Tag Archives: ASU

housing.prices

Are investors returning to Phoenix housing market?

Investors appear to be returning to the Phoenix-area housing market. The latest monthly report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University examines that new trend, as well as the possibility of a future supply problem. Here are the highlights of the new report on Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of November:

  • The median single-family-home sales price went up 5.5 percent from November 2013 to November 2014 – from $200,000 to $210,990.
  • President Obama announced a housing plan in Phoenix last week that might help create both more demand and a supply problem.
  • Investors are returning to Phoenix, with their percentage of the area’s home purchases up over the past four months.

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 another 5.5 percent from November 2013 to November 2014. Realtors will note the average price per square foot went up about 5 percent. The median townhome/condo sales price actually dropped 2 percent.

“Prices in the Phoenix-area housing market remained relatively flat in 2014, when you take into account the general level of inflation,” 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. “When you look at the change in the mix of sales – with more expensive luxury homes being sold – there is not much real upward price momentum.”

Orr adds there also isn’t much downward price momentum because both supply and demand remain relatively low. The number of single-family-home sales dropped 9 percent from November 2013 to November 2014. The low demand has largely been masking the fact that the market also has a low supply of homes – a situation that appears to be getting worse.

“The rate of new listings has dropped significantly since April, and active listings even dropped slightly in November, which is unusual and signals a weakening supply,” explains Orr. “It would not take much of an increase in demand to overwhelm the current level of supply, and if this occurs, we should expect prices to start rising once more. We will have to wait and see how first-time home buyers react to the new lending environment in 2015.”

Orr’s concern about the potential supply problem stems from a number of things meant to stimulate housing demand:

  • Down payments being reduced to 3 percent on certain Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conventional loans
  • Continued drops in mortgage interest rates for all types of loans
  • Reduced mortgage insurance premiums announced by President Obama in Phoenix last week

Orr weighed in on the president’s new housing initiative by saying it may help middle-income renters buy their first homes. However, he also doesn’t think the overall impact will be that great.

“By the government’s own numbers, it will only add 250,000 sales nationally over the next three years – increasing sales only about 1.6 percent,” Orr says. “It’s a step in the right direction, but only a small step. A resurgence in home buying will probably occur anyway.”

Meantime, foreclosures remain well below long-term averages for the Valley. Completed foreclosures were down 39 percent from November 2013 to November 2014. Earlier, the loss of these bargain properties prompted a trend of investors leaving the Phoenix area for cheaper areas of the country, but now, that’s changing. The percentage of residential properties bought by investors was up to about 16 percent in November, the highest level since May. All-cash purchases are also back on the upswing.

“While investor purchases are still below the peak levels we saw in the Phoenix area after the housing crash, the levels have started to recover over the last four months,” says Orr. “However, we may see fewer international buyers in the market now because of the recent dramatic rise in the value of the dollar against most foreign currencies.”

Rental-housing demand in the Valley remains strong, partly because many people had their credit damaged during the housing crash and because millennials are waiting until later in life to enter the home market. Rents rose 4.8 percent in the Phoenix area from November 2013 to November 2014.

Those wanting more Valley housing data can subscribe to Orr’s monthly reports at www.wpcarey.asu.edu/realtyreports. They also hear directly from Mike Orr about his latest housing report at an event co-hosted by The Arizona Republic and the W. P. Carey School of Business tomorrow morning at Arizona State University. More information and tickets are available attickets.azcentral.com.

Virtual Schools, Online Education

Top 5 ranking for W. P. Carey School of Business

Online education keeps growing in popularity, thanks to its flexibility and convenience. New rankings from U.S. News & World Report show, if you want to get an online MBA or other graduate-level business degree from a highly ranked school, the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University would be an ideal choice. For the third year in a row, the publication ranks the school Top 5 nationwide for online graduate business programs.

“The W. P. Carey School of Business offers the same renowned faculty members and degrees in its online programs as it does in its highly ranked on-campus programs,” says Amy Hillman, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business. “This school was one of the first highly respected business schools to launch online degrees more than a decade ago, and we use in-house course designers specializing solely in business classes to provide the best possible experience for students.”

