at www.wpcarey.asu.edu/realtyreports. The premium site includes statistics, charts, graphs and the ability to focus in on specific aspects of the market. More analysis is also available at the W. P. Carey School of Business “Research and Ideas” website at http://research.wpcarey.asu.edu.

Fractured Prune

PHX Architecture designs ASU doughnut shop

PHX Architecture has completed designs for a new doughnut shop near Arizona State University’s Tempe Campus- Fractured Prune Doughnuts. The shop is located in Tempe on Veterans Way and College Avenue inside of the new University House residential high rise. The shop is expected to open in late January, just in time for the Super Bowl.

Fractured Prune, a unique doughnut shop based out of Ocean City, Maryland has become extremely popular in many states, and has prompted the expansion of locations into Arizona. The doughnut shop is known for their wonderful flavor combinations and unique name, which came from the story of the founder named Prunella Shriek, who is known by “Fractured Prunella” after breaking bones while competing athletically. The creative name and backstory along with the customized doughnuts provide for a truly unique experience soon to quickly take off in the Arizona area.

The Fractured Prune is a unique doughnut concept, where customers pick their own flavoring combinations for their doughnuts. With 19 different glazes and 13 different toppings, the flavors can range anywhere from marshmallow- bacon to blueberry-graham cracker and many more. According to their website, there are 155,648 flavor combinations possible, which includes their bestselling doughnut the OC Sand, which is a combination of honey glaze, cinnamon and sugar. This exclusive doughnut shop can turn even the most skeptical into doughnut lovers!

The design team was headed by PHX Architecture’s own Maurita Walker, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, and constructed by Salcito Construction. Other locations expected to be completed in January around the Valley include a Cityscape location in downtown Phoenix, and a Westgate location next to the AMC Theatres, both of which are expected to be completed in time for the Superbowl.

Deloitte Report Reveals Mid-Market Companies Expect U.S. Economic Growth

Experts: 2 more years until full economic recovery in Arizona

We can expect our economic recovery to take about another two years in Arizona. That’s what experts said today at the 51st annual Economic Forecast Luncheon co-sponsored by Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business and JPMorgan Chase.

About 750 people attended the event at the Phoenix Convention Center. Key experts delivered a comprehensive overview of what’s happening in the state and national economies, as well as the stock market and housing market. One main message was that Arizona is now growing at a faster rate than the nation, but we still have some distance to go.

“As of May, the United States finished gaining back 100 percent of its jobs lost in the recession, but in Arizona alone, we’re only 69 percent of the way there,” explained Research Professor Lee McPheters, director of the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “We expect to regain that last 96,400 jobs in the next year and a half.”

So far this year, Arizona has experienced 2-percent job growth, while our state’s 30-year average is a much higher 4.2 percent. Still, this rate was good enough to rank Arizona as the No. 12 state for job growth as of October. Arizona ranked No. 13 in personal-income growth by midyear. McPheters believes the state will speed up from here.

Among his Arizona predictions for 2015:
• Employment growth could rise from an expected 2.2 percent this year to 2.5 percent next year.
• Personal-income growth could jump from 4 percent this year to 4.5 percent in 2015.
• Population growth could go up from 1.4 percent in 2014 to 1.5 percent next year.

McPheters added Arizona is doing particularly well in creating jobs in finance/insurance and health care. The state is lagging in manufacturing and construction. Arizona unemployment has dropped from 7.8 percent last year to 6.8 percent this year. However, we continue to recover much more slowly than from past economic downturns, and we continue to face risks from ineffective growth policies at the national level.

John Lonski, chief capital markets economist of Moody’s Analytics, addressed the national economy by saying that we can expect more subpar growth in 2015.

“We expect U.S. real GDP (gross domestic product) growth to rise from an expected 2.2 percent this year to about 2.8 percent next year,” said Lonski. “We also anticipate the national unemployment rate may drop from 5.8 percent this October to 5.4 percent by the end of 2015.”

In addition, Lonski predicts U.S. wage and salary income should grow by about 4.5 percent next year. He believes industrial capacity will be more fully utilized. He said the housing collapse, tightening of fiscal policy, and insufficient new product development have been contributing to America’s economic struggle. However, he expects the next major wave of technological innovation to supply stronger-than-expected growth, whether it’s self-driving autos or robotics.

“We’re also experiencing some big changes because of a population shift,” Lonski added. “Only about 1.5 percent of the jobs added post-recession have gone to those ages 16 to 54, while those ages 55 and older gained 20.9 percent. This shift has prompted less spending and more saving, especially by those closer to retirement.”

Lonski also expects the budget deficit to go up, after bottoming out at 2.6 percent of GDP in 2015. That’s because of increased spending on retiring baby boomers, as well as the still-unknown costs of the Affordable Care Act. Decreased defense spending should moderate some of the increases.

James Glassman, managing director and senior economist for JPMorgan Chase & Co., covered the financial markets. He said that, despite the recent rise in stock prices, they are still fairly valued. He added household net worth is back in record territory.

“Credit conditions are improving, and rising vehicle sales prove it,” said Glassman. “Also, we’re seeing some improvements in the housing industry, since builders addressed their previous speculative overbuilding by underbuilding in recent years. Rising home prices are helping to drain the number of ‘underwater’ mortgages.”

Glassman notes the energy sector is also humming along. He expects interest rates to go up next year as the economy continues to improve.

Elliott D. Pollack, chief executive officer of Scottsdale-based economic consulting firm Elliott D. Pollack and Company, covered the Arizona housing market. He repeated that the state has recently experienced a significant slowdown in population flows and only a modest recovery from the sharp downturn in our housing market.

Pollack said there are a few positives, such as slow acceleration of the local economy, decent home affordability, low mortgage rates, a slight loosening of lending standards, and the movement of many all-cash investors to other bargain areas of the country. These factors create more opportunity for local buyers who need financing.

“However, we still see several negatives that outweigh those positives, including relatively sluggish employment growth, fewer people moving, millennials delaying home purchases, many people still waiting out their required seven years in the credit ‘penalty box’ after foreclosures, and overall difficulty in getting home loans,” explained Pollack. “Full recovery is still years away.”

Pollack said more people who have been renting may jump back into the housing market over the next several years as conditions improve. Meantime, apartment construction is up. Pollack believes the Valley won’t see any significant office construction – except in select submarkets like Tempe – until at least 2017.

More details and analysis from the event, including the presentation slides, are available from the business school’s “Research and Ideas” website at research.wpcarey.asu.edu.

tax

Will campaign contributions lower your tax rates?

Many politicians will tell you that donating to their campaigns does not affect the way they vote or design laws. However, a new study from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University suggests regular ongoing contributions do help provide access to influential lawmakers and that companies making campaign contributions specifically to tax-writing members of Congress wind up paying lower tax rates over time.

“We found that firms investing in relationships with tax policymakers through campaign contributions do gain greater future tax benefits,” says Assistant Professor Jennifer Brown of the W. P. Carey School of Business, one of the study authors. “We specifically looked at members of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee in the research. Overall, we saw that donating companies experienced lower and more consistent effective tax rates in the long run.”

The new research was recently published online by the Journal of the American Taxation Association. The authors are Brown and two recent Ph.D. graduates from the W. P. Carey School at Arizona State University: Assistant Professor Laura Wellman, now of the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Assistant Professor Katharine Drake, now of the University of Arizona. In the study, they remark that political action committee (PAC) contributions to members of Congress, in general, rose 60 percent from the years 2000 to 2008, but PAC contributions specifically to tax-writing members of Congress went up even more — 80 percent.

