Tag Archives: phoenix

lanning

Lanning Receives Economic Development Leadership Award

Kimber Lanning, Executive Director of Local First Arizona, was awarded the Citizen Leadership Award by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) for her extraordinary commitment in promoting economic development.  The honor was presented on Tuesday, October 21, during IEDC’s Annual Conference in Fort Worth, TX.

“The Citizen Leadership Award celebrates a community or business leader, or an individual who is not an economic development specialist, but who plays a major leadership role in economic development pursuits,” said William C. Sproull, IEDC chair. “Ms. Lanning is a fine example of such an individual.”

A longtime leader in the Phoenix metropolitan area, Kimber Lanning began her career as a successful entrepreneur and currently serves as Executive Director of Local First Arizona. Her enthusiasm in supporting local businesses and community culture has shaped her career and helped transform the city.

“This award is a milestone in a changing economy, one that is now recognizing the work of Local First Arizona and other Local First initiatives as a viable part of economic development.” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “Kimber can proudly accept this award on behalf of everyone working to create sustainable, resilient, diverse, and vibrant local economies in their own communities.”

Witnessing the adverse effects of local businesses departing from her community, Ms. Lanning took a different approach towards economic development when she opened an art gallery in a blighted area in central Phoenix. Her dedication to her business and neighborhood attracted other small business owners to the area and inspired a neighborhood transformation. Lanning’s willingness to contribute energy, creative event planning, and economic development strategies led to the reduction of crime in the area by 62 percent, created over 135 full time jobs, and provided immeasurable community pride.

In 2003, Ms. Lanning launched Local First Arizona in an effort to inspire others to stay in Phoenix to help build a world-class city.  She knew that in order to encourage residents to feel connected and rooted to the area, a climate needed to be cultivated so that local businesses could compete against chain stores and large companies. Ms. Lanning developed a specific strategy to gain the traction needed to move the needle on Arizona’s economy. She streamlined the City of Phoenix’s Adaptive Reuse program, which was so cumbersome that it was preventing small businesses from opening. Ms. Lanning’s pilot program was a success and is now encouraged citywide. Because of her persistence, Phoenix’s overall economic strategy now includes small businesses that have important connections to the community.

Ms. Lanning’s innovative small business and entrepreneurial programs have proven to be highly successful. She went to work on the state’s procurement procedures, transforming them from a “low-bid wins” policy to a focus on selecting local contracts. She also created a Spanish language initiative and the Fuerza Local Accelerator Program to assist and encourage low-income Latinos in entrepreneurial endeavors.

Because of Ms. Lanning’s leadership of Local First Arizona, the organization is now the largest locally owned business coalition in North America with over 2,600 business members large and small. Most importantly, the local business community reported sales were up 8.1% in 2013, almost twice the national average. In 2013, Ms. Lanning shared Local First Arizona’s success with rural communities surrounding Phoenix by incorporating the Arizona Rural Development Council and encouraging sustainable development in rural communities through an annual Rural Policy Forum.

Kimber Lanning is actively and enthusiastically involved in fostering cultural diversity, economic self-reliance, and responsible growth for the Phoenix metropolitan area. She has come to economic development via unconventional means but quickly demonstrated to her community that her ideas and programs work.

“The successes of Local First Arizona over the last decade have underscored the broad range of strategies that Arizona needs to pursue for sustainable economic development,” said Ms. Lanning. “Through supporting entrepreneurs and locally owned enterprises—both large and small—we are maximizing the ecosystem of a healthy economy that builds widespread prosperity and supports more jobs. Local First Arizona is creating healthy local economies across the state that will in turn draw further economic development opportunities.”

insurance

Lovitt & Touché Rebrands After 100 Years in Arizona

Lovitt & Touché, an Arizona-based insurance brokerage and benefits solutions provider, announced today a rebranding of the agency that emphasizes its local roots and commitment to the community.

“Business Focused, Community Minded” will now serve as the slogan, which Chief Operating Officer Charlie Touché says speaks to the heart of the company’s history and values. “We have roots that reach back more than a century in Arizona, and we have become fixtures in the Phoenix and Tucson communities. Despite our growth, however, we have always considered our business to be family-run and community-focused. We pride ourselves on these traits, and we want to be known for them.”

Founded in 1911, Lovitt & Touché is one of the largest insurance agencies in the United States with nearly 200 employees and more than $300 million in total annual premiums. It offers comprehensive employee benefits solutions, property and casualty insurance, bonds and surety, specialty insurance and risk solutions for businesses along with personal insurance for key individuals of those companies. It has offices in Tempe, Tucson and Las Vegas, and primarily serves businesses and individuals in Arizona and throughout the Southwest.

Lovitt & Touché is a major contributor to community causes and initiatives statewide, donating hundreds of thousands to local charities annually.

“Arizona is our home, and we are committed to making it a better place for our team, our clients and our neighbors. The next phase of our branding efforts will better reflect this,” said Dave Wilder, executive vice president of Lovitt & Touché.

Along with the slogan, Lovitt & Touché is set to launch an updated logo and advertising campaign with a fresh and modern look. They will be officially unveiled at a rebrand launch party on Oct. 23, held at US Airways Center from 4 to 7 p.m.

To learn more about Lovitt & Touché, visit www.lovitt-touche.com.

Palmcroft Pic, WEB

Historic apartment complex in Phoenix sells for $1.2M

ORION Investment Real Estate announced the sale of Palmcroft Apartments, a 12-unit apartment complex in Phoenix, for $1,200,000.  The property was built in 1940 and was 90% occupied at the time of sale.  It consists of three studios, eight one-bedroom and one two-bedroom units and is located in the Encanto Palmcroft Historic District. The Arizona-based sellers have owned the property for 22 years.

“Palmcroft is a premiere multifamily asset loaded with charm and character and has a historic designation, noted Jackie Allen, Vice President of Multifamily Investments at ORION.  Allen brokered the transaction and was part of purchasing entity.

Jackie Allen focuses on investment sales of multifamily properties.

Luhrs Building: Iconic building towers over important adaptive reuse project in downtown Phoenix

The Luhrs Endures

Nestled among the steel and glass high rises in downtown Phoenix, the Luhrs Building stands as a symbol of the iconic brick-and-mortar structures that once graced the inner city.

As the City of Phoenix embraces the concept of adaptive reuse, the Luhrs Building, constructed in 1924 at a cost of $553,000, is part of this trend to repurpose existing buildings with retail or office additions.

According to the City of Phoenix website, the number of adaptive reuse projects – renovating buildings and turning them into new spaces – has increased since it started its adaptive reuse program in 2008. There were 17 projects in the first year. That number jumped to 48 in 2013.

“Historic, unique buildings are excellent prospects for adaptive reuse,” says Summer Jackson, associate director with the retail services division at Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona, the brokerage firm handling the retail leasing assignment for the Luhrs Building.

“Many restaurateurs are taking advantage of these spaces to create new concepts that cater to the demand in the area. It’s an opportunity to do something innovative – something different,” Jackson adds.

One such establishment that has taken advantage of the opportunity is the Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour, 1 W. Jefferson. Owner Ross Simon says he was looking for a space with a great history and some genuine “wow factor.” A space, he says, that had a real city feel for a concept that would be at home in any major city around the world.

“Also something that could lend itself well to the cocktail-centric concept,” Simon adds.

Adaptive reuse is evident elsewhere around Phoenix. Some of the more notable examples include:
» Culinary Dropout at the Yard, a former motorcycle dealership built in the 1950s on 7th Street.
» Taco Guild at Old School O7, the former Bethel Methodist church on Osborn Road.
» Southern Rail and Changing Hands bookstore at the Newtown Phx, the former Beef Eaters restaurant built in 1961 on Camelback Road.
» Windsor and Churn, which share a restored 1940s building on Central Ave.

