Tag Archives: DMB Associates

Silverleaf, WEB

Silverleaf Realty Closes $5.7M Home in Silverleaf

Spring in the Sonoran desert always brings more traffic to Scottsdale and Silverleaf has seen a strong uptick in visits to this golf community in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains.  Last week, Silverleaf Realty sold one of the most exclusive listings in North Scottsdale’s Silverleaf community, an 8,761 foot residence for $5.77 million ($658.45 per square foot).  The home sale was brokered by Mike Lehman and Cynthia Kleerup Penwell.

Located in the heart of Upper Canyon at Silverleaf, this residence sits on a private cul-de-sac and offers city, sunset and mountain views.  The main house features four bedrooms and has a separate two bedroom guest casita with a living room and kitchenette.  The home also includes a large game room with a sunset balcony, a home theater, and two-story library.  The negative edge pool looks out over the sweeping city views with an adjacent outdoor dining area set under dramatic archways with a fully equipped outdoor kitchen and a fireplace. The front courtyard offers a private dining area and fireplace with an architectural water feature.

To date, Silverleaf Realty has sold more than $74 million in real estate (homes and homesites) at Silverleaf in 2014.

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AZ's First Multi-Builder Community for Baby Boomers

DMB Associates announced today the four builders that will construct homes at Victory, Arizona’s first multi-builder community for people 55 years and better which will be located in the multi-generational community of Verrado.

Only four homebuilders were selected among the interested top local and national homebuilders. The Phase One roster includes Lennar (NYSE: LEN), Maracay Homes (NYSE: WY), Standard Pacific (NYSE: SPE) and T.W. Lewis by David Weekley Homes. The combined purchase by the homebuilders totals $40.68 million.

Similar to DMB’s process of collaborating with lifestyle, health and longevity experts on the design of the community, DMB engaged an expert architect, universal design experts, and kitchen and bath designers to educate homebuilders on how the lifestyle, needs and motivations of Baby Boomers differ from traditional homebuyers.

As a result of the collaboration, these homebuilders will be offering innovative, easy living home designs with an emphasis on entertaining, personal retreats, dream kitchens including the latest appliances and technology, open floor plans, and casual living that creates connections between the indoor and outdoor living spaces.

“By collaborating with multiple builders, Victory at Verrado plans to offer its residents more choice, quality and personalization than other communities constructed by a single homebuilder. Multiple homebuilders, coupled with Verrado’s unique architectural guidelines and front porch emphasis, will create diverse and traditional looking neighborhoods,” said Nick Taratsas, DMB senior vice president and general manager of Victory. “No other developer has spent this kind of time and attention to educate builders on the specific needs of Baby Boomers.”

The first phase of homes will range from approximately 1,400 square feet to more than 3,000 square feet, available on four distinct lot sizes. Home prices are planned to range from the $200,000’s to more than $500,000.  DMB, which has a growing list of interested buyers, plans to start sales in January 2015.

The residents of Victory will enjoy all of the existing amenities the small town of Verrado offers today.  In addition, the Victory Club, which will be located at the center of the Victory District, will be the hub of the indoor and outdoor amenities designed and built exclusively for Victory residents. The Victory Club is planned to open in December 2015. Tom Lehman is designing Victory’s 18-hole golf course and clubhouse which is planned to open late 2016.  An extensive path and trail system connecting the new Victory district and adjacent White Tank Mountain range and Verrado is being planned as well.

DMB broke ground on Victory at Verrado in October 2013. The district will have 3,500 homes at build out.

Victory’s Phase One Builders and Number of Lots:

Lennar – 125

Maracay Homes – 98

Standard Pacific – 120

T.W. Lewis by David Weekley Homes- 74

Pathfinder Elementary, Eastmark, DMB

Sequoia Pathfinder Academy at Eastmark to Open in August

Edkey Inc., the parent company of 16 Sequoia Charter Schools, has completed construction plans for the new $6.5 million kindergarten through 6th grade Sequoia Pathfinder Academy at Eastmark, located on Eastmark Parkway, north of Ray Road in Mesa. The new tuition-free elementary school, which will serve 400 students, is scheduled to open in August for the 2014-15 school year.

According to Edkey CEO, Doug Pike, the Pathfinder campus at Eastmark is designed to optimize learning experiences in all spaces. Similar to a “children’s museum,” changeable interactive learning resources and demonstrations will be built into the common areas and learning boulevards (hallways) throughout the school.  All 18 classrooms will have additional learning space to allow for small group activities and exploration of skills and concepts. The National School Lunch Program will be offered in the new cafeteria.

An outdoor interactive learning playground will help students make connections to learning and understand the relevance of curriculum on a day-to-day basis.  A library will be contained in the student commons area.  A computer lab will be accessible for all classes.  Technology also will be available in the student common area and in the classrooms.  A multi-purpose room for P.E., lunch, performances, school-wide events and activities open to the community will be a focal point of the campus.

“From the moment a child walks through Sequoia Pathfinder Academy’s doors, the campus will nurture the natural curiousness and creativity that every child is born with.  By designing a fun, creative learning environment, students will be more motivated to learn in the classroom,” said Superintendent Curt Cardine.

According to Assistant Superintendent, Tamara Becker, academically, the new state-of-the-art campus will feature a proven approach to teaching and learning that integrates the content and skills of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).  Programs will emphasize learning behaviors that include engagement in inquiry, logical reasoning, collaboration, and investigation. In addition, free all-day kindergarten, music and art classes, and after-school programs will be offered.

Phil Schiller

Apple brings 700 jobs to Valley manufacturing plant

Apple Inc. says it will open a manufacturing plant in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa that will eventually employ 700 workers.

“Apple’s presence in the region will be a game-changer for the Greater Phoenix area, its innovation landscape and future ability to attract other high-tech companies,” said GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome. “Between their plans to hire 700 direct employees and run completely on renewable energy, I’m convinced Apple could not have chosen a better location than Mesa and Eastmark. This deal is the result of the cooperation and support of several parties, including Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Chucri, City of Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, DMB Associates, the ACA and SRP, whose infrastructure will enable more projects to move forward in the surrounding area.”

The Cupertino, Calif., maker of the iPhone confirmed Monday that it is expanding its U.S. manufacturing operations in a former First Solar plant in Mesa. The city southeast of Phoenix already hosts a long list of high-tech manufacturing firms.

About 1,300 construction jobs will also be created as the First Solar plant designed to make thin-film solar panels is converted. The company sold the plant last month.

Apple spokeswoman Kristen Huguet says the plant will be powered with renewable energy provided by local utility Salt River Project.

Gov. Jan Brewer said Apple’s decision to come to Arizona is a sign that the state’s efforts to provide a pro-business climate are paying off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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GPEC announces Board of Directors for FY 2014

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) today announced the appointment of its Board of Directors for the 2014 fiscal year, as approved by the Executive Committee.

Alliance Bank of Arizona CEO James Lundy will continue to lead the Board of Directors as chairman.

“As the economy continues to improve, GPEC’s team of results-driven board directors will work to ensure the region not only maintains its trajectory but also pushes toward a more diversified and sustainable economy that is less dependent on growth industries like real estate and construction,” Lundy said. “I’m honored to work with this talented group of professionals and look forward to a productive year.”

Rounding out the Board’s leadership is SCF Arizona President and CEO Don Smith and Empire Southwest Executive Vice President Chris Zaharis as vice chairs, APS Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Tammy McLeod as secretary and Bryan Cave, LLP Partner R. Neil Irwin as treasurer.

New Board Directors include: Steve Banta, CEO of Valley Metro; the Honorable Denny Barney, District 1 Supervisor for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors; Scott Bradley, Area Vice President for Waste Management; Mark Clatt, Area President for Republic Services; the Honorable Vincent Francia, Mayor of the Town of Cave Creek; Dr. Ann Weaver Hart, President of the University of Arizona; Bill Jabjiniak, Economic Development Director for the City of Mesa; the Honorable Michael LeVault, Mayor of the Town of Youngtown; Rich Marchant, Executive Vice President, Global Operations for Crescent Crown Distributing; Ryan Nouis, Co-Founder and President of Job Brokers; and Eric Orsborn, Councilmember for the Town of Buckeye.

“GPEC’s success is largely driven by its strong Board of Directors, all of whom reflect the region and state’s most accomplished professionals,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said. “Every single one of them truly cares about our market’s success and serves as a community thought leader when it comes to competitiveness.”

Mayors from GPEC’s member communities and the organization’s Nominating Committee are responsible for nominating and appointing Board Directors. The one-year terms are approved during GPEC’s Annual Board meeting.