“Proactive firms build relationships with policymakers through continued campaign support, with the expectation of gaining some economic benefit,” says Wellman. “There is an advantage to getting in the game early and maintaining your seat at the table. Our research provides evidence that increasing the number of political ties to tax policymakers produces a stronger effect on future tax rates.”

The paper points out that one member of the Senate Finance Committee raised more than $11 million in his 2008 campaign, even though he was running essentially unopposed. The research isn’t aimed at showing that anything inappropriate is happening, but rather, that contributions to tax policymakers may help supply more access, such as a receptive ear.

The study utilizes PAC data from the Federal Election Commission and lobbying data from the Center for Responsive Politics. The researchers found that when a firm moved from the 25th percentile to the 75th percentile of “relational” activity – equal to supporting at least five more candidates — then that firm experienced a lower future cash effective tax rate, which added up to an average of about $33 million in annual savings. The frequency of the donations and the power level of the candidates also play a role in the equation.

The article adds that lobbying and contributions work together in achieving firms’ tax-policy outcomes. The full study is available at http://aaajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.2308/atax-50908.

stem.cell

Scottsdale hosts second Cure Corridor Event

Scottsdale economic development will be hosting the second annual Cure Corridor Event at the Scottsdale Fairmont Princess Dec. 5 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. This event features a significant lineup of Cure Corridor partners sharing their insight into the future of the Cure Corridor and Bio-Life Sciences Industry. Keynote speaker Elizabeth Holmes – founder and CEO of Theranos, which recently located at Scottsdale’s SkySong, will headline the event.  Ms. Holmes was recently featured on the cover of Forbes magazine and debuted on Forbes 400 as the youngest self-made woman billionaire.

The first annual Cure Corridor event was launched in September 2013 and entertained hundreds of attendees with strong presenter content. The City of Scottsdale’s goal is to raise awareness about the innovation activity taking place in the community while supporting business growth and collaboration among industry partners.

This year’s event brings together a multitude Scottsdale industry partners in bio-life science to share recent happenings in their core areas of research in a rapid fire presentation format. The current line-up of noted rapid fire speakers include:

• Martin Shultz – Arizona Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee
• Dr. Michael Gordon – Medical Director of the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials program at Scottsdale Healthcare
• J.D. Weir – Primus Pharmaceuticals
• David Bennett – Orion Health
• Dr. Robert Greenes – ASU and Mayo Clinic
• Walter Cooper – Matrix Medical Network

“Our healthcare and life science community in Scottsdale is a vital economic sector and is as a key driver for job growth in our community,” said Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane. “More importantly, leading life science innovators call Scottsdale “home.” This means that the people of our community have access to the best possible healthcare services, cutting edge research, and other opportunities that will benefit the people of Scottsdale today and for generations to come.”

The Cure Corridor is not only a location but a concept designed to promote the innovative activities occurring around the concentration of the Bio-Life Sciences sector throughout Scottsdale. This sector is a major driver of the innovation economy in the State of Arizona, Greater Phoenix region and City of Scottsdale. According to the Flinn Foundation, the biosciences in Arizona “develop treatments for health afflictions, design diagnostics to gauge and prevent illness, strengthen our food supply, develop alternative fuel sources, and much more.”

The Scottsdale Cure Corridor is more than a brand or location. This strategic concept includes activities designed to promote the innovative practices occurring around the concentration of biotech and life sciences industries from Shea Boulevard to the Scottsdale Airpark and throughout Scottsdale. The bio-life science sector has a strong presence in the city’s economic health, with Scottsdale housing 13 percent of all Phoenix Metro area bio-life sciences employment. The Scottsdale bio-life sciences activity includes a workforce of about 27,700 people and a direct economic output of $2.5 billion and indirect output of $3.5 billion annually anchored by companies such as TD2, Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute and Mayo Clinic.

The Cure Corridor isn’t just home to some of the world’s most prestigious clinical research facilities it is also home to pharmaceutical companies such as Primus, Prismic and West Pharmaceuticals.

The health-service industry burst in 2014 with major location and expansion announcements by some of the fastest growing companies in the U.S.  Companies such Orion Health, ZocDoc, Zenefits and Accolade have all chosen Scottsdale because of its skilled workforce, high quality of life and a booming industry cluster which is drawing national recognition.

Arizona Economic Forecast 2011

Boyes named founding director of ASU research center

ASU has announced the appointment of Professor William Boyes as the founding director of the Center for the Study of Economic Liberty at the university’s business school. Through the research center, Boyes will be able to build on his scholarly investigation of how economics, policy and general well-being are influenced by individuals’ ability to make choices.

“This new center will bring together scholars and public intellectuals to examine the broad societal effects of free markets, private property rights and entrepreneurship,” said ASU President Michael Crow. “The issues that it will convene researchers to consider are directly linked to ASU’s commitment to engage on questions of critical importance to our region, to the nation and to the wider world.”

The center is made possible by $5 million in gifts. Part of the money comes through a grant from the philanthropic W. P. Carey Foundation, which supports schools and universities in the areas of business and economics. The organization’s founder, the late investor Wm. Polk Carey and founder of W. P. Carey & Co., also provided a $50 million gift to ASU in 2003 that resulted in the renaming of the business school as the W. P. Carey School of Business.

The W. P. Carey Foundation helped to secure up to $3.5 million for the center from the Charles Koch Foundation, which also focuses its philanthropy on university research and education.

ASU is frequently recognized for innovation in research and education, and the university was recently ranked the nation’s No. 2 up-and-coming school, according to U.S. News & World Report. The new Center for the Study of Economic Liberty will build on the university’s legacy of innovation. It will be involved in research, publishing, conferences, and engaging students and scholars from around the world.

Boyes is excited to take his current research further. His research has helped to inform policymakers at the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Federal Trade Commission and various companies that all play a significant role in America’s economy. His new research will explore the economic implications of government regulation, small business and public education.

“We will study the intersection of individuals, the private sector and government,” explained Boyes. “We want to help educate students and inform the general public. We hope to use our research as a catalyst for broader conversations that can lead to societal solutions.”

The center’s executive director will be Scott Beaulier, an economist who has held previous appointments in the area of economics at three universities. He has done extensive research on the implications that economic policy has at a state, federal and international level, affecting the ability of people to live satisfied, fulfilling lives.

W. P. Carey Foundation Chairman Francis J. Carey, III noted, “We appreciate the opportunity to partner with the W. P. Carey School of Business, Dean Amy Hillman and Professor Boyes in supporting the Center for the Study of Economic Liberty.”

Charles Koch Foundation President Brian Hooks said, “We’re excited to support ASU and the important work its faculty members are doing.”

lawyers

Az Business announces finalists for ACC Awards

Az Business magazine, in conjunction with the State Bar of Arizona, have announced the finalists for the 2015 Arizona Corporate Counsel (ACC) Awards.

The finalists and winners will be honored at an awards dinner and reception on Jan. 15, 2015 at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa in Scottsdale. Click here for more information about the event.