“Consumers are looking for an experience,” says Courtney Auther Van Loo, Associate Director with the Retail Services Division at Cushman & Wakefield. “While maintaining historical architecture styles and a building’s unique iconography, developers and tenants have created one-of-a-kind experiences and breathed new life into these landmarks. This style of reuse combines a contemporary feel with a touch of the classic.”

When he was selecting a site, Simon says he wasn’t necessarily looking for a space in an adaptive reuse project. “But after I revisited the space and thought about the layout a bit more to know it would work, I was sold on it,” he says.

Bitter & Twisted, as well as Subway sandwich shop have become retail tenants at the Luhrs Building. “I had a real idea of what I wanted the overall place to look and feel like from an operational standpoint and from a guest experience point of view,” says Simon, who adds that Bar Napkins Production worked on the initial layout and all the architectural plans. Southwest Architectural Builders was the general contractor.

As the light rail whizzes by the Luhrs Building on Jefferson, it’s evident a sense of “newness” is also being felt downtown. An $80 million, 19-story hotel – the 320-room Luhrs City Center Marriott – breaks ground later this year at the northwest corner of Madison Street and Central Avenue.

The project is being developed by the Hansji Corporation of Anaheim, Calif. It’s the same family-owned company that purchased the “Luhrs Block” in 2007. For the past 38 years, Hansji Corp. has developed more than 2MSF of office, retail and hotel space.

coutney-summer-ross-rajan

“It (the Luhrs Block, which also includes the Luhrs Tower) was really our first historical building,” says company President Rajan Hansji. “We knew it was something special. You can’t recreate this. It’s history. It gave me a new appreciation (for historical properties).”

Hansji says he is pleased with the outcome of Bitter & Twisted and its historical feel, including exposed original walls and beams.

“That corner is going to define the block,” Hansji says. “It (Bitter & Twisted) will be the catalyst for the rest of the block. It’s an amazing and unique space. The hotel’s exterior will utilize different brick colors and utilize the Luhrs’ history.”

A Guide to Applying for a Bank Loan

BMO Private Bank Boosts AZ Senior Staff

BMO Private Bank announced new senior staff additions and promotions at the wealth management firm’s Arizona offices, which serve high-net-worth individuals, family-owned businesses, endowments and foundations throughout the Western United States.

• Ashley Ober is now serving as managing director of the greater Phoenix market, overseeing strategic development and delivery of wealth management services provided by a team of financial professionals. He was previously the firm’s regional director of private banking.
• Paul Tees was hired as the Tucson managing director. He will be responsible for the overall growth and management of the Private Bank for all of Southern Arizona, with a team of bankers reporting to him.
• Jason Miller, CFP®, was promoted to market manager for Greater Phoenix. In addition to his responsibilities as Director, Financial Planning – Western U.S., he will now have management responsibilities for the Arizona team of financial planners.
• Lindsey Jackson, an estate planning attorney, joined the firm as senior trust administrator. She will oversee trust administration for high-net-worth clientele.
• Tony Tanner was hired as a senior client advisor. This newly created position is designed to assist clients who have more complex financial planning and advising needs.
• Craig Shelley has been hired as a wealth advisor. He will serve as an advisor to high-net-worth individuals, families and organizations, including closely-held and family-owned business, endowments and foundations. He will assemble the appropriate team of professionals to provide a full range of wealth services as part of an overall personal wealth management strategy.

“The caliber of our team is second to none,” said BMO Private Bank Western U.S. President Matt Miller. “As we continue to expand our presence in the U.S., we are adding top-notch professionals who are truly committed to our clients and possess the skills necessary to help high-net-worth individuals and families navigate complex financial decisions to achieve their goals.”

New business in the Western U.S. region has increased significantly over the past year. To further support the influx, Miller says BMO Private Bank is increasing staffing to focus on positions that enhance the client experience.

For more information about services and operations, visit www.bmoprivatebank.com.

same.sex

Marriage Equality Coming to Arizona

Today U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick ruled against Arizona’s constitutional amendment banning marriage equality, making Arizona the latest state to see such a ban struck down in court since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its historic marriage rulings last June.

“This is a wonderful day for Arizona,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “Today’s ruling confirms what we have known for so long: that same-sex couples have a right to equal protection under the law.  This did not happen on its own — many people across our country have worked tirelessly to demand justice for all, and we owe a debt of gratitude to those in Arizona who have fought to overturn Arizona’s ban.  Now that a federal court has ruled Arizona’s ban unconstitutional, there is no justifiable reason for the state Attorney General and county clerks to delay issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples who want to marry.”

In Connolly v. Jeanes, brought by private counsel, and Majors v. Horne, brought by Lambda Legal, on behalf of same-sex couples, Judge Sedwick rejected Arizona’s ban on marriage equality saying it violated the U.S. Constitution. Judge Sedwick was nominated by President George H.W. Bush.

“Yet again, today’s court rulings affirm there is no justifiable reason to keep these discriminatory marriage bans on the books,” said Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “Laws prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying serve no purpose other than to harm Americans who simply want to protect and provide for themselves and their families. Ultimately the U.S. Constitution does not allow states to continue discriminating against committed and loving gay and lesbian couples.”

Judge Sedwick declined to issue stays in the rulings pending appeal.

A full feature map on the current state of marriage equality can be found here.

On Monday, October 6th, the nine justices of the Supreme Court announced they had declined to hear any of the cases pending before them challenging state bans on marriage for same-sex couples.  This allowed the circuit court decisions striking down the bans to stand, meaning same-sex couples in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin and Indiana could legally marry.  In addition, it left in place the circuit court rulings striking down same-sex marriage bans from the Fourth, Seventh and Tenth Circuits.

On Tuesday, October 7th, a three-judge panel for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (which covers Arizona) unanimously ruled that state bans on marriage for same-sex couples are unconstitutional in Idaho and Nevada. That same day, the stay on the court ruling in Colorado was lifted, allowing same-sex marriage to proceed. On Thursday, October 9th, West Virginia’s Attorney General agreed to stop defending the state’s ban, bringing the total number of states with marriage equality to 28, plus Washington, DC.

On Friday, October 10th, a federal district judge ruled against North Carolina’s constitutional amendment banning marriage equality, and on Sunday, October 12th, a federal district judge ruled Alaska’s same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional. The Ninth Circuit’s temporary stay of Alaska’s marriage equality decision is due to expire later today. These decisions bring the total number of states with marriage equality to 31, plus Washington, DC.

With today’s decision, same-sex couples are now able to marry in 31 states and Washington, DC, including: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin.

Gallup puts support for marriage equality at 55 percent – an astonishing 15 point increase from just 5 years ago – with other polls showing support at even higher margins.  And support for same-sex marriage rights continues to grow in virtually every demographic group.  According to ABC News / Washington Post, 77 percent of adults under age 30 favor marriage equality.  40 percent of Republicans – an all-time high and jump of 16 points in under two years – now support marriage for gay and lesbian couples, while the number of Catholics supporting marriage has grown to 62 percent,according to the New York Times.  These numbers continue to grow, with no indication that support will slow down.

Crossroads Corporate Center

Crossroads Corporate Center sells for $7.18M

CBRE has completed the sale of Crossroads Corporate Center located at the northwest corner of I-17 and Bell Road in metropolitan Phoenix. The ±105,107-square-foot office/flex building commanded a sale price of $7.18 million.

Barry Gabel, Chris Marchildon, Ashley Brooks, Jim Bayless and Jenny Aust with CBRE’s Phoenix office negotiated the sale between the buyer, a joint venture between Scottsdale-based Everest Holdings and Chicago-based Walton Street Capital, and the seller, Pittsburgh, Penn.-based Kossman-Phoenix Limited Partnership. Brooks, Bayless and Aust will also handle the marketing and leasing of the property, which is currently vacant.