GPEC FY 2014 Board of Directors:

James Lundy – Chairman
CEO
Alliance Bank of Arizona

Don Smith – Vice Chair
President and CEO
SCF Arizona

Chris Zaharis – Vice Chair
Executive Vice President
Empire Southwest

Tammy McLeod – Secretary
Vice President and Chief Customer Officer
Arizona Public Service Company

R. Neil Irwin – Treasurer
Partner
Bryan Cave, LLP

William Pepicello, Ph.D. – Immediate Past Chair
President
University of Phoenix

Barry Broome
President and CEO
Greater Phoenix Economic Council

Richard C. Adkerson
President and CEO
Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold

Jason Bagley
Government Affairs Manager
Intel

Ron Butler
Managing Partner
Ernst & Young LLP

Brian Campbell
Attorney
Campbell & Mahoney, Chartered

Michael Crow, Ph.D.
President
Arizona State University

Kathleen H. Goeppinger, Ph.D.
President and CEO
Midwestern University

Derrick Hall
President and CEO
Arizona Diamondbacks

Sharon Harper
President and CEO
The Plaza Companies

Ann Weaver Hart, Ph.D.
President
University of Arizona

Don Kile
President, Master Planned Communities
The Ellman Companies

Paul Luna
President and CEO
Helios Education Foundation

Rich Marchant
Executive Vice President, Global Operations
Crescent Crown Distributing

David Rousseau
President
Salt River Project

Joseph Stewart
Chairman and CEO
JPMorgan Chase Arizona

Hyman Sukiennik
Vice President
Cox Business

Karrin Kunasek Taylor
Executive Vice President and
Chief Entitlements Officer
DMB Associates, Inc.

Gerrit van Huisstede
Regional President Desert Mountain Region
Wells Fargo

Andy Warren
President
Maracay Homes

Richard B. West, III
President
Carefree Partners

John Zidich
Publisher & President
The Arizona Republic

Chuck Allen
Managing Director, Gov’t & Community Relations
US Airways

Steve Banta
CEO
Valley Metro

Denny Barney
County Supervisor-District 1
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors

Jason Barney
Principal and Partner
Landmark Investments

The Honorable Robert Barrett
Mayor
City of Peoria

Timothy Bidwill
Vice President
Vermilion IDG

Scott Bradley
Area Vice President, Four Corners Area
Waste Management

Norman Butler
Market Executive
Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Mark Clatt
Area President
Republic Services

Jeff Crockett
Shareholder
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Wyatt Decker, M.D.
CEO
Mayo Clinic Arizona

George Forristall
Director of Project Development
Mortenson Construction

The Honorable Vincent Francia
Mayor
Town of Cave Creek

Rufus Glasper, Ph.D.
Chancellor
Maricopa Community Colleges

Barry Halpern
Partner
Snell and Wilmer

G. Todd Hardy
Vice President of Assets
ASU Foundation

Lynne Herndon
Phoenix City President
BBVA Compass

Linda Hunt
Senior VP of Operations and President/CEO
Dignity Health Arizona

William Jabiiniak
Economic Development Director
City of Mesa

The Honorable Robert Jackson
Mayor
City of Casa Grande

The Honorable Linda Kavanagh
Mayor
Town of Fountain Hills

The Honorable Andy Kunasek
County Supervisor, District 3
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors

The Honorable Michael LeVault
Mayor
Town of Youngtown

The Honorable John Lewis
Mayor
Town of Gilbert

The Honorable Marie Lopez Rogers
Mayor
City of Avondale

The Honorable Georgia Lord
Mayor
City of Goodyear

Jeff Lowe
President
MidFirst Bank

Paul Magallanez
Economic Development Director
City of Tolleson

Kate Maracas
Vice President
Abengoa

The Honorable Mark Mitchell
Mayor
City of Tempe

Ryan Nouis
Co-Founder & President
Job Brokers

Ed Novak
Managing Partner
Polsinelli Shughart

Eric Osborn
Councilmember
Town of Buckeye

Rui Pereira
General Manager
Rancho de Los Caballeros

The Honorable Christian Price
Mayor
City of Maricopa

Craig Robb
Managing Director
Zions Energy Link

The Honorable Jeff Serdy
Councilmember
City of Apache Junction

Steven M. Shope, Ph.D.
President
Sandia Research Corporation

James T. Swanson
President and CEO
Kitchell Corporation

Richard J. Thompson
President and CEO
Power-One

Jay Tibshraeny
Mayor
City of Chandler

John Welch
Managing Partner
Squire Sanders

Dan Withers
President
D.L. Withers Construction

The Honorable Sharon Wolcott
Mayor
City of Surprise

GENERAL COUNSEL
Bryant Barber
Attorney at Law
Lewis and Roca

Victory at Verrado

DMB Associates Unveils Vision for Verrado’s 'Next Generation Community'

Victory Rendering 2, DMBDMB Associates broke ground today on “Victory,” totaling approximately 1,200 acres, representing the next generation of communities for people 55+ years and better.

“We’ve created a neighborhood in our thriving small town community of Verrado where people can explore the life they have waited to live for at least 55 years,” said Charley Freericks, president of DMB. “With Victory, DMB Associates has shifted the paradigm in how communities are planned to provide meaningful and authentic experiences for Baby Boomers.” 

This new district is the culmination of years of consultation with lifestyle, health and medical experts to design a place that lives up to the aspirations of residents. Victory offers exclusivity and the connection of being part of the tightknit, multigenerational Verrado.

“We are living longer, healthier lives and expectations have changed for how we want to live,” said Nick Taratsas, DMB senior vice president and general manager of Victory. “The Boomer generation looks realistically at living to 100 years old. Victory provides the necessary flexibility for Boomers who want to work, stay healthy, have fun and be actively engaged in the community.”

Known for developing communities with a strong sense of place, DMB learned from experts from Arizona and across the country. 

Experience Matters, a Phoenix-based organization connecting Boomers with nonprofits, highlighted the importance of meaningful engagement including an encore career, a part-time job and/or volunteering in ways that take advantage of Boomers’ expertise, experience and education within the community. 

The Gray Institute, a Michigan-based organization that collaborated with Nike to develop their Professional Golf Training Program, inspired DMB to look at opportunities to include strength, coordination and power resiliency activities into Victory for all “athletes.” 

DMB also consulted Dr. Walter Bortz, a clinical professor of medicine at Stanford University. Bortz instilled in DMB the importance of physical, mental and human connectivity to people, places and community as well as the benefits of taking a walk instead of a pill.  

DMB hired Hart Howerton, one of the nation’s leading architectural and planning firms based in New York and San Francisco, to design the centerpiece of Victory with the advice of experts and future residents. Hart Howerton has earned international accolades for their work with properties like the Four Season Resorts. They also have been the creative force behind well-known places like Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina.

With 3,500 homes at build out, Victory will be the first active adult community to offer homes designed and built by multiple home builders, providing innovative home plans, many options to personalize, more choices for the consumer and diverse neighborhoods.   

Victory’s neighborhoods have been designed to take advantage of the new 18-hole golf course and open desert landscape as it winds through the neighborhoods with an extensive path and trail system, connecting residents with Verrado and the White Tank Mountains.

Marina Heights rendering courtesy of DAVIS.

More Than $1B In Valley Economic Development Projects Announced In Banner 48-Hour Period

 

It could be the best 48 hours ever for Valley development and commercial real estate: three projects and more than $1B in economic impact.

In the past 48 hours plans were revealed for three major investment and construction projects in Metro Phoenix, including today’s announcement of the $600M Marina Heights mixed-used development on Tempe Town Lake.

>> Grand Canyon University yesterday selected DMB Associates’ Eastmark development in Mesa for its $150M East Valley satellite campus. GCU has the right to purchase 100 acres at Eastmark with an option to add up to 60 additional acres for future expansion.

>> USA Place, LLC, has been selected to develop a new 330-room Omni Hotel and 30,000 SF conference center on a 10.5-acre site located at the SEC of Mill Avenue and University Drive in Tempe, subject to Tempe City Council and Arizona Board of Regents final approval of development agreements. In addition to the hotel and conference center, the $350M mixed-use development will include a new national headquarters and training center for USA Basketball, a 4,500-seat event center, 500 luxury apartments, 160,000 SF of retail and up to 200,000 SF of office space, including the new home for Arizona Interscholastic Association events.

The crowning jewel of the two-day development splash was announced this morning at the Carson Center on the ASU campus. Marina Heights is a 20-acre, mixed-use development that will include five office buildings leased by State Farm, retail amenities and a 10-acre plaza to be constructed over the next four years.

The 2 MSF project, considered the “largest office deal in Arizona history,” will be constructed on ASU land and developed by Sunbelt Holdings and Ryan Companies, US, Inc. Speakers included Gov. Jan Brewer, Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell, State Farm Senior Vice President Mary Crego, ASU President Dr. Michael Crow, Sunbelt Holdings CEO and President John Graham, and Ryan Companies, US, Inc. CEO and President Pat Ryan and Southwest Regional President John Strittmatter.