Here are the finalists:

Arizona State University legal department
David Bixby, Banner Health
Kelleen Brennan, Universal Technical Institute
Franc Del Fosse, Insys
Brad Gazaway, The Dial Corporation
Illya Iussa, Arizona Summit Law School
JDA Software legal department
John T. Jozwick, Rider Levett Bucknall
Alan Kelly, Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network
David Mulvihill, Make-A-Wish Foundation
Wendy Neal, Arcadia Biosciences
Carmen Neuberger, Phoenix Children’s Hospital
Mary Beth Orson, Apollo Education Group
Michael Reagan, Kahala Corporation
Michael Rissman, Republic Services
Brian Roberts, Grand Canyon University
Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network legal department
Karen Stein, IO
Jason Steiner, Insight Enterprises
Jenny Holsman Tetreault, Rural/Metro
Tiffanie Woodie, Petsmart

Staying Innovative as a One Man Operation

Arizona businesses win Spirit of Enterprise Awards

We all win when local companies grow, create jobs and help boost our still-recovering economy. Today, several of the state’s best businesses were honored for their positive role in our communities. They’re the winners of the 18th annual Spirit of Enterprise Awards from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

“We enjoy recognizing locally owned companies that introduce innovation, empower employees, impress customers, and make a real difference in Arizona,” says Sidnee Peck, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “This year’s Spirit of Enterprise Award winners are in a variety of industries, and they all meet a market need and have a great impact on the Valley.”

Hundreds of business and community leaders attended today’s awards luncheon at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, where the winners were announced. The finalists’ impressive stories were shown on video, as the firms were lauded for ethics, energy and excellence in entrepreneurship.

The 2014 Spirit of Enterprise Award winners are:

• Ersland Touch Landscape – Overcoming Adversity Award. This state-of-the-art landscape maintenance company started as a one-man, one-mower operation run out of a garage. After 30 years in business, it now has a complete customer “feedback log,” an Adopt a Highway commitment, work with nonprofits, and more than 400 residences and 20 homeowner associations as clients.

• IO – Emerging Enterprise Award. This growing firm is focused on rethinking data-center technology, using software solutions, instead of just physical locations. It has more than 650 global clients, including Goldman Sachs and LexisNexis, as well as two patents and an emphasis on energy efficiency.

• I-ology – Gary L. Trujillo Minority Enterprise Award sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. This woman-owned technology company offers Web design and related services. It features close client relationships, heavy community involvement, and no management hierarchy, offering all employees a chance to participate in revenue sharing, stock options, flexible schedules and industry events.

• Kitchell – The Hahnco Companies Special Achievement in Entrepreneurship Award. This 100-percent employee-owned commercial builder, developer and program manager launched 65 years ago. It now has more than 850 employees, international operations, an internal leadership program, significant charitable contributions, and a focus on enabling employee-driven innovation.

• Melrose Pharmacy – Innovation in Entrepreneurship Award. This independent pharmacy offers fast, highly personalized service; utilizes cutting-edge equipment; and supports charities like the March of Dimes and local community issues. It has also achieved a 119-percent increase in net income already for this year.

The other Spirit of Enterprise finalists this year were Clean Air Cab, Endless Entertainment, India Plaza/The Dhaba, The James Agency and Potter’s House Apothecary.

Also this year, the Spirit of Enterprise Student Entrepreneur Award went to Anthony Gonzales, a recent W. P. Carey School of Business MBA graduate. Gonzales is a finalist in Entrepreneur magazine’s College Entrepreneur of the Year competition with his grant-winning, ongoing development of FITGuard, a mouthguard designed to indicate levels of head impact for athletes, as well as a smartphone application that can provide data to a diagnosing physician.

The event also included its first-ever National Founder of the Year award. The honoree is Sam Calagione, founder and president of Delaware-based Dogfish Head Brewery. Calagione’s family-owned business started small and grew about 400 percent in just four years. He still experiments with new products, works creatively with other breweries and food companies, and has written books about his experiences as an entrepreneur.

The Spirit of Enterprise Awards are just one focus of the Center for Entrepreneurship, which helps hundreds of businesses each year. The center offers companies the chance to recruit and meet with top student talent, while also allowing students to get hands-on business-creation experience. The center recently introduced the Sun Devil Select competition to honor ASU alum-owned or alum-led businesses. The center is also self-funded and utilizes community sponsorships to sustain its activities. For more information, visit wpcarey.asu.edu/entrepreneurship.

stem.cell

ASU revises royalty policy, more proceeds to researchers

Arizona State University researchers with inventions licensed to existing companies or to form new startups will be entitled to a larger share of the proceeds under a new university policy developed by the Intellectual Property and Institutional Review Committee and approved by President Michael Crow.

Under the previous policy, net licensing proceeds (after administrative and legal fees) were split equally between the inventor(s), their lab(s) and the university. Effective as of Nov. 1, the “lab share” will be reduced so that a greater percentage of royalties flow directly to inventors.

“For the modern American research university, technology transfer is a critically important pathway for disseminating the knowledge needed to solve major societal challenges and boost our state and regional economies,” said Crow. “For the past decade we have reshaped our efforts in this area to engage more of the faculty in this process, speed the journey from lab to market and reward inventors for their time and effort.”

Technology transfer at U.S. research institutions is governed by the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act, which set consistent ground rules for inventions arising from federal funding. Prior to Bayh-Dole, the rights to most university technologies reverted to the funding agencies, with the result being that the government had successfully licensed fewer than five percent of the technologies represented by the 28,000 patents it had accumulated.

Bayh-Dole sought to spur innovation and increase the number of research discoveries that were translated into treatments, products or services that benefit the general public. Under its provisions, universities own these inventions and are required to share royalties with the inventors, though they have broad flexibility in how they structure the payouts.

“The changes to ASU’s royalty-sharing policy are designed to incentivize innovation and were adopted after an intensive process involving faculty input and deliberation,” said Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, ASU’s senior vice president for Knowledge Enterprise Development. “The new model recognizes and incentivizes the transformational research being done by ASU faculty across every department and campus.”

For the first $10,000 in net income for a licensed technology: The creator(s) receive half of net royalties, with the lab receiving one-sixth and the university one-third.

After the first $10,000 in net income: The creator share varies by the number of listed inventors on a sliding scale from 40 percent for a solo inventor up to 50 percent for five or more. The university share remains one-third and the lab share adjusts accordingly. The lab share is capped at $2 million on an annual basis.

The full policy on royalty sharing is available here.

Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE) is a separate limited liability company formed in 2003 that acts as ASU’s exclusive intellectual property management and technology transfer organization. Funded by ASU, AzTE comprises industry and university professionals with extensive experience in technology evaluation, product development, marketing, capital formation, IP protection and licensing and commercialization.

ASU, through the activities of AzTE, is annually one of the top-performing U.S. universities in terms of intellectual property inputs (inventions disclosed by ASU researchers) and outputs (licensing deals and start-ups) relative to the size of the university’s research enterprise.

The Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) prepares an annual report collecting the technology commercialization results for almost 200 universities and research hospitals. In the past five years, among research institutions that achieved at least $300 million in annual research expenditures, ASU was one of just four schools to achieve top 10 rankings for licensing agreements, startups and invention disclosures per $10 million in research.

In FY14, ASU faculty working with AzTE set new record highs in invention disclosures (261), U.S. issued patents (56), startups (12), and licenses and options (90).
To date, more than 70 companies have been launched based on ASU discoveries. In just the last three years, these companies and their sub-licensees have attracted $163 million in funding from venture capital firms and other investors.

housing

Phoenix Housing Market in Low Gear Until Next Year

The Phoenix-area housing market is unlikely to see a significant boost until next year. That’s according to the latest monthly report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

Here are the highlights of the new report on Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of September:

• The median single-family-home sales price was up 5 percent from last September, but that’s largely just because fewer sales are clustered at the bottom end of the market, not because individual home prices are rising much.
• The area has been experiencing sluggish demand and low sales activity for more than 14 months.
• Because there are fewer people buying, the rental market is hot, with both rents and construction permits for new multi-family housing rising.