“Crossroads Corporate Center offers a significant opportunity for additonal value,” said CBRE’s Gabel. “With 105,107 square feet of contiguous space and the possiblity of a second level, the property has excellent lease-up potential and should be met with much demand from users in the market.”

Crossroads Corporate Center was built in 1987 and renovated in 2009. The property sits on ±11 acres and features multiple points of ingress and egress. With ±24’ clear height, abundant glass-line, a large floor plate and eight per 1000 parking ratio, Crossroads Corporate Center is an ideal option for employers with heavy parking needs who are also looking for the open-concept, modern work space today’s employees demand.

“Crossroads Corporate Center offers potential tenants an excellent opportunity for customization of the space; the property is a blank slate,” said CBRE’s Brooks. “The space could be leased to a number of different user-types with a variety of needs. It has excellent potential for a traditional corporate user or could be utilized by a company looking to create modern, flexible workspace with a mix of collaborate and private office space and common/recreation areas for employees.”

The property benefits from proximity to the intersection at the I-17 and Loop-101 Freeways as well as full visibility from I-17 and two access points to the frontage road, which allows for easy access to labor markets, amenities, and residential developments. The property is accessible to 1.49 million people within a 30 minute drive and offers 1.5 million square feet of retail and restaurant amenities within a five-mile radius.

 

HFF OM - Camelback Center

HFF arranges acquisition financing for Camelback Center

HFF announced it has arranged acquisition financing for Camelback Center, a 32,963-square-foot, CVS-anchored retail center in Phoenix.

HFF worked on behalf of a private real estate fund advised by Crow Holdings Capital- Real Estate to secure the fixed-rate loan through Guggenheim Commercial Real Estate Finance, LLC.  Loan proceeds were used to acquire the property.

Camelback Center is situated on 3.85 acres at the intersection of Camelback Road and 16th Street in Phoenix’s Camelback Corridor, an area that contains some of the city’s most upscale neighborhoods.  North of the property is access to the Piestewa Freeway, the main north-south route through the middle of the city.  Built in 2003, the center is 100 percent leased to CVS, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Jimmy Johns, H&R Block, Tropical Smoothie Café, European Wax Center and Massage Envy.  The center is shadow-anchored by Total Wine & More.

The HFF team representing the borrower was led by senior managing director Paul Brindley and associate director Jeff Sause.  Douglas Mueller of Mueller & Associates Realty Advisors in Phoenix served as co-broker on the transaction.

Biosciences_Partnership_Building_poster

UofA breaks ground on 245KSF Biosciences Partnership Building

With a shovel of dirt, construction began Thursday on the 10-story Biosciences Partnership Building; the latest development in downtown Phoenix.

 

University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton tilled the soil ceremoniously marking the beginning of the 2-year design and construction for the 245,000-square foot research building on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus.

 

“This building will foster collaborations with scientists that will lead to more cures, better treatments and bring more federal and private dollars to the state,” said President Hart. “We will pursue expanded partnerships with industry that we hope will lead to groundbreaking discoveries in the areas of neuroscience, cardiovascular and thoracic science. This building will allow us to further these efforts and, ultimately, improve lives.”

 

As announced earlier this year by the university and the City of Phoenix, plans are in place to construct the 10-story, 245,000-square-foot research building just north of the Health Sciences Education Building on the downtown campus.

 

“This building will serve the medical school and beyond with important research and faculty to teach the next generation of health professionals,” Stanton said. “Of course, this just adds to the economic vibrancy of downtown. The research facility initially will bring construction jobs, and then high-paying, research-related jobs, including specialized technicians and other support staff for faculty and scientists.”

 

The 2-year construction on the $136 million building is expected to translate into nearly 500 jobs initially and another 360 permanent jobs at build out.

 

“The Bioscience Partnership Building represents yet another milestone as the city and the university develop a major academic medical center in downtown Phoenix,” said Stuart D. Flynn, MD, dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. “Research in this building, in collaboration with our partners, will advance healthcare for all and expand our role as an economic driver for the city, valley, and state.”

 

The building is the latest development in the steady expansion of the downtown Phoenix Biomedical Campus and expanding academic medical center. In 2012, the award-winning Health Sciences Education Building opened, housing health education for both the UA and Northern Arizona University. Construction continues on The University of Arizona Cancer Center at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s. The cancer center, a 220,000-square foot outpatient and research facility, is scheduled to be completed in 2015.

 

The Phoenix Biomedical Campus plays host to four UA health science colleges – the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health as well as the colleges of nursing and pharmacy. Also on campus are three NAU programs – physician’s assistant, physical therapy and occupational therapy as part of the university’s College of Health and Human Services. Arizona State University’s School of Nutrition and Health Innovation is housed in the Arizona Biomedical Collaborative 1 building just southwest of the education building and immediately south of the Translational Genomic Research Institute (TGen).

 

The funding for the Biosciences Partnership Building comes from the Stimulus Plan for Economic and Educational Development bonds approved by the legislature in 2008that paid for construction of the Health Sciences Education Building and related campus improvements. Research focus areas include neurosciences, healthcare outcomes, cancer and precision medicine.

Frank Lect 08

Arizona Humanities Announces 2014 Humanities Awards

Arizona Humanities has announced the recipients of the 2014 Humanities Awards. The public is invited to attend the awards reception on Thursday, November 13, 2014 from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Cutler-Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center in downtown Phoenix, Arizona.

Arizona Humanities Board Member and host of PBS’ “History Detectives,” Dr. Eduardo Pagán, will present the awards to the recipients. There will also be a special poetry performance by last year’s Rising Star awardee, Myrlin Hepworth. Guests can enjoy appetizers, drinks, a silent auction and live music. Tickets are $40 and available here or by calling 602-257-0335.

For more than 20 years, the Arizona Humanities Awards have recognized community members and organizations that have made significant contributions to Arizona’s civic and cultural vitality through the humanities. Carrie Gustavson, Director of the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum and Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of Arizona Humanities announced, “We are thrilled to introduce the winners for the 2014 Arizona Humanities Award, and we couldn’t be more proud of David William Foster, ASU’s Project Humanities, and Tyler Wayne Vertrees for their achievements as humanities champions. We invite the public to join us and celebrate these fantastic individuals and organizations who have provided scholarship and research, enhanced public knowledge, and cultivated the humanities in their communities. They have reached people from all walks of life, and taught us to appreciate the richness of arts and culture in our state.”

The recipients of this year’s Humanities Awards are:

Dan Shilling Public Humanities Scholar Award
David William Foster Ph.D.

David William Foster (Ph.D., University of Washington, 1964 [BA, 1961; MA, 1963 University of Washington]) Regents’ Professor of Spanish, Humanities, and Women’s Studies at Arizona State University. He served as Chair of the Department of Languages and Literatures from 1997-2001. In Spring 2009, he served as the Ednagene and Jordan Davidson Eminent Scholar in the Humanities at Florida International University. His research interests focus on urban culture in Latin America, with emphasis on issues of gender construction and sexual identity, as well as Jewish culture. He has written extensively on Argentine narrative and theater, and he has held Fulbright teaching appointments in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. He has also served as an Inter-American Development Bank Professor in Chile.

Juliana Yoder Friend Of The Humanities Award
Project Humanities

Project Humanities is an award-winning initiative at Arizona State University that promotes and showcases the range, relevance, and diversity of faculty and student humanities programming and community outreach. With both a national and international presence in conversations about the role, impact, and importance of humanities study and humanist thinking through multidisciplinary collaboration, Project Humanities highlights the value of humanist perspectives through talking, listening, and connecting.

