Tag Archives: Fennemore Craig PC

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Sarah A. Strunk – Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Sarah A. StrunkDirector, Fennemore Craig, P.C.
Strunk practices business and finance law, with experience in finance, mergers and acquisitions, and as outside general counsel dealing with corporate governance and compliance.

Greatest accomplishment: “I have continually mentored younger lawyers who can someday replace me.”

Surprising fact: “I like to swim with the sharks, seriously.”

Most Influential Women in Arizona Business – Every year in its July/August issue, Az Business Magazine celebrates the amazing women who make an impact on Arizona business.

Click here to see all of the 2014 Most Influential Women.

Commercial Development - AZRE Magazine January/February 2012

New Commercial Development Will Impact Growth In The Next 100 Years

Arizona’s economic strength and growth the next 100 years depend on the creation of new buildings, commercial development and new infrastructure

A high-speed train between Phoenix and Tucson. Toll roads on I-10 and I-17. A new shopping mall. Three outlet centers. A major development in West Phoenix. New casinos.

Solar manufacturing plants. A light rail that extends from Phoenix to Gilbert. A new interstate — I-11 — linking Phoenix and Las Vegas. State-of-the-art sports facilities.

Reality or wish list?

As Arizona looks ahead to its next 100 years, the future of the commercial real estate industry hinges on new infrastructure to keep the state’s economic engine churning while meeting the demands of a growing population.

Since the recession unloaded on the commercial real estate industry in the mid 2000s, it’s been an uphill climb for those in the industry, including general contractors, architects, engineers, subcontractors, developers and brokers.
Commercial Development - AZRE Magazine January/February 2012
“We will see a population shift to urban areas with a focus on transit- oriented development,” predicts Bryan Dunn, senior vice president at Adolfson & Peterson Construction. “Commercial property will need to be re-purposed into alternate uses due to the glut of vacant space in the real estate market.

“We will need to find creative ways to own and operate buildings in the future. There is a growing demand for public/private partnerships for municipal and educational facilities, similar to what has been done in Europe,” Dunn says.

AZRE Magazine asks some experts in commercial real estate how they see the industry changing in Arizona over the next decade and beyond. Here are their responses:

Planning and Development

“In the next 10 years, Arizona will finally adopt Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to remain competitive in the business world. The new normal is for less reliance on homebuilding as a jobs industry. Two more high rise office buildings with mixed uses on the lower floors will be built in Downtown Phoenix. In the next 100 years, high-speed rail
will run between Phoenix and Tucson in the Sun Corridor and a new, man-made lake/reservoir will be created north of Phoenix to collect upstream snow melt and serve the needs of Metro Phoenix.”
— Jon Froke, Planning Director, City of Glendale

“During the next 10 years, smaller developments that require less off-site infrastructure and result in lighter commitments from homebuilders are likely. Infrastructure requirements/costs will be lower and financial commitments will be smaller, both of which are desirable to financiers and homebuilder shareholders recovering from the recent downturn.

“In the next 100 years, development and homebuilding will undergo some of the most rapid changes ever. In Metro Phoenix and the Tucson area, densities will undoubtedly increase dramatically; we will grow upward rather than outward, as large metropolitan areas eventually do. The materials builders use will change dramatically, looking and feeling different. There will be stronger and lighter materials. Although hard to imagine, many unique, innovative homebuilding products that will be used the homes of the future have already been developed, we continue to wait for them to be rolled out to consumers.

“The continued development of solar technologies is going to have huge impact on all types of commercial development in Arizona.  Imagine buildings – retail, office, industrial, homes – not needing to be hooked up to the grid because they produce all of the energy necessary for their usage. The development of “net-zero” facilities in this market, where sun is plentiful, will have a dramatic positive effect on Arizonan’s lives.”
— Jim Belfiore, President, Belfiore Real Estate Consulting

Brokerage

“The beginning of the change is going on right now. The exchange of ownership has and will have an impact on our industry in the next 10 years. In the RTC days it took about 15 years to fully recover, this current cycle will take 5-7 years to process all of the inventory and for the next wave of owners to re-trade the properties. Banks, special servicers and the FDIC will be in charge of real estate for the long term and all of the assets that are currently under their control won’t make it back into private hands in total for 10 years.

“The medical use of retail space will be in full force, everything about this makes sense, retail buildings, namely big box spaces, have the power, the lower rents and the parking already in place to handle a medical user. This will create truly mixed-use locations.
“Internet sales fulfillment centers will hit a critical mass, even if and/or when the state begins to charge them sales tax, even at a much lower rate. Phoenix is well located, we have a growing economy and it makes a lot of sense that those are now starting to pop up here.