After the housing crash, Phoenix-area home prices shot up from September 2011 to last summer. This year, prices leveled off and then rose somewhat. The median single-family-home price went up 5 percent from last September to this September – from $198,997 to $209,900. Realtors will note the average price per square foot rose 7 percent. The median townhome/condo price went up 15 percent.

However, the report’s author says the median increases happened primarily just because fewer sales are now clustered at the lower end of the market, with fewer foreclosures and short sales available. Only luxury homes above $2 million are seeing stronger-than-normal demand. Overall, the number of single-family-home sales is down 7 percent from last September to this September.

“Demand has been much weaker since July 2013 and still shows little sign of recovery,” says the report’s author, Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Supply is also fairly limited. We anticipate pricing will continue to move sideways over the next few months, and a significant increase in demand will be required to change things.”

Investors are unlikely to bring that increase in demand. They’ve largely lost interest in the Phoenix area, now that better bargains can be found in other parts of the country with more foreclosures. Investors accounted for only 14.4 percent of residential-property purchases in September — way down from the peak of 39.7 percent in July 2012.

“To get the market back to what we would consider normal will require a major recovery in demand from local first-time home buyers,” explains Orr. “The last quarter of the year is rarely one in which first-time home buyer demand takes off without some unusual stimulus, so it looks as though our hopes for a livelier market will have to rest on a stronger start to 2015.”

Orr says if lenders decide to lower their standards for home loans, then that might create some additional demand next year. Many people who went through foreclosure in 2008 will be allowed to enter the market again, after spending the required seven years in the credit “penalty box.”

Until then, the rental-home market is red hot, with fast turnover and a constrained supply of rental homes available. The Phoenix area has already seen a 5.7 percent boost in rents over the past 12 months. Construction permits to build new multi-family housing to meet the demand are also on a strong upward trend.

Those wanting more Phoenix-area housing data can subscribe to Orr’s monthly reports at www.wpcarey.asu.edu/realtyreports. The premium site includes statistics, charts, graphs and the ability to focus in on specific aspects of the market. More analysis is also available at the W. P. Carey School of Business “Research and Ideas” website at http://research.wpcarey.asu.edu.

ASU's Arizona Center for Law and Society

ASU law school to break ground next week

The official groundbreaking for Arizona State University’s new $129 million law school building in downtown Phoenix, the Arizona Center for Law and Society, is set for Nov. 13.

The ceremony will take place at the northwest corner of Taylor and First streets starting at 8 a.m. Attending the ceremony will be ASU President Michael M. Crow, retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Dean Doug Sylvester. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and Phoenix Councilman Michael Nowakowski also are expected to attend.

“The Arizona Center for Law and Society is another wonderful addition to our growing campus in the heart of Phoenix,” Crow said. “Having the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law in Downtown Phoenix fits perfectly with ASU’s mission of building strong learning and career connections with media, health care, corporate and government organizations for the more than 11,500 students in the downtown campus.”

Construction on the Arizona Center for Law and Society began in July. The new building will be ready for classes by August 2016. The College of Law currently occupies its home of almost 50 years, Armstrong Hall, on the Tempe campus. ASU and the College of Law are committed to ensuring that the Armstrong name will be honored in the new law school.

The Arizona Center for Law and Society is being funded by the city of Phoenix — which is providing land and $12 million — construction bonds through Arizona State University and private donations. ASU Law has set a capital campaign goal of $50 million for construction of the building. The College has raised more than $34 million so far.

“This could not have been possible without the generosity of our alumni and connected legal communities,” Sylvester said. “We are particularly honored that long-time Phoenix attorney Leo Beus and his wife, Annette, recently made a $10 million contribution to the building’s capital campaign. ”

The building is planned to be approximately 280,000 gross square feet with two levels of underground parking. It will have 18 rooms in which classes will be regularly scheduled, including one large lecture hall dedicated to university undergraduate education. Features of the new law school include a high-tech courtroom and an active learning classroom.

“Not only will the new law school have state-of-the-art learning facilities, it also will provide our students with incredible opportunities,” Sylvester said. “The downtown location is near the courts and the city’s legal district, which will prove invaluable to our students in the form of internships, externships and networking.”

The Ross-Blakley Law Library, currently located in a separate building near the law school in Tempe, will be moved to the new building. The library will occupy multiple floors and create the main circulatory structure of the center. The first floor of the building will have retail space consisting of a school bookstore and a café.

The Arizona Center for Law and Society also will include space for two think tanks, multiple centers with cross-disciplinary focus and the new ASU Alumni Law Group, the first teaching law firm associated with a law school.

The lead architects on the project are Ennead Architects and Jones Studio, with DPR Construction as the lead builder.

phoenix

Arizona drops from Top 10 for job growth

We’re still slowly recovering from the staggering loss of jobs during the Great Recession, but some cities and states are rebounding faster than others. The job-growth numbers for the first three quarters of 2014 are now out. Research Professor Lee McPheters of the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University provides rankings and analysis of the winners and losers, based on the latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Top 10 cities and surrounding metro areas (1 million or more workers), for non-agricultural job growth — comparing January through September of this year to the same nine months last year:

Orlando, Fla. – up 3.7 percent
Houston – up 3.5 percent
Dallas – up 3.4 percent
Miami – up 3 percent
Portland, Ore. – up 2.9 percent
Riverside, Calif. – up 2.8 percent (tie)
Denver – up 2.8 percent
San Francisco – up 2.6 percent (tie)
Seattle – up 2.6 percent
10.  San Diego – up 2.4 percent

Top 10 states for non-agricultural job growth – comparing January through September of this year to the same nine months last year:

North Dakota – up 4.6 percent
Nevada – up 3.6 percent
Texas  – up 3.3 percent
Utah – up 3.1 percent
Florida – up 2.9 percent
Oregon – up 2.8 percent
Colorado – up 2.7 percent
Delaware – up 2.5 percent
California – up 2.2 percent (tie)
Washington – up 2.2 percent

Analysis:

The United States has added about 2.4 million jobs so far this year. The monthly average from January through September was 1.8-percent job growth nationwide. That pace is only slightly better than last year’s, when we saw an overall annual increase of 1.7 percent, so the recovery remains relatively slow.

On the state list, North Dakota has held the No. 1 spot every year since 2009, largely thanks to its oil and gas production. Nevada, Texas and Utah also topped 3-percent job growth this time, with Nevada’s economy receiving a big boost from building activity and impressive construction gains of more than 10 percent.

“Seven of the top 10 job-growth states so far this year are in the West,” says McPheters, director of the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Oregon and Delaware are new on the list this time, replacing Idaho and Arizona.”

Arizona actually fell out of the top 10 for the first time in two years. Even though it ranked No. 3 in health-care job growth and No. 5 in financial-activities job growth, the state has now dropped to No. 14 overall. Manufacturing, government and construction contributed to the decline.
The bottom 10 states so far this year are Michigan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland, Illinois, Vermont, Virginia, New Jersey, New Mexico and last-place Alaska.  Five of these states were also on the bottom in 2013: Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, New Mexico and Alaska.

McPheters notes very high interest in state economic performance right now because 30 governors are up for reelection, including those in top-10 states Nevada, Florida, Oregon, Colorado and California, as well as bottom-10 states Michigan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Illinois, Vermont, New Mexico and Alaska.

On the top 10 cities list, Orlando holds the No. 1 position with 3.7-percent job growth, double the national pace.

“Eight of the top large cities for job creation are in the West,” explains McPheters, “However, Florida also did well, with two cities on the list.”

Seven of the top 10 cities are clustered in Florida, Texas and California. They include Orlando, Miami, Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, San Diego and Riverside, Calif.