“We are so proud to be a part of the team that is bringing this major corporate project and thousands of new jobs to Tempe. With the completion of this transit-oriented development, the vision for Tempe Town Lake will be realized,” Graham said.

Ryan Companies begins construction this month. The 20-acre mixed-use development will include five office buildings leased by State Farm, retail amenities and a 10-acre plaza that will be constructed over the next four years. The first 370,000 SF building is expected to be complete by mid-2015.

“Along with our design/build partner DAVIS, we are thrilled to unveil the renderings and design of this new campus today,” Strittmatter said. “We look forward to celebrating many more construction milestones over the next four years.”

Marina Heights is adjacent to ASU Sun Devil Stadium and ASU’s Athletic Facilities District.

“The groundbreaking demonstrates our partnership with State Farm who shares our strong commitment to education and the development of future generations. We look forward to opportunities to expand this partnership in new areas as advances in innovation and information technology provide opportunities for future programs,”  Crow said.

The new facility will provide claims, service and sales support to State Farm customers. Once completed, State Farm will have capacity for up to 8,000 employees in Metro Phoenix.

“We are pleased to be part of this collaborative project as we expand to a multi-functional facility in Tempe,” Crego said. “This is one of many changes to position State Farm to meet the evolving needs of our customers and better serve communities across North America.”

“We are proud State Farm has chosen Tempe for this major employment center,” Mayor Mitchell said. “This corporate expansion will be the catalyst for attracting thousands of jobs and even more quality development around Tempe Town Lake. We look forward to welcoming State Farm employees into our community and hope that Tempe will be their city of choice to live, work and play.”

“Arizona has cultivated one of the premier business climates in the nation, and companies are taking notice,” Gov. Brewer said. “I thank State Farm and its development partners for recognizing everything our state has to offer. This project is great news for the Arizona economy, and testament to our pro-growth principles and highly-skilled workforce.”

Award-winning architectural design firm DAVIS completed the design portion of the Marina Heights project, the single largest office development deal in Arizona history. It will include five buildings, ranging in size from 6 to 16 stories and spanning 20 acres along Tempe Town Lake.

The multi-building design will offer retail amenities including coffee shops, restaurants and fitness facilities. The site will also feature a 10-acre lakeside plaza, which will be open to the public. Designed to complement the Tempe skyline, the complex will be an iconic landmark developed with a visionary concept that is minimalist, elegant and functional.

“We presented a bold vision for Marina Heights and State Farm: Five glass and stainless steel tower monoliths that will shimmer in the desert sun — cubist cloud towers floating above the lakefront,” said Principal Architect and project designer, Richard Drinkwater, AIA.

“The towers are minimalist with pristine, prismatic forms sculpted with deep insets and terraces strategically incised to create interlocking volumes. Tower heights are differentiated for skyline effect and are covered entirely in clear, reflective and fritted glass and stainless steel, reflecting and refracting the environment. This presents unique, ever changing views of the building as one’s vantage point changes. The design also includes a richly landscaped urban plaza, framed by metal podium structures, that engages the lake and park.”

USA Place

Principals of USA Place, LLC, include Susan Eastridge, CEO of Concord Eastridge; Michael Hallmark, principal of Future Cities; and Robert Harris, CEO of Harris Sports & Entertainment.

At a board meeting on July 25, USA Basketball’s Board of Directors approved the move to Tempe and USA Place as the home of its new national headquarters and training center.

The location, described by the developers as one of the most important urban sites in the Southwest, is adjacent to ASU’s main campus and Tempe’s Mill Avenue District, a short walk to light rail stations and minutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

The mixed-use plan created by Future Cities emphasizes walkable urban neighborhoods with four- and five-story residential units above retail shops, restaurants and services. Parking is designed to be primarily below grade and in one parking structure at the corner of 10th Street and Myrtle.

The full-service Omni Hotel will be Tempe’s first four-diamond hotel. With 58 distinctive luxury hotels and resorts across North America, Omni Hotels & Resorts is recognized as a market leader for group and transient business as well as with leisure travelers. The adjacent 30,000 SF conference center will feature a grand ballroom capable of seating 1,000 for dining, a junior ballroom and meeting space.

The site’s other major anchor will be USA Basketball, which will relocate its national headquarters and training center to USA Place in the fall of 2015. Currently based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball serves as the national governing body for men’s and women’s basketball in the U.S.

It is officially recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) as being solely responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA sponsored international basketball competitions, including the Olympics and World Championships.

Led by Chairman Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball’s programming for men and women includes U16 (16 years old and under), U17, U18, U19 and the national teams. USA Basketball also features national teams for 3×3 competitions, and a youth development program which provides kids, parents and coaches with instructional and educational resources. USA teams are the reigning men’s and women’s champions in the Olympics and currently rank No. 1 in all five of FIBA’s world ranking categories, including men, women, boys and girls.

A new multi-court event center, with seating up to 4,500, will serve as the training site for USA Basketball primarily in the summer months and for regional youth and adult recreational and competitive athletics programming the rest of the year. A third USA Place development partner, former Phoenix Suns V.P. Robert Harris, will manage the facility and create original programming for the center including tournaments, camps, leagues and clinics.

“This is an exciting and an incredible opportunity that offers nothing but positives for USA Basketball,” Colangelo said. “USA Place will offer USA Basketball an excellent site for the development of its office headquarters, a training center and event center that will provide the organization with a first-class site for hosting junior level events and will allow USA Basketball to continue to evolve.”

“The new USA Basketball headquarters and training center will be first-class, state of art facilities, something I know we will be very proud of.”

In addition to USA Basketball, the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) will also host programming at the event center, which will include post season state high school tournaments for boys and girls basketball, volleyball, wrestling, badminton and spiritline. High schools will also have an opportunity to participate in regular season “Games-of-the-Week” there. AIA is the primary governing body for high school athletics in Arizona.

The AIA’s Chuck Schmidt said he believes the move will create more opportunity for high school programs.

“We’re very excited to have a permanent home where we can host our events. Being able to share a home court with USA Basketball will be a remarkable experience for our kids,” he said.

Omni executives recognize the Tempe site and development concept as important to Omni’s brand.

“USA Place is our first property development in the Valley, which is important to our brand development strategy as well as for our guests,” said Mike Deitemeyer, president of Omni Hotels & Resorts. “The complex presents Tempe with great synergistic opportunities, and we are committed to ensuring that the Omni Tempe Hotel, and our team, is engaged Tempe community, Greater Phoenix region and state.”

The site is located next to ASU’s Tempe campus on land owned by ASU. USA Place, LLC, is entering into a long-term ground lease with a base term of 99 years. ASU and the City of Tempe have formed a partnership to support the creation of the conference center and as a result, the conference center will revert to public ownership after twenty years.

Construction of the project is planned to begin by year-end with the hotel, conference center, event center and first phase of residential, retail and office scheduled to open during the second half of 2015.

GCU at Eastmark

Other sites considered for the new GCU campus were Chandler, Gilbert, Queen Creek and Tempe.

“In selecting the Eastmark site, we were especially impressed with the integrated community concept DMB is creating,” said Brian Mueller, president and CEO of GCU.

“This environment will give our students, faculty and staff an exciting place to learn, work and play while being an integral part of the East Valley community. We believe our presence will benefit the entire region by providing the option of a low-cost, high-quality Christian education to all its residents,” Mueller said.

DMB’s Eastmark community will be situated on 3,200 acres in the center of the Gateway region in Mesa, just minutes from the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

“We are thrilled to be the future home of GCU, its faculty, students and staff,” said Charley Freericks, president of DMB. “DMB communities feature a focus on lifelong learning and GCU’s unique model for post-secondary education will bring a wealth of learning opportunities to Eastmark and to all of the East Valley.”

Construction of the new campus is expected to begin in 2014, with a prospective opening date in 2015. The university’s plan is to purchase up to 160 acres located east of Ellsworth Rd. and Point 22 Blvd. The 7-year build-out of the campus will include offices and administration space, classrooms, labs, library, a student union, student dorms, recreational fields and parking.

“The East Valley, and specifically Mesa’s Gateway area, is emerging as a destination for high-quality higher education. We are honored to welcome Grand Canyon University to Mesa, Arizona’s newest college town,” said Mesa Mayor Scott Smith.

Until the opening of the new campus, the GCU team will have a space in Eastmark’s visitors and community center this coming year for prospective students to come and learn more about the school as well as the new campus.

So that they can begin offering classes in the fall of 2014, the university is looking into leasing space in the Eastmark area. When the campus opens in 2015, those students would then transfer to the new location.