U.S. News & World Report already ranks the W. P. Carey School’s undergraduate business, full-time MBA and evening MBA programs among the Top 30 in the nation in their respective categories. The new rankings cover the W. P. Carey School’s popular online MBA program and online Master of Science in Information Management (MSIM) program.

The online MBA program ranks No. 4 nationwide in its category, and the school’s online MSIM program ranks No. 3 on a separate list of “online graduate business programs.” Both new rankings are based on student engagement, admissions selectivity, peer reputation, faculty credentials and training, and student services and technology.

“Students serving in the military, starting their own businesses, and traveling extensively for their jobs are among those who have chosen our online graduate business programs,” says Stacey Whitecotton, senior associate dean for W. P. Carey School graduate programs. “Participants have a dedicated financial aid specialist and a career center for those who want help with job searches.”

  • The 21-month online MBA program allows students to meet at a face-to-face orientation just once at the ASU campus, then complete the rest of the courses online. Students work in small, personalized teams with peers from other industries, typically focusing on one course at a time. This is one of relatively few online MBA programs in which students can earn their degrees with an area of emphasis, such as finance, international business, marketing or supply chain management.
  • The 16-month online Master of Science in Information Management (MSIM) program is designed to provide professionals in any career area with a well-rounded education in information technology (IT) and to explain how they can apply that knowledge to their companies overall. American Express, Intel Corporation, Mayo Clinic and US Airways are among the companies that send students to the school’s MSIM programs.

The W. P. Carey School also offers six online undergraduate business programs. U.S. News & World Report ranks ASU No. 8 for online bachelor’s degrees.

In addition, the business school has a weekend/online hybrid MBA program and a 16-month online Master of Science in Business Analytics (MS-BA) program, which focuses on the booming field of “big data.” All of the school’s online graduate programs include small class sizes and easy-to-use online-learning technologies. For more information, visit wpcarey.asu.edu.

 

Virginia Zuber Small Business Leadership AcademyThe W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is one of the top-ranked and largest business schools in the United States. The school is internationally regarded for its research productivity and its distinguished faculty members, including a Nobel Prize winner. Students come from about 100 countries and include about 50 National Merit Scholars. For more information, please visit wpcarey.asu.edu andhttp://research.wpcarey.asu.edu

Image provided by ASU

ASU ranks high in U.S News & World Report

Arizona State University ranks among the top 10 best schools in the nation for online education, according to rankings released today by U.S. News & World Report.

ASU is ranked eighth place overall for undergraduate online programs in the U.S. News & World Report 2015 edition of “America’s Best Online Programs” among public and private universities. That’s a move up from No. 9 last year.

The university also claimed five spots among the top 25 graduate online programs.

“We are pleased that ASU continues to be recognized for its academic excellence and as an innovator in higher education,” says Phil Regier, dean and executive vice provost of ASU Online. “We are committed to offering the best experience possible to all of our students and ensuring that anyone who is motivated to pursue a bachelor’s degree has the opportunity to achieve his or her educational and career goals.

U.S. News & World Report rankings are based on factors such as graduation rates, indebtedness of new graduates and academic and career support services offered to students. Only degree-granting programs offering classes online were considered. For more information on the Best Online Programs rankings, visit www.usnews.com/online.

ASU Online (http://asuonline.asu.edu) currently offers 41 undergraduate and 38 graduate online degrees and continues to see tremendous enrollment growth, with a 42.6 percent increase since 2013.

Unlike a standard online lecture, ASU’s courses are highly interactive, engaging each student and ensuring the subject matter is fully understood. This structure also facilitates interaction with the highly recognized faculty on campus and classmates to encourage learning through collaboration. The courses are specifically designed to provide access to the vast academic, research and career resources that ASU offers – to anyone, anywhere.