“In the next 100 years, buildings will be far more energy efficient, materials to build buildings will be so much more advanced than we can even imagine. In commercial buildings, there will be more bodies per square foot, more technology, less employees, smaller office size requirements. Thousands of new businesses will be created.”
— Pete Bolton, Managing Director/Executive VP, Grubb & Ellis

“Real estate growth over the next decade will be far more restrained than in the boom period in the 10 years before the onset of the recession. During that time, commercial property inventories routinely expanded by anywhere from 3% to 5% annually, driven by growing tenant demand for space and rents that steadily pushed higher. A return to that environment is unlikely anytime soon.

“Forecasting out over the next 100 years presents a pretty daunting challenge … but all of the demographic trends show Arizona will remain a growth market over the next century and population growth will spur demand for both commercial and residential real estate. Beyond demographics and quality of life factors, we believe global economic patterns will support growth in Arizona.”
— Bob Mulhern, Managing Director, Colliers International

Architecture

“The design and construction industry needs to be at the forefront of determining how Arizona is developed over the next 10 years. We need to take a hard look at the lessons learned from the past 10 years regarding unconstrained growth and sprawl, as well as from the positive developments of renewed urban focus, comprehensive transportation and development plans, and increased integrated project delivery partnerships.

“Architects have the responsibility for shaping the built environment that we all experience on a daily basis and need to ensure that built environment is increasingly sustainable, functionally practical, and aesthetically pleasing. Through technological advances and communication outlets, AIA architects will be continually educating ourselves about, and be more globally aware of industry trends and improvements that can be applied locally, so that Arizona becomes the ideal place to live, work, and play. In addition to increasingly becoming the leading stewards of our built environment through sustainable design and comprehensive planning, You are going to see an increasing significance in the role the design industry plays in the overall development of our communities.

“The industry will partner much more with government and lines will be blurred in community planning, design review, and construction inspection. Public-Private Partnerships and Integrated Project Delivery methods will become the norm, and the design and construction industry will have much more at stake in what they develop beyond their immediate financial compensation.”
— AIA response from Patrick Panetta, ASU; and Chris Knorr, SmithGroupJJR

“All industries, including commercial real estate and architecture, will need to continue to evolve and adapt to emerging technologies. Specifically in the fields of alternative energy and sustainability. I believe the next few years of those 10 years a lot of attention will need to be spent on repurposing existing buildings and facilities. We will obviously need to remain flexible to adapt to the process of becoming stabilized.

“Because technology and technological advances are changing at an exponential rate, I think the next 100 years is beyond reasonable comprehension. Who would have thought 100 years ago that we would be where we are today. However, architecture and real estate haven’t significantly changed over the past 100 years, but we also have not had the multiplying pace of technology at our disposal. Who knows, things like tele-transporting may be a reality over the next century, which of course would drastically change architecture and commercial real estate.”
— Patrick Hayes, President and CEO, PHArchitecture

Legal

“For approximately the first third or half of the next 10 years, commercial real estate will need to focus on absorption and modification to meet current needs of those projects that resulted from overbuilding during prior ‘blow and go’ times in our industry. Creativity and cost-effective adaptation will be needed to recast non-performing or under-performing commercial assets into assets that can meet the needs of current real estate users. As an example, big box retail spaces that have gone dark will need to be adapted and converted into creative uses to accommodate smaller and even different users. Cities and counties may need to modify their zoning to allow for a broader variety of uses that will meet the needs of today’s users.

“One hundred years is a long time and it is difficult and somewhat speculative to attempt to predict what changes will most impact Arizona over such a long time period. However, I suspect that big box retail will downsize as Internet shopping grows over the many years to come. I also suspect that growth in Arizona will have to adjust to demands upon the availability of water and our entire culture will eventually take on a more serious and long-term water approach to and conservation.

“Arizona will need to adapt its economy to more self-sustaining business that is not so dependent upon growth and real estate development. Thus, over the next 100 years Arizona will need to modify its tax and development schemes to accommodate more industry and manufacturing. Finally, Arizona will develop more political clout in Congress and the federal government as its population grows and the state’s economy continues to mature.”
— Don Miner,  Director, Fennemore Craig PC

Construction

“The impact construction will have in Arizona over the next 10 years will start with job creation. As the market comes back, the industry will be a leader in putting people back to work. We will need people to fill both direct construction jobs, and jobs that are indirectly related to construction. Every $1B spent in construction results in a total of 20,000 direct and indirect jobs. These jobs will help the middle class, the hardest hit in the last few years in terms of job loss.