 

rsz_gcu_campus

Grand Canyon University's New Campus To Be Located In Mesa's Eastmark Community

 

Grand Canyon University today officially selected DMB Associates’ newest community, Eastmark in Mesa, as the site for its new, $150M satellite campus.

The university will be given the right to purchase 100 acres at Eastmark with an option to add up to 60 adjacent acres for future expansion. Other sites considered for the new GCU campus were Chandler, Gilbert, Queen Creek and Tempe.

“In selecting the Eastmark site, we were especially impressed with the integrated community concept DMB is creating,” said Brian Mueller, president and CEO of GCU.

“This environment will give our students, faculty and staff an exciting place to learn, work and play while being an integral part of the East Valley community. We believe our presence will benefit the entire region by providing the option of a low-cost, high-quality Christian education to all its residents,” Mueller said.

DMB’s Eastmark community will be situated on 3,200 acres in the center of the Gateway region in Mesa, just minutes from the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

“We are thrilled to be the future home of GCU, its faculty, students and staff,” said Charley Freericks, president of DMB. “DMB communities feature a focus on lifelong learning and GCU’s unique model for post-secondary education will bring a wealth of learning opportunities to Eastmark and to all of the East Valley.”

Construction of the new campus is expected to begin in 2014, with a prospective opening date in 2015. The university’s plan is to purchase up to 160 acres located east of Ellsworth Rd. and Point 22 Blvd. The 7-year build-out of the campus will include offices and administration space, classrooms, labs, library, a student union, student dorms, recreational fields and parking.

“The East Valley, and specifically Mesa’s Gateway area, is emerging as a destination for high-quality higher education. We are honored to welcome Grand Canyon University to Mesa, Arizona’s newest college town,” said Mesa Mayor Scott Smith.

Until the opening of the new campus, the GCU team will have a space in Eastmark’s visitors and community center this coming year for prospective students to come and learn more about the school as well as the new campus.

So that they can begin offering classes in the fall of 2014, the university is looking into leasing space in the Eastmark area. When the campus opens in 2015, those students would then transfer to the new location.

 

rsz_grand_park-1

DMB Associates To Open Eastmark’s First Residential Phase June 1

 

Eastmark, the first new large-scale integrated community to launch in the Phoenix area in 10 years, will hold a grand opening from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 1 to showcase its first phase of residential homes and the first phase of the Eastmark Great Park.

Located in the East Valley, Eastmark is a vibrant new community focused on creating a connected life for its residents, employers and visitors. DMB Associates is planning a day of festivities that will include music throughout the parks system, family games and entertainment and activities.

Tours of 20 new home models from seven homebuilders will be available. Eastmark’s Phase 1 builders are:

>> Maracay Homes

>> Mattamy Homes

>> Meritage Homes Corporation

>> Ryland Homes

>> Standard Pacific Homes

>> Taylor Morrison

>> Woodside Homes

At the grand opening, visitors will be able to explore The ‘Mark, Eastmark’s Visitors and Community Center, enjoy the first 10 acres of the Eastmark Great Park, 11 neighborhood parks, piazzas and plazas and landscaped, tree-lined streets and parkways.

Trollies and pedicabs will take guests around the community to enjoy outdoor concerts, snow playground, soccer, food trucks, refreshments and more throughout the day.

“Eastmark is one of the most thoughtfully designed communities in the country. In our planning, we’ve artfully blended residential areas, employment cores, recreation and commerce to complement each other,” said Dea McDonald, DMB’s Senior Vice President and Eastmark’s General Manager.

“Eastmark’s grand opening will give guests an opportunity to engage in ‘Life in Motion’ and enjoy fun, family-friendly activities and exciting looks at this community which is unlike anything else in Arizona.”

DMB Commercial is currently planning Eastmark’s first mixed-use commercial core. DMB Commercial’s other commercial properties include Canyon Village, Centerpoint on Mill, Market Street at DC Ranch, Main Street at Verrado, The Shops at Kukui`ula and One Scottsdale.

 IF YOU GO

WHAT: Eastmark’s Grand Opening – Life in Motion

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 1

WHERE: Ray and Ellsworth Roads in Mesa

COST: Admission is Free

 

rsz_rebuilding_together_photo

DMB Associates Builds a Community Garden in Mesa

 

With rakes and shovels in hand, 40 volunteers with DMB Associates turned a once vacant lot in Mesa into a community garden.

Volunteers constructed raised bed planter boxes, assembled a garden shed and installed fruit and shade trees last weekend for the Washington Escobedo Community, a significant historic neighborhood near downtown Mesa.

Neighbors assisted with construction while children from the neighborhood created art objects that will be used to accentuate the garden.

In the future, the students from the award-winning Edu-Prize school’s STEP UP programs will be able to tend to the garden as a living classroom. When the Edu-Prize program moves in to the Washington Activity Center, the program plans to bring students to the garden for lessons in history, culture and food.

“Partnership is an important part of our corporate culture and the Washington Escobedo Community Garden is an expression of true partnership among the stakeholders in this special community,” said Suzanne Walden-Wells, Director of Community Life for Eastmark, DMB’s new Mesa community opening in June.

“We started the day with little more than a pile of dirt and lumber and, thanks to the dedication of our volunteers, we ended the day with a beautiful garden that will serve as a point of pride for this neighborhood for years to come,” Walden-Wells said.

Rummel Construction led the work team on Saturday and Desert Classic Landscaping was responsible for the site preparation. The landscape plan was designed and donated by Vollmer & Associates, a local landscape architecture firm.

Mesa city staff members, Rummel construction employees and community volunteers joined DMB’s volunteer team. The West Mesa Community Development Corporation also served as a partner.

For the past 22 years, DMB Associates has worked with Rebuilding Together to reinvest in the community and engage their employees in neighborhood projects.

 

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BASIS Selects Eastmark for Its Next East Valley School

The nationally renowned charter school BASIS has selected Eastmark for its next East Valley campus. Construction on BASIS Mesa at Eastmark commences in March 2013.  The new school is set to open fall 2013.

“BASIS is our first 5-12 educational partner and a perfect fit for this community.  Eastmark’s central location in the East Valley will give hundreds of children more opportunities to earn a world-class education, which is a tremendous value for kids, their families and our region’s future workforce,” said Dea McDonald, Senior Vice President of DMB Associates and General Manager of Eastmark.

“Every DMB community features education and lifelong learning among its Community Life pillars, which are empowered by partnerships that extend far beyond the classroom.  We’re delighted to bring to future residents and neighbors this charter school option in the early phase of Eastmark,” added McDonald.

The new BASIS Mesa at Eastmark will complement the East Valley BASIS programs.  Because of the strong interest by parents and students, the BASIS Board of Directors agreed there was enough demand to develop another school in the East Valley, explained Craig Barrett, retired Chairman/CEO of Intel Corporation and Chairman of the Board for BASIS Schools Inc.

“Our BASIS Chandler School has had a waiting list since we opened.  DMB brought us the opportunity to develop in their new community, in an early phase of the development, where we could be a true partner.  Its location, easy access to transportation and vision for the future made Eastmark the right choice for us.  We’re eager to grow another top performing school for the region,” Barrett said.

The BASIS Mesa at Eastmark will open with grades 5-10, adding grade 11 by 2014 and grade 12 by 2015. BASIS Mesa may also add K through 4thgrades in ensuing years.  The design and size of the new school will be similar to its Chandler and Phoenix campuses. The campus will be located adjacent to the Eastmark Great Park situated on approximately 4.5 acres. DMB is advancing the development and construction of Eastmark Parkway to meet the timelines of the opening of the charter school.

Families can sign up for the BASIS Mesa at Eastmark interest list at www.basislink.org.

The first phase of Eastmark’s residential development is in the Queen Creek School District.  The district does not have plans to build another campus in Eastmark in the immediate future.

Eastmark will host its grand opening on June 1, 2013 with seven builders offering homes in the first phase of residential development.

BASIS is the top performing school in Arizona with BASIS students ranked highest in Stanford 10 national test scores in both math and reading in 2012.
All BASIS schools are “A” rated by the Arizona Department of Education (“AZEd”).

Approximately 5,000 students attend BASIS schools with campuses in Tucson, Oro Valley, Scottsdale, Chandler, Flagstaff, Peoria and Washington, D.C.  BASIS is also opening new schools in Ahwatukee, San Antonio, and a new K-4 program in Tucson.

srp installs solar energy systems

Energy Consortium’s Roadmap puts state of path to build industry

Imagine Arizona as the energy hub of the Southwest — where major regional transmission lines tie into infrastructure in the state and serve a growing regional demand for energy. Arizona would be a place where an increasing percentage of jobs are related to the energy industry, whether in manufacturing, generation, transmission, energy efficiency, service or technology innovation. Many of these jobs would be higher-wage jobs requiring a skilled labor force fed by Arizona’s schools and universities. Arizona could be a hub of energy-sector jobs, with factories making equipment for the industry and power plants shipping electricity to neighboring states via new power lines, all contributing to a better economy.