Individual ASU programs recognized for online excellence in the rankings include:

  • ASU School of Criminal Justice, in the College of Public Service and Community Solutions, ranked No. 2 in the country for best online graduate program in its field.
  • The W.P. Carey School of Business, named third best for online graduate business program and No. 4 for online graduate MBAprograms.
  • The Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, ranked 14thin the nation for best online graduate engineering programs.
  • The Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, rated 23rdfor online graduate education
  • The College of Nursing and Health Innovation, rated 74thfor online graduate nursing programs.
technology

Growing tech firms reflect emerging Arizona business sector

Don Hawley is the quintessential product of Silicon Valley. He went to college at the University of California, Berkeley, became a serial entrepreneur and founded and developed many successful technology companies in the San Francisco Bay area.

So why is he doing business in Arizona?

“Arizona is infinitely more business friendly,” said the founder, chairman and CEO of Scottsdale-based Innovative Green Technologies, which creates environmentally friendly products that reduce emissions and save users money. “Favorable tax rates make it less costly to do business in Arizona compared with California, which is attractive to newer companies that have to watch their pennies. Arizona is also blessed with Arizona State University and the University of Arizona, which supply a constant stream of high-quality young talent, which is a great resource.”

Hawley isn’t alone. The recently expansions of Zenefits and Weebly into the Valley and the emergence of Valley-based WebPT and Infusionsoft as technology powerhouses reflect an exploding techn industry in Phoenix that is transforming the state’s economy.

“The technology ecosystem in Arizona has never been more robust and these recent business attractions are going to become more commonplace,” says Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council. “One of the vital attractions for startups in the Silicon Desert as compared with Silicon Valley is the drastically lower cost of living, especially in the area of housing. The word is getting out about Arizona.”

Valley economic developers are doing more than using lower tax rates and promises of sunshine to convince tech companies to relocate here, the state is building its home-grown success stories. A great example is WebPT, which launched its cloud-based physical therapy software in 2008 and has evolved from startup into one the fastest-growing software company in Arizona, creating more than 200 jobs in Phoenix.

“There are great incentive programs available to businesses looking to grow,” says Brad Jannenga, co-founder, chairman, president and chief technology officer at WebPT. “The Angel Tax Credit program offered by the state is a great opportunity for investors to have peace of mind when backing startups and knowing they can take a tax break when doing so. This was a major win for us when we went out for our Series A round back in 2010. Investors were lining up around the block partly because of the early stage success we had, but also largely because of the Angel Tax Credit.”

It’s the success of emerging companies like WebPT that are driving the robust growth of Arizona’s technology sector, says Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC).

“What we’ve done on the policy side was working with the legislature and governor so they understand that even though the headlines belong to Apple and Intel and companies like that, it’s the hundreds if not thousands of small and medium technologically based enterprises that have the chance to be the next GoDaddy,” Broome says. “Maybe you get lucky and you get a Google or a Microsoft or maybe an Infusionsoft becomes a Microsoft. Having the ability to get those small companies to go to scale and having the economic development programs and policies in place to help them are where we’ve been most helpful.”

Jannenga credits organizations like GPEC for helping the technology sector grow by tirelessly looking at new ways to diversify the economy and working closely with Arizona’s universities to produce the next wave of talent needed to feed the workforce demands of the technology industry.

But Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton put it simply: “WebPT is a game-changer, not only in terms of showing the growth in the tech sector in Phoenix, but growth in the warehouse district in downtown Phoenix.”

Experts say Arizona has actually done a number of things well to build a business environment that fosters innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit.

“The state has emphasized economic development through support of key economic development groups like the Arizona Commerce Authority and GPEC,” says Jacque Westling, partner at Quarles & Brady in Phoenix. “(Arizona) has created and maintained some key tax incentives, such as the Refundable Research and Development Credit and the Angel Investment Tax Credit Program, promoted tech transfer from the universities and supported emerging areas of strength such as biotechnology, data centers, energy and other areas.”

Zylstra says having facilities with ready-to-go infrastructure in desirable hot spots such as downtown Phoenix and downtown Scottsdale has been a major part in attracting technology companies to the Valley.
“Knowledge workers like the type of amenities available in these locations,” he says. “When you add Arizona’s ample workforce, low taxes and low cost of doing business, the foundation is very strong.”

Jannenga says the state’s deep awareness of the emerging technology sector and what it means to our state’s economic future has been helpful to WebPT and other early stage companies.