The greater Phoenix labor market dropped out of the top 10, as its rate of job growth slipped from 2.7 percent in 2013 to a more modest 2.2 percent during the first three quarters of this year. Phoenix is currently No. 12 among labor markets with 1 million or more workers.

Still, seven large labor markets have job creation below 1 percent: Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, northern Virginia and lastly, Detroit.

The full rankings and other job-growth data from McPheters can be found at the W. P. Carey School of Business “Job Growth USA” website: www.wpcarey.asu.edu/jobgrowth. Use the “year to date” function for the current 2014 numbers.

housing.prices

Could Looser Lending Standards Boost Phoenix Market?

Will banks start to drop their standards and let people with slightly lower credit scores and much lower down payments buy homes? That’s the big question, after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and other agencies voted to approve new, looser lending rules this week. A well-known expert from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University says if the change happens, and the adjustments are reasonable, then it could be good for the Phoenix-area housing market, stimulating growth.

Here are the highlights of the school’s monthly housing-market report on Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of August:

• The median single-family-home sales price went up 11 percent from last August, but that’s largely just due to having fewer sales clustered at the bottom end of the market.
• Both supply and demand in the market remain relatively low.
• Lenders have been reluctant to expand the number of people eligible for home loans, which is helping to stunt market growth.

After the housing crash, the Phoenix area had a fast boost in home prices from September 2011 to last summer. This year, prices leveled off and then rose somewhat. The median single-family-home price went up 11 percent – from $192,000 to $213,500 — from last August to this August. The average price per square foot jumped 7 percent. The median townhouse/condominium price went up 10 percent. However, the report’s author explains the median gains are not reflective of higher home values across the board.

“The median went up largely just because we saw a big drop in sales clustered at the low end of the market,” explains Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “The average price per square foot actually dropped last month. I expect prices to move sideways to slightly down over the next few months until supply and demand get back into balance.”

Both supply and demand are relatively low in the Phoenix-area housing market right now. Single-family-home sales activity dropped 15 percent from last August to this August. Investor interest, in particular, has dramatically fallen over the last year. The percentage of homes bought by investors in August was 14.4 percent, way down from the peak of 39.7 percent in July 2012. There aren’t a lot of cheap “distressed” homes to buy, with completed Phoenix-area foreclosures down 43 percent from last August to this August.

“Better bargains for investors can be found in other parts of the country,” says Orr. “Over the last three months, the percentages of homes bought by investors have been lower than we have seen for many years, confirming investors are no longer driving the market the way they did between early 2009 and mid-2013.”

Rental homes remain popular for those who don’t want to buy a house or who can’t qualify for a home loan. Fast turnover and low vacancy rates have already pushed rents up 5.8 percent over the last year in the Phoenix area.

Meantime, we’re seeing a lot of speculation about whether banks will lower their standards and start letting people with good – but not great – credit scores qualify for home loans. Also, conventional loan down payments could be dropped from 10 percent to as little as 3 percent. The chairman of the Federal Housing Finance Agency spoke in Las Vegas this week and indicated that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would likely still purchase and retain those loans, if the banks make them.

“Right now, funds are flowing only to a small proportion of potential buyers, who have excellent credit, which is contributing to weaker-than-normal demand for homes to purchase,” explains Orr. “Lenders are reluctant to take any unusual risks in an environment when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac might take negative, profit-damaging action against the banks on loans sold to them. It appears it will take a major move by Fannie and Freddie to limit those risks before mortgage availability can get back to a normal level and support the next stage in the housing recovery.”

Orr adds, “Banks have to walk the line on their lending standards. They went from the porridge being too hot (standards too lax) to the porridge being too cold (standards too tight). It’s still a while until we get to ‘just right,’ but striking the right balance could move the Phoenix-area housing market toward more sales and more demand.”

Those wanting more Phoenix-area housing data can subscribe to Orr’s monthly reports at www.wpcarey.asu.edu/realtyreports. The premium site includes statistics, charts, graphs and the ability to focus in on specific aspects of the market. More analysis is also available at the W. P. Carey School of Business “Research and Ideas” website at http://research.wpcarey.asu.edu.

Glendale Community College Technology 1 Building

Constructing a Competitive Edge

Whether it’s building a research facility from the ground-up or renovating a historic stadium, institutions of higher education must always be — or appear to be — on a competitive edge.
ASU’s decision to enter a $162M renovation of Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., comes in the wake of other Pac-12 schools’ stadium upgrades and ground-up facilities. And the DPR Construction team awarded the 10-story, 245KSF Biosciences Partnership Building project has planned and priced at least five different scenarios simultaneously so that if one or more is accepted or eliminated, there isn’t much time lost in the design process.

“The universities are under a great deal of competitive stress, if you will,” says DPR’s Senior Construction Manager Peter Berg. “They’re competing with all the other universities to be the best, and they’re having to do it with less resources and less funding around the state.”

He adds that “the pace of change has accelerated to the point that it’s hard for them to see that future and plan far enough in advance so that the buildings they’re creating when it’s completed it’s still relevant.”

Planning meetings can radically change the direction a project is headed, but one thing never changes, says Berg, and that’s the start and end dates for a development.

“With increasing choices for learning environments and teaching styles, both on campus and on-line, education facilities need to project their investment in recruiting the top students through every facet,” says David Calcaterra, principal at Deutsch Architecture Group.

This is achieved, he says, by incorporating advanced technologies in the classroom as well as flexibility in the learning spaces for collaboration or focus-based learning.

“Now to be competitive, schools must also incorporate inspirational environments that foster creative thinking,” says Calcaterra. “Gone are the days of windowless classrooms with rows of desks.”

Deutsch was the architect on Adolfson & Peterson Construction’s renovation of the Glendale Community College Technology 1 Building, which was built in 1968.

“The aging facility was badly in need of a complete modernization and a significant upgrade to its infrastructure and technological capabilities,” says Michael Schroeder, director of marketing for A&P.

To make the facility an inspiring space that accommodates all methods of learning, Deutsch focused on natural light, good ventilation and sound quality. This supports good student learning, Calcaterra says, and faculty and staff retention.

global

W. P. Carey School Announces Hall of Fame Members

Two technology mavens and a prominent professor focused on improving our health care will be honored for their accomplishments this month. The three alums will be inducted into the W. P. Carey School of Business Homecoming Hall of Fame at Arizona State University on Oct. 30. Previous inductees come from such diverse organizations as the American Red Cross, the Arizona Diamondbacks, Motorola, Wells Fargo Bank and XM Satellite Radio.

“The new honorees have all blazed a trail in their respective fields, making a difference in their professions, their community and society as a whole,” says Amy Hillman, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business. “They also set a great example for our current students that there are no limits on how far they can go in their own career paths.”

The 37th annual W. P. Carey School inductees are:

• Leonard Berry – Dr. Berry, a distinguished professor and well-known author, has devoted his career to studying the marketing and quality of services, with a recent focus on how to improve health care service. He has written 10 books and done extensive work with the Mayo Clinic. He is currently examining how to improve the service experience of cancer patients and their families. Berry has received countless major academic awards and is both a fellow of the Academy of Marketing Science and a past national president of the American Marketing Association. He is a member of several boards of directors, including for Lowe’s, Genesco and Nemours Children’s Health System. He is a Regents Professor, teaching at Texas A&M University, and he received his Ph.D. from ASU’s business school in 1968.