That is the essence of the Arizona Energy Consortium’s Energy Roadmap, which the group hopes with be a catalyst for the state’s energy industry in the same way Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap helped the state increase bioscience jobs by 41 percent and helped increase the number of bioscience establishments by 27 percent during its 10-year plan.

“It was important to create this document to give the energy industry a unified voice and direction,” said said Michelle De Blasi, co-chair of the AEC and a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig. “The energy industry is going to be here forever. We are always going to need energy. So the Roadmap was designed to make the industry better for everyone — consumers, developers, legislators. So it was critical that we get it right.”

This is the vision the Roadmap hopes to realize over the next decade: Arizona is the energy hub of the Southwest, with a diverse energy mix supporting reliable transmission, a strong base of manufacturing facilities, increased numbers of higher wage jobs, and world-class research institutions, resulting in increased economic development for the state and region.

Once that vision is realized, De Blasi said the state can expect to reap these benefits:
• Enhanced job creation and higher-wage jobs within Arizona
• Increased state economic revenue
• Enhanced energy export potential
• Heightened energy self-sufficiency and national and state security
• Increased transmission reliability
• Continued low cost energy

“This Roadmap is going to help Arizona be looked at differently from outside its borders,” said Chris Davey, co-chair with De Blasi of the AEC and president of EnviroMission, which is developing a solar tower in Western Arizona. “The Roadmap will create a sense of certainty, which appeals to the finance community. So when they are looking to invest, that certainty creates a more attractive environment for developers and investors.”

Davey and De Blasi said they will be rolling out the Roadmap this year, presenting it to groups throughout the state. For more information on the Roadmap, visit aztechcouncil.org.

ROADMAP CONTRIBUTORS

Arizona Commerce Authority
Arizona Governor’s Office of Energy Policy
Arizona Public Service
Bridge Strategy Group
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
City of Mesa, the Office of the Mayor
Cleantech Open
Dircks
DIRTT
DMB Associates
Energy Services Coalition
EnviroMission
Faithful+Gould
Greater Phoenix Economic Council
Greenberg Traurig
The Green Chamber – Greater Phoenix
Golder Associates
Hensel Phelps
Ikoloji
Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals
J.D. Porter & Associates
Kolbe Connect
Matthew McDonnell
Ormond Group, LLC
RG Schmelzer, Inc.
Salt River Project
Stream Energy
Tucson Electric Power
Valley Forward
Valley Partnership

dmb associates

DMB Associates Names 7 Builders To Be Part Of Eastmark

The first phase of residential development at DMB Associates’ Eastmark includes seven of Arizona’s most respected homebuilders, adding more than 700 new homes in Mesa, Arizona. In keeping with Eastmark’s commitment to create a mix of residential options for its neighborhoods, the mix of builders includes national, publicly traded, regional and local homebuilders. The builder roster includes: Maracay Homes (NYSE: WY), Mattamy Homes, Taylor Morrison, Woodside Homes, Trend Homes, Standard Pacific Homes (NYSE: SPF) and Meritage Homes Corporation (NYSE: MTH).

“The commitment of these builders represents an unprecedented level of confidence in Arizona’s residential market backed by promising economic indicators,” said Dea McDonald, DMB Senior Vice President and Eastmark General Manager. “We are seeing a resurgence in homebuilding activity in Arizona and in the East Valley. These builders see the value in Eastmarks’ strategic location and integrated plan, which positions this community to be an economic and employment engine for the East Valley and greater region.”

According to a report by Arizona State University’s Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W.P. Carey School of Business, the inventory of previously owned houses for sale in the metro Phoenix area dropped 54 percent in April 2012 from a year earlier. This lack of supply is driving the demand of new homes, sales of which surged 43 percent from April 2011.

“As the first large-scale community to launch in Arizona in nearly a decade, Eastmark is being closely watched,” said Charley Freericks, DMB President. “We are designing the community with the ‘new normal’ in mind. People are putting higher values on a sense of community, proximity to employment and environmental stewardship. Each building partner is creating designs specifically for Eastmark and all are equally committed to the vision of this community.”

Homebuilders are accredited at the Energy Star 3 level for constructing energy efficient homes. They will soon break ground in preparation for Eastmark’s grand opening in May 2013. The seven builders’ combined investment in land and improvements is nearly $50 million and hundreds of jobs are expected across the ten neighborhoods within this first phase.

Each neighborhood will take advantage of the planned 100-acre Great Park and their own community parks, while also encouraging connections to the planned employment and retail centers. The first phase of development features 12 parks throughout Eastmark, providing gathering points for neighborhoods and enhancing the sense of community.

DMB’s Eastmark Phase One Builders and Number of Homesites:

  • Maracay Homes (NYSE: WY) – 165
  • Mattamy Homes – 163
  • Taylor Morrison – 103
  • Woodside Homes – 96
  • Trend Homes – 84
  • Standard Pacific Homes (NYSE: SPF) – 58
  • Meritage Homes Corporation (NYSE: MTH) – 40

At five square miles (3,200 acres), Eastmark is a vibrant, integrated and evolving regional community poised as “The Heart and Hub of the East Valley.” Eastmark sits at the center of a major transportation hub anchored by the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, three major freeways, numerous businesses and acclaimed educational institutions. An expansive 100-acre Great Park connects residential areas, resort components, employment cores, recreational spaces and commerce. Eastmark is the largest privately held, contiguous property in the Southeast Valley.

To learn more about Eastmark, visit www.Eastmark.com. Visit DMB Associates at dmbinc.com.

Eastmark - DMB Associates Break Ground

DMB Breaks Ground On Its Newest Valley Economic Engine – Eastmark

DMB Associates broke ground on what is being touted as one of the next biggest economic engines for the Valley – its newest community, Eastmark.

The ceremony, held near the intersection of Ray and Ellsworth roads in Mesa, was attended by about 50 people, including partners, DMB Associates executives and East Valley leaders, including Mesa Mayor Scott Smith and Councilman Scott Somers.

“This is not only the start of a community, but decades of meaningful development,” said Dea McDonald, DMB senior vice president and Eastmark general manager. “Today’s event represents the culmination of years of planning and preparation for the property, which spans five square miles.

“For years, DMB has been reclaiming and recycling materials from the former proving grounds, including miles of track and tons of building materials. Now, we’re building Eastmark’s community infrastructure – the streets, utilities and early amenities to prepare for future businesses and the homebuilders who will debut their newest homes at Eastmark early next year.”

Added DMB President Charley Freericks: “The groundbreaking of our first phase is an important milestone for DMB and a positive indicator for Arizona’s recovering real estate market. The sounds of construction equipment signifies the start of the new heart and hub of the East Valley.

The first residential phase of Eastmark includes an interactive welcome center/community center, approximately 700 single-family homes and the initial phase of the 100-acre Great Park. This central amenity will provide recreation opportunities for residents and visitors and will ultimately connect the residential phase to schools and businesses. Eastmark’s first homes are scheduled for opening in the spring of 2013.

While much has been done to set the framework for development, DMB envisions an evolving community that earns the designation as the cultural, educational and economic core of the region. Eastmark will integrate residential areas, resort components, employment cores and commerce.

“Eastmark represents an incredible and unique opportunity for large-scale community development. Its strategic location and existing healthcare, education and transportation infrastructure align to make Eastmark the most desirable place in the region,” said Drew Brown, DMB’s chairman and founder. “These important amenities, along with our unique brand of placemaking, will create a quality of life that transforms Eastmark into a sought-after community for families and a nationally competitive location for employers.”

Eastmark is Arizona’s newest planned community situated on 3,200 acres in the center of the Gateway area, connected to the larger Southeast Valley, and anchored by the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, businesses and educational institutions. DMB acquired the property, which formerly served as the General Motors Proving Grounds, in 2006.

2012 Valley Partnership Roundtable

2012 Valley Partnership Roundtable

The 2012 Valley Partnership Roundtable discusses the need to engage and monitor federal issues impacting the development community, which is greater than ever. 

Every real estate development company actively manages issues such as water quality, dust control and industry taxation/regulation at the city and state level. However, we must be more vigilant in watching the impact of federal regulation on the real estate industry. Decisions made by the federal agencies and our Congressional delegation have a  long-term impact on our businesses.

As a sector, we have a responsibility to advocate for fair and pragmatic regulation that allows the industry to be nimble and grow responsibly. Federal regulation and oversight have expanded over the past few years and some of these expansions in oversight could negatively impact Arizona businesses. Arizona’s climate, employment bases and natural resources pose unique challenges on the federal level, and we must ensure that our delegation is prepared to fight for our state’s future.