“I think when people began to recognize that we couldn’t rely on the traditional engines that had previously fueled our growth — tourism and migration from colder climates chief among them — to provide the type of jobs we need, it caused a basic shift in how progressive leaders thought about the future,” says Don Pierson, CEO of SpotlightSales, which has developed a sales performance optimization tool.

With the foundation for building a successful technology sector in place, Pierson says he has seen tremendous growth in the software industry and expects that growth to continue.

“I think biofuels are really interesting,” he says, “and I’m always amazed by what comes out of the biotech area.”

Greg Head, chief marketing officer at Infusionsoft, agrees with Pierson that Arizona quickly becoming a center for software businesses.

“Right now, there are thousands of entrepreneurs incubating new innovations, hundreds of software business growing and employing more people and several bigger software companies like GoDaddy, LifeLock, Infusionsoft and WebPT that are growing fast,” Head says. “The Arizona software community is growing up quickly.”

Experts agree that diversifying Arizona’s tech sectors will continue to power its growth. Zylstra expects aerospace and defense and semiconductor and electronics to continue to be strong, “but IT, especially software and data centers, healthcare, bioscience and alternative energy will help lead us into the future,” he says.

“We need to have all tech industries thriving in Arizona,” says Mike Auger, CEO and founder of PikFly, a technology-driven same day delivery network for local businesses. “A focus in one area puts us into a corner. Semiconductors have been great for our state, but that is really what we are known for — we need to be known for all types of tech.”

While Arizona’s growth in the technology arena is impressive, the state must tackle one major issue to maintain that positive trajectory.

“I spend more of my time as mayor in economic development recruiting and retention than I do anything else,” Stanton says. “The reality is this: the companies are concerned about workforce development. Do we have the pipeline of employees that they are going to need as their companies grow?”

Jannenga agrees that Arizona needs to invest heavily into all levels of our education system and diversify our skilled workforce.

“The places where we’re falling short is we’re not delivering the engineering talent necessary for the tech sector to really take off,” Broome says. “We need to make a big move on the production of engineers and make a big move on the production of information communication technology people.”
Broome says that big move can come from anywhere from community colleges to higher education to unique specialty certification programs that are putting students through six-month boot camps and producing a qualified workforce. He cites the Maricopa Corporate College as a unique training program that is developing and delivering customized workforces.

“You’re going to see continued movement in creating new educational options and a huge infusion of these intermediate training strategies to build the technology sector,” Broome says.

Creating a viable workforce to feed the needs is of the technology industry is a must to maintain the state’s robust growth and quality of life, experts say.

“We either grow the tech sector of the economy or we will fail,” Broome says. “That’s how important it is. It’s where the wages are. It’s where the high-end people are. It’s the part of the economy that is most sustainable. If you’re not building a tech sector, you’re relying on your current industries to remain relevant and we know from history that just doesn’t happen.”

Broome says the Valley has learned from companies like Motorola and General Motors than mature companies in mature industries contract and fade away, so it forces the business community to continually recycle its economic strategy around new industries.

“From my perspective, you’re looking at a make-it-or-break-it situation,” Broome says. “The reason the economy is so sluggish is because it’s waiting for consumption. It’s waiting for government spending and it’s waiting for retail spending and it’s waiting for construction and home buying. When your economy can only recover on that basis, you’re going to continue to have ebbs and flows and dips and falls. Even a place like San Francisco, which has a very difficult business climate because it’s expensive to the point of being unimaginable, its net year-to-year economic growth is much more robust than Phoenix and the rest of the country because its economy is built around talent, innovation and the high-tech sector. If we do a good job and build that out better, there’s no reason why Phoenix can’t be the most exciting community in the United States.”

Phoenix-Area Housing Market

How to survive the Phoenix-area housing market

The new year brings new challenges for those who want to buy or sell homes in the Phoenix area. Do you know what to expect? The Arizona Republic and the ASU Real Estate Council at the W. P. Carey School of Business will host an event Saturday, Jan. 17 to help you find out the current trends and prices in the market.