Humanities Rising Star Award
Tyler Wayne Vertrees  

Tyler Vertrees was born and raised in Bisbee Arizona. In high school he was a top ten student that participated in numerous extracurricular activities including Student Council, National Honors Society, Thespian Society, and Football. Tyler also volunteered much of his time at the local radio station KBRP where he produced a number of original pieces, including the national award winning radio drama “Fallen Angels.” He is currently studying at the University of Arizona where he is majoring in Film and Television with a minor in Creative Writing. Afterwards he hopes to pursue a career in film.

The recipients were chosen by the Awards Committee from amongst a competitive field of nominees showcasing the best and brightest of the humanities in Arizona.

Dan Shilling Public Humanities Scholar Award Nominees: Paul Espinosa, James Garcia, Ann-Mary Lutzick, Brooks Simpson, Michelle Tellez

Juliana Yoder Friend of the Humanities Award Nominees: Karen Applewhite, Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry, Frontdoors, Bjorn Krondorfer, Flagstaff Library

Humanities Rising Star Nominee: Johnny Martin

Fiesta Park

The value-add play in Phoenix’s multifamily market

By:  Steve Jaffe, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, BH Properties

 

Steve Jaffe is the executive vice president and general counsel for BH Properties, a Los Angeles-based commercial real estate investment company that acquires and maximizes the value of under-performing properties located throughout the country. The firm also has regional offices in Dallas, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah.

Steve Jaffe is the executive vice president and general counsel for BH Properties, a Los Angeles-based commercial real estate investment company that acquires and maximizes the value of under-performing properties located throughout the country. The firm also has regional offices in Dallas, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah.

During the most recent Great Recession, Phoenix saw property values drastically decrease and apartment owners lose tenants due to lost jobs. The domino effect resulted in owners dropping rents to maintain occupancy, which, in turn, caused them to lose out on money they would have spent to reinvest in and improve their properties, leading to further tenant loses. For many of the multifamily properties in the B- to C classes, this downward cycle was fatal.

In 2010, BH Properties stepped back into the apartment business with Arizona as its target market. The Los Angeles-based company brought its proven strategy of purchasing undermanaged or distressed assets at the appropriate price and turning the properties around in one of the markets that had been hit the hardest by the recession.

Fiesta Park in Mesa, Arizona was one such multifamily property suffering from long-term neglect and in need of BH Properties’ value-add approach. Recognizing its upside potential and believing the Phoenix market was (or would soon be) on the upswing, BH Properties purchased the complex in a short sale, making it the first purchase made by BH Properties after the market crashed almost three years earlier.

After purchasing the complex, BH Properties identified areas that needed to be restored and repaired in order for the asset to function properly and to draw new tenants. The 320-unit complex was 54 percent occupied at the time BH Properties went under contract to purchase the property and required extensive renovations to both the exteriors and interiors. Expenses were then prioritized in order to keep rents within reason to fit within the constraints of the C class property.  

To add value without losing sight of investment goals, the firm focused the majority of the renovations on improving common areas and individual units. The exterior of each building within the complex was painted with a fresh color scheme, the fence around the swimming pool was repaired and new furnishings were added, and outdoor lighting was installed throughout the complex illuminating areas that may not have seemed safe before. An archway was also built in front of the leasing office to increase its visibility and provide a welcoming entrance to the complex. The leasing office interior was updated and made more inviting. Individual apartment units were refurbished with better flooring, upgraded light fixtures and resurfaced countertops. For safety, walkways and staircases were improved.

With more than $1 million in renovations completed over an eight-month-time-period, BH Properties turned the neglected complex into a clean, safe, family-oriented living space. Shortly after the final touches were made to enhance the curb appeal, the complex saw occupancy grow to 90 percent from 54 percent at the time of purchase. Gradually, BH Properties was able to increase rents and improve the overall tenant profile.

The keys to success with value-add plays are patience and a true understanding of the market and not “over improving” an asset. Phoenix, like other major cities in the Sunbelt, held all the fundamentals for a great economy and continues to strengthen along with the recovery. In addition to the area’s unemployment rate coming in at almost one percent lower than the national average, recent reports  indicate a slight uptick in the median asking price per unit in the Phoenix market with an increase of 10.7 percent compared to last year’s prices.

BH Properties recognized the potential this business and family friendly environment had for a strong recovery across all sectors, especially the housing market, and employed its quick closing business model to take advantage of the primed opportunity. Purchasing Fiesta Park at the right price allowed the firm time and capital to make the necessary repairs in order to bring the complex back up to par, while the market gradually made a comeback.

 

 

latte

Independent shops create Coffee Culture in Phoenix

It doesn’t take an investigative panel to notice the smattering of new coffee shops in Phoenix. In the past few years, vacant lots and empty buildings have transformed into Cartel Coffee Lab, Songbird Tea and Coffeehouse, JoBot Coffee and Nami.

The culture of local shops have more to offer to Phoenix than a just a latte. The journey from coffee bean to customer tells a story of sustainability and community. These ideas merged together to form Coffee Culture, a downtown Phoenix collective of local coffee shops.

A green coffee bean travels from a plantation in Costa Rica to a roaster in Tempe to a coffee shop in Phoenix to a shared moment between two strangers to in the story of Coffee Culture.

Coffee

Ron Cortez began roasting coffee in the mid-1990s. The backroom of his store front in Tempe, Arizona, smelled of freshly roasted coffee beans. His two young daughters played hide-and-seek as he poured two samples of highly-caffeinated cold brew coffee.

Cortez grew up among the coffee plantations of Costa Rica. He left his career as a banker to found Cortez Coffee Company.

“I remember seeing an 80 kilogram bag of coffee and thinking, ‘How are we going to sell all of this?’” he said. “Now we sell over 120,000 pounds of coffee a year.”

After researching sustainability, Cortez decided he wanted to go beyond Fair Trade and organic. He joined More Than Fair, an organization that buys directly from farmers for a fair price.

Thirty cafes across the valley brew Cortez Coffee. Online sales and social media are revolutionary to the local movement.

“You can now reach out to customers directly,” he said. “People care about the story behind their coffee.”

Cafe

Songbird Coffee and Tea is one of the valley businesses that brews Cortez Coffee. A rotating board lists two roasts with details about the coffee’s origin and roast. The skilled baristas serve the coffee pour over style and swirl steamed milk into latte art. The cafe also offers loose leaf tea and iced espresso-based drinks.

“Songbird is one of the strongest coffee houses in the area,” Cortez said. “They are a true success story.”

Husband and wife team, Jonathan and Erin Carroll, started Songbird in July 2012.

“If we didn’t have a loyal customer base, we wouldn’t be here,” Jonathan Carroll said. “We wouldn’t be thriving.”

A few months ago, he decided to create a community of downtown cafes. He said wanted to create a group where coffee shops could promote not just themselves but also other small businesses and the local movement.

“If you’re going to spend your hard earned money, keep it local,” he said. “Small businesses care about the customers more and listen to their feedback.”

Each coffee shop has something different to offer, he said. Jobot Coffee keeps late night hours and whips up crepes and burritos. Nami serves vegan pastries and brunch. Lola Coffee offers fresh roasted beans and a lively ambiance. Coffee lovers tend to support several different shops.

Community

Quinn Whissen and Ryan Tempest, cofounders of This Could Be PHX, helped Carroll mobilize his mission. Together they formed Coffee Culture

“Jonathan approached us with the idea of promoting all the coffee shops around downtown,” Whissen said. “Even though he’s a coffee shop owner, he doesn’t see them as competitors. He sees them as part of a culture.”