As it celebrates its 25th anniversary, Valley Partnership, in conjunction with AZRE magazine, convened a virtual roundtable discussion on the need to engage and monitor federal and state issues that impact the development community. They include:

  • Expansion of the Clean Water Act;
  • Business taxes/workforce training credits/research and development tax credits
  • Military installations, including Luke Air Force Base;
  • Solar incentives;
  • Aerospace/defense industry, research.

Participants are members of Valley Partnership’s federal and legislative committees, including: Rob Anderson (RA), Fennemore Craig; Paul Hickman (PH), Arizona Bankers Association; Charley Freericks (CF), DMB Associates, Inc.; Rusty Mitchell (RM), Luke AFB; Mary Peters (MP), consultant, former secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation; Grady Gammage JR. (GG), Gammage & Burnham; and Michelle de Blasi (MD), Quarles & Brady.

- Karrin Taylor, DMB Associates Inc.

Q: The federal government’s growing regulation of water, environment issues and endangered species has an immediate effect on private property owners and at the state and local levels. In the Western U.S., there can be tremendous unintended consequences to these one-size-fits-all regulations promulgated in Washington. What are the risks and/or potential impacts for the development community?

GG: There are huge risks for Arizona development in ignoring federal issues. We tend to either rail at the Feds, or just hope they’ll go away. The truth is, neither attitude is useful. We need our federal representatives to vigorously engage in explaining things that seem obvious to us: like dry desert washes not being navigable, or the fact that Arizona tends to be dusty. But we need to recognize that there is an appropriate federal role in environmental regulation, rather than behave as though the EPA will go away.

RA: The risks for the development community are three-fold: Increased compliance costs; increased uncertainties associated with securing federal approval (Well will I get my permit? What will my project look like when I do?); and the possibility that the federal requirements will actually block you from developing at all. The first two risks are fairly pervasive in the development world already. The third risk is relatively rare but increasing, particularly in the area of endangered species where there is tremendous pressure to list more species and protect more habitats. We also may see more of this as the first two risks grow and become unmanageable. For example, if I do not know when I can get my permit, and do not know what my project will look like at the end of the permitting process, how can I get financing or raise capital to do the project at all?

Q: What can we (leaders in real estate) do to influence federal regulation and legislation?

MD: Consistency and certainty in policy is crucial to develop and sustain any industry. It is difficult to have certainty without having an energy policy in place. Some immediate initiatives that could provide certainty in the energy industry are: Build out/improve access to transmission; remove redundancy/inefficiencies in permitting; expand production-based incentives; and provide better/quicker access to federal land for project development.

GG: The real estate industry needs to come together with workable solutions on things like dust control of construction, and standards for developing in the desert that recognize circumstances where washes should be preserved or mass grading minimized. Constructive engagement means offering sensible alternatives for some federal involvement, that is climate and geography appropriate for the arid West. There’s a lot of of serious expertise in Arizona in dealing with these issues. The development industry will find that Arizona’s cities are valuable allies in understanding the nature of development here, and why it is different from many other parts of the country.

RA: Follow regulatory developments through agencies of concern (EPA, the Corps of Engineers) and follow legislation through Congress. Do not hesitate to contact your congressman or congresswoman on issues of concern. Be active in trade associations that lobby in Washington D.C.

CF: Real estate industry leaders and everyone in the community have many options for supporting Luke and the effort to secure the F-35 mission. First, participate in the Luke Forward campaign by registering your support (lukeforward.com), submit a letter from your company or community support organization, and spread the word by sending the link for Luke Forward to your colleagues and friends Second, participate in the upcoming public hearings for the F-35 mission Environmental Impact Study (EIS) process. Dates, times and locations will be posted on the website to visibly show your support to the community and government representatives. Finally, write or email your local, state and federal elected officials and state your support for the F-35 mission.

PH: Stay engaged. Coordinate multiple visit to members of Congress and agency officials. Be active on responding to requests for comments on proposed regultions. Create “echo chambers” on issues of vital importance to our state.

Our western state is rich in space, most of which is managed by some form of government (Fed/state/military/tribal). This requires our real estate development industry to engage in public/private partnerships. Our only alternative is not to grow our economy.

Q: There has been significant scrutiny on federal and state incentives of certain industries recently. How do you think those incentives have impacted the Arizona job and real estate markets? Are the incentives needed to jump-start an industry and spur growth? Are they worth the risks?

MP: I am generally opposed to public-funded incentives that tend to distort the market. If a determination is made that public interest is best served by advancing an issue, the better way to proceed is to focus on the desired outcome rather than a specific technology. In terms of developing alternative fuels for vehicles, for example, the outcome might be to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Current policy provides public subsidies as an incentive to produce ethanol, and the subsidies are provided largely to mid-west, corn producing states. The process used by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that encourages competition toward an outcome-based goal is far better than offering specific incentives. Arizona businesses and entrepreneurs could be very competitive in a DARPA-like competition resulting in more Arizona jobs and real estate development.

MD: Incentives are necessary to help spur growth and develop infrastructure that benefits society as a whole, but should be implemented in such a way that they reward success. The incentive provides the carrot, but should not provide the fuel as was the case with Solyndra. Incentives provide the necessary framework to foster economic development — job creation. Just as Arizona was feeling the effects of a downturn in the real estate market, the incentives available to the renewable energy industry helped spur the grow of a burgeoning industry for Arizona. As more projects have come to fruition, the economy has felt the impacts through the transitioning of jobs and the influx of investment in renewable generation and manufacturing. However, as an industry and state, one needs to be careful not to incentivize an industry that will not survive into the future without incentives.

Q: The debate around “earmarks” and “pork” projects continues at the federal level. Some of Arizona’s federal delegation have earned national reputations for their stand against earmarks. What are the benefits or the losses to Arizona on this issue? Should Arizona’s federal delegation work to bring federal dollars back to our community? What kinds of projects does Arizona need?

MP: When members of Congress designate special projects as part of authorizing or appropriation bills powerful committee chairs are able to direct disproportionate amounts of funding to their district or state regardless of the merits of the project. The so-called “Bride to Nowhere” in the 2005 Highway Bill is a prime example. I think, on the whole, Arizona and other states lose in this process, and our delegation is right to take a stand against earmarks. A better way is for Congress to give the states their proportionate share of funding, and let state and local officials working with our Congressional Delegation decide how and where the funds should be spent. Arizona could then use those funds to build transportation in infrastructure to support high-growth areas, such as the north-sout corridor in Pinal County.

GG: We couldn’t live in Central Arizona without federal projects. Both SRP and CAP are examples of using the Treasury of the Unites States to make it possible to live in the arid West. Sky Harbor Airport and the interstate highway system are other examples. We should not oppose the use of federal dollars for these kinds of purposes. The evil of “earmarks” is when ad hoc projects (I think “Bride to Nowhere”) are slipped into unrelated bills without any debate or being part of a comprehensive program. Our senators and congressmen shouldn’t oppose the use of federal funds for worthy projects in Arizona. They should oppose a process that disguises federal spending, that doesn’t invite public scrutiny, or that trades frivolous projects in one district for similar boondoggles elsewhere.

PH: We expect our members of Congress to fight for parochial projects that make sense. What some members of our congressional delegation object to — properly in my view — is skirting the competitive process to do that. The losses incurred by the practice of earmarking redound to us as federal taxpayers, not necessarily Arizonans. When we engage in it we may win projects for our state, but as federal taxpayers we probably paid too much inferior projects or products.

We should be working with out congressional delegation as well as the applicable federal agencies to get out projects included into the agency budgets, authorized by the congressional authorization committees and approved by the members of the appropriations committees. We also need to partner with the global growth sectors of our economy: healthcare, energy, aerospace, and high-tech manufacturing. If this crash of 2008 has taught us anything it is that the residential housing industry can’t drive an economy by itself. It has to have other sectors to support or it collapses.

Q: The Arizona Commerce Authority and local economic development groups such as GPEC have prioritized a number of industries for expansion and growth. Aerospace/defense, technology and the solar industry seem to be major opportunities for Arizona’s future. What role should leaders of the real estate development industry play at the federal level in working to support these business expansion efforts?

MP: The ACA has defined aerospace/defense, solar/renewable energy, science and technology, and Arizona innovation-small businesses and entrepreneurs as our four focus areas. The areas provide the biggest opportunity to attract and retain high paying jobs and sustainable economic development for our state. The real estate development community can help support these focus areas by working together with organizations like ACA and GPEC to let out congressional delegation know when we are competing for federal funds and programs. An example is the funding now available under the Defense Appropriations Act in which the FAA will select sites for testing UAVs. The real estate development community can also assist in redeveloping areas such as the Williams Gateway and in ensuring that growth complements, but does not encroach on, our current military installations such as Luke AFB.