“Phoenix Housing Market Explained III,” a third annual event, will feature an overview of the local housing market, including trends like employment and population growth. The experts will also answer submitted questions from the audience.

The speakers – all experts frequently quoted in the media — will be:

Catherine Reagor, senior real estate reporter for The Arizona Republic
Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business
Mark Stapp, director of the Master of Real Estate Development (MRED) program at the W. P. Carey School of Business

Reagor says, “We hope to provide helpful information to both those in the real estate industry and those who are thinking about buying or selling their own homes in the Phoenix area.”

The event will be held in the Business Administration C-Wing Building, or BAC, at 400 E. Lemon St. on Arizona State University’s campus in Tempe. Registration starts at 9 a.m., followed by the presentations and discussion from 9:30 to 11 a.m. The cost is $30 per person, with a 30-percent discount available for subscribers to The Arizona Republic and ASU students, employees and alums.

Parking is available just across the street at the intersection of Apache Boulevard and Normal Avenue. Signage will direct participants from the garage to room BAC 116 on the first floor of the BAC building.

Space is limited, and you can register at tickets.azcentral.com. More information about the event can be found at www.money.azcentral.com, www.wpcarey.asu.edu, or by calling (480) 965-8517.

More information on the Valley housing market can also be found at the W. P. Carey School of Business website, including monthly housing reports available via subscription at www.wpcarey.asu.edu/realtyreports.

Chandler Innovation Center

ASU professors named to Academy of Inventors

Arizona State University professors Stuart Lindsay and Michael Kozicki have been named Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

Election to the academy’s fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made an impact on the quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.

Those named today bring the total number of NAI Fellows to 414, representing more than 150 research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutions.

“Doctors Kozicki and Lindsay exemplify the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of faculty and researchers at ASU. They have made outstanding contributions to their fields, economic development and society,” said Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, senior vice president for Knowledge Enterprise Development at ASU. “It is a great honor to have the NAI recognize their innovative and use-inspired work.”

Stuart Lindsay is a University Professor in physics and in chemistry and biochemistry at ASU and the director of the Center for Single Molecule Biophysics at ASU’s Biodesign Institute. His inventions in the field of atomic force microscopy led to the founding of Molecular Imaging Corporation, a pioneer in chemical applications of atomic force microscopy. It is now the Nanomeasurements Division of Agilent Technologies (Keysight).

Lindsay’s inventions in the field of molecular electronics laid the groundwork for a new single molecule sequencing technique, currently licensed to and under development by Roche. He has published more than 200 papers and written the first comprehensive textbook on nanoscience. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Antennas and Propagation Society and the Institute of Physics.

Michael Kozicki is a professor of electrical engineering at ASU. He is best known for the invention of Conductive Bridging Random Access Memory (CBRAM®), an ultra-low energy data storage technology, but his more than 80 U.S. and international patents also include innovations ranging from a cleanroom wheelchair to bio-inspired optical devices.  His patents have been cited over 1,000 times and are ranked in the top tier by independent intellectual property organizations.

Kozicki is also a founder of Axon Technologies Corp. and Idendrix, Inc., and served as chief scientist of Adesto Technologies.  He is a visiting professor at the University of Edinburgh and is a Chartered Engineer in the UK/EU.  He has published extensively, developed entrepreneurship-infused undergraduate and graduate courses in solid state electronics, is a frequent invited speaker at international meetings, and has made several television appearances to promote public understanding of science.

The new NAI Fellows will be inducted on March 20, 2015, as part of the 4th Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. Fellows will be presented with a special trophy, newly designed medal and rosette pin in honor of their outstanding accomplishments.

immigration

ASU Cronkite program focuses on border issues

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, longtime owners of the national chain of Village Voice alternative weeklies, will use proceeds from a lawsuit against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to establish a Chair in Borderlands Issues at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

The $2M gift will support an endowed chair who will lead a new program at the Cronkite School in which students will cover immigration and border issues in the U.S. and Mexico in both Spanish and English. The Lacey-Larkin Chair will be the only endowed chair in the country focused exclusively on Latino and borderlands coverage.