• Brian Gentile – Gentile’s impressive tech career spans almost 30 years and major global companies, including Apple, Sun Microsystems (now part of Oracle), and NCR Corporation. He is a leader in “big data” and cloud computing, who recently built and served as CEO of Jaspersoft Corporation. After TIBCO Software recently acquired the company, Gentile became senior vice president and general manager of its TIBCO Analytics products business unit. He has also been a public governor on the board of the Pacific Stock Exchange, a public member of a New York Stock Exchange committee on ethics and business conduct, and a founding board member for several Silicon Valley startups. He earned his MBA from ASU in 1992.

• Chuck Robel – Tech legend Robel served as chairman of the board of McAfee, one of the world’s best-known computer-security software companies, prior to its multibillion-dollar sale to Intel. He now serves on the boards of directors of GoDaddy, Jive Software, and several other public and private companies. He previously helped to manage about $1 billion in portfolio investments as chief operating officer at venture capital fund Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. He has been involved in more than 80 initial public offerings (IPOs) as an adviser, investor and board member. He received his bachelor’s in accounting from ASU’s business school in 1971.

Alumni, business leaders and students will attend the Homecoming Hall of Fame event Thursday, Oct. 30 at McCord Hall Plaza on ASU’s Tempe campus. The reception starts at 5:30 p.m. Advance registration is requested at www.wpcarey.asu.edu/events/2965 or by calling (480) 965-3978.

The 300 acres of land that will become part of the ASU Athletic Facilities District. Photo courtesy of ASU

Catellus Development selected as developer for 330-acre ASU project

Arizona State University today announced its selection of Catellus Development Corporation as master developer for the ASU Athletic Facilities District, a unique mixed-use development on 330 acres at the northeast end of the ASU’s Tempe Campus.

The District, envisioned as a model for creative urban neighborhood design and sustainable development, will be enlivened by its proximity to the nation’s largest public research university, a vibrant downtown Tempe, and major collegiate and amateur sports venues. The development will supply a revenue stream for university athletics facilities at ASU.

“With a strong partner in the City of Tempe, a unique location, and the unlimited potential of the young men and woman who graduate from ASU every year, this project should be one of the most attractive sites for development in the nation,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “We look forward to working with Catellus and leaders throughout the city and the region to build out this vital new part of Tempe.”

Originating from legislation passed by the state legislature in 2010 to create special revenue districts on land owned by state-supported universities, the District will provide financial returns to the uUniversity while delivering significant, tangible economic impact for the City of Tempe. The 2010 legislation authorizes such districts to impose an assessment, in lieu of property taxes, to be used to construct and improve intercollegiate athletic facilities. ASU is the first state university to act on this opportunity.

Catellus, based in Oakland, Calif.ornia, brings to the District more than 30 years experience as a master developer in projects across the country. The company has transformed former airports, military bases and urban industrial sites into thriving retail, residential and commercial communities.

“This is an amazing opportunity and an outstanding piece of real estate in an extremely visionary city,” said Ted Antenucci, CEO of Catellus. “What makes it even better is the kind of partners we have in ASU and the City of Tempe. ASU is on the cutting edge of sustainability education, giving us the chance to set an even higher standard for the sustainable planning and building practices that have long been a fundamental component of how Catellus develops.

Antenucci said Catellus expects more partners to emerge locally and nationally.

“It’s very exciting to be a part of this with such a dynamic university partner, and we expect other local and national developers to play a role in helping this project evolve over the next 20 years,” said Antenucci said.

The District will boast unparalleled transportation access, being 1.5 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, the fifth busiest airport in the country; a quarter-mile from a full interchange of the Loop 202 Freeway; adjacent to the Loop 101 Freeway and fully developed adjacent arterial street systems, and easily accessible via the Valley’s 20-mile-long light rail system.

The selection of Catellus comes after a two-year process that included requests for qualifications, business plans and multiple interviews with potential developers.

“We’ve worked diligently for the past two years with the close counsel of our partners at the City of Tempe to select the right development partner,” said Morgan R. Olsen, ASU’s Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer. “Catellus has an outstanding track record and its values are aligned with ours on issues of sustainability, social and environmental value and urban development. With their help, the District will be an asset not just for the university, but also a major employment and economic development asset for Tempe and the Valley.”

The next steps will involve careful study and planning, according to both Catellus and ASU.

ASU Assistant Vice President for University Real Estate Development, John Creer, said the District development will be a long-term project over the next 10 to 20 years with the potential for seven to 11 million gross square feet of development. He said expectations are for a mixed-use district that will include multifamily residences, commercial development and service retail. The first step will be a public planning process over the next six to nine months.

“We have a long way to go and this is just the beginning,” said Creer said. “No decisions have been made about what happens or where things go. What comes first is studying the infrastructure needs of this large piece of property and understanding the market conditions of what is possible. We will have a public planning process with meetings, open houses and community engagement – it’s going to be a collaborative process.”

Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell said the District offers Tempe an opportunity unlike any other in the Valley.

“Today marks the beginning of a new and exciting opportunity for the City of Tempe,” Mitchell said.  Mayor Mark Mitchell. “The investments we’ve made in this community, our partnership with this world-class research university, and the proximity of the district to Tempe Town Lake make this a project with unparalleled potential. We welcome Catellus and look forward to working together for many years into the future.”

ItsGoTimeGlass

GoDaddy Opens Global Technology Center in Tempe

Ryan Companies today joined Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell, GoDaddy executives, Arizona State University, government and economic development officials and local business leaders to celebrate the opening of the GoDaddy Global Technology Center at ASU Research Park.

Ryan Companies is the developer for the project and provided design/build services along with its partner, the Smith Group. The GoDaddy facility was the 9th project constructed by Ryan Companies at ASU Research Park.

“The GoDaddy Global Technology Center is exactly the type of project for which the ASU Research Park was created – to provide a best-in-class environment for knowledge-based and technology companies to innovate and for their creative employees to flourish and succeed.  We welcome GoDaddy to the Park and look forward to their interactions with our leading research faculty and entrepreneurial students,” said Dr. Morgan Olsen, President of the Board at ASU Research Park.

“We are so proud to be a part of the team that brought another outstanding project to ASU Research Park. GoDaddy has really set the bar for corporate facilities that support their workforce with this unparalleled campus,” said Molly Ryan Carson, Vice President of Development at Ryan Companies.

The two-story, 150,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility was built to promote the creative and collaborative spirit that GoDaddy, the world’s largest technology provider dedicated to small businesses, is known for. The space includes a full-service kitchen with on-site chefs, a slide into the cafeteria area and plenty of opportunities for fitness and fun including a fitness area, locker rooms, an indoor climbing wall, a go-kart track, relaxation stations, a putting green, a yoga room, large outdoor areas, a shaded basketball and sand volleyball courts and a soccer field.

“I am thrilled to welcome GoDaddy and its employees to our city,” said Mayor Mark Mitchell. “This corporate expansion will ultimately bring hundreds of high quality technology jobs to Tempe and continue the tremendous level of quality job growth the city has experienced in the past year.”

The new GoDaddy facility will house engineers, developers, corporate staff and small business consultants. To date, 200 employees have been hired to work in the new Global Technology Center and 250 additional people will be hired in the coming months.

“This is a killer facility. It embodies our GoDaddy spirit, which is energetic, innovative and passionate. It also supports our company culture and values to be extraordinary, own outcomes and join forces,” said GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving. “We are here to help our customers succeed and it all starts at our core, with our own employees. This environment is collaborative, fun, open and stimulating – exactly what fuels creativity for our customers, helps us attract top-tier talent and gives us a competitive advantage.”

starbucks

More than 1,000 enrolled for Starbucks tuition program

Starbucks says more than 1,000 of its workers have enrolled for an upcoming fall semester at Arizona State University to take advantage of a program that helps pay for their tuition.