The project consists of a graphic art poster by Whissen highlighting 13 uptown and downtown coffee shops. An interactive map on Coffee Culture’s website lists unique features of each shop and includes biking, walking, driving and light rail directions.

Also included is a collection of people’s story on how the coffee community has transformed their lives “one coffee and one conversation at a time.”

“You go into a coffee shop and you see people working, reading, studying and meeting friends,” Tempest said. “It’s a great way to make connections.”

Those connections has proven to be pivotal in Whissen’s and Tempest’s lives. The pair met at a Phoenix coffee shop, and Whissen, a marketing and design consultant, works and meet clients at cafes.

“Coffee Culture highlights all the great local coffee shops in downtown, the community they create and the culture they foster,” Tempest said.

The movement fell in line with This Could Be PHX’s philosophy of urban revival and sustainability.

Downtown Phoenix has had a bad reputation for such a longtime, Whissen said. People think it’s dangerous or there’s no local business or nightlife. Coffee Culture seeks to change that, latte by latte.

Del Frisco 077

It’s mushroom mania at Del Frisco’s Grille

Del Frisco’s Grille can help you celebrate National Mushroom Day on October 15. Enjoy everybody’s favorite fungi with a Wild Mushroom Flatbread or Veal Meatloaf served with earthy, pan-braised wild mushrooms and bordelaise sauce.

Here are the details:

Who: Mushroom lovers, fungus fiends, and anyone else looking to celebrate National Mushroom Day offered at Del Frisco’s Grille.

What: Fungi lovers unite! This October 15 is National Mushroom Day, and there’s no better place to celebrate mushroom mania than at Del Frisco’s Grille in Phoenix, where earthy, irresistible Wild Mushrooms are always on the menu. Kick off the spore soiree with one of DFG’s signature Wild Mushroom Flatbreads, topped with creamy fontina cheese, caramelized onions and peppery baby arugula. Or go all out with a Knife & Fork entrée, such as the Veal Meatloaf paired with hand-mashed potatoes, braised wild mushrooms and bordelaise sauce. Finally, for those looking for just a scooch more ’srooms can order a side of hearty Braised Wild Mushrooms a la carte or paired with any entrée.

And don’t forget, all football season long, DFG offers the new Burgers and Brews combo, featuring the Grille’s Prime Cheeseburger – two flavorful patties made of a mouthwatering blend of USDA Prime short rib, brisket and chuck topped with cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles and sloppy sauce between a brioche bun. Pair it with your choice of Original, Sea Salt & Parmesan or Sweet Potato Frites, plus your choice of a draft beer pint, all for only $17.50.

When:  National Mushroom Day is on October 15, 2014, but Del Frisco’s Grille’s wild mushroom specialty dishes are available daily!

Where:  Del Frisco’s Grille (at The Camelback Esplanade), 2425 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85016, 602-466-2890,  www.delfriscosgrille.com

Del Frisco’s Grille is modern, inviting, stylish and fun. Taking the classic bar and grill to new heights, Del Frisco’s Grille draws inspiration from bold flavors and market-fresh ingredients. The energetic bar, a destination in itself, creates a buzz throughout the restaurant and sets the stage for an amazing night out.

autism

Valley autism treatment centers open Oct. 18

Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) announced the opening of its new treatment centers in Phoenix and Chandler with Family Fun Days scheduled on Saturday, Oct. 18.  CARD provides a variety of services using the evidence-based principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) to treat the delays and challenges commonly associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at over 28 centers worldwide.  ABA is the only scientifically validated treatment for ASD, and research shows that it is most effective when delivered early and at a high level of intensity.  The events will feature a presentation by leading autism expert, Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA-D, child-friendly games and activities, food and refreshments.  The events are free and childcare will be provided.  To RSVP, contact s.price@centerforautism.com or call 818-345-2345 x322.

“We invite the community to join us for a fun-filled and informational day,” said Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, founder and executive director of CARD.  “CARD’s goal is to ensure that every individual diagnosed with autism has access to top quality treatment for a brighter future.”

The first Family Fun Day will take place at the CARD office in Phoenix from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  The address is 2400 W. Dunlap Ave., Suite 100 in Phoenix, Ariz. 85021.  The next event will take place from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the CARD office in Chandler at 290 S. Alma School Rd., Suite 01, Chandler, Ariz. 85224.

CARD services include center-based treatment, home-based services and supervision, integrated services for adults, parent training, and school shadowing.  Clients receive CARD’s cutting edge curriculum while receiving care from top quality ABA therapists and Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) supervisors.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), estimates that one in every 68 children in America is diagnosed with ASD, with one in 42 boys and one in 189 girls diagnosed.  This is more than a 30 percent increase since the 2008 report.  As the prevalence of ASD has increased, services for children with ASD have not always kept pace with demand. As a result, families affected by ASD may encounter challenges when trying to access quality treatment. The increase in autism diagnoses and the lack of resources available to families in many communities leave parents struggling to access the services that are crucial to their child’s development.

Morris.Michelle

Michelle Morris Joins Sherman & Howard

The law firm of Sherman & Howard announced that Michelle M. Morris has joined its Phoenix office as a Member of the Business and Corporate Department. She brings more than 15 years’ experience to the firm. Michelle’s practice focuses on intellectual property and trademark matters, including development and implementation of brand strategies, trademark prosecution and enforcement, trademark licensing and other intellectual property agreements, and work with foreign agents regarding foreign trademark strategy. Michelle also will provide general corporate legal services including general business counseling and transactions.

“We are excited to have Michelle join Sherman & Howard,” says Gregory Falls, managing partner of the firm’s Phoenix and Scottsdale offices. “She is a well-known trademark attorney, and her experience in that area will be a great complement to the business and litigation services we offer our clients.”

Michelle is an author and speaker on intellectual property and trademark issues affecting businesses. She is a member of the State Bar of Arizona (Intellectual Property Law Section), the Maricopa County Bar Association, the Arizona Women Lawyers Association and the International Trademark Association.

Michelle graduated, magna cum laude, from Arizona State University College of Law, where she was the senior managing editor of ASU’s Law Journal, and received her undergraduate degree from Arizona State University. Michelle clerked for the Honorable Frederick J. Martone on the Arizona Supreme Court. Prior to joining Sherman & Howard, she worked at Ryley Carlock & Applewhite and Perkins Coie.

87690275

Cox begins offering residential Gigabit Service

Cox Communications today announced that its gigabit internet service for residential customers will be available in customer homes starting later this month. Marketed under the brand name “G1GABLASTSM,” Cox will offer speeds 100 times faster than the average speed in the U.S. today.

The service will be first available in parts of the Phoenix Metropolitan area, and will continue to expand there as well as in Las Vegas and Omaha, and in new developments in all Cox markets nationwide. In all Cox locations, the company will begin market-wide deployment of gigabit speeds to residential customers by the end of 2016. The company has been deploying gigabit speeds to businesses for more than 10 years.

“We are excited to deliver the choice of gigabit speeds to our customers,” said Cox Communications President Pat Esser. “Coupled with our 2,300 employees in the Valley and more than 20,000 nationwide, our latest investments and the deployment of the fastest speeds available are powering economic growth and development for businesses and residents of the communities we serve.”

G1GABLAST will be available in the Phoenix market for $69.99 per month when combined with Cox’s most popular service bundles, and will deliver more speed, a powerful home network and rich broadband enabled services to customers.  The service offers speeds as fast as 1 gigabit per second – will deliver more speed, a powerful home network and rich broadband enabled services to customers. G1GABLAST also includes the latest high-speed Wi-Fi router, one terabyte of cloud storage, Cox Security Suite and Family Protection and 10 email boxes each with 15 gigabytes of storage.