The Chair will direct advanced student journalists in a professional immersion program in which they will report, write and produce cutting-edge stories that will be distributed in English and Spanish to professional media outlets and will be prominently featured on the Cronkite News website and Arizona PBS newscasts. Additionally, the Lacey-Larkin Chair will comment on and write about border and immigration reporting nationally, promoting public scrutiny and serving as a national voice on coverage of issues affecting the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population.

The new Chair will be the cornerstone of a Cronkite specialization that will include three full-time professors. The Lacey-Larkin Chair and a second, university-funded, professor to be added next year will join Cronkite Professor Rick Rodriguez, former editor of the Sacramento Bee and the first Latino president of the American Society of News Editors, as Southwest Borderlands Professors.

Lacey and Larkin are drawing on proceeds from a $3.75 million settlement from Maricopa County in a widely publicized case that tested First Amendment rights as well as Arpaio’s policing practices. They said their gift to ASU grew out of their outrage at the way Mexican immigrants, in particular, have been treated by the sheriff’s office.

“Sheriff Joe Arpaio is trampling federal court oversight in his rush to harass the Hispanic community,” Lacey said. “During this past election, virtually every candidate felt compelled to discuss our border as if Mexico was an enemy instead of a neighbor. Elected officials are responding to and fanning the flames of bigotry. We intend to encourage the better nature of students at the Cronkite School.”

Larkin added, “I grew up in Arizona and was taught from an early age that one must give a hand to those of us less fortunate in life. There is not a more deserving group than those Mexican immigrants who braveunimaginable peril in the Sonoran Desert to travel to Arizona for work and economic opportunity. I hope my endowment of this Borderlands Chair at Cronkite shines a bright light on the Mexican immigrants’ heroic struggle for the American Dream in an unfortunately inhospitable Arizona environment.”

Cronkite Associate Dean Kristin Gilger said the Lacey and Larkin endowment adds to the pair’s already established legacies as champions of the oppressed and watchdogs ofgovernment. “It ensures that the work they care about so much and have done so well lives on in perpetuity,” she said.  “And it will give students an unmatched opportunity to do the kind of high-level and insightful coverage so needed in this area.”

The two news executives and the Phoenix-based New Times, part of the Village Voice Media enterprise, have long been critical of Arpaio and his deputies, charging them with racial profiling, illegal detention of Latinos and immigration sweeps in Latino communities in and around Phoenix. The New Times also published numerous stories alleging financial irregularities and mismanagement in the sheriff’s office, mistreatment and deaths of jail inmates and retaliation against the sheriff’s critics.

In 2004, the New Times published Arpaio’s home address in defiance of a state statute that bars news organizations from publishing home addresses of public officials if the information could pose a threat to their safety. The paper contended Arpaio was using the statute to hide his real estate assets.

Arpaio, claiming that he had received death threats as a result, sought to have Lacey and Larkin prosecuted. The case went nowhere for several years until then-Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas hired a special prosecutor in 2007. The prosecutor, Dennis Wilenchik, issued sweeping subpoenas seeking the identities of anyone who read the paper online, including information about what other sites they had visited before and after reading the New Times.

Lacey and Larkin responded with a front-page article on Oct. 18, 2007, that criticized the investigation and revealed the subpoenas’ demands, calling them “a breathtaking abuse of the Constitution.” They also noted the prosecutor had attempted to set up an improper private meeting with the judge overseeing the case.

Late that night, sheriff’s deputies arrived at the two executive’s homes, handcuffed them and booked them into separate jails on charges they had illegally disseminated grand jury information. When Lacey was asked by other inmates why he was in jail, he responded with one word: “writing.”

The arrests prompted widespread criticism, and Lacey and Larkin were released the next day. Charges were dropped days later, and Wilenchik, the special prosecutor, was fired.

The arrests led to a prolonged court battle, with Lacey and Larkin suing Arpaio for violation of First Amendment rights and abuse of power. A series of decisions andappeals at the state and federal levels led to a 2012 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling. That ruling said there was no probable cause for the arrests and the subpoenas were invalid as the hand-picked prosecutor did not consult a grand jury and issued them without regard for due process.