That’s from about 4,000 workers who started the application process, 2,000 who completed it, and 1,800 who were accepted by the school, according to Starbucks. The Seattle-based company said the most popular degree programs being pursued are psychology, organizational leadership, health sciences, mass communications and media studies and English.

Starbucks said it is too early to tell how much the company will end up paying in tuition reimbursement for the first batch of students. Reimbursements to workers will vary, with many employees expected to qualify for financial aid such as federal Pell grants because of their limited incomes. Over time, however, Starbucks said it expects to spend “tens of millions of dollars” a year on the tuition reimbursement as more workers take advantage of it.

The company is partnering exclusively with Arizona State University’s online school to offer the benefit.

The program was greeted with fanfare this summer because tuition reimbursement is a rare benefit for low-wage retail and food workers. Starbucks also isn’t requiring workers to stay with the company once they finish their degrees. Some of the program’s terms also drew criticisms, however, such as its requirement that students complete 21 credits before being reimbursed.

The program’s terms also vary depending on the student’s year.

For freshmen and sophomores, Arizona State University is giving workers an upfront discount of about $6,500 to cover the estimated $30,000 in tuition for two years, according to Starbucks. To cover the remainder of the costs, workers would apply for financial aid, such as Pell grants, and pay for the rest either out of pocket or by taking out loans.

Students will not be reimbursed for those first two years, meaning Starbucks won’t incur any costs.

For the junior and senior years, ASU is giving a discount of about $12,600 of the $30,000. Starbucks would reimburse whatever tuition workers have to pay for after the financial aid they receive.

On Tuesday, Starbucks was set to announce that 70 percent of the workers who enrolled in the program this fall are juniors or seniors, meaning they will get full reimbursement. About half the workers are baristas and 35 percent are shift supervisors. The rest have positions of assistant store manager or above, the company said.

The company said the most applications came from California, Washington, Arizona, Texas, Florida and Illinois.

Jeff Kunowski, the founder of Illumin8, a Scottsdale-based company that provides innovative LED signage products, had 12 internships while he was a student at ASU.

Entrepreneur uses ASU grant to jump-start business

Not many people look at sign flippers or signs posted along the road and think they know how to improve those companies’ advertising. Jeff Kunowski went a step further and made it happen in a bright and eco-friendly way.

Kunowski graduated from ASU in 2011 and received the ASU Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative grant, which helped jump-start his business, Illumin8, which offers portable LED signs in all shapes and sizes with rechargeable batteries.

“Being younger and starting a business out of college, it’s hard getting people to take you seriously,” Kunowski said. “But winning the award from ASU gave validation to the whole thing.” It also showed Kunowksi that there were people who not only believed in him, but also believed in his company.

Kunowksi’s ability to help Illumin8 pull big-name clients like Anheuser Busch, the Phoenix Suns and Live Nationcaught the attention of MK Solutions Group, a technology solutions provider for sports and entertainment venues and the two companies formed a strategic alliance to sell Illumin8’s products to venues nationwide.

Now that Illumin8 and MK Solutions Group are starting to grow, Kunowski looks forward to the future of his company. The challenge is no longer his age. but “time management and growth.”
His advice to other college students that are looking to start their own business: “Networking. Take all the opportunities that you can and use your student status to your advantage. You aren’t a threat if you want to learn about the industry.”

Deloitte Report Reveals Mid-Market Companies Expect U.S. Economic Growth

ASU helps honor ‘Most Accurate Economist’

While many Americans were still pinching every penny and praying for a faster recovery from the Great Recession, John Lonski, chief capital markets economist of Moody’s Analytics, understood what our country really faced in its uphill battle toward an economic comeback. He had the most accurate U.S. forecast among the nation’s top economists for the years 2010 to 2013. Accordingly, he will be honored Oct. 16 with the prestigious Lawrence R. Klein Award for his achievements.

“I am honored to receive this award on behalf of Moody’s Analytics’ Capital Markets Research team,” Lonski says. “Given the economic uncertainty, accurate economic analysis is more important than ever to help financial institutions quantify risk and opportunities and simulate the impact of policy adjustments.”

The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University sponsors and judges the Lawrence R. Klein Award, one of the best-known and longest-standing awards in the economics profession. The annual award is named for the late Nobel Prize winner Dr. Lawrence Klein, and it goes to the individual or team with the most accurate economic forecast among the Blue Chip Economic Indicators survey participants for a four-year period. The Blue Chip newsletter has been published for almost 40 years and is regarded as the “gold standard” of business forecasts. Lonski beat out about 50 competitors for this year’s award.

“The biggest challenge of the 2010-to-2013 forecast period was to anticipate how the recovery would unfold,” explains Economics Professor Dennis Hoffman, director of the L. William Seidman Research Institute at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “John Lonski’s projections were particularly accurate for the last two years, when he called for a slow decline in the unemployment rate and nailed gross domestic product (GDP) growth at just over 2 percent.”

Lonski is an acclaimed forecaster, who contributes regularly to forecasting surveys from The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, Reuters and the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank. He was named the top economic forecaster in The Wall Street Journal’s June 2004 survey, and he has done countless interviews for CNBC, The New York Times, Fox Business, Dow Jones, Bloomberg TV, National Public Radio and many other major media outlets. He contributes a quarterly editorial piece for Japan’s Nikkei Veritas newspaper and comments regularly in Moody’s “CreditTrends” and weekly “Market Outlook.” Prior to joining Moody’s Analytics, he worked for National Economic Research Associates.

At the Klein Award event, Lonski will deliver his 2015 forecast, “Goldilocks Redux: 2015’s Outlook for Business Activity, Inflation, and Interest Rates,” including these predictions:

• Another year of modest improvement for the U.S. economy is likely.
• The continued release of pent-up demand for autos and housing should underpin consumer spending.
• However, the subpar growth of employment income, the household-sector’s debt overhang, and the conflict between still-tighter mortgage loan standards and the diminished savings of middle-income households limit the upside for household expenditures.
• The unprecedented aging of both the population and the work force will weigh on income growth and spending.
• Ample global slack implies that a disruptive swelling of inflation risks is unlikely.
Year-end 2015’s expected ranges are .75 to 1 percent for federal funds and 3 to 3.25 percent for the 10-year Treasury yield.
• By mid-2015, the Fed should begin a measured tightening of policy.
• The heightened scrutiny of regulators may ward off the excesses of previous credit-cycle peaks.

Top industry professionals and others will attend the invitation-only award ceremony Oct. 16 at the University Club in New York, starting at 6 p.m.

VIPs expected to be in attendance include Randell E. Moore, executive editor of the Blue Chip Economic Indicators; Amy Hillman, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business; Hannah Klein, daughter of the award namesake; and Trevor Bond, president and chief executive officer of W. P. Carey Inc. (NYSE: WPC).

Postino Annex, Upward Projects

Postino opens newest location in 1950s art studio next month

Next Wednesday, Oct. 1, the latest Postino WineCafé location, Postino Annex (615 S. College Avenue) will open in Tempe inside a revamped former art studio just steps away from the ASU campus. Tucked into the historic ASU Art Annex building, this fourth Valley Postino location will help serve as a new gateway to ASU’s main campus as part of the all-new ASU Recruitment Walk on College Avenue. The project is also a special honor that’s very near and dear to the owners, as all four (Kris & Craig DeMarco and Lauren & Wyatt Bailey) are ASU alumni.