MD: The message has to be clear and provide certainty for foster meaningful industry growth. For the energy sector, the growth plan needs to be inclusive of a portfolio of energy resources. The support for renewable energy at the federal level needs to be based on a broad array of goals: jobs, diversity of energy sources, national security and economic development. The industry leaders should be advocating for production-based or back-end incentives where there are metrics requiring a certain level of project development to better ensure the long-term success of the industry.

Q: Arizona has long enjoyed the benefits of having major military installations, such as Luke Air Force Base, as part of our economic base. These installations create and sustain thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic impact. What are the potential risks and rewards with selection of Arizona for the F-35 mission?

CF: The rewards are numerous — thousands of highly trained, educated and well-paid employees continue to thrive in the West Valley; billions of dollars in annual economic impact continue to flow into Arizona’s economy; and the community around Luke is bolstered by the consumption of goods and services from this amazing economic engine and the positive community contributions from the people of Luke. The mission for this advanced aircraft will sustain Luke for decades to come.

The risks as minimal, but important to keep in context. The military is subject to the ebbs and flows of federal military investment and resting after securing the F-35 mission would be a critical error. The state, especially those communities closest to Luke, have grown accustomed to, even dependent on, having Luke as a major employer and economic driver. As the West Valley continues to grow and evolve, it is critical to keep the economic development focus on highly-educated, high-income employment and to continue diversifying the number and types of industries represented. The risk of reductions in Luke’s mission are always a factor to be considered; and, the best solution will be a strong and diverse regional economy.

RM: If Luke AFB is selected as the second PTC, it is conceivable that it would remain a valuable national asset and an incomparable economic engine for decades to come.

The most recent study (commissioned by the state of Arizona) of Luke’s economic impact was approximately $2.17B. However,  beyond the pure dollars involved, the men and women of Luke AFB are significant contributors to the surrounding community as school and church leaders, business participants as well as stable homeowners for the community. These men and women should be viewed not only as part of the economic engine, but equally as important, quality community participants and leaders.

For more information on Valley Partnership visit, valleypartnership.org

AZRE Magazine March/April 2012

DMB Pacific Ventures

DMB Pacific Division Changes To DMB Pacific Ventures

DMB Associates, Inc. announced its intention to change the DMB Pacific Division to DMB Pacific Ventures. Eneas Kane, president and CEO of DMB Associates, will lead the new company.

DMB Pacific Division has been involved in several expansions outside of Arizona in the past decade, specifically in California and Hawaii. However, DMB Associates, Inc. and its major equity partners says that with the industry now taking a turn for the better DMB Pacific Division will do well as a separate company.

Drew Brown, DMB founding partner and board chairman said, “DMB Associated continues its focus on legacy projects.” Brown also mentioned that having the support of the founding partners, a strong management team and a more favorable market will allow their new DMB communities to flourish.

“With a proven track record of success and well-capitalized for the future, DMB Pacific Ventures will move quickly into an active expansion mode,” Kane said. With the launch of DMB Pacific Ventures, Kane is also looking forward to new opportunities and building on a shared legacy.

DMB Associates’ Chief Operating Officer (COO) and head of DMB’s Legacy Division, David Bruner, said, “Our Legacy Division is poised for dramatic growth as we look toward new development at Eastmark, One Scottsdale, Rancho Mission Viejo and in our legacy communities.” Bruner will continue with DMB Associates as COO.

Community projects and partnerships will continue to be the focus for DMB Associates. Currently, they are partnered with DC Ranch, Verrado and Marley Park. GM Proving Grounds, now known as Eastmark, is the company’s newest project. They are currently in the beginning stages and the completion date is scheduled for 2013.

Pacific Division’s projects will not be affected by the companies change to DMB Pacific Ventures. Ownership interests in all DMB Pacific projects will also not be changed. DMB Pacific Ventures will be headquartered in San Francisco’s Bay Area.

About DMB Associates, Inc.:

DMB Associates, Inc. was founded in 1984. This real estate company has real estate holdings through affiliated companies. DMB’s projects include signature commercial properties, resort/recreational and primary home communities, country clubs, health clubs and spas located in Arizona, California, Hawaii and Utah. DMB Associates, Inc. improve their communities with their projects that add beauty and enrich.

DMB stands for the first initials of the company’s founding partners — Drew Brown, Mark Sklar and Bennett Dorrance. They have created their company on mutual respect, integrity, fairness and a commitment to stand behind their business decisions.

For more information about DMB Pacific Ventures, visit dmbpacificventures.com.

Arizona Commerce Authority, AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

Arizona Commerce Authority Celebrates Its 1st Anniversary

With the Arizona Commerce Authority celebrating its 1st year, jobs remain the focus as the state’s CRE industry reaps the benefits.

Arizona Commerce Authority, AZRE Magazine November/December 2011In August, Tempe-based First Solar purchased 635 acres in Pinal County for $9.8M and announced plans to build a generating station on the property.

The rapidly expanding, clean-energy company is still constructing its solar module manufacturing plant in Mesa, expected to be up and running by mid-2012 with as many as 600 new, high-paying jobs.

The company also is building generating stations in Gila Bend and Yuma. In January, Power-One opened its first North American manufacturing facility in Phoenix. The California-based company, which makes inverters to convert renewable energy to usable energy, said it will employ as many as 350 people at build-out.

At Power-One’s grand opening ceremonies, Gov. Jan Brewer credited  the Arizona Commerce Authority for the big win and for wielding CEO clout and corporate incentives in making Arizona a hot spot for solar companies looking to expand or relocate.

“I have been consistently focused on ensuring Arizona is a magnet for business relocation, capital investment and a catalyst for the creation of new business and new jobs. And, with the work of my Arizona Commerce Authority, we’re seeing tremendous results in the solar space,” Brewer said at the time.

A year after the Arizona Department of Commerce, a government agency, morphed into the Arizona Commerce Authority, a public-private partnership led by a board of directors filled with many of the state’s top business leaders, six solar companies boasting a combined 1,700 new jobs have announced plans to expand or move to Arizona, says Bennett Curry, who has been piloting the organization’s business attraction efforts since it launched.

Besides growth in the renewable energy sector, diverse companies are finding Arizona attractive. They include:

  • Amazon, which recently announced plans to add another 1.2 MSF of warehousing space and 200 jobs to its existing Arizona enterprises;
  • Able Engineering, which hopes to expand into new manufacturing facilities in Mesa, eventually more than doubling its 230-employee roster within a few years of the expansion;
  • Ventana Medical Systems, which is expanding and adding another 500 jobs in Oro Valley.

Best is yet to come

Arizona Commerce Authority, AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Arizona Commerce Authority counts new jobs, not the square footage to house them, so it’s difficult to estimate the new office, manufacturing and warehousing space represented by the business growth, Curry says.

But while Arizona Commerce Authority’s mission is to generate jobs, Arizona’s commercial real estate industry is a big beneficiary of the growth, adds Mike Haenel, executive vice president Industrial Division at Cassidy Turley/BRE Commercial.

“Job growth creates absorption, construction and new development opportunities for the state’s commercial real estate industry,” Haenel said.

Arizona Commerce Authority has assisted companies such as Amazon, First Solar, Suntech and others with expansions and relocations, he says, but possibly even more important is the organization’s impact convincing local legislators and other Arizonans about the importance of proffering tax breaks and other enticements to snag coveted business.

He credits the prestige of the corporate leaders backing the group with influencing passage of the Arizona competitiveness package. And their combined weightiness as enticing to national business leaders looking for relocation options.

“Even though the Arizona Commerce Authority has only been in existence for one year, and the fact that we are in a slow recovery cycle, the Arizona Commerce Authority has  been instrumental in educating the business community and those businesses looking to relocate that Arizona has the incentives available for quality job growth,” Haenel says. “We’re still in a tough economy and having Arizona Commerce Authority can only help the state with job attraction.”

Sundt Construction chairman Doug Pruitt, an Arizona Commerce Authority board member, says the organization has logged some early successes.“Working with Arizona Commerce Authority partners, there has been a
massive reduction in vacant space,” he says.  But Pruitt says the biggest bang-for-the-buck is still to come as the organization spent much of its first year laying groundwork.

“Arizona Commerce Authority’s active projects are up 38 percent over a year ago,” Pruitt says. “One of our short-term plans includes aggressive recruitment of California-based firms within our targeted business sectors.”And the vision doesn’t stop at the Pacific Ocean. “Not only are we working to promote the state nationwide, we are taking the message that Arizona is the best place to do business to a global audience,” he says.