“Starting today, trained teams of Cox sales representatives will be personally reaching out, door to door, into the neighborhoods that will be the first to have 1G speed available.  Cox will continue outreach into neighborhoods as gig service becomes available, said John Wolfe, Senior Vice President of the Southwest region-Cox Communications.

Marketing and sales promotions will include broad digital advertising and social media, direct mail and print and outdoor advertising. Cox will be demonstrating the service at community events throughout the region and at its retail Cox Solutions Stores. Consumers also can sign-up at www.cox.com/giglife.

While focused on bringing gigabit speeds to its customers, Cox doubled the speeds of its most popular tiers of service this past summer. Cox High Speed Internet Preferred has increased from 25 megabits per second to 50 megabits per second. Cox High Speed Internet Premier has increased from 50 megabits per second to 100 megabits per second. These tiers represent more than 70 percent of Cox’s high-speed internet customers. Committed to offering access and choice, Cox has increased broadband speeds more than 1,000 percent over the past 13 years.

In the last 10 years, Cox has invested more than $15 billion in its communities through infrastructure upgrades to deliver video, phone and high-speed Internet and home security and automation service to homes and businesses in the company’s service area. Additionally, the company gives tens of millions of dollars annually in cash and in-kind contributions to support the communities in which it operates.

Trucks CrossingBorderat Nogales

Arizona Opens Mexico City Trade Office

The State of Arizona today announced the strategic expansion of its presence and investment in Mexico with the launch of the Arizona State Trade and Investment Office.

The grand opening of the Arizona office located in Mexico City was the culminating event of an Arizona-led trade mission conducted this week to strengthen the state’s relationship with its number one trading partner. During the mission, Arizona’s delegation met with Mexican government officials at the federal and state levels as well as private sector business leaders to discuss bi-lateral collaborations in key areas including: Economic Development, Trade and Innovation; Infrastructure and Corridor Competitiveness; and international Tourism.

The Arizona State Trade and Investment Office in Mexico will be led by the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA), in partnership with the City of Phoenix, and additional funding partners including Maricopa Association of Governments, the City of Tucson and Visit Phoenix. With the support of Governor Jan Brewer and the state legislature, Arizona has made a commitment of $300,000 to the ACA to establish and manage the office, which will create a platform for businesses in both countries to expand their international trade and foreign direct investment opportunities.

“Since becoming governor, I have made it my mission to enhance Arizona’s global competitiveness, support job growth and secure our economic vitality long into the future,” said Governor Brewer. “Our continued success in this mission will depend greatly on our ability to seize business and investment opportunities on an international scale. Expanding our presence in Mexico – by far our largest trading partner – will strengthen crucial economic ties, promoting economic development and contributing to high-paying jobs for Arizonans.”

Mexico is a growing world market, as well as Arizona’s most important trading partner. In 2013, trade generated between Arizona and Mexico exceeded $14 billion. Mexico is the world’s 14th-largest economy, and is projected by Goldman Sachs to be the fifth-largest by 2050.

Arizona’s trade office in Mexico will assist Arizona companies in successfully entering the Mexican market and attract new companies and investments that will contribute to the state’s economy to create high-wage jobs. The office will have a keen focus on targeted sectors that include aerospace & defense, medical devices, biosciences and innovation.

“This represents a significant milestone in building and strengthening a prosperous relationship between two trading partners that share a great deal of synergy, resources and geographical proximity,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority. “We look forward to working with our partners in Arizona and Mexico to execute a unified strategy to advance a sustainable trade ecosystem that drives innovation, job creation and international commerce for both countries.”

“It’s time that we fundamentally change our relationship with Mexico to one of shared economic opportunities,” said City of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “Our trade office is a tremendous step in the right direction.”

“Tucson is fully committed to increasing trade relations with Mexico and our having a presence in Mexico City can only further that goal,” said Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild.

“The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) has been working on a number of initiatives to help foster economic opportunities with Mexico,” said MAG Chair Michael LeVault, Mayor of Youngtown. “Arizona’s trade and investment office gives us a physical reality that extends beyond our 400-mile border. We believe this move will help us attract a larger share of the growing Mexican middle class and help us take advantage of new opportunities to enhance trade.”

Arizona’s new trade office builds upon the state’s current engagement in Mexico by complementing Arizona’s existing office in Hermosillo, Sonora, which is a collaboration between the ACA and the Arizona-Mexico Commission.

The ACA has secured Marketing One to assist the ACA with its economic development activities in Mexico. The Mexico City-based consulting firm has detailed knowledge of the Mexican market including more than 30 years total of international trade development experience. Victor Aguilar, Managing Director and President of Marketing One, and his team serve as Arizona’s representatives in the Arizona State Trade and Investment Office. The office will have a dedicated staff of international trade experts that will include an office director, trade consultants and specialists responsible for enhancing trade and foreign direct investment, as well as generating quality business leads and creating strategic outreach to key stakeholders throughout Mexico.

The Arizona State Trade and Investment Office is located in the Colonia Juárez neighborhood of Mexico City near the Paseo de la Reforma. The address is Hamburgo 231, Col. Juárez, C.P. 06600, México, D.F., México.

internet

Will the Valley Embrace Google Fiber?

Haynes & Company, a leader in innovative grassroots research and analytics for institutional investors, announced additional findings related to its study of Google Inc.’s high-speed fiber optic internet service in Kansas City. Google is considering bringing its ultra high-speed Internet network in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe.

Google launched the ultrafast internet service in Kansas City beginning with its community-led “pre-registration” program in 2012.  Turning to this new model for deciding where, and when, to launch its 1GB service plus its first-of-its-kind, lifetime free service option hold the potential of closing the “digital divide”. To assess the impact of the roll out, Haynes & Company sent a team of researchers door-to-door in six, low-income neighborhoods to gauge both the awareness and the adaptation of the fiber optic service.

The most compelling takeaway was that only 16% of households surveyed had subscribed to the service. However, in a bright spot for Google, the vast majority (81%) of those households that have not yet subscribed had heard of the service, resulting in a 97% product recognition rate for Google Fiber. Moreover, of those households that had heard of Google Fiber but were not yet subscribers, 37% rated themselves as likely to sign up in the next 12 months. And, a full 12% said they would definitely sign-up.

“While the adaptation rates are relatively low, Google’s efforts are paying off in that consumers are well aware of the product,” said Elizabeth Haynes, Founder and President, Haynes & Company. “However, what we also found in speaking to people is that one thing that is keeping them away is cost, this despite Google’s attempt to structure appealing payment plans.”

Twenty-three percent of those likely to sign up in the coming year cited cost as a factor that could keep them from switching or installing Google Fiber.

The Google Fiber service, which costs $70 a month, offers speed of one gigabit a second, about 100 times faster than the national average. A slower service – about half the speed of the national average – is free after a $300 installation charge. It is this free service that holds the greatest potential for closing the digital divide for lower-income customers.

As Google continues to roll out its fiber product, Haynes & Company believes that significant opportunity remains to capture market share; however, it will require providing more than just access.

“Google has a real foothold in the mobile phone market with its Android operating system, and they should leverage that,” added Haynes. “For example, by bundling the one-time installation fee with mobile-phone plans and having Google Fiber available for sign-up in carriers’ stores where benefits of the service can be reinforced, we believe Google could markedly increase the uptake rate for the free service.”

 

 

 

Winding Creek, ABI Multifamily, WEB

Winding Creek apartments sell for $1.7M in Phoenix

ABI Multifamily, a dedicated multifamily brokerage and advisory services firm, is pleased to announce the sale of Winding Creek, an apartment community in Phoenix. The 54-unit garden-style community was originally built in 1982. Winding Creek sold for $1,700,000, which reflects a price just over $31,000 per unit. The sale is the second transaction brokered by ABI Multifamily in the past week, with the two sales combining for nearly $10M in transaction volume.