“It means a lot to us to return to our roots here in Tempe and ASU,” says co-owner, Craig DeMarco, “From our sharable menus to the open and communal layout, we really hope Postino Annex serves as a new neighborhood hub for this vibrant college community that helped shape our success.”

According to Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell, “On behalf of the City of Tempe, we’re excited to welcome a great local company like Postino to be a part of our community. Not only is it going to help anchor the new ASU Recruitment Walk, it will bring new life and vitality to College Avenue by restoring this beautiful historic building.”

Open daily for lunch and dinner with brunch every weekend, at Postino Annex guests will savor a compact yet craveable menu of bruschettas, from-scratch soups, fresh salads and hearty panini sandwiches – all made with the finest local ingredients. Plus, every Saturday and Sunday (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) Postino serves up farm-fresh brunch fare with a side of live music and $5 mimosas. Not to mention, Postino’s ever-changing selection of boutique wines and craft beers, including 16 beers on tap and two dedicated nitro taps.  Enjoy signature specials such as $5 Before 5 p.m., offered everyday on all wines by the glass and draft beer pitchers, and $20 Bottle & Board on Monday & Tuesday evenings.

Architecturally, this low-slung mid-century modern space has been artfully reinvented to create a light, airy yet stylish space that blurs the lines between the indoors and outdoors thanks to Postino’s trademark rollup garage doors leading to two lushly-landscaped patios. Here, guests can cozy up inside an intimate booth, settle in at the large indoor/outdoor walnut butcher block bartop, sip in the sun on the oversized outdoor sofa seats or make some friends at the various communal tables, all while soaking in the funky vintage furnishings and colorful custom artwork.

Postino Annex is located at 615 S. College Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281 and open from Monday – Thursday 11 am – 11 pm; Friday 11 am – midnight; Saturday 9 am – midnight; Sunday 9 am – 10 pm.

photo

Leadership Forum: ‘Eyes of the world will be on Arizona’

The partnership between Starbucks and Arizona State University stirs up the way people can pay for college, have a family, and work at the same time.

Today, the 2014 Arizona Leadership Forum started off with the main message of, “We need you to lead us,” specifically speaking to attending business leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs. For quite some time, people have had the wrong impression of Arizona, but that’s about to change.

“Soon the eyes of the world will be on Arizona,” said Jathan Segur, executive vice president of National Bank of Arizona, referring to the 2015 Super Bowl, which will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium. “We will have the chance to talk about what’s right about Arizona.”

Segur’s speech set the tone of hope and optimism for the Leadership Forum.

Among those messages of hope, was one about the American dream to receive a high-quality college education. Unfortunately, it seems an unreachable dream for most. College tuition costs have risen 80 percent in the past 10 years. Therefore, only a select few can afford to go to college, and even fewer get to finish.

The Starbucks College Achievement Plan is the first of its kind, where a national company is taking the initiative to partner with an educational institution to give employees a second chance to live out their American dream. Due to the increasing college expenses, less than 50 percent of college students complete their degree.

“We employ a generation hit hard by our recession,” said Dervala Manley, vice president of global strategy at Starbucks Coffee Company.

Starbucks part-time and full-time employees from around the globe can now apply to receive funding towards their degree from Arizona State University. Freshman and sophomores attending ASU will be given a partial scholarship, accompanied with financial aid depending on their needs. Juniors and seniors will be given full tuition reimbursement with each year they continue to finish their studies. Students will have no obligation to stay at Starbucks after graduation.

Philip Regier, executive vice provost and dean of ASU online and extended campuses emphasized on how ASU wants to give everyone, no mater what their background, an equal chance to get a high-quality education. ASU has all 40 majors online as well as in person, making it more convenient for the working class.

“We did it [partnership] because we had a set of shared values,” Regier said.

This partnership between ASU and Starbucks is a leading example for an innovative state of mind in Arizona. Through the voices of the people, partnerships can form to benefit this generation. This partnership has created a way for aspiring college students to reach their highest potential in life.
“The face of Starbucks is not Howard Schultz, it’s the barista,” Hanley said.

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ASU is 11th in Teach For America corps members

Arizona State University ranked 11th in the nation among large universities for its number of graduating seniors joining Teach for America this year. Teach For America recently released it’s ranking of colleges and universities that contributed the greatest number of graduates to its 2014 teaching corps.

ASU moved up three spots from number 14 in 2013. It had 50 students commit to joining Teach for America. ASU is included in the “large schools” category among universities having 10,000 or more undergraduates.

“At ASU, students develop a commitment to change making,” said Nikki Gusz, strategic initiatives director in ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. “It is hard to think of a role where someone can impact lives more than that of a teacher. We are inspired to see so many current students and alums continually drawn to making a difference in the lives of all students.”

Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals who make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity.

This fall, 10,600 corps members will be teaching in 50 urban and rural regions across the U.S. while 37,000 alumni work across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education.

Teach for America has partnered with ASU since 2006, when President Michael Crow helped launch a shared commitment to developing and supporting future education leaders. ASU’s Teach for America partnership received the ASU President’s Medal for Social Embeddedness in 2008. The partnership is institution-wide with its coordination headquartered in Teachers College, Gusz said. The organizations work on new innovation together, such as the Changemaking in Education class, focused on education innovation and offered in partnership with the Teachers College and Barrett, the Honors College.

Teach For America said this year’s teaching corps – which numbers 5,300 – is the most diverse in its history.

The organization said effective teachers come from all backgrounds and academic interests, and bring diverse perspectives and experiences to the classroom. Teach For America also has found that maximizing diversity supports its effort to attract the top talent our country has to offer.

Among the new corps members 50 percent identify as people of color (compared with less than 20 percent of all teachers nationwide), 47 percent received Pell Grants (an indicator of low-income background), and one-third are the first in their families to attend college.

Teach For America is known for attracting individuals with impressive professional, academic and leadership experience, and has long recognized the potential of teachers who share students’ backgrounds to serve as critical classroom leaders and role models.

For more information on Teach For America and other opportunities to Make Your Impact, visit https://eoss.asu.edu/makeyourimpact.

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W. P. Carey School Ranks Top 30 Again

U.S. News & World Report announced its highly anticipated annual rankings for undergraduate business schools. Once again, the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is honored among the nation’s Top 30. This is the ninth time in 10 years the school has made the prestigious Top 30.

“We’re proud to strive for and achieve excellence year after year, thanks to our dedicated faculty, staff, students and alumni,” says Amy Hillman, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business. “This ranking is determined by deans and senior faculty members at peer schools, who understand what it takes to create and maintain a fantastic business program.”

In addition to the No. 29 ranking overall, the undergraduate business program is also among the top 10 in the West. The school’s acclaimed supply chain management program ranks No. 3 nationwide in the specialty category for its field. In addition, the school has several other programs in the Top 30 in their specialties – accounting at No. 30, entrepreneurship at No. 19, management at No. 20, management information systems at No. 15 and marketing at No. 23.

The W. P. Carey School and its programs have achieved many other recent Top 30 rankings, as well, including:

• U.S. News & World Report ranks the school’s full-time MBA program No. 27 in the nation.
• U.S. News ranks the school’s online MBA No. 2 nationwide and the school’s evening MBA No. 18 among part-time MBA programs.
• Britain’s Financial Times ranks the school’s online MBA program Top 10 worldwide.
• The Financial Times ranks the school’s China-based executive MBA program No. 28 worldwide.
• The University of Texas at Dallas ranks the W. P. Carey School Top 30 worldwide for business-school research productivity.
• The Center for World-Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University ranks the W. P. Carey School No. 22 in the world for economics/business.

For more information about the W. P. Carey School of Business, visit www.wpcarey.asu.edu.