DMB Associates chairman Drew Brown, also an Arizona Commerce Authority board member, says each successful recruitment breeds more business. And as the expansions and relocations pile up, a boom in the state’s commercial real estate industry will be a welcome by-product.

“I think Arizona Commerce Authority’s function of attracting high-quality export jobs will be a big shot in the arm for the local economy,” he says. “The multiplier effect will encourage other new jobs.”

As more businesses come to the state, they will fill up vacant residential and commercial real estate, generating demand for new construction and development and the new jobs associated with that. “It’s out there. It will happen,” he says.

Building lasting relationships

Arizona Commerce Authority, AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Brown, like other Arizona Commerce Authority leaders, says the organization can’t take most of the credit for attracting the impressive influx of new business during its first year.

Arizona Commerce Authority has been forging important strategic relationships with key economic development groups such as Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) and Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities (TREO) to marshal joint clout, Brown says.

“We are working with the Arizona Commerce Authority on several active projects,” says Laura Shaw, TREO’s senior vice president for Marketing and Communications. “While the authority is still very new and thus getting its legs, so to speak, we have formed a close partnership and have many opportunities moving forward.”

And the Arizona Commerce Authority’s Curry says the new competitiveness package passed early this year opened a lot of doors for Arizona Commerce Authority to pitch the state’s wares.

“Before our toolbox didn’t have a lot of tools,” Curry says. “Now Arizona is ranked high among Western states.”

During a recent trade conference in San Francisco with international companies looking for a U.S. presence, the organization landed 19 meetings with interested prospects, and three are actively pursuing a possible Arizona relocation, he says.

Pruitt adds the Arizona Commerce Authority still faces hurdles — the uncertain global economy and Arizona’s somewhat tarnished reputation regarding school funding, immigration, gun laws and other issues. But he is optimistic.

“Some 300,000 of our residents have lost jobs since the recession began,” Pruitt says. “We realize that people are counting on us to do our job. The Arizona Commerce Authority takes this duty seriously and is focused on a single task — getting businesses to invest in Arizona to create jobs.”

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AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

Arizona Commerce Authority - AZRE Magazine November/December 2010

Arizona Commerce Authority: Team Effort in Arizona CRE

If there’s one person who can help give Arizona the home-field advantage when it comes to attracting new businesses, new jobs and making the state more competitive in the global market, it’s Jerry Colangelo, the vice chairman of the Arizona Commerce Authority.

Perhaps that’s why Gov. Jan Brewer picked the Valley businessman as vice chairman of the newly formed Arizona Commerce Authority, a private sector board that will replace the Arizona Department of Commerce. The 35-member board includes a diverse group of business and educational leaders from across the state.

No matter what you’re in, it takes teams and people to win,” Colangelo said. “It’s true in every walk of life. Look at the disconnect that has existed in our state for such a long time, with the Legislature, with the business community, the lack of a game plan. Everyone has to be on the same page. And so the good news is this: There’s only one way to go. There is plenty of space here for us to be very, very successful.”

There definitely is room to grow when it comes to business attraction in Arizona.
According to Department of Commerce statistics, 47 companies located or expanded in Arizona in 2007, bringing a capital investment of $1.6B, almost 10,000 new jobs and an annual payroll of $483M. Then the recession hit and in just two years those figures took a nose dive: 24 companies located or expanded in Arizona with a capital investment of $255M, 2,649 jobs and a $124.6M payroll.

“When I became governor, I promised to get Arizona back on track by creating quality jobs, attracting high-growth industries, and advancing our competitive position in the global economy,” Brewer said. “With this board, I have now delivered a model to advance Arizona.”

Arizona Commerce Authority: Addressing the Industry’s Needs

How that model will advance Arizona is a question those in commercial real estate are asking. To its credit, the Arizona Commerce Authority includes several board members with direct business ties to the industry.

They are: Drew Brown, chairman of the board, DMB Associates; Peter Herder, chairman of the board and CEO, Herder Commercial Development; Mike Ingram, CEO and president, El Dorado Holdings; Doug Pruitt, chairman and CEO, Sundt Construction; and Mo Stein, principal and senior vice president, HKS Architects.

How do those in the industry envision an entity such as the Arizona Commerce Authority boosting a sagging commercial real estate market in Arizona?

“I look for the Arizona Commerce Authority to create a business model for all aspects of development in the state,” Stein said. “The authority will allow leverage of both public and private strengths that go beyond individual projects to opportunities that impact large segments of our communities and industries throughout the state.”

Mike Haenel, executive vice president, Industrial Division at Cassidy Turley BRE Commercial, noted: “I would like the Arizona Commerce Authority to communicate to the State Legislature exactly what it would take to relocate a company to Arizona. Thanks to a sophisticated local commercial real estate development industry, we have well-located and functional real estate available. Given the current economic conditions, pricing is extremely attractive, which translates into a perfect time to rent and or buy real estate in Arizona. The Arizona Commerce Authority needs to figure out what our state government should do to be competitive in attracting and retaining companies.”

Jim Gibson, senior associate in real estate at Squire, Sanders & Dempsey adds: “There has always been a long-standing partnership between economic development and the commercial real estate industry. Because of its role attracting new businesses to the state, I suspect that the Arizona Commerce Authority will be a tremendous resource for lead generation to brokers, developers and others in the industry. In addition, because of the Arizona Commerce Authority’s make-up of leaders in the private sector, it seems well-positioned by having both the business savvy to understand the wants and needs of companies looking to expand or relocate to Arizona, as well as having established relationships in the real estate industry to help each company assemble the right team depending on its particular real estate needs.”

Brewer made sure the new Arizona Commerce Authority is a statewide endeavor. While most board members are from the Metro Phoenix area, there also are four board members from Tucson, two from Flagstaff, and one each from Prescott and Yuma.

By creating a more competitive landscape and making economic development a higher priority, commercial real estate opportunities and transactions will result,” said Joe Snell, president and CEO of Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities (TREO). “The ability for the authority to assist groups like TREO in attracting and expanding primary jobs will result in significantly more commercial opportunities downstream.”

Listening to the Industry’s Concerns

While those involved are excited over the prospects of what the Arizona Commerce Authority may be able to achieve, there also is guarded optimism. Mark Singerman, regional director of Rockefeller Group Development Corp., said that just to stay even with what most other states offer, Arizona needs to become more competitive in attracting businesses to relocate here. He cites SB 1403, a bill giving special tax breaks and incentives to the solar energy industry.

Within several months of that incentive for renewable energy companies becoming law, there were at least a dozen solar companies looking to locate here,” Singerman said. “This type of incentive program needs to be expanded to all desirable industries.”

Up until 2006, Singerman said, Arizona became complacent about attracting residents and businesses. By virtue of being in close proximity to high-cost California, the state enjoyed steady growth with little effort.

“We now have to up our game to stay even with other states,” Singerman said. “If we have competitive economic incentive programs similar to what other states offer, our total package will be hard to beat when companies do their comparisons. But we are not there yet.”

Added Tim Lawless, president of NAIOP-AZ, adds: “While strategically targeting specific industry sectors like aerospace in the hopes of further diversifying our state’s economy is laudable, it is very unclear what the Arizona Commerce Authority can or will do to assist the vast number of firms that are already in the state, especially with their very limited budget. We need to keep in mind that we have more than 350,000 firms in our state and we need policies that will create an environment for them to survive and add jobs.

This can only happen should the Commerce Authority advocate for broad-based tax reform, rather than exclusively relying on esoteric tax breaks that create winners and losers,” Lawless continued. “Cake and ice cream tax breaks for industries like solar are fine, but only after a more substantial and well-balanced economic development diet is put on the table for all firms.”

For the Arizona Commerce Authority to make the state more competitive in business attraction, Lawless said Arizona needs to lower overall commercial property tax burdens, which are among the highest in the U.S.; create a significant deal-closing fund (non-tax benefit related) to land large employers that leverage the highest paying jobs; and lower corporate income tax rates that would put the state in a better position to compete with other Western states.

Arizona’s political climate could be another stumbling block in attracting new businesses, said Marty Alvarez Sr., CEO of Sun Eagle Corp.

“Part of the problem is the perception throughout the country that Arizona is a racist state with no upside for their companies to move here,” Alvarez said. “The Hispanic business community needs to be part of the marketing effort to dissuade the thought that our state is in political turmoil. This is the time to bring national and international firms to Arizona.
The collaboration led by the ACA needs political, social and business direction from the Hispanic business community in order to create a positive atmosphere for incoming companies,” he added. “The idea and implementation of the ACA is not only good but is a necessary solution for the future economic well being of our state. The leaders chosen to enact this organization and jumpstart the dialogue must be a public-private partnership.”

AZRE Magazine November/December 2010