The buyer in the transaction, Los Angeles-based Winding Creek Apartments LLC, was attracted to the heavy two-bedroom unit mix, attractive assumable debt, as well as the trending fundamentals in the immediate neighborhood. “The submarket that Winding Creek is located in – Northwest Phoenix – had been lagging behind other submarkets in the Phoenix Valley in rental rate recovery. However, the neighborhood has flourished in recent months and market rents and occupancy have spiked. In the past year, the submarket itself has seen a 5.5 percent jump in market rents and Winding Creek specifically has seen its occupancy go from 75 percent to 100 percent. The result has been renewed acquisition interest in the area as this has been the third apartment purchase on the block in the past seven months,” stated Alon Shnitzer, senior managing partner at ABI Multifamily.

The seller in the transaction, locally based J & Z Property Management LLC, had owned the property for almost a decade and the improving submarket presented them with the perfect opportunity to exit. “The seller has self-managed this property, along with other apartments they previously owned, for decades now. Similar to other owners in the neighborhood, the seller weathered their fair share of struggles during the recent economic downturn and takes great pride in the fact that they sold a fully occupied community. Winding Creek is the seller’s last multifamily asset in the Phoenix market and they are now looking forward to taking their weekends off” according to Doug Lazovick, Partner at ABI Multifamily.

Winding Creek is a two and one-half story apartment community located at 2501 West Ocotillo Road in Phoenix. The property was built in 1982 and sits in Northwest Phoenix on the Interstate 17 (I-17) Corridor. Direct access to the I-17 provides residents with easy access to employment, entertainment and numerous dining options. Winding Creek has a mix of one bed/one bath and two bed/one bath unit types. All apartments include individual HVAC systems. Common area amenities include a swimming pool, on-site laundry facilities and ample parking.

The Phoenix based ABI Multifamily brokerage team of Alon Shnitzer, Doug Lazovick, John Kobierowski, Rue Bax and Eddie Chang represented both the seller and buyer in this transaction.

 

Avnet - Fortune Global 500

Phoenix MBDA Hosts Global Business Conference

The Phoenix Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center, in partnership with the Thunderbird School of Global Management, is hosting Phoenix MBDA’s 2nd Annual Global Business Conference and the concurrent Global Business to Business Trade Expo on Thursday, October 23 and Friday, October 24 at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel. The expo will focus on topical business opportunities and will provide information on how to conduct business with local, domestic, and international companies.

The two-day event is expected to bring in 150 local, national, and international attendees, including foreign consulates, Arizona Mayors, businesses looking to expand their services and product offerings in international markets, and interested individuals who are looking to start and/or grow a business to support global initiatives.

In support of the conference, Penny Pritzker, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce said, “We know that when U.S. firms sell their goods overseas, the U.S. economy stands to benefit. U.S. exports reached a record $2.3 trillion in 2013, and exports now support 11.3 million jobs, up 1.6 million since 2009.”

Alika Kumar, Executive Director of Phoenix MBDA also emphasized the importance of the conference and said, “Understanding the simplified processes of how to do business in international markets is vital to all U.S. based businesses and all individuals looking to do business abroad. This conference will lay the framework and foundation for those looking to succeed abroad.” Panelists include Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, as well as Barry Broome representing the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC). They will provide information about opportunities, including how to network, connect, do business, and succeed in international markets.

For information about registering or sponsorship opportunities, contact Kaaren-Lyn Morton at (602) 248-0007 or e-mail kaaren@phoenixmbdacenter.com.

medical.research

PCH forms pediatric genomics institute

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong joined Phoenix Children’s Hospital to announce the formation of a visionary institute, The Chan Soon-Shiong Children’s Precision Medicine Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

The new partnership brings together the medical expertise and resources of renowned surgeon and healthcare technology visionary Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, with Phoenix Children’s commitment to genomic research and access to a large pediatric patient base. The institute will transform the pediatric health care landscape by applying state-of-the-art genomic and proteomic technology to identify precision diagnoses, treatments and cures for young patients facing serious illnesses.

“Our goal is to bring genomics research to the forefront of pediatrics,” said Robert L. Meyer, president and CEO of Phoenix Children’s Hospital. “With Dr. Soon-Shiong’s transformative technology implemented at Phoenix Children’s, the realization of all children having access to life-saving precision medicine becomes one step closer.”

Soon-Shiong is the founder of Nantworks, largely dedicated to applying genomic and proteomic analysis studies to translate diagnoses and cures more quickly and accurately. To date, his efforts have been focused on the adult population. Through this institute, Phoenix Children’s will serve as the exclusive national hub for pediatric genomic research and translational precision medicine.

“Phoenix Children’s is unique among children’s hospitals,” noted Dr. Soon-Shiong. “The leadership and the board of this hospital are leading their peers in health care by executing on an operational principle of patient centered 21st century care. They have attracted talented researchers and clinical scientists and have demonstrated their ability to advance a vision for precision medicine in pediatrics.”

At the crux of this revolutionary undertaking is super computing cloud based technology and artificial intelligence. Phoenix Children’s will be home to one of the few dedicated supercomputers in the country, which can deliver genomic sequencing and analysis more quickly than ever before. Appropriate patients undergo full genome sequencing and proteomics analysis in an unprecedented seven days.

“Current genome sequencing takes time,” added Meyer. “And that’s something that these patients don’t have. The mission is to develop innovative and effective diagnostics and therapies for young patients, while empowering physicians with the most up-to-date research and therapeutic models available, all to deliver potentially life-saving treatments.”

Often, existing treatment protocols lack efficacy for patients; this new genomic analysis will alter that dynamic through specific and targeted therapeutic remedies based on the individual’s unique genetic makeup. In time, Soon-Shiong’s technology will lead to a comprehensive genomic database platform, from which a shared information consortium will be integrated into a global diagnosis, treatment, and result-based methodology. A vast bank of pediatric patient data will be generated via a consortium of children’s hospitals, led by Phoenix Children’s.

“The Chan Soon-Shiong Children’s Precision Medicine Institute will fundamentally alter the way pediatric health care is delivered around the world,” said Meyer.

DSC_0221

Valley dining spots welcome patio season

It’s fall which means the desert is starting to cool down! Restaurant and bar goers all over the Valley begin to seek out the best spots to indulge in the beautiful Arizona weather. But look no further— these local restaurants have Valley residents covered with killer patios throughout Metro Phoenix.

TEMPE

Thirsty Lion Pub & Grill: Located in Tempe Marketplace, Thirsty Lion Pub and Grill has a great wrap around patio. With a southwestern exposure, the Thirsty Lion patio is perfect for watching the fall sunset. At this hip gastropub, you’ll find great food, more than a dozen big screen TVs, two bars and 52 beers on tap. Enjoy happy hour, seven days a week from 3:00 p.m.—6:00 p.m. & again from 9:30 p.m. to close. For more information, visit www.thirstylionpub.com.

SCOTTSDALE

TapHouse Kitchen: Located at The Hilton Village in Scottsdale, this neighborhood kitchen features a seasonal menu of “Modern American Cuisine” prepared in a “Scratch” kitchen. The 3,500 square foot location accommodates 144 guests and features a rustic and woody décor. The restaurant has a fully air-conditioned patio, with a large garage door that creates an indoor- outdoor atmosphere. Take advantage of their happy hour seven days a week from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Enjoy $2 off House Wine (Cupcake Chardonnay & Cabernet), $2 off all draft beer, spirits & wine on tap, $2 off all beer flights, $2 off all TapHouse Kitchen custom cocktails, $2 off Tap”House” Margaritas and $1 off all well drinks. TapHouse Kitchen is located at 6137 N. Scottsdale Rd, #108 in Scottsdale. To find out more visit them at TapHouseKitchen.com or visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/TapHouseKitchen.