The court condemned public officials’ handling of the case, writing: “It is hard to conceive of a more direct assault on the First Amendment than public officials ordering the immediate arrests of their critics. And, in this case, there was nothing subtle about their efforts to stifle the New Times.”

The appellatecourt’s decision paved the way for a $3.75 million settlement paid to Lacey and Larkin by Maricopa County in 2013. The two subsequently established the “Frontera Fund” with the proceeds from the settlement to assist the Hispanic community, which has “borne the brunt of the racial animus and civil rights abuses in Arizona,” Lacey said.

A dozen nonprofit groups have received money thus far for programs that advocate for migrants on both sides of the border and promote civil rights, human rights, immigrant rights, freedom of speech and civic participation. Beneficiaries have included Promise Arizona, Colibri Center for Human Rights, Center for Neighborhood Leadership, Puente, Raul H. Castro Institute of Phoenix College and Fundación México.

Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan, who issued a public statement shortly after Lacey’s and Larkin’s arrests in 2007 calling the actions again the news executives “a grotesque and unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial powers” and “a frontal assault on the rights of citizens,” said the endowment is a fitting reminder of the need for a free and unfettered press.

Callahan said the school will conduct a national search for the new Lacey-Larkin Chair and will launch the new Borderlands reporting program in the fall of 2015. The Chair will be held by a journalist who has experience and expertise covering immigration and Latino issues, who is bilingual in Spanish and English and who can write and edit professionally in both languages.

The Cronkite School has long been a leader in borderlands and immigration coverage. The school offers students a specialization in coverage of Latino communities as part of its Southwest Borderlands Initiative program, led by Rodriguez, who takes his students each year on a trip to another country to report on border and immigration issues. Those projects have three times won the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Award for reporting on social justice issues.

Commercial Development - AZRE Magazine January/February 2012

ASU School program focuses on border issues

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, longtime owners of the national chain of Village Voice alternative weeklies, will use proceeds from a lawsuit against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to establish a Chair in Borderlands Issues at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

The $2M gift will support an endowed chair who will lead a new program at the Cronkite School in which students will cover immigration and border issues in the U.S. and Mexico in both Spanish and English. The Lacey-Larkin Chair will be the only endowed chair in the country focused exclusively on Latino and borderlands coverage.

The Chair will direct advanced student journalists in a professional immersion program in which they will report, write and produce cutting-edge stories that will be distributed in English and Spanish to professional media outlets and will be prominently featured on the Cronkite News website and Arizona PBS newscasts. Additionally, the Lacey-Larkin Chair will comment on and write about border and immigration reporting nationally, promoting public scrutiny and serving as a national voice on coverage of issues affecting the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population.

The new Chair will be the cornerstone of a Cronkite specialization that will include three full-time professors. The Lacey-Larkin Chair and a second, university-funded, professor to be added next year will join Cronkite Professor Rick Rodriguez, former editor of the Sacramento Bee and the first Latino president of the American Society of News Editors, as Southwest Borderlands Professors.

Lacey and Larkin are drawing on proceeds from a $3.75 million settlement from Maricopa County in a widely publicized case that tested First Amendment rights as well as Arpaio’s policing practices. They said their gift to ASU grew out of their outrage at the way Mexican immigrants, in particular, have been treated by the sheriff’s office.

“Sheriff Joe Arpaio is trampling federal court oversight in his rush to harass the Hispanic community,” Lacey said. “During this past election, virtually every candidate felt compelled to discuss our border as if Mexico was an enemy instead of a neighbor. Elected officials are responding to and fanning the flames of bigotry. We intend to encourage the better nature of students at the Cronkite School.”

Larkin added, “I grew up in Arizona and was taught from an early age that one must give a hand to those of us less fortunate in life. There is not a more deserving group than those Mexican immigrants who braveunimaginable peril in the Sonoran Desert to travel to Arizona for work and economic opportunity. I hope my endowment of this Borderlands Chair at Cronkite shines a bright light on the Mexican immigrants’ heroic struggle for the American Dream in an unfortunately inhospitable Arizona environment.”