“Construction is one of the top five industries nationally, and by then (10 years from now) it will be back among the top five industries for Arizona. Finally, the use of public/private partnerships will increase to meet community needs for amenities, infrastructure and growth.”

“Also, in Arizona, construction will be essential in reshaping the suburban landscape of our past into the more blended and integrated urban and semi-urban environment for the future. We are seeing new demographics that have families from multiple generations that live under one roof, and this factor along with other market forces will increase density in the mixed-use urban environment.”
— Eric Hedlund, Executive Vice President and COO, Sundt Construction

Finance

“Financing will always be a key part to Arizona’s growth. How products and services will be delivered will continue to evolve. As the market heals more competition enters into the marketplace thereby giving more investors access to capital. Assuming the economy has healed and is robust, I see a lot more choices for investors, developers and consumers in the next 10 years when it comes to the availability of financing.

“In the next 100 years? The market will always go up and down and therefore there will be more boom and busts as the decades roll forward. The difference in the future is access to information becoming more available than previous decade. The speed of that information will cause market trends to shift faster. Volatility could be more frequent.”
— William L. Spart, Senior VP, Wells Fargo Bank-Real Estate

For more information on Arizona’s construction projects and new commercial development, visit az.gov.

AZRE Magazine January/February 2012

Arizona Bankers Association, Bankers Give Back - AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011

Arizona Bankers Association Impacts State’s Economy, Communities

Arizona Bankers Association Impacts State’s Economy, Communities

Ryan Suchala, Bank of Arizona, Arizona Bankers AssociationBank of Arizona President Ryan Suchala recognizes the importance of community.

“This is where we live, work and play and in many cases the city where we are shaping our families,” Suchala says. “As a father of three I give my time to better our community because this is where my boys will become men. Last year, Bank of Arizona employees spent close to 450 hours working in our community and I personally became a board member at Arizona Women Education and Employment.”

To show the Arizona banking industry’s impact on its communities, the Arizona Bankers Association (AzBA) produced a brochure titled “Arizona Banks Give Back.” The report provides a picture of the economic and charitable support the banking industry gives back to the communities it serves, and shows the influence banks have on Arizona’s economy.

Arizona Bankers Association is an organization with more than 70 members that works to create a unified voice and engage members in issues that affect the banking industry.

Lynne Herndon, city president at BBVA Compass“It’s clear the banking industry has been under a microscope the last few years,” says Lynne Herndon, city president of BBVA Compass. “We wanted to pull our information and be treated collectively as an industry to say we are looking to work with companies to help them with their financial needs.”

Arizona Bankers Association created the “Arizona Banks Give Back” survey in November 2010 to collect a variety of data from Arizona banks. The results were released in February 2011. The 12-page brochure includes statistical data that shows how banks provide financial and social stability in Arizona.

The banks that chose to participate in the survey felt that it provided a good opportunity to change the way people currently view banks. The biggest surprise to Paul Hickman, president and CEO of Arizona Bankers Association, was how high bank lending was in Arizona in 2010.

According to the survey results, Arizona banks lent $5.9 billion in new and renewed commercial loans, and more than $11 billion in new and renewed consumer loans in 2010.

“A lot of the feedback we’ve been getting is ‘Wow, I didn’t realize the volume of lending was that great in this economy,’” Hickman says.

The number is likely higher as only 35 AzBA-member institutions responded to the survey, which only represents 63 percent of the organization’s membership, and does not include information from non-member banks.

In today’s economy, banks are more cautious about lending, but the data proves that Arizona banks are continuing to lend to commercial businesses and consumers.

“We keep hearing banks won’t lend,” Hickman says. “But banks don’t make money if they don’t lend.”

Banks want to lend so they can pump money into Arizona’s economy.

Arizona banks provide direct loans to help the state government finance public improvements by improving water, sewer and public health facilities and by helping build schools.

Banks pay income tax to help support local communities as opposed to credit unions, which don’t pay federal income tax.

Arizona banks are also putting money into the economy by being a leading employer of local residents. Banks bring high-wage jobs to the local community, and employ more than 42,000 Arizonans.

Wells Fargo Bank was the fifth largest employer of Arizonans in 2010, and the average salary for an employee working at a bank was around $66,625 in 2010.

By providing jobs, banks provide a ripple effect in the community, because employees pay state taxes and are also consumers that put money back into local businesses.

Arizona banks are also doing more than just putting money into the economy. Members of Arizona banks are striving to aid their community through service.