Kelly’s at SouthBridge: To both enjoy the cool weather and feel the awesome Old Town atmosphere, hit Kelly’s at SouthBridge this fall. Their spacious outdoor patio, adorned with bright red umbrellas, is hard to miss—it’s the perfect place for lunch, dinner, happy hour or late night festivities. There’s also plenty of room for big groups or parties too! Located on Sixth Avenue in downtown Scottsdale, the 8,000 square foot upscale restaurant offers traditional pub classics mixed with exceptional modern cuisine and the perfect laid back atmosphere. Enjoy ½ price bottles of wine (with purchase of food) 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day and all day Sunday. For more information, visit www.kellysatsouthbridge.com.

NORTH SCOTTSDALE

SOL Mexican Cocina: Located at the Scottsdale Quarter, SOL Mexican Cocina’s patio is the ideal place to sit back, relax and sip on margarita after a day of shopping or before a night out. The perfectly shaded patio features plush seating, an outdoor bar and a view overlooking the vibrant heart of Scottsdale. The restaurant’s menu features Executive Chef Deborah Schneider’s bold, modern interpretations of traditional Coastal Mexican cuisine with a focus on fresh, sustainable ingredients. Designed to echo the expansive sea, sky, and desert of the Baja peninsula, SOL features old world charm juxtaposed with an urban comfort. For more information, visit www.solcocina.com.

DOWNTOWN PHOENIX

Tilted Kilt: Overlooking downtown Phoenix at Cityscape is where this patio is located. At this Celtic-themed pub and eatery, you will always find five things: ice cold beer and plenty of it, a mouthwatering menu full of traditional and contemporary pub fare, large TV screens showcasing sporting events, a festive atmosphere full of fun and friends, and attractive cast members eager to put a smile on your face and make you feel right at home. Enjoy specials on their “Hoppy Hour” menu throughout the week. www.tiltedkilt.com.

WEST VALLEY:

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria: Enjoy your favorite pizza while you soak up the beautiful fall season. Each of Grimaldi’s eight Arizona locations has a distinct patio. The Peoria location has one of the largest—lining the entire north side of the building with seating for about 50 people. So if you’re in the mood for pizza and cannoli or just want to enjoy a glass of vino or beer, Grimaldi’s in Peoria is a perfect place to unwind. For more information, visit www.grimaldispizzeria.com.

Uptown Alley: Uptown Alley, located in Surprise, is a 60,000 square foot family entertainment venue featuring bowling, an arcade, two-level laser tag, an ultra-lounge and more. Check out their great patio during this fall at their full-service restaurant, Red Embers Bar and Grill. Indulge in six-hundred calorie selections, gluten free dishes, craft sandwiches, new signature burgers and a custom Burger Bar. Guests can also take advantage of the special Tailgate Menu that’s available every Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday throughout football season. The menu includes items such as Smoked Turkey Legs, Chili Cheese Franks and Stadium Nachos. During the regular season every Sunday guests can enjoy the Touchdown Special that includes one game of bowling, shoe rental and a $5 game card all for just $7. Visit www.uptownalleysurprise.com for more information.

Post Office, WEB

Adaptive reuse of Phoenix post office wins architecture award

Post Office 2Holly Street Studio Architects’ Diane Jacob’s infusion of Arizona State University’s 30KSF student center at a historic United States federal building in downtown Phoenix recently won a Crescordia award for historic preservation. Caliente Construction handled construction of the project.

Since the center’s opening in early 2013, students, faculty and the community at large have used the space for a multitude of purposes.

Adaptive reuse of the large-scale, centrally located structure revolves around four key ideas: open up to provide scenic views out and light in; embrace history through the structures expressed and skylights; engage the city with the park and align with existing patterns; and address the student with flexible and dynamic spaces for multiple endeavors.

The building’s mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems were modernized and tied to Phoenix’s NRG Energy Center, an energy-efficient and environmentally sound district energy and power plant serving major downtown structures. New clean-energy boilers eliminate electrical reheat systems, cutting building energy loads drastically and opening up additional usable square footage within the building.

The combination of a contemporary design within a well-worn masonry building begins a dialogue that is critical for environmental awareness in desert cities – creating greater awareness and inspiration for rethinking the way we inhabit our urban desert environment.

healthcare

Humana, Iora Health partner in Arizona

Improved health and more coordinated care for Medicare Advantage members is the goal behind a new Accountable Care arrangement and population health management partnership between Humana Inc. and Iora Health.

The partnership launches Iora’s unique health care model in Arizona and Washington where Iora Health will open four new primary care practices – two in Phoenix and two in Seattle – under the Iora Primary Care brand.

The primary care practices are designed exclusively for Humana’s Medicare Advantage members and will provide members access to affordable, quality care. Building on Iora’s proven success, these practices will have integrated care teams that include doctors, nurses, health coaches, medication management, behavioral health and social services resources. Iora builds practices to meet the specific needs of the communities they serve, including hiring teams who speak their patients’ languages and who understand the local challenges patients face.

“The partnership with Humana allows Iora to help improve the lives of seniors in Phoenix and Seattle,” said Rushika Fernandopulle, M.D., M.P.P., CEO and Co-Founder of Iora Health. “Seniors deserve care matched to their specific needs. Iora’s people-first primary care operating system helps do just that. We’re thrilled to partner with Humana to continue to restore humanity to health care.”

Iora Health serves over 9,000 patients in seven primary care practices across four states. Iora has expanded the definition of primary care to include integrated health and wellness, offering behavioral health and groups like Diabetes Club and yoga. Results have shown improved patient engagement, experience and clinical outcomes. Additionally, Iora’s proprietary collaborative care technology enables Iora to treat and manage their full patient population and allows for patients to view and contribute to their medical record.

“Partnerships like the one with Iora Primary Care help Humana close the gap for our members by making access to care easier and providing coordination of care,” said Mark El-Tawil, West Division Leader for Humana’s Senior Products. “We’re excited that Iora’s unique care model will provide innovative patient-centered care for our Humana Medicare Advantage members, improving their well-being.”

The Arizona primary care practices are located at 3137 W. Indian School Road in Phoenix and 6611 W. Peoria Avenue in Glendale. The Washington primary care practices are located at 306 23rd Avenue South in Seattle and 15214 Aurora Avenue North in Shoreline.

The Arizona and Seattle primary care practices will open September 2014, and will start seeing Humana Medicare Advantage members on Oct. 1, 2014. The Shoreline, Wash., primary care practices will open October 2014, and will start seeing Humana Medicare Advantage members on Nov. 1, 2014.

Humana aims to work closely with doctors and hospitals through its Accountable Care Continuum. The continuum is a stepped approach to pay-for-value reimbursement that allows the company to implement different value-based partnerships with hospitals and doctors based on their infrastructure capabilities and risk-tolerance.

The new partnership between Humana and Iora Health includes value-based incentives tied to performance improvement and will bring better patient care coordination, more cost effective, quality care and a world-class patient experience to Humana members in Arizona and Washington. The partnership will offer more personalized care and a broad range of population management tools like predictive analytics and chronic care, disease management and wellness programs.

The Humana/Iora Health partnership emphasizes quality outcomes with a focus on care coordination and leverages measures as defined by the National Committee for Quality Assurance Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set like diabetes care and treatment, breast cancer screenings, colorectal cancer screenings and high-risk medication.

Humana has a 25-year Accountable Care relationship history with more than one million members that are cared for by 33,000 primary care physicians, in more than 900 Accountable Care relationships across 40 states and Puerto Rico.