Cronkite Associate Dean Kristin Gilger said the Lacey and Larkin endowment adds to the pair’s already established legacies as champions of the oppressed and watchdogs ofgovernment. “It ensures that the work they care about so much and have done so well lives on in perpetuity,” she said.  “And it will give students an unmatched opportunity to do the kind of high-level and insightful coverage so needed in this area.”

The two news executives and the Phoenix-based New Times, part of the Village Voice Media enterprise, have long been critical of Arpaio and his deputies, charging them with racial profiling, illegal detention of Latinos and immigration sweeps in Latino communities in and around Phoenix. The New Times also published numerous stories alleging financial irregularities and mismanagement in the sheriff’s office, mistreatment and deaths of jail inmates and retaliation against the sheriff’s critics.

In 2004, the New Times published Arpaio’s home address in defiance of a state statute that bars news organizations from publishing home addresses of public officials if the information could pose a threat to their safety. The paper contended Arpaio was using the statute to hide his real estate assets.

Arpaio, claiming that he had received death threats as a result, sought to have Lacey and Larkin prosecuted. The case went nowhere for several years until then-Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas hired a special prosecutor in 2007. The prosecutor, Dennis Wilenchik, issued sweeping subpoenas seeking the identities of anyone who read the paper online, including information about what other sites they had visited before and after reading the New Times.

Lacey and Larkin responded with a front-page article on Oct. 18, 2007, that criticized the investigation and revealed the subpoenas’ demands, calling them “a breathtaking abuse of the Constitution.” They also noted the prosecutor had attempted to set up an improper private meeting with the judge overseeing the case.

Late that night, sheriff’s deputies arrived at the two executive’s homes, handcuffed them and booked them into separate jails on charges they had illegally disseminated grand jury information. When Lacey was asked by other inmates why he was in jail, he responded with one word: “writing.”

The arrests prompted widespread criticism, and Lacey and Larkin were released the next day. Charges were dropped days later, and Wilenchik, the special prosecutor, was fired.

The arrests led to a prolonged court battle, with Lacey and Larkin suing Arpaio for violation of First Amendment rights and abuse of power. A series of decisions and appeals at the state and federal levels led to a 2012 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling. That ruling said there was no probable cause for the arrests and the subpoenas were invalid as the hand-picked prosecutor did not consult a grand jury and issued them without regard for due process.

The court condemned public officials’ handling of the case, writing: “It is hard to conceive of a more direct assault on the First Amendment than public officials ordering the immediate arrests of their critics. And, in this case, there was nothing subtle about their efforts to stifle the New Times.”

The appellatecourt’s decision paved the way for a $3.75 million settlement paid to Lacey and Larkin by Maricopa County in 2013. The two subsequently established the “Frontera Fund” with the proceeds from the settlement to assist the Hispanic community, which has “borne the brunt of the racial animus and civil rights abuses in Arizona,” Lacey said.

A dozen nonprofit groups have received money thus far for programs that advocate for migrants on both sides of the border and promote civil rights, human rights, immigrant rights, freedom of speech and civic participation. Beneficiaries have included Promise Arizona, Colibri Center for Human Rights, Center for Neighborhood Leadership, Puente, Raul H. Castro Institute of Phoenix College and Fundación México.

Cronkite DeanChristopher Callahan, who issued a public statement shortly after Lacey’s and Larkin’s arrests in 2007 calling the actions again the news executives “a grotesque and unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial powers” and “a frontal assault on the rights of citizens,” said the endowment is a fitting reminder of the need for a free and unfettered press.

Callahan said the school will conduct a national search for the new Lacey-Larkin Chair and will launch the new Borderlands reporting program in the fall of 2015. The Chair will be held by a journalist who has experience and expertise covering immigration and Latino issues, who is bilingual in Spanish and English and who can write and edit professionally in both languages.

The Cronkite School has long been a leader in borderlands and immigration coverage. The school offers students a specialization in coverage of Latino communities as part of its Southwest Borderlands Initiative program, led by Rodriguez, who takes his students each year on a trip to another country to report on border and immigration issues. Those projects have three times won the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Award for reporting on social justice issues.

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.”