According to the results from the Arizona Banks Give Back survey, bank employees donated 211,615 volunteer hours to community service in 2010, and donated $15.5 million to charitable and cultural organizations.

“Actions speak louder than words,” says Craig P. Doyle, Arizona regional president of Comerica Bank. “We get out and are active in making a difference in our communities. It’s better than just handing money out.”

To show their commitment to the communities they serve, Comerica employees work with nonprofits like Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, Homeward Bound, Junior Achievement, Sojourner Women’s Shelter, United Food Bank, Central AZ Shelter Services and many others.

An effort from Suchala and the Bank of Arizona helped improve literacy across the Valley.

“Last year, we hosted our annual Caring for Kids Book Drive and collected over 14,000 books for children and adults in our community,” Suchala says. “We educate with multiple employees teaching Junior Achievement programs and with educational programs to local school children. Our employees have worked together this past year sorting school supplies at the annual Salvation Army Pack to School Drive, serving food alongside Alice Cooper for the Cooperstown Christmas for Kids event and pounded nails at two Habitat for Humanity events.”

“These are good members of the community,” Hickman says. “These are people that are donating their money and time at philanthropies around the state and they’re trying hard to impart their discipline.”

Arizona banks participate in programs such as neighborhood revitalization, financial education and assistance for the underprivileged.

In 2008, Mohave State Bank created a program called “Junior Bankers.” Three years later, Mohave State bankers are still training children at Jamaica Elementary School in Lake Havasu about balancing accounts, taking deposits and bank rules. Volunteers meet each week with students before school. The program has expanded to three other elementary schools.

In 2010, the National Bank of Arizona donated one of its foreclosed homes in Glendale to Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona. The bank partnered with the organization to help renovate the property, and 118 people worked to build walls, paint and landscape the property.

Arizona banks are committed to helping the community both financially and through service, Hickman says.
“This industry is like the cardiovascular system of our economy and it needs to be robust and healthy,” Hickman says. “We don’t grow or recover without this industry.”

For more information about the Arizona Bankers Association, visit azbankers.org.

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Arizona Gives Back: By the Numbers

  • More than $5.9 billion distributed in commercial loans (new and renewed) in 2010
  • More than $11 billion distributed in consumer loans (new and renewed) in 2010
  • More than 1,300 banking center locations in Arizona
  • More than 42,000 people work for Arizona banks
  • $66,625 is the average bank employee salary

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Arizona Business Magazine November/December 2011

 

Most Admired Companies - AZ Business Magazine Sept/Oct 2010

2010 Most Admired Companies Award Winners

Arizona Business Magazine and BestCompaniesAZ are honored to unveil the winners of our inaugural Arizona’s Most Admired Companies Awards.

With 43 winners, we think you’ll agree the awards selection committee has done an outstanding job in determining some of the most admired companies in our state.  Our primary goal in developing this program was to find those organizations that excel in four key areas: workplace culture, leadership excellence, social responsibility and customer opinion.  This list features the most prestigious companies in our state, providing us the opportunity to learn from the best.

Adolfson & Peterson Construction
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Year Est.: 1991
No. of Employees in AZ: 69
Recent Award: AIA Kemper Goodwin Award – 2009
WEB: www.a-p.com

AlliedBarton Security Services
Headquarters: Conshohocken, Penn.
Year Est.: 1957
No. of Employees in AZ: 1,047
Recent Award: Brandon Hall Research Award for Best Integration of Learning and Talent Management – 2009
WEB: www.alliedbarton.com
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American Express
Headquarters: New York
Year Est.: 1850
No. of Employees in AZ: 7,219
Recent Award: Fortune Magazine’s Most Admired Companies – 2010
WEB: www.americanexpress.com
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Arizona Charter Academy
Headquarters: Surprise
Year Est.: 2001
No. of Employees in AZ: 61
Recent Award: Elks Lodge Community Partner of the Year – 2010
WEB: www.azcharteracademy.com
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Banner Health
Headquarters: Phoenix
Year Est.: 1999
No. of Employees in AZ: 27,528
Recent Award: Gallup Great Workplace Award – 2009
WEB: www.bannerhealth.com
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BeachFleischman PC
Headquarters: Tucson
Year Est.: 1991
No. of Employees in AZ: 104
Recent Award: Accounting Today’s Best Accounting Firms to Work For – 2009
WEB: www.beachfleischman.com

To buy a print version of the 2010 Arizona’s Most Admired Companies
go to MagCloud.com

Arizona's Most Admired Companies November-